Former Brave Peter Moylan named Melbourne Aces Pitching Coach

The Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball League (ABL) have announced that Peter Moylan who had been a player-coach has been named pitching coach for the Aces.

Moylan signed for the Braves in 2006 after the World Baseball Classic. He would go on to spend nine seasons with the Braves. In 12 years of Major League play he won over 20 games, pitched 418.2 innings and had a career aWAR of 3.7.

He played three seasons in the ABL, 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2019/20. He played 6 games for the Aces as a player/coach in the last two years.

Good luck to Peter in his new role!

aWar is the average between Baseball Reference and Fangraphs WAR.

Braves By The Numbers: #1

Welcome to the first installment of BBTN!

We’ll going down the line and looking at players across decades to wear a certain jersey number and compare. We may also just look at one person that wore that particular number and do a deep dive.

This is going to be a lot of fun. Oh and all stats provided are their totals as Braves, leaving out other teams they may have played for.

#1

So here we are at the top, 26 players in Braves history has worn the number 1. Some of the names on that list include guys like Albert Hall, Luis Polonia and more, but we’re going to focus on three Braves: catcher Del Crandall, Shortstop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Jerry Royster.

C Del Crandall

.257/.313/.412 96 wRC+, 27.5 fWAR, 552 HR 628 RBI (1949-63)

The Ontario California native was born in March 5th 1930. He would attend Fullerton High School and was signed by the Boston Braves at age 17 to what would equate to a minor league deal with thier triple A club the Milwaukee Brewers.

At the age of 19 he would supplant 32 year-old starting catcher Bill Salked. He would also come in second in Rookie Of The Year voting his rookie year, losing out to Brooklyn Dodgers Don Newcombe and it wasn’t close.

Freeman and d’Arnaud make BA’s All MLB First Team

Yesterday Baseball America announced their all MLB First and Second teams. And the Braves are well represented. Two made the first team, Travis d’Arnaud at catcher and first baseman Freddie Freeman. And Marcell Ozuna would make the second team as a OF/DH.

Obviously this shouldn’t come to the surprise of many, outside of Braves fandom. d’Arnaud had a hell of a season, .321/.380/.476 145 wRC+. All of those are career marks. Outside of the Ozuna pick up, I think it was a smart move by the Braves front office to bring Travis into the fold.

Do I really need to make a case for Freddie Freeman? He’s only going to end up being the National League’s MVP. He led the league in runs (51) and in doubles with 23. He also belted 13 home runs and knocked in 53 runs. His fWAR is 3.4 and his wRC+ of 187 (career high btw). Freddie deserves everything coming down the pike.

Only Brave that made the second team was DH Marcell Ozuna, and huge argument can be made that he deserved a first-team billing. He only led the the league in Plate Appearances (267), home runs (18) and RBI (56). His 2.5 fWAR is good for second on the Braves behind MVFree. He also posted the highest wRC+ of his career with 179 (good for second on the Braves behind Freeman).

So more accolades for the Braves and we’re not even done with Awards season since that doesn’t kick off until after the World Series.

Baseball America announces Freddie Freeman as Player Of the Year

Baseball America announced yesterday that Freddie Freeman is their MLB Player Player Of The Year. Like I’ve mentioned before Freeman should be making room in his trophy cabinet as I’m sure the awards are going to keep coming. Hey it happens when you have one of your best seasons in your career.

For a guy who started out with COVID, got over that and was ready for opening day. He may have been in a mini-slump at the start of the season he went 8-42, .190 for the first 13 games of the season. He then turned on the gas, and lit up the National League, he led the league in XBHs.

In case you were wondering here is the award schedule from the BBWAA

The finalists for each award will be announced on November 3rd. So we have to wait a while for it to be announced that MVFree wins the MVP.

Swanson, Acuna Jr. and Fried up for Gold Gloves

Rawlings and SABR announced today their three finalists for this years Golden Gloves in the American League and National League. Three Braves find themselves on the list, Shortstop Dansby Swanson, Centerfielder Ronald Acuna Jr and Pitcher Max Fried.

Freddie Freeman named Player of the Year

By a vote of his peers, MVFree takes home not only Player of the Year, he was named the National Leagues outstanding player. Both awards are well deserved as Freeman crafted what is going to turn out to be a MVP season.

And I don’t think the awards will stop here. He was snubbed though today as Rawlings and SABR announced the Gold Glove Finalists for 2020, he was not among the three finalists for first base.

Braves by the numbers: A Primer

I love numbers, whether it be wOBA, ISO, OPS+ and more. Another fascination I have is jersey numbers. I don’t know why but I’ve always been obsessed with who wears what number, sometimes there’s a story there. I have personalized jerseys sitting in my closet, including a Brian McCann jersey that I used his clubhouse nickname instead of his actual name. I get some weird looks, because they don’t know the joke.

So we’ll be going down the line of the jersey numbers of your favorite and mine, the Atlanta Braves.

Here is my criteria in selecting players.

  1. Must have more than 1 player to have worn that number.
  2. I’ll pick (in some cases) one player from each decade. We’ll compare numbers and proclaim the best at the number. If there’s a mix of notable pitchers and players (looking at you #15), they will be included.
  3. They have to have been at the club more than 3 years. As an example, Ozzie Albies qualifies because this is his third year.

So not a lot of hard fast rules, also not every number will we be comparing players. Instead in some cases, we might pick out the most notable player that wore that number. Either way, it’s going to be a lot of fun.

We kick off the series on Monday, October 26 2020. We plan on doing this as a weekly project, so buckle up!

Ronald Acuña Jr. played injured

To the surprise of absolutely no one, according to Dave O’Brien of the Athletic Acuña played with a bum wrist. how much he was effected? During the regular season he posted a wRC+ of 159 which fell in the postseason to 93.You could tell he wasn’t comfortable at the plate in the NLDS and NLCS.

Now the question is, will this be just a rest issue for the offseason or will he possibly need surgery? It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the latter. At least AA confirmed what most of us knew already.

2020 Final Report Card: Offense

The vaunted Braves offense. It couldn’t have been better this season as the Braves put up solid numbers. Atlanta lead the in OBP and OPS, and were second in the major only to the Mets in batting average (.278), league average was .245(!). And they led the league in total bases with 1,001.

The second best offense in the National League, just behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, who as you know are in the World Series.

Braves Offense: B

BAOBPSLGOPSOPS+wRC+fWAR
.268.349.483.83211612111.2
Atlanta Braves offense in 2020

Now let’s get to the player grades!

Ronald Acuna Jr.: C+

.250/.406/.581/.987 155 OPS+, 159 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR 14 HR 29 RBI

Acuna had at least one issue this season, having to do with this wrist. It kept him off the field for a while. But when he came back he just wasn’t the same. You could tell towards the end of the season and into the postseason. Hopefully with the offseason comes rest for his wrist.

Even playing injured he came third on the team in OPS+ and third in wRC+. Ahead of him are with soon to be MVP Freddie Freeman and the Big Bear Marcell Ozuna. We’ll see a bounce back in 2021 as long as that wrist is healthy.

The Day After, the day after: The Ghost Of Lonnie Smith

This week it would marks 29 years from the 1991 World Series against the Minnesota Twins. Lonnie Smith would blunder on the basepaths which would swing momentum and would give the game to the Twins. Jack Morris would get the win, and Charlie Leibrandt would suffer the loss.

The reason I bring that up is that if it weren’t for baserunning errors we maybe talking about Game 1 and who the Brave would start. But they’re not.

If you weren’t around for the 91 World Series, here’s what I’m talking about. It is this play that my father cast eternal doom on the outfielder. I’m talking the hatred of a thousand suns here.

Sorry for any flashbacks you may incure.

Smith should have scored.

Looking back those two blunders on the basepaths I think led to enough of a swing towards the Dodgers that it all they needed. Ozuna not tagging up, is inexcusable. And that Game 7 blunder with Riley and Swanson was the stuff of nightmares. I believe it was there in the top of the fourth inning that the pendulum swung in favor of the Dodgers.