Braves ink Charlie Morton to one year deal

This is the second pitcher to sign a one-year multi-million dollar deal. This time bringing Charlie Morton home to Atlanta, the deal was reportedly worth $15m. He was a 3rd round draft back in 2002. He made his major league debut with the Braves just six years later in 2008. He was part of the Nate McClouth trade to the Pirates during the 2009 season. It’s come full circle for Charlie Morton.

IPERA+DRA-FIPWHIPBABIPfWAR
38.090833.451.39.3550.9
K%BB%AVGLOB%ERA-FIP-GB%
24.75.9.276701118041.6

Morton suffered some shoulder problems that set him back a bit in 2020, but he came back and pitched well into the playoffs.

Last season it was working on the bullpen, this season AA is working on the rotation and so far so good. So right now the rotation looks like this: Max Fried, Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson, Charlie Morton, Drew Smyly. This looks like a solid rotation for me, now the question marks could be Soroka, Morton and Smyly.

Soroka because he’s returning from Achilles injury, though he’s starting to throw from flat ground. Which is a good sight to see.

We here at Backdoor Slider welcome Charlie Morton to the Braves!

Braves sign pitcher Drew Smyly

The Atlanta Braves announced today that they have signed pitcher Drew Smyly for one year, $11m dollars. Here’s the announcement they had on Twitter.

As it says he spent last season with the San Francisco Giants, he’s also played for the Phillies, Tampa Bay, and the Detroit Tigers in his eight-year career.

IPK%BB%AVGBABIPFIPWHIPDRA-
26.137.88.1.196.3102.011.1060

While he was a starter in San Francisco, he could be used either in the rotation or out of the pen. If I were to guess he’ll be fighting for a spot in the rotation with most likely Kyle Wright (I don’t think he’s a lock for the rotation). Which right now consists of Mike Soroka, Ian Anderson, and Max Fried.

Freddie Freeman is the NL MVP

After placing eighth in MVP voting last season, Freddie joins, Hank Aaron, Terry Pendleton, and Dale Murphy as Braves who have won the Most Valuable Player in the National League, of course, Murph won it twice.

Not too shabby for a guy that came down with COVID and had a rough go of it. But once he healed, he was ready to go. Yes, he did have a couple of bad weeks before turning on the afterburners and helped carry the Braves through the Post Season. Of course, the Postseason wasn’t taken into account when the voting happened.

So congratulations to Freddie and his fam on the job well done. And I think that this is just the beginning of the MVP hardware he’ll accumulate during his career.

Braves resign Josh Tomlin

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Braves have resigned pitcher Josh Tomlin today.

A one year $1M with a club option sounds good to me. He’s an innings eater and a good mentor to the younger pitchers. I mean he told Kyle Wright to move his foot on the rubber, and he came out firing bullets in the playoff.

Here are his stats for his two years with the Braves.

IPtERAWHIPFIPxFIPBABIPfWAR
119.04.861.154.334.76.2830.6
2019-2020

While he’s not setting the world on fire, but he’s been a solid back of the bullpen guy and from what I’ve heard a great clubhouse guy as well.

Now, they should resign Shane Greene.

Braves By The Numbers: #3

Welcome back to BBTN, this week we’ll look at the #3, if you’ve missed any in the series – just click the link above that says “By The Numbers” and you can get caught up on #1 and #2. Usually, I pick like three players to represent the number in question. This week, we look at the face of the franchise in the ’80s. Also, my boyhood hero, so much so that I wore his number when I played baseball, and I was a catcher.

If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s Dale Murphy.

#3

BAOBPSLGOPS+wOBABABIPwRC+fWAR
.270.353.481125.365.29612443.4

Dale Murphy played for the Braves from 1978 to 1990, when the Braves were one of the worst teams in the National League. This is in spite of winning the NL West in 1982, this was followed up with two second-place finishes. They either sat at the bottom of the NL West or just above the bottom in that 13-year span. Dale Murphy never got to know what it was like winning all those division titles.

He didn’t drink, smoke, he didn’t chase women. He was referred to as a Boy Scout because of his clean living. He won back-to-back National League MVP’s in ’82 and ’83. And he remains the only player in Braves history to win two National League MVP awards back to back.

This date in Braves history: 11/7

It was on this day in 2000 that Rafael Furcal was named rookie of the year. He garnered 25-of-32 first-place votes. He was the only player on all 32 ballots, easily beating out St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Rick Ankiel and Mets outfielder Jay Payton. I’m guessing seven writers were watching a completely different season.

BAOBPSLGwOBABABIPwRC+fWAR
2000.295.394.382.355.3491073.3
Furcal’s Rookie Year

Add to that wonderful slash line 4 home runs, 37 RBIs, and swiped 40 bases. He wouldn’t steal over 40 bases again until 2005 when he would swipe 46 bags for the Braves. And 2005 was also the last year Furcal played for the Braves before signing with the Los Angles Dodgers. He played in 131 games and wasn’t slated to be on the opening day roster. But an injury would force Bobby Cox to call up Furcal who hadn’t seen anything above Double-A.

Braves’ four Silver Sluggers new franchise record

It was a good night last night for the Atlanta Braves, four Braves took home Silver Slugger awards. The last time for this to happen was the 1985 and 2002 New York Yankees and the 1980 St. Louis Cardinals.

So here are our Silver Sluggers, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuna Jr, Marcell Ozuna, and catcher Travis d’Arnaud. All four had a hell of a season at the plate. Freeman and Acuna won their first Sluggers in 2019. For Marcell Ozuna, this is his second award, his last coming in his breakout season in 2017.

Freddie Freeman was a slam dunk, having put up MVP numbers all season. he put up a slugging % of .640, only second to Juan Soto of the Nationals who posted a .695 slugging percentage which led the league. Freeman is expected to take home the National League MVP this season. His teammate Marcell Ozuna will most likely finish in the top five of voting. If it weren’t for Freeman, it would be Ozuna for MVP that we’d be talking about.

It was a banner year for d’Arnaud as well. His .321/.386/.476 slash were all the highest in his eight-year career behind the dish. Also, his 145 wRC+ is a career-high. Great numbers for a guy who hit in the clean-up spot for a majority of the season.

Max Fried nabs Gold Glove

Congratulations to Max Fried for claiming the National League Gold Glove at Pitcher. The last time a Braves pitcher nabbed a Gold Glove was Mike Hampton in 2003. In 28-years Braves pitchers have won 12 Gold Gloves.

Here’s what Fried had to say about the Gold Glove award to Dave O’Brien of the Athletic.($)

“I am incredibly honored to win the Gold Glove Award,” Fried said. “We take great pride in our defense, and I could not have won this award without my teammates in the field behind me.”

The Braves had two other finalists, Dansby Swanson and Ronald Acuna Jr. respectively. Since becoming a starter Fried is 24-7 with a ERA+ of 130. And this season he was second in bWAR for pitchers. And just think this kid is just going to get better and better. He stepped up this season in the aces shoes and proceeded to go undefeated in the regular season.

How do the MVP finalists stack up?

Yesterday the BBWAA named their three finalists for the Most Valuable Player for the National League. All three players named were not much of a surprise. The Dodgers are represented by Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman of the Braves, and Manny Machado from the San Deigo Padres.

There are nine days to go before we hear who has won the award. Scuttle butt has it that Freeman is the odds on favorite among baseball writers. If Freeman does take away the award, it’ll be the first time a Brave has won it since his mentor Chipper Jones won it in 1999.

So let’s see how the three stack up and we’ll come to our conclusions.

Freddie Freeman

BAOBPSLGOPS+wOBAwRC+aWAR
.341.462.640186.4561873.2

Mookie Betts

BAOBPSLGOPS+wOBAwRC+aWAR
.292.366.562149.3901493.2

Manny Machado

BAOBPSLGOPS+wOBAwRC+aWAR
.304.370.580158.3911482.7

At a quick glance, Freeman is superior to Betts and Machado by a long shot. Just looking at the numbers it would seem like it would be a no-brainer. I’ve seen a few people talk about how this is Mookie’s award to lose. Which I find ridiculous on so many levels, that I can’t believe I addressed it here.

Seriously there are some bad takes out there. It’s all right here, you can compare the numbers yourself, but everything is turning up Freeman. Marcell Ozuna deserves to be recognized, I hope he lands in the Top 5. After almost winning the Triple Crown, he kinda deserved to be in the conversation. Finishing in the Top 5 would be nice to have on the resume that could in theory get Ozuna more money, depending on where he ends up.