Some chilly projections for the new-look Braves

The Braves break ground in Cobb. Mayor Reed is not pictured. (Bob Andres/AJC photo)

The Braves break ground in Cobb. Mayor Reed is not pictured. (Bob Andres/AJC photo)

The Braves’ rallying cry: “Wait till 2017!” (Bob Andres/AJC photo)

As mentioned a time or two, the Atlanta Braves have changed. By design, they’re no longer Frank Wren’s team. At the minor-league level, this is surely an improvement. That’s the good news. The less-good: At the major-league level, at least for the here and now, they figure to stink.

Pitchers and catchers report to Lake Buena Vista on Friday, and already the analytic-based community has turned thumbs-down on the Braves. Baseball Prospectus has them going 75-87 and finishing fourth in the NL East and 25th in the majors. FanGraphs sees them finishing 71-91 and being MLB’s second-worst team, ahead of only Philadelphia. David Schoenfield of ESPN’s SweetSpot rates the Braves 28th and figures they’ll go 68-96.

David Purdum of ESPN offers the projected win totals of the Atlantis sports book: The Braves’ over/under is 73.5, which is tied with Houston for the fifth-lowest in the majors. Buster Olney, also of ESPN, figures the Braves won’t hit that mark because they’ll be dumping more players at the July 31 deadline.

In sum, this could be the worst Braves season since 1990, when the team finished 65-97. Shortly thereafter, everything got a lot better for a very long time. Maybe it’ll happen that way again. Maybe, I say.

Reader Comments 5

209 comments
Techmate
Techmate

My main concern is how Fredi will manage this team. Can he coach them to play small ball? This will be the year to see if Fredi is the real deal.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Turner might have the feel of a mid-80's Fulton Co. stadium, Braves game. When they were lucky to get 5,000 people.

Those games were actually kind of fun to go to. 

It was like a big bar with a game in the background. Go there to meet girls. 

Buy a cheap seat and pretty much sit where you wanted. Go sit on the front row, near Ted Turner. Or go talk to Chief Noc-A-Homa.

There were so few people, if someone yelled at the pitcher to bean the batter, everyone in the stadium would hear it. And the pitcher might look that persons way, in acknowlegement.

Autographs were easy to get. Easy to get in and out of stadium. No hassle driving and parking. Beer and concessions were much, much, much cheaper. Not like spending a mortgage payment to attend a game, park, eat, drink, and buy a souvenir, today. 

And overall, people were so much nicer then. 

So look at some of the positives of having a bad team for awhile.

Have some fun in the sun!


HotDawg
HotDawg

Also, it would be nicer if you could attend a game today, without a bunch of meatheads covered in tattoos.

Not appealing to see granny exposing her tramp stamp and boob brand. Or a sweaty, steroid in a tank top covered with stupid tats.

HotDawg
HotDawg

This team is taking its lumps now. Happens to every team.

I don't think the turnaround is going to be as fast as officials expect.

That's ok if they build stability again, when they become competitive. Maybe around 2018 or 2019. 

They won't have to worry about 2017, as much as it is talked about.

Because people will flock to new stadium that year, to check it out.

Once the novelty and the oohs and aahs of the new stadium wear out, they better be hitting on all cylinders on the field. Again, around '18 or '19.


SunDropMan
SunDropMan

Sure hope the highly naive and gullible Cobb County taxpayers enjoy their AA team in their new "digs" until at least 2020.  That's how long it will take, and maybe longer.  You may have to drive to Gwinnett Co. to see some really good baseball at the AAA level. At least you will have a choice, but the big difference is that it will cost you an "arm and a leg and another arm" to pay the ticket prices even after you built them a new "Taj Mahal" !

Wilbo
Wilbo

Hey, idiot, in your spasmodic frenzy to crown the Hawks kings of basketball even thought they haven't won squat that counts, did you forget you've already written this 1/2 baked article? 

TampGator1
TampGator1

The Sporting News, which has been reporting on baseball forever, produced a scathing report on the offseason moves by the Braves management calling them too cheap to add just a couple of needed players and failure to extend Heyward (instead trading him for questionable return and then signing a non productive OF as a FA while keeping B.J. Upton as the only returning OF....stating that they are not joking when they wrote that) in order to stay a contender.  They also questioned why the Braves did not trade Kimbrel as well, as they will not be needing him anytime in the near future to save games.   Yes, the Braves are now a non factor franchise and have replaced the Marlins as the "dump to save" franchise in all of baseball.  Where is Ted Turner when you need him.  Oh.....raising Buffalo out west and loathing Jan Fonda for dumping him for "the opium of society".......religion. 

58Supersports
58Supersports

@TampGator1  Ted is working on World Order giving 1 billion to United Nations to help destroy America. Jane the traitor must have worked on his brain.

Kimbrell will be worth more at Trade dead line than right now...Braves will make 3 or 4 deals at that time, bet on it.

swimfin2
swimfin2

@TampGator1 Newsflash. They were a nonfactor with all the guys they let go last year too. Second to last in runs scored yet you act like they went to the NLCS

Riseuppppppp2015
Riseuppppppp2015

Who wins more games, Hawks or Braves?

At least they'll still have beer at the Ted, they didn't trade that away

58Supersports
58Supersports

I like what Hart & Coppy have don't. Looking forward to this season win or lose.

30yrAtlBravesFan
30yrAtlBravesFan

@58Supersports Same here! Win or Lose. The future is looking brighter & getting closer to going to BRAVES COUNTRY come 2017. It's looking very promising.

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@58Supersports You like what they have "don't"?  What they have "don't" is assemble a ragamuffin collection of new garbage players in lieu of the Wren garbage players.  Is there a rule that says you have to be totally pathetic during the "rebuilding" process? 

MackJonescf
MackJonescf

We will see. Stranger things have happened. //// I thought David Hale was a good starter.

housebroken706
housebroken706

Teheran, Woods, and Miller give the Braves a chance to win about 60 percent of their games. Certainly, the team won't hit any worse than last year. I don't expect the Big Red Machine out of this bunch, but I am not without hope. Even if the team stinks, it will be nice to know that each time BJ looks at a strike 3 and complains, or makes a lackadaisical play in the outfield that Gomes and AJ will chew his fanny. 

SupremeGrandPoobah
SupremeGrandPoobah

@housebroken706 Our pitchers better throw a lot of shutouts. 


What are Gomes and AJ going to say to BJ?  My .230 average is better than yours?

CouchPotato
CouchPotato

@SupremeGrandPoobah @housebroken706  Our pitchers threw a lot of 1 and 2 run games last year, what good did it do us with all of that "power"?  I think this year will surprise the nay-sayers...... and then they will claim they have been Braves fans all along

Beau1500
Beau1500

Who in the hell is this "FireJohnCoppy"? person and why won't he just go away

BravesFanInNashville
BravesFanInNashville

@Beau1500 I agree...  FireJohnCoppy is the most negative contributor to these Braves Blogs I've ever seen on here.  I've been following the Braves this way for 25 years....  he seems to be stuck on making his point over and over that he disagrees with the recent moves the Braves front office made and to defend Frank Wren's moves no matter what the results have proven.


What I have trouble reconciling is why would anyone think it would have been a good idea to extend Heyward when he hasn't proven anything yet except he's really, really inconsistent and often looks overwhelmed at the plate.  After the Braves good start last year they had a losing record from the second week of May until the end of the season.  So if we lost WITH Justin Upton and Heyward why would we think extending their contracts is the answer.   I personally was so tired of watching both of them take a called third strike right down the middle or swing at strike 3 in the dirt.  They have no idea of what it means to protect the plate with two strikes...


In my opinion Hart had no choice but to get as good a return as he could for two players that were SURELY not returning after next season.  


Either way it's too late to go back now and I'd rather see what the future brings this way with new younger players and increased payroll flexibility for the future...


I think it's important to remember we were not going to sign BOTH Heyward and Upton to and extension as they both figure to get at least TWICE what we paid BJ Upton.  If the Braves tied up $150 Plus million in one of those guys they would not have had nearly the flexibility to round out the team..  I think Peraza and Ruiz and are soon in the picture along with Foltynewicz and Mallex Smith and then Fried.  Only time will tell but I think Hart will prove he made some good moves before this is all over.



ClevelandDon
ClevelandDon

Yeah, well, we've been there before and I watch that "from a distance."   Anyway, we've all made up our minds it shall be a disaster and so there it is. Now, expect nothing and you may be amazed and amused every time  they win a game....it could be fun. I need to tell you I've seen so many great games by the Braves and my old friend Bill Hargrove who was a

true fan until his death at age 106 used to tell me that a team is always ready to do something you don't expect them to

but you need to be a fan through the tough time as well as the good times.  I'm heading down for Spring Training soon so I can see for myself just how bad this team is. Chances are the hot dogs and cold drinks and the kiss cam will be just the same anyway. Go Braves! 

30yrAtlBravesFan
30yrAtlBravesFan

@Acworthdon I agree! Through the good & bad times. Some fans just are just there when there pn top of the division. Lets get the show going! GO BRAVES!

We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again
We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again

I don't see the Braves making a run at the 100-loss mark. I see them as more like an 85-loss team because the pitching should keep them in the game most nights.

The lineup figures to be horrific, but at least there's a low bar for success. It's hard to do much worse than 29th in the majors in runs scored. If Johnson and Simmons hit somewhere closer to their 2013 numbers than their 2014 marks, Upton miraculously figurers it out, and Gomes and Young form a decent platoon in left, the Braves might be able to cobble together a semi-passable order. Problem is, there's no way all those things happen, which is why .500 is about the upper reach of what this team can realistically hope for.

30yrAtlBravesFan
30yrAtlBravesFan

@We_Will_Get_Fooled_Again Well if they reach 500 it will be better than last year & things will continue to look up. Im looking forward to 2017 when the real " BRAVES COUNTRY OPENS" until then lets GO BRAVES! 

GT71
GT71

OH, YEAH?

Well their mothers wear army boots!


Really, along about September 23rd when the Braves lock up a post-season berth, remember this article. (Hey, it COULD happen)


ESPN - a scourge upon you.

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

I don't think this team is going to be very good this year (though I'll be watching most of the games anyway), but I also wouldn't put a lot of weight into what David Schoenfield says either.  The man goes out of his way on a regular basis to $h!+ all over the Braves.

QuentinHardin
QuentinHardin

I think this year, is going to be a very interesting year.  Good or bad, I'll stick with the Braves.  I just hope, because of a very bad year, that they are still able to show it on TV.  I enjoy watching them every night.  I'm not rich enough to go and watch them play.  Because when you health goes bad, so does the paycheck.


SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@QuentinHardin 

Everybody loves a winner, but nobody wins every year. Fiscal mismanagement and poor talent judgement by the previous GM has got to be corrected before the Braves can move forward for the long term.

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

This is an about face, much like Tech's basketball after we get out from under Hewitt's contract.....gonna be some pain for a minute.

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

Something had to be done, and this year may be a wash to overcome the BJ and Uggla debacles. Maybe we can be more like the Royals and play some good small ball. We have half way decent pitching so if the offense can surprise then maybe the year can at least be respectable even if not in the playoffs

30yrAtlBravesFan
30yrAtlBravesFan

@GWJ0525 Good commit! Where is all this coming from, cause lately all i have heard is criticism. If they reach 500 i will be happy with that.

Steve81253
Steve81253

Means nothing.  This is all speculation.  Let's play some games, then we'll see how good or bad they are.  By the way, I like what Hart and Coppy are doing.  It was badly needed and they certainly weren't going to win with the lineup they had.  

FreeAgentFan
FreeAgentFan

Those prospects the Braves got are not franchise saviors -- and not all of em will make it


We have one guy in this whole org who is capable of 25 HRS and a .500 slugging percentage and that is Freddie Freeman. 


No one else in this lineup can be expected to hit as many as 15 HRS


Left field is filled by one platoon guy is Gomes and a mediocre journeyman prospect in Zoilo Almonte


Second base and catching is a joke & CF -- lets face it as bad as BJ has been we really need to play him he has to be better.  But its a long shot


All they have to do is trade Kimbrell for prospects are we are truly done for a generation --- these guys are not going to be any good in 2017. 


John Hart has turned the ATL Braves into irrelevance

Beau1500
Beau1500

@FireJohnCoppy You can play him all you want to - he AIN'T going to get better.  The guy is not even major league material.  Kind of makes you wonder if everything between Tampa and the Wren brothers was on the up and up.   

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@FireJohnCoppy 

 "John Hart has turned the ATL Braves into irrelevance"

What did Frank Wren turn them into? He overspent on bad to mediocre talent and destroyed a once productive farm system. It will take time for Hart to undue Wren's mismanagement. Since you are impatient, go find another team to follow..

Steve81253
Steve81253

@FireJohnCoppy Frank Wren turned the ATL Braves into irrelevance.  Hart and Coppy are trying to salvage something, but it may take a couple of years.  They weren't going to win with the team they had.

SaveAmericaFromItself
SaveAmericaFromItself

@FireJohnCoppy 

 "Those prospects the Braves got are not franchise saviors -- and not all of em will make it"

Is that what you said back in 1987 when Doyle Alexander was traded to Detroit for a AA pitcher named John Smoltz, who was 4-10 with a 5.86 ERA at the time ? 

Are you basing your forecast on some Top 100 list of prospects?

Give me a break !

30yrAtlBravesFan
30yrAtlBravesFan

@FireJohnCoppy Have you not realized yet, that HR'S is not the only way to win games? Look, let the season begin. Did those HR caliber players helpout last year? I didn't think so! You are with Wren & how he works & thats to strip the farm sys, sign unproductive FA'S & give extensions based on one year. Reevaluate yourself before you start judgeing this team before the season starts. Come on now! 

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