(CD will follow with a look at the offense and management.)
The Braves rotation is a mess. They don’t miss many bats, their command is spotty and they don’t pitch deep into games. As a result, none of them are going to bring anything back in a trade. Coppy spent $32 million on Colon, Dickey and Garcia — for $9 million more he could’ve Ivan Nova for three years and Charlie Morton, now being clocked in the high 90s, for two. Nova has walked four in 61-2/3 IP with a 2.63 ERA. Morton is averaging 10.5 K/9 IP; Folty leads Braves starters with 7.1 K/9.
He’s been the best of the crop, though he still hasn’t taken the leap forward we hoped. B-minus for Folty.
Julio scores a D. His strikeouts are down, walks are up and he appears to have developed a major phobia to The Mallpark.
Bartolo: F (He’s no Roman Colon)
Dickey: C-minus (The knuckleballer reminds me of Knucksie … when he came to pitch his last game ever as a Brave)
Garcia: C. Consistently mediocre.
After a rocky start the bullpen has rounded into form, though it lacks the depth we anticipated. Southpaw Ian Krol has held lefties to a .185 BA but has struggled with command while EOF has just struggled. The core three — Johnson, Arodys and Ramirez — have each earned a B+.
Defensively the Braves are a mixed bag. Dansby has shown good range and a better than advertised arm but 9 errors is way too many, especially when you share the left side with Adonis, who is simply awful. Brandon Phillips has shown he still has something left at second base and the same goes for Markakis in RF. Ender is the lone standout, though Tyler Flowers remains a top-notch pitch framer who has shown some slight improvement throwing out baserunner.
Pitching and defense have been the weak spots for the Braves, and the blame lies squarely with Coppy, who invested foolishly in a couple of graybeards and failed to find an upgrade at third base.