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Where the Braves Rank Among Contenders(Part 2)

Posted by jrniemeyer on August 17, 2010

Below is Part 2 of  “Where the Braves Rank Among Contenders”. If you missed it, go back and read Part 1 where I ranked contenders based on offense, defense, and starting pitching. But don’t forget to read the post by Kris who did an awesome job evaluating the Braves in 2011.

Bullpen-

  1. Padres- Perhaps the reason the Padres starting rotation has pitched so few innings is because the Padres bullpen has been so dominant. Only 12 blown saves all year and an unreal ERA of 2.75
  2. Giants- Giants have the 2nd lowest inherited score % at 24%. That’s a key stat especially when Timmy is coming back down to earth.
  3. Braves- Johnny Venters should get some consideration for ROY. He probably won’t but that won’t be for a lack of trying.
  4. Cardinals-Kyle Mclellan and Jason Motte are at the forefront of an otherwise average bullpen.
  5. Reds- The Reds bullpen has a bad history of coughing up big leads late in the game. (See Braves v. Reds, Dodgers v. Reds)
  6. Phillies- Does anyone know who the closer is for the Phillies? Brad Lidge? Seriously?  That’s a bad question to be asking when you are in the middle of a pennant race.

Bench-

  1. Braves- I’m not sure there is even a close contender in for the top spot in the NL. Among many other things, the Braves have 3 PH grand slams this year.
  2. Reds- When the Reds PH they have an OPS of .808 and have 10 PH Hr’s.
  3. Phillies- I have to give credit where credit is due. The Phillies have been on an incredible run without most of their muscle. Their bench has done a terrific job of keeping them in the NL East race.
  4. Giants- They have a tremendous OBP of .366 when they PH and a solid OPS of .783.
  5. Padres- They have a below avg. OBP when they need a pinch hitter but they do have 12 PH doubles.
  6. Cardinals- Putting them 6th doesn’t mean I think they have a poor bench, it just means the other contenders are slightly better. They do alot of things well(5th in both PH avg. and OBP) but nothing spectacular when it comes to their bench play.

Mangers-(With some input from Capitol Avenue Club)

  1. Braves(Bobby Cox)- It’s been mentioned before that Bobby’s ability to get the most out of his players is unmatched.  If Bobby can limit his in-game mistakes, the Braves should be able to make a run.
  2. Padres(Bud Black)-  Raise your hand if you had the Padres in a pennant race in mid-August…(crickets)…anyone? Black has done the most with the least of any manager in the NL.
  3. Cardinals(Tony LaRussa)- He’s a proven winner and always has his teams near the top. Having the best player in baseball doesn’t hurt either.
  4. Phillies(Charlie Manuel)- I don’t know what to make of Charlie. He has the most talent to work with but has done a masterful job of getting his bench players to perform with all their injuries.
  5. Giants(Bruce Bochy)- He’s a sub .500 career manager and appears to be headed towards 87 wins this year. That won’t be enough to get the Giants in the playoffs.
  6. Red(Dusty Baker)- To quote Joe Sheehan of SI, “Baker’s success as a manager seems to have been tied directly to the ability to write Barry Bonds’ name on the lineup card every day.”
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