Credit the Braves for trying stuff. Lots of stuff, actually

Atlanta Braves shortstop Erick Aybar, left, watches as Braves second baseman Reid Brignac doubles over on the dirt in pain after a ball he was fielding bounced up and hit him in the jaw during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Monday, May 2, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Reid Brignac: Called up Monday, hit in the jaw Monday night. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Atlanta Braves opened the season April 4. Today is May 3. Of their 25-man opening-day roster, nine men are gone. That’s a turnover of 36 percent in less than a calendar month. That’s amazing.

Some of the shuffling has to do with injury (Ender Inciarte, Gordon Beckham) and suspension (Hector Olivera). Jhoulys Chacin opened the season in the minors to get a start before being slotted into the Braves’ rotation. Still, let’s run the numbers:

Of the five pitchers who constituted that original rotation, three — Chacin, Matt Wisler and Julio Teheran — remain in place. Williams Perez was sent down after three starts. Bud Norris was demoted to the bullpen after five. Aaron Blair and Mike Foltynewicz were summoned from Gwinnett to take regular turns.

Through 25 games, the Braves have used 14 relievers (counting Wisler’s save in Miami). The list of relievers deployed this season but no longer on the big-roster: Ryan Weber, Chris Withrow, John Gant, Casey Kelly, Jose Ramirez, Matt Marksberry and Daniel Winkler. The latter broke his elbow.

Among position players, yesterday’s round of changes saw the demotion of Jace Peterson, who’s 25 and who hasn’t done much since June 2015. The journeyman Drew Stubbs, who’s 31, was designated for assignment. (Of the Braves’ five home runs, Stubbs owns the only non-solo shot.) Promoted were Reid Brignac, Chase d’Arnaud and Matt Tuiasosopo — three more journeymen.

(The Braves did promote Ozzie Albies to Triple-A Gwinnett and Dansby Swanson to Double-A Mississippi over the weekend. Those guys are coming fast, but the Braves really don’t want to force-feed their top prospects into the major leagues.)

In sum, we’ve begun to see the arrival of some of the heralded young arms (Wisler, Blair, Foltynewicz), but the Braves’ position players continue to skew old. Here are the ages of the Braves’ non-pitchers:

Catchers: A.J. Pierzynski, 39; Tyler Flowers, 30.

Infielders: Freddie Freeman, 26: Brignac, 30; Erick Aybar, 32; Adonis Garcia, 31; Kelly Johnson, 34; Daniel Castro, 23.

Outfielders: Jeff Francoeur, 32; Mallex Smith, 22; Nick Markakis, 32; d’Arnaud, 29; Tuiasosopo, 29.

That’s 13 position players, only two of whom are younger than 26. Only three are younger than 29. We say again: This is not the Braves team we’ll be seeing next year and maybe not next month.

Credit to the Braves for trying something. (When you’re 6-18 — now 6-19 — you have to try something.) According to the AJC’s David O’Brien, the impetus for Monday’s mass movement came from Fredi Gonzalez and his coaches, so don’t say John Coppolella and John Hart aren’t trying to give their manager at least some of what he wants. (Pretty sure Fredi G. really wants Mike Trout, but he’s not available.)

Inciarte, who’s 25, could be back by week’s end, and he’s a good player. Nobody knows what’s apt to happen with Olivera, who’s 30. (The Braves are trying to trade him; there will be no takers.) And, as was seen Monday night in New York, change in and of itself is no guarantee of better results.

The Braves lost 4-1 to Bartolo Colon, who’s 42. Foltynewicz yielded three first-inning home runs. The Braves are on pace to finish 39-123 and hit 32 home runs.

Further grim reading:

For the 4-17 Braves, there’s really no choice but to fire Fredi G.

Braves at 4-16: We’ve see it before (though not lately)

The Braves just played a riveting game. Didn’t win, but still …

The Braves can’t respond to losing by rushing their prospects.

10 not-so-fun facts about the not-so-hot Braves.

We ask again: What has happened to Julio Teheran?

A drop and a bullpen flop put a stop to the Braves’ winning streak.

Progress! The Braves are giving us moments.

Fredi G. and the four-out save: It’s getting weird, folks.

Fredi is managing as if he wants to be fired.

At 0-7, the Fredi Gonzalez Watch is officially on.

A word to Braves fans: Don’t get discouraged.

These Braves weren’t built to win. Good thing, seeing that they’re 0-5.

Trust the process? The Braves absolutely do.

Reader Comments 0

31 comments
DawgDadII
DawgDadII

I'm in my 60's and have been a die hard MLB hometown fan my entire life. The Braves ownership and management are not fulfilling their role as stewards of the team in a competitive professional sport. The only recourse I have is to not be in any big hurry to fork over bucks at their new stadium. Notice served.

Stephen Eason
Stephen Eason

I was going as often as I could but if I was a season ticket holder I would be pissed off. Those people paid good money to see something remotely competitive. If you asked them they didn't pay to have a little better team 2-3 years later. They paid to see something now

Kwajbraves
Kwajbraves

They get credit for rearranging the seats in the Titanic.  Maybe the need to hire a band to play music in the background while they play as well. 

JD Lowe
JD Lowe

I wonder if they would let me play a few innings. I've only played little league but the results would be the same.

Marlon Smith
Marlon Smith

Hall of shame numbers. Your Cobb county braves

mc1362002
mc1362002

This Braves team reminds me of the 1988 Braves, who, as those who know such history are aware, are the worst of all Braves teams, finishing 54-106, with two games not played.


The thing was:  Those Braves had young Tom Glavine in his second year, and rookie John Smoltz, who was called up in July and made his MLB debut in NY.    


These Braves have a lot of young players as well. 


My theory, they just have to give it time with the young players, even if it means   "taking it on the chin", so to speak in the standings.     


I do think, that Fredi G should be gone.   


If they dont fire him during the season, they definitely should at the end of the season, regardless of how bad the record is, before they move into the new ballpark

ChessMaster
ChessMaster

The sport has become watching roster building. The outfield of the future with Inciarte, Smith and Markakis lacks power. Markakis is the only one who has a power. Do we play two speed players and hope for power elsewhere? Does Olivera somehow come back and show power? 


Castro, Albies and Swansby are middle infielders without too much power. Is there a 3rd baseman or catcher coming along who can hit with power? It seems there is still work to be done.


We have tons of pitching in the minors, so I'm not as concerned there. I just don't see the power in our future outside of Freeman and Markakis, and Markakis is 32.

Brent James
Brent James

The braves are done last place team 6-19 how pathetic in atlanta the team gives up runs very inconsistent

Debbie Murphy
Debbie Murphy

Let's see Fredi was manager when biggest collapse in baseball history with players like Chipper and McCann etc now he's manager that on pace to lead team to worse record in baseball history and he still has job why?

Curtis Boston
Curtis Boston

And they want us to support the team. Why????? They traded 98% of the team. I'll rather watch Georgia State football instead

John Todd Lewis
John Todd Lewis

Georgia State actually went to a bowl game last year.

Quy Nguyen
Quy Nguyen

They are so Braves to lose that many games... LOL

Paul R Denault
Paul R Denault

The average age of the 13 current position players on the Braves is 30. Not exactly what I would call a young team. I applaud the recent changes in trying younger prospects and shaking things up. 




Nathan Parks
Nathan Parks

The Braves will win more than 39 games. Thus far they have played only playoff caliber teams (with the exception of the Marlins, whom they swept). There will be games against the Reds, the Brewers, the Phillies, the Padres, the Twins & more against the Marlins. Ender Inciarte will be back soon and Freddie will start hitting again - he already appears to be coming around. But this season is not about final record, it's about developing the young players and bringing them up to the Bigs when they are ready.The young guys will take their lumps at the Major League level (see Foltynewicz last night), but they will learn lessons that will make them better in the long run. The future is bright for the Braves, unfortunately we have to slog through the not-so-bright present to get there.

Trip Wall
Trip Wall

Yawn. Wouldn't surprise me in the least. I always laughed at the "we're just rebuilding idiot" idiots lol

ChasZee
ChasZee

Frank Wren is gone, but bad front office decisions remain. Rome, Gwinnett, Smyrna -- a minor league franchise.

Jmonty1971
Jmonty1971

All I see is AA and AAA talent on a major league field. 

Polskidawg
Polskidawg

No surprise, really. The position players and most pitchers are place-holders.


Freeman, Inciarte, Smith and perhaps Castro (utilityman) are staying.


Vizcaino may be the only current long-term bullpen piece. Norris is gone soon, but was never more than a place-holder, as is Chacin.


This season is all about seeing who has it, and who does not. Think "late 1980's" when Cox was revamping the entire organization and you'll understand.

kool hand luke
kool hand luke

What a great youth movement!  Oh well, tip your cap and keep runnin em out there.