Towel Time?

John Smoltz is done for the season, and probably for his career.
Tom Glavine has a strained shoulder, immediately goes on the DL, and will have an MRI. I think there is a 90% change he’s thrown his last pitch in the majors.
Rafael Soriano, who really isn’t all that good, can’t pitch and no one knows why.
Chipper Jones is having an amazing season, but is having trouble staying healthy.
Mark Teixeira isn’t playing up to his ability.
Jeff Francoeur is playing below his ability, but his ability wasn’t all that high to begin with.
Left and center field are playing just as poorly.

Yeah, it seems like this is not the Braves season, but I am an optimist when it comes to my sports teams. The Braves are third in the league in runs allowed and eighth in runs scored. The run differentials says the Braves should be 37-28, which would give them the second-best record in the NL. Isn’t there some hope?

Sadly, I don’t think there is. Though the record may understate the baseball the team has played, I think there is little reason to believe that the team can play up to the level it had been playing. The offense is somewhat sustainable, but I think the pitching is about ready to come crashing down.

I don’t think Jo-Jo Reyes and Jorge Campillo can keep pitching the way that they have. Jair Jurrjens looks to be a good pitcher, but he’s bound to stumble some this early in his career. Blaine Boyer has been overused. Manny Acosta is a lot older than everyone seems to realize (with an unspectacular track record). Jeff Bennett, Buddy Carlyle, Royce Ring, and Will Ohman are retreads. Tim Hudson is the only Braves pitcher whom I expect to continue pitching as he has so far this year.

Is it time to throw in the towel on the season? I think so. But, I’d love to be proved wrong.

5 Responses “Towel Time?”

  1. K-Funk says:

    I’m afraid you’re right. Hopefully Chipper will at least get enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title. I doubt he hits .400, but he has a pretty good chance to post an awesome .360, 30 homer season that solidifies his Hall of Fame credentials.

    I’m also hoping that Tex heats up and can bring a decent return in a trade before the deadline.

  2. Frank Wren says:

    JC, should we bring up Charlie Morton right now, or delay starting his service time until next spring?

  3. JC says:

    I don’t think service time is too much of an issue given the lateness of the season, but I do think the Braves are worried about rushing their prospects. And I think the fact that Morton has stayed in the minors this year for so long reflects this concern. Kyle Davies, Joey Devine, Jeff Francoeur, etc. all come up out of necessity. I’m not certain that this did any damage, but I’ve always wondered if it did. Word is that Morton is going to start Sunday, but I suspect he will have a short leash. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they put him in the bullpen after that.

  4. Marc Schneider says:

    I agree with JC about the Braves but the question is, what do they do? Throwing in the towel implies they would sell off veterans for prospects but I don’t see that the Braves have many trade options other than their young core and/or Chipper (which obviously isn’t going to happen). Teixera isn’t going to bring much for a half season with Boras as his agent. The real question, I guess, is whether the Braves are buyers at the trade deadline.

  5. ephils says:

    Does this mean the Phightin’s can start ordering that top-shelf $6/bottle Korbel for early October? With the third fewest runs allowed and the second most runs scored in the National League, their record of 41-29 seems pretty accurate; or do they project to have a better record? One can assume that Howard won’t maintain that sub-800 OPS clip for the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, I’m affraid that our middle relief stalwarts, Durbin, Condrey, Seanez and Madson will revert to their normal gopher-groover selfs. We’ll see. Go Phils!