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2015 MLB Season Thread with Postseason Discussion


Gary

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Shockingly, I think the Giants have exceeded my expectations. I thought that they'd be flat-out terrible this year, yet they stayed in the race until the end of August. It was a pleasant surprise that they were as good as they were this year, and I hope they do a bit of an overhaul in the offseason (i.e. a better backup 2B, better starters outside of MadBum, etc.)

This is essentially how I feel as well. I figured that August was going to be the death knell for them if they didn't play extremely well, and they pretty much sputtered through the month about as poorly as I expected them to.

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Hearing rumors that the Mets may "Strasburg" Matt Harvey.

http://www.si.com/mlb/2015/09/05/matt-harvey-new-york-mets-innings-limit-playoffs

'Harvey's agent Scott Boras has been at odds with the Mets over the pitcher's usage, with the 180-inning limit being something the Mets consider “soft.” '

Scott Boras is dictating that? F that.

I hate Boras as an agent, so much.

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I can't really fault Gonzalez with what's gone on this season. Besides, I think management gave Gonzalez and the staff a contract extension through next season, anyway. Doubt they'd do that then fire the guy a couple months later. Then again, it's been that kind of season.....

On July 8th, the Braves were 42-42 and were up 4-0 and on the verge of sweeping the Brewers. That lead got blown, they subsequently get swept in four games at Colorado (and Grilli's Achilles blowed up in that series), and it's been a free-fall down the standings ever since. A free-fall to the tune of 12-41 since that point.....oy.

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So the Braves have lost 12 in a row, went 0-10 at Nationals Park this season, and have lost 26 of their past 28 road games.

Oy.

Something tells me this will be Fredi Gonzalez's last season as the Braves' manager.

Not with Bobby Cox around. Fredi would have been fired last year if he was on any other team after two September collapses in 2011 and 2014 and a team that underachieved in 2012 and 2013.

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So the Braves have lost 12 in a row, went 0-10 at Nationals Park this season, and have lost 26 of their past 28 road games.

Oy.

Something tells me this will be Fredi Gonzalez's last season as the Braves' manager.

Not with Bobby Cox around. Fredi would have been fired last year if he was on any other team after two September collapses in 2011 and 2014 and a team that underachieved in 2012 and 2013.

Also they just gave Fredi Gonzalez and the rest of his coaching staff a contract extension through the end of next year, so he will still be the manager at the start of next year.

That being said, he will almost certainly be on the hot seat next year from Opening Day. If the Braves come out flat footed, I wouldn't be shocked if Gonzalez is shown the door before the end of April.

There's losing streaks and then there's LOSING streaks. In the Braves case you almost have to ask why is this team even showing up some days, because its been almost two weeks since they've even come within a run of winning a game. That's '88 Orioles territory and hard to find a reason as to why heads shouldn't start rolling if that keeps up much longer.

I didn't think this team would do much, but .500 seemed within reason even as late as the trade deadline. Hell I even posted they could be in position to catch the Nats if they kept falling and they started playing like they did back in May. Now they're in danger of losing 100 games and finishing the season with the worst record in baseball.

The one silver lining in all of this for Braves fans is that even as bad as they are, they can still find a way to cost the Mets a division title. 6-6 against New York, but 3-13 against Washington. If the Nats can somehow take the division title, Atlanta should at least be credited with a partial assist.

Also today starts a must win series for the Nats. Even if they only took one out of three, it would put them five back with a little over 20 to play. At that point they could win out the season and still not catch the Mets, so two out of three at least is a much.

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Tanking in baseball is such a dumb strategy. It's not like next year's #1 consensus pick is going to be a real contributor in the next 3-4 years. If tanking was a realistic option for MLB, the Braves would have started tanking three years ago.

The strategy seems to be to acquire a crap-ton of young pitchers, then see what pans out or who can be traded for bats down the road. And John Hart seems set on getting rid of anyone that was deemed a "Frank Wren guy".

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Tanking in baseball is such a dumb strategy. It's not like next year's #1 consensus pick is going to be a real contributor in the next 3-4 years.

Five years ago I would have agreed with this whole heartily. Now, not sure.

You made two separate statements. #1 tanking in baseball doesn't work and #2 the number one overall pick doesn't do much in the majors for at least 3-4 years. Let's test both of these out.

First #2. Let's take a look at our recent #1 picks and whether or not they've contributed within the last 3-4 years.

2015-Dansby Swanson-Still hasn't reached the majors. Might be by next year, but 1-2 years would be more realistic.

2014-Brady Aiken-Originally drafted by the Astros later taken by the Indians, like Swason hasn't reached the majors, might by next year, but 1-2 more years probably more realistic.

2013-Mark Appel-Hasn't reached the majors, but might make the 25 man roster for the Astros next year. Will almost certainly be brought up before the end of the year if not.

2012-Carlos Correa-Called up earlier this year. Almost certainly the Astros starting shortstop going forward.

2011-Gerrit Cole-Made his first All-Star game this year, I'd say that qualifies.

2010-Bryce Harper-Could be the NL MVP this year. Enough said.

2009-Stephen Strasburg-Injury plagued, but I would say most every team in baseball would be better off with him then without.

Looking at that your 3-4 year window seems to be applicable at least as far as recent history goes. "Tanking" though seems a bit more ambiguous. The Six pointed out the Astros as an example of this working, but the Astros haven't had a number pick since '12. Altuve was signed in '07, Castro was signed in '08. Keucel was drafted in the seventh round in '09. Hardly a blue chip prospect. Collin McHugh was an 18th round pick by the Mets who the Astros got off waivers.

Far as I can tell outside of Correa the Astros recent tanking hasn't done a damn thing to contribute to their recent success. At the same time though, who's to say that this doesn't ensure they have a dynasty? I look at a guy like Carlos Correa and already I'm looking at him as someone who could be a future HOFer. 20 years old and already capable of hitting 20+ home runs a year as a shortstop? The last guy capable of doing that was Alex Rodriguez. You look at that and you say of course he was the number one pick. You don't need to be a scout with 30+ years of experience to spot that type of talent.

With Mark Appel, he's struggling a bit in Triple A, but again your getting the sense of somebody that is right on the cusp of cracking the starting rotation at the big league level and someone who you would expect to have a solid 10+ year MLB career. What he'll do beyond that remains to be seen, but again I'm sure just about every scout had this guy pegged as a no doubt future major league pitcher barring injury coming out of Stanford. How can you possibly find fault with that as justification for drafting someone in the first round?

I think what all this says is that "tanking" may help your team more then being 75-87 for three or four years in a row and there certainly is value in drafting at number instead of #3 or #4. But when you have a 25 man roster, your team can't be built simply around what you did in the draft, or what you did in free agency, or what you did on the trade market. You need everything to sustain a winning franchise and there hasn't been a team to date in recent that's won without finding talent in all three types of transactions. Even more important then all of this I think is what you do with the talent when you get it and I think that's really what separates teams like the Cardinals, Dodgers, Yankees and Giants from the rest of the pack as far as being competitive year in and year out.

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