While the Braves were never expected to be a contender in 2016, the club’s 5-17 start is nonetheless a disappointment to a front office that expected to see some improvement over last year’s 67 wins, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. “We’re obviously disappointed in the way this season has gone,” GM John Coppolella tells Rosenthal. “We’re not going to make excuses. We know we need to play better.” Notably, Rosenthal writes that it’s “difficult to imagine” manager Fredi Gonzalez surviving the club’s upcoming eight-game road trip, though he notes that it’s unlikely that any other manager could extract positive results from the current roster, especially with Ender Inciarte on the shelf and Freddie Freeman struggling so greatly. Were Gonzalez to be dismissed, Rosenthal lists first base coach Terry Pendleton and bullpen coach Eddie Perez as candidates to replace him on an interim basis. The Braves extended Gonzalez and the rest of the coaching staff through the end of the 2016 season last July.
More out of Atlanta…
- Right-hander Bud Norris could be dropped from the rotation before his next start, writes David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. While Norris was solid in his first start of the season, he’s lasted a combined 15 2/3 innings over four subsequent turns, pitching to a 10.91 ERA in that span. O’Brien writes that manager Fredi Gonzalez was noncommittal when asked if Norris would take the hill upon his next scheduled trip. “We’re still hashing through that and talking though that kind of stuff to see what’s best for him, and what’s best for us,” said Gonzalez of Norris, who inked a one-year, $2.5MM deal this winter. “But I think the No. 1 priority is to get him fixed.” O’Brien adds that right-hander Mike Foltynewicz could be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to step into the starting five in place of Norris. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, meanwhile, also lists right-hander Tyrell Jenkins as an option, noting that he’d be on just one extra day of rest were he to start in Norris’ place as opposed to the three extra days that Foltynewicz would require to align with that scheduling (links to Twitter). Both Bowman and O’Brien have tweeted that Norris is available out of the bullpen today, so it seems that his time in the rotation could indeed be over, for now.
- The Braves are expecting Inciarte to return to the active roster no later than next week’s homestand and possibly as early as their series against the Mets in New York next week, tweets O’Brien. Inciarte has played in only three games for Atlanta this season due to a strained left hamstring.
- Recently recalled outfield prospect Mallex Smith chatted with David Laurila of Fangraphs about his experience finding out that he was promoted to the Major Leagues and balancing the excitement with the recognition that a good deal of work remains. Smith notes that he grew up primarily playing football, as very few in his area played baseball as a child, and he also discusses his biggest strengths on the field. It’s been speculated that Smith could return to the minors when Inciarte is healthy, though as Bowman wrote last weekend, Gonzalez would like to see Smith remain with the big league club. The 22-year-old hasn’t hit much to date, though, batting just .188/.278/.292 in 54 plate appearances since being recalled to fill Inciarte’s spot on the roster.
Understand that Mallex is just a green kid, but the Braves should really have either put a stop sign on him from stealing, or had the 1st base coach work with him on the lead and running during yesterday’s game with vazquez behind the plate. He really doesn’t seem to understand how to take leads and combine that with Vazquez.. One of the best throwing catchers in the game and he never had a chance.
Don’t want to see him turn into another Bonifacio that ends up being afraid to use their speed to steal bases.
I see the Braves giving Fredi one more month, while the schedule lightens to see where he stands. I am not a Fredi supporter, but he has lost Inciarte, Aybar is playing his typical April split, and Freeman has not lived up to his pay yet. He will not manage in SunTrust, but I see them letting him manage through May if not June.
He won’t last until June. I doubt he lasts through May. Most likely he is gone by the start of the next home stand.
Fredi has lost the clubhouse. The players don’t respect him or really buy into anything he says. Once that happens there isn’t anything that can be done.
Time to move on from Fredi. He has managed this team to multiple fall collapses – very dramatic ones. He isn’t smart, innovative, or inspiring. He does what the front office wants and that is why he remains. I think Hart wanted to do the same as the Cubs by handing the team over to a veteran manager to take this team back to the top, but they can’t afford to wait. #FireFredi
Just Another Fan
No manager ever could win with this squad #facts
Another manager could win a few more, and better develop and connect with the players. #betterfacts
Those are facts those are assumptions
Time to move on from the entire organization, including the front office. Braves havgave away their future at 2B/3B to the DBACKS (Brandon Drury) for a kid, took on the contract of a 31 year old Cuban flop and gave away their future SS [Peraza], have away one of the best defensive/WAR SS to the Halos (Andrelton Simmons) for nothing…..the Braves are looking at 2020 before making the playoffs again. Hire Chipper Jones to run the front office.
Wow, just wow…Have you ever heard of Sean Newcomb or Chris Ellis??
Drury was a raw kid at A ball when they traded him away…Which also ultimately ended up netting them several key prospects in the long-term, plus a couple of seasons from an all-star!!
Also, Peraza their future at SS?? Does the name Albies or Swanson ring any bells??
I give you the Olivera trade, but do not forget they also got back what ended uo being Austin Riley, Zach Bird, and Paco Rodriguez…Besides Olivera…and it isn’t like Alex Wood nor Peraza are exactly lighting the majors on fire either!!
They have strongly built one of the best farm systems in all of baseball over the past couple seasons, and have built up an embarassment of riches in the young pitching department!! Not to mention adding young, exciting position prospects like Mallex Smith, Rio Ruiz, Dustin Peterson, Dansby Swanson, Juan Morales, Ray-Patrick Didder, Ronald Acuna, Lucas Herbert, Juan Yepez, Christian Pache, Derian Cruz, the Dykstra kid, and Austin Riley…
They turned absolutely one of the LEAGUES WORST farm systems, into one of baseball’s best systems pretty dang quickly!! Also, with the infusion of young talent on the cusp of the bigs, they should become competitive as early as possibly late 2017 and definitely 2018…
This season will not be great, but we are already seeing some youngsters perform well, and show glimpses of some pretty exciting talent…Mallex, Wisler, and tonight’s starter Aaron Blair…
Which Aaron Blair…ever heard of him?? Probably not…But yeah all he did tonight, in his 2nd big league start EVER was shut down the CUBS for 6 Innings, only allowing one run and an incredible 2 hits!!!…Yeah the kid is a true gamer!!
With Blair, Teheran, Wisler, and 2 of Tyrell Jenkins, Mike Foltynewicz, or Lucas Sims…The Atlanta Braves starting 5 will get pretty intriguing fairly quickly…
This Lucas Sims kid is pretty good, I’d recommend looking him up on google!! lol…The middle to tail end of last season, through the AFL, through AA, and now in AAA the kid has been absolutely LIGHTS OUT dominant!! His only struggle has been walking a few too many batters here and there, but as of lately he is beginning to limit his walks as well…
The future is bright for Atlanta, my fellow Braves fans, I just say be patient…BETTER TIMES ARE DEFINITELY AHEAD!!!
Yeah well right now all we can say is they are just prospects you know how many times a prospect has not even made the majors or has not lived up to the hype. I’m all for a re build and I’m all for acquiring young prospects but don’t get your hopes up just yet I think we need to use a few of those pitching prospects to acquire some offense because their isn’t that much of that in the minors either
There may not be a lot of power in the Braves minors, but there is quite a lot of gifted offensive players. Ruiz, Albies, Swanson, Riley, Acuna and Morales to name a few. Then they have the IFA spending spree they’re planning on and a #3 pick in the draft. The Braves could easily have 4-5 position players in the top 50 overall prospects by midseason.
Chipper was a great player but why would he be a great GM?
Because he will be a HOF, must automatically be a Master GM, haha. I love the whining regarding the front office. Yea we traded away names, but none of those names helped us win a playoff series, and clearly Liberty was not giving up the money to get the 1-2 players we were short. FO has done an excellent job. In my opinion, no one was hurt or helped on the Olivera trade. Fredi might even make it to the break. At this point, unless FO plans to give Perez, Pendleton, or Snitker the job permamently, might as well ride this out.
Fredi has nothing to work with. Let him manage the rest of this losing season. No other manager will get any more from what we’re putting out there. The only reason to have TP take over is if he had a chance to stick next year. IMO
He’s had plenty to work with over the years. People forget the awful 2014 record in which Heyward, Gattis, Upton, Kimbrel, Simmons were still on the team.
He also has been on the helm for two of the worst September collapses in baseball history,
And also made one of his worst moves as a manager allowing David Carpenter to face Uribe in the 2013 DS with Kimbrel in the pen.
Bobby Cox could not win with this bunch. He would be getting thrown out of games because he could not bear to watch. The one thing that bothers me is why we trade the best ss in baseball for a pitcher hat can not find the plate and a ss that is washed up. Simmons was worth watching himself. Smith needs to be sent down, Fred does not have enough sense to utilize him
Best SS in baseball… awful high praise for a guy who wasn’t even highest rated SS on fangraphs in only defensive metrics. That’s not counting the sub .260 BA. with little pop or speed.
Agreed, I loved watching Simba. But Swanson/Albies will be up next year with more offense. We are paying Aybar just a quarter million more and have two great prospects. The young pitchers will prove their worth.
Just Another Fan
How is Gonzalez supposed to win with this dreadful roster? He won’t lose his job until the Braves give him a team to play with and they don’t win.
Newsflash: Gonzalez has had MULTIPLE chances to win with the Braves and has failed miserably. He is part of the problem, but he is not the whole problem. A new manager like Bud Black would be a great fit for this club to develop with.
Simmons was far from the best SS in baseball. But I don’t care what fangraphs says if you ever watched a week worth of games you would see he is the best defensive shortstop possibly ever. But yeah I hope they are patient with Newcombe and don’t rush him I undeestand lefties take time to develop control for some reason.
I would like Freddie fired and Eddie Perez to replace him to see if he can connect with these guys and be the manager long term. I believe he has it.
Should just promote all our prospects and give the team over to Eddie. Might as well get the prospects some experience in the bigs, service time shouldn’t be that much of an issue.. We have no true ace, no true legit power guy, no middle relief or set up, the only one worth a crap is vizcaino in the pen, our bench is garbage. We pretty much are a laughing stock in a baseball. If we win 60 games this year I will be truly surprised.
Yes, this team has struggled massively but Fredi really seems to have trouble righting the ship once struggles begin. Eric O should not be used in high leverage situations right now and benching Mallex the day after he had his best day at the plate to date was a terrible idea. I defended Fredi for a while but he’s got to go. Let Eddie Perez or Ron Gardenhire take over, please.
Matt Williams no, would rather have Pendelton
The longer Fredi stays the more the clubhouse is poisoned.He should have been gone with Wren. They seem to be trying to replace 25 players instead of the manager. Let Perez or Porter finish the season,give some of the young pitchers a chance to get their feet wet and decide who is going to lead the team in 2017
Mallex Smith needs to be playing everyday. Yes I know he has struggled out of the gate but if you look he did the same last year when he was promoted from AA to AAA. He just takes a bit to adjust to a new environment. And with a manager who is as clueless as Fredi one can’t blame him for struggling. Platooning him is a bad idea. Mallex needs to play everyday to get in stride.
Also Fredi needs to be gone before the next home game. He’s lost the team and all the fans. No all of this season isn’t on him but a great deal is. He has made a LOAD of bad decisions ever since he was hired. He doesn’t know how to work with this new young talent. He is a lump on a log and nothing more. Get someone in there who can work with these young guys and get these veterans motivated.
Bud Norris…. Hated seeing him promises the SP2 slot before spring training began. He is done as a starter. He should have been in the BP from the start and Blair should have had a spot in the rotation. But i think that was a decision that was geared towards delaying Blair’s service clock