The Braves placed right-hander Michael Tonkin on the 15-day injured list today due to a neck strain, with Dylan Dodd called up from Triple-A in the corresponding move. Tonkin’s IL placement is retroactive to May 24.
Tonkin has a 3.42 ERA over 26 1/3 innings out of Atlanta’s bullpen this season, with a solid 5.8% walk rate and a heavy dose of batted-ball luck (.203 BABIP) helping make up for a below-average hard-hit ball rate, as well as a forgettable 18.4% strikeout rate. It’s still a very respectable showing for a pitcher who last worked in the majors in 2017, as Tonkin had a 4.43 ERA over 146 1/3 innings for the Twins from 2013-17. After being released in November 2017, Tonkin’s long path back to the Show included stops in Japan, Mexico, independent leagues, and in the farm systems of the Brewers and Diamondbacks before he inked a minor league deal with the Braves prior to the 2022 season.
Dodd allowed four runs in five innings in tonight’s start against the Phillies, which marked the left-hander’s fourth start of the season. This is the third time the Braves have included the rookie southpaw on the big league roster, as Dodd has gotten some looks due to the ongoing health concerns in Atlanta’s pitching staff. The Braves have been short-handed in the rotation for more or less the entire season, and that shortage will continue since Kyle Wright and Max Fried are facing extended stints on the injured list.
While Wright was moved to the 60-day IL, Fried remains on the 15-day IL after his initial placement on May 6. Fried is dealing with a forearm strain, but after a few weeks of shutdown, played catch today for his first bit of throwing since his injury occurred. It’s still too early in the recovery process to know when Fried might be able to pitch again, but the Braves did have a rough projection of early July for his return, which might represent a best-case scenario. Given the May 6 placement and early-July estimate, Fried might still get placed on the 60-day IL just as a matter of timing and if the Braves need a 40-man roster spot, so a move to the 60-day wouldn’t necessarily be any hint about Fried’s progress.
In other pitching injury news from deeper within Atlanta’s organization, Baseball America’s Geoff Pontes (Twitter link) reports that JR Ritchie will undergo Tommy John surgery. As per the procedure’s usual timeline, Ritchie will miss the remainder of the 2023 and probably at least half of the 2024 season, and a recovery setback could put the young righty’s entire 2024 campaign in jeopardy. Pitching at A-ball this season, Ritchie had a 5.40 ERA over 13 1/3 innings that seems almost entirely due to bad luck, given his enormous .440 BABIP and his incredible 47.2% strikeout rate.
Ritchie was taken 35th overall in the 2022 draft, selected by the Braves with the Competitive Balance Round-A draft pick they acquired from the Royals as part of the Drew Waters trade last July. A high schooler out of Washington state, Ritchie took an above-slot bonus of $2.4MM (the 35th overall pick had a slot price of $2.0232MM) to start his pro career rather than honor his commitment to UCLA. MLB Pipeline ranks Ritchie third among all Braves prospects and Baseball America ranks him fourth, with both publications praising the 19-year-old’s arsenal of four quality pitches. BA’s scouting report felt Ritchie was advanced enough to possibly land in Double-A before the 2023 season was over, but now his Tommy John surgery will throw an unwelcome delay into his career.
Maybe Minter needs a psych evaluation…otherwise how can you go from good/great to horrible like a light switch
Well, you can play baseball, that’ll usually do it.
This one belongs to the Reds
A lot of times it is between the ears. Other times, the league has figured you out and you can’t make the needed adjustment. Same for hitters.
That’s why you see the great ones keep working at their craft.
Sid Bream Speed Demon
I can get the mental stuff, but that pitch to Schwarber was awful. No break on it and high and inside. Dodd, who had mediocre stuff all night, even struck Schwarber out twice, I believe. Honestly, it’s at the point that you cannot give him stressful IP right now. Let him mop up.
He is clearly down a tick this year. Minter should drop the cutter completely. 2022 hitters were .338 against it and in 2023 its .319. He has the ability to throw upper 90s. FB/CH is what he needs to focus on.
Tonkin Fried Richie sounds like a neat restaurant
Ritchie had a 5.40 ERA over 13 1/3 innings that seems almost entirely due to bad luck, given his enormous .440 BABIP.
A bad/high BABIP has nothing to do with luck. Why have all these advanced metrics if all you’re going to do is say ‘Whelp, dem’s the breaks!’
Because that’s how baseball works.
Oh. Good. That clears it up.
How would you feel if you had some bad fielders playing behind ya!
he gave up 0 HRs, 11 hits in 13IP and 3 BB (25K)
How would I feel?
We’re discussing feelings?
I’m discussing baseball.
In your scenario, the pitcher is pitching very well. 11 hits and 3 walks is 14 base runners in 13 innings.
I’d be satisfied. In fact, I’d be happy.
It has a lot to do with luck (especially with such a small sample ) but not everything. To say it’s “almost entirely due to bad luck” sounds disingenuous. With a high babip a lot of times it can mean a lot of soft contact like floaters falling in for hits. A Babip that high is certainly unsustainable. I both agree and disagree with both of you. There are certain players that manage to keep a very high or very low Babip throughout most of their careers too. As a Bailey Freeman once said “sometimes Babip can be a skill.” It certainly doesn’t always mean it is all luck involved.
Agree about the small sample size. Disagree about the luck.
As a hitter, Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn both had astronomical BABIP. They made contact and knew how to use the field. Believe it or not, Bobby Bonds had a huge BABIO. When he wasn’t striking out, he was hitting line-drives all over the place, and often, out of the place.
Conversely, if a pitcher is constantly giving up hits (“not missing bats”), he’s ‘not fooling anybody..”
And I would ask, rhetorically, if a stat is mostly due to luck, why even track it?
I definitely agree with most of the that, in the cases gwynn and carew (IMO the two best pure hitters of all time, love that you brought them up, big fan.) BABIP is a learned skill. I’m glad I got to see most of Gwynns career and wish I could have seen more of MR. Rod Carew! It really goes to show that if you put the ball in play a lot of times something good will happen. The point I was trying to make was that in a lot of cases with some players they can be helped out or hurt in regards to their BABIP by bad positioning or lucky loopers. It is by no means a definite as some players have made their career by just putting the ball where the defenders arent, regardless of how hard the ball is hit Didn’t know that about Bobby Bonds however, so I learned something new today.Glad we could have this conversation Mac! I’m always open to discussions on topics like this and sometimes these can change my opinion on a subject. I think in the future BABIP will be taken more with a grain of salt, it is by no means a “one size fits all” issue.
I was a SD season tix holder from 1996-2002. Gwynn won five straight batting titles when I moved to San Diego in 1993.
Among other things, they said you stood a better chance of seeing Tony get four hits in a game, than strike out twice.
Because the majority of the time, some stats stabilize over time…unless they don’t. I understand those last 3 words seem to invalidate the prior sentence.
But when we talk stats, we are trying to understand percentages. Some things are outliers. Some things are extreme outliers. Such as Gwynn and carew.
Once can say, what’s the point of predictive stats then if you can’t identify carew until you do.
Well if any of us could know, none of us would be on this forum.
The point is to understand what is most likely to occur.
I assume, maybe incorrectly, that basrd on your other comments that you are already cemented in your belief, and you asking is rhetorical. But maybe I explain for others or maybe yourself.
Google babip correlation. Babip return to mean. Babip luck. Babip outliers.
There has been fantastic research on it.
Are there flaws? Yes.
Often, with people, people get cemented, vigilant. Polarized. Then that can often turn people to the other extreme after hearing someone act like they are 100% certain.
Nuance is king.
Babip is not certain. There are carews out there.
People like me are not denying that.
Now… there certainly are people who want to simplify everything using one stat. It doesn’t tell everything. But it can tell something.
Knowing you have a runny nose doesn’t mean you have a flu. But it can be a datapoint. Just because its part of a correlation does not mean its invalid.
Running speed has a strong correlation to babip. High launch angle does also. Hard hit rate has a higher correlation.
These things are nuances that I’m not sure interest most people. But it goes a long way.
This is an extreme, but here it is.
If a player has a low launch angle, hits soft, and is slow. Over 100 at bats. But has a very extreme high babip. We know that (on average) its almost certainly going to decrease, right?
Not always, but we are talking stats, not trying to identity the 1% outliers.
But you can identify what we can.
Once someone has proved to have an extreme outlier, then maybe it is what it is.
Gwynn and carew were line drive hitters, with above average speed, they hit the ball hard af, exceptional hitting tool.
Because the majority of the time, some stats stabilize over time…unless they don’t (for SOME players).
Tldr. But you asked a complex question.
Complex questions often require complex answers.