We will not be grading on a curve. CD will check in with grades for the offense and defense.
It’s hit or miss with this group. The Shelby Miller deal could go down as one of the best of the decade. The Hector Olivera trade probably won’t be remembered four years from now, but it was a disaster for the Braves. Alex Wood, it should be noted, seems to be figuring things out in L.A., averaging 9.6 K/9 IP. We’re starting to get a better idea on some of the other big trades:
Justin Upton is struggling mightily in Detroit, while Mallex Smith could emerge as a force atop the order. Max Fried has shown flashes in Rome, while the Petersons (Jace and Dustin) don’t appear to have much of a future in Atlanta. Not a bad return, but when you consider that, on the same day, the Nats pried top prospect Trea Turner from the Pads for Steven Souza, it’s a little unsatisfying.
Getting Matt Wisler for Kimbrel is looking better every day, as is the Gattis trade, though I’m much higher on Folty than Rio Ruiz, who strikes out too much and homers too rarely.
Still too early to tell on trading Andrelton for Sean Newcomb, whose command problems have worsened, and Chris Ellis, who’s been better than expected. (Erick Aybar has made B.J. and Uggla look like Murph and Horner in comparison.) I still think they could’ve gotten more.
Coppy’s smaller moves, namely re-signing a 39-year-old catcher, have mostly flopped.
The upcoming draft is going to be huge, along with the international signings. The organization still lacks impact players in the minors, outside of Swanson. Who knows if Kevin Maitan will be a superstar, but most scouts seem to think so. That assumes the Braves already have a deal in place, as rumored.
Coppy and Hart have proven no better than Wren at public relations. They don’t seem to mind sounding disingenuous, and Coppy’s whining about criticism of the Andrelton was especially off-putting.
Overall, I think the rebuild has gone well but not as well as the Braves tout. This next wave of pitching they talk about may end up a ripple, which is why they should take Teheran off the trade market. But Swanson was such a coup I’ll give them a B-minus.
Julio Teheran: B-plus. Things were looking grim for the Julio five weeks ago. He had just given up six runs against the Nats and 11 ER in his last 11 IP. In six starts since, he’s allowed one ER three times, no ER twice and two ER once.
Matt Wisler: A-minus. He’s exceeded expectations and seems to get better with each start. And no starter has consistently gone deeper into games than the ex-Padre.
Williams Perez: B-minus. It won’t last.
Mike Foltynewicz: C-plus. Slowly getting better. Patience.
Bud Norris: D-minus. He’s not been terrible in the ‘pen.
Arodys Vizcaino: A-minus. 1.45 ERA, 12.5 K/9.
Hunter Cervenka: B. Hope it lasts, but not completely sold.
Jason Grilli: D-plus. Baserunners galore
Jim Johnson: D-minus. Left off where he finished in Los Angeles. It’s possible we’ve seen the last of him.
Eric O’Flaherty: D. A shell of his former self.