Tag: Joey Terdoslavich

Freddie Freeman

Braves lose Freddie Freeman to another injury


Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who missed five weeks with a wrist injury earlier this season before returning late last month, is headed back to the disabled list with a strained right oblique muscle.

In between the DL stints Freeman played just 10 games, hitting .184, and based on the typical recovery timetable for oblique injuries he’s unlikely to be back in Atlanta’s lineup until September.

During his first absence the Braves turned primarily to Chris Johnson as the fill-in at first base, with Joey Terdoslavich also seeing some action there.

Overall this season Freeman has done his usual thing when healthy enough to play, hitting .284 with 14 homers and an .848 OPS in 76 games to basically match his .831 career OPS coming into the year.

2015 Preview: Atlanta Braves

Wandy Rodriguez

Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2015 season. Next up: The Atlanta Braves.

The Big Question: Will the Braves be able to overcome an off-season in which they did more subtraction than addition?

Braves outfielders last season combined to hit 57 home runs, drive in 211 runs, and post a .714 OPS. Almost all of the work was done by Justin Upton, Melvin Upton, Jr., and Jason Heyward. However, the Braves traded Justin to the Padres and Heyward to the Cardinals during the off-season, and Melvin will miss most or all of April with a foot injury. Even if he were healthy, he is coming off of two seasons in which he posted a combined .593 OPS with 21 home runs in 1,028 plate appearances.

The Braves’ current outfield is comprised of Nick Markakis (still on the mend from neck surgery after signing a four-year, $44 million deal in early December) and some combination yet to be decided of Eric Young, Jr., Todd Cunningham, Eury Perez, Zoilo Almonte, Kelly Johnson, and Joey Terdoslavich. Whatever posse of outfielders the Braves come up with may seriously struggle to post half the homers and RBI that last season’s outfield put up.

The outfield isn’t the only area where the Braves lack depth. Wandy Rodriguez, who signed with the Phillies and failed a physical before latching on with the Braves, rode a small sample of productive innings to the No. 4 spot in the starting rotation. The fifth spot will go to Eric Stults, Mike Foltynewicz, or Cody Martin and they’ll keep it for as long as Mike Minor – suffering from a tight left shoulder – remains on the disabled list.

The painful departure of Heyward was cushioned a bit in receiving starter Shelby Miller from the Cardinals. However, the 24-year-old right-hander saw noticeable declines in his ability to generate swings and misses, as well as his ability to limit walks. In 2013, his strikeout and walk rates were 23.4 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. Last season, they were 16.6 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively. Only five pitchers had a strikeout-minus-walk rate lower than Miller’s 7.1 percent: Roberto Hernandez, Jarred Cosart, John Danks, Kyle Gibson, and Chris Young. Not exactly a who’s-who list of pitchers. Of those who posted a similar K%-BB%, which also includes Kyle Kendrick and Mark Buehrle, many are expected to post below-average numbers this season. It would be wrong to state Miller won’t succeed in 2015, but it’ll be tough for him to do so if he can’t improve on his 2014 strikeout and walk rates. As studies have shown, strikeout and walk rates are by far the most accurate statistics with which to predict future pitcher performance.

Overall, it’s tough to see where the Braves are any better going into 2015 than they were last season. FanGraphs projects them to finish as the second-worst team in baseball at 73-89, five games better than the division rival Phillies, who will be more or less intentionally losing in a rebuilding effort. There is a non-zero possibility that the Phillies finish with a better record than the Braves, who are doing a one foot in, one foot out style of rebuilding while also being somewhat competitive.

What else is going on?

  • Freddie Freeman is the only Brave projected by Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS (found at FanGraphs) to hit 20 or more home runs. Melvin Upton is projected at 17, then Zoilo Almonte is at 14 over nearly a full season’s worth of at-bats, which he likely won’t get. As far as slugging percentage goes, which is influenced partially by batting average, Chris Johnson is projected to have the second-highest at .395 behind Freeman’s .472. The conclusion here is that the Braves are going to struggle mightily to generate power.
  • If there is some reason for optimism, it will come from Julio Teheran, now the undisputed ace of the starting rotation. Last season, the right-hander made the National League All-Star roster and finished with a 2.89 ERA and a 186/51 K/BB ratio over 221 innings. It would not be unreasonable to expect him to post All-Star-caliber numbers again in 2015.
  • A year after hitting .321, Chris Johnson ended the 2014 season with a disappointing .263 average and a .653 OPS. While his 2013 average was obviously fluky, he wasn’t expected to tumble 58 points, nor 66 points in on-base percentage and 96 points in slugging percentage. If the Braves are going to have any shot at beating the grim projections, they’ll need Johnson to return close to or at his former All-Star level.
  • 2015 could be the first season since taking over as the Braves’ everyday closer in which Craig Kimbrel will fail to lead the league in saves. The flame-thrower led the NL with 46, 42, 50, and 47 saves from 2011-14. Because the Braves are expected to win so few games, however, Kimbrel’s save chances will be fewer in number. The Braves averaged 89.5 wins over that four year span, affording Kimbrel many opportunities to close out ballgames.
  • As the Braves have their entire core signed to long-term deals, the Braves will likely be quiet at the trade deadline. They may trade a reliever, or one or two of their many utility players, but the Braves will likely end the regular season looking much the same as they will at the beginning.
  • Manager Fredi Gonzalez is signed only through the end of this season. Considering how poorly the Braves are expected to be, Gonzalez is essentially a lame duck manager. And the Braves are just fine with that. The Braves will see how Gonzalez leads a new-look team under recently-hired baseball operations president John Hart before deciding whether to stay the course or move in a new direction.

Prediction: The Braves nudge out the Phillies for the honor of finishing in fourth place in the NL East at 71-91.

Video: Joey Terdoslavich turns an unassisted double play at third base… from first base

Joey Terdoslavich

Joey Terdoslavich had just moved from right field to first base in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Braves’ Grapefruit League game against the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals quickly put two runners on base with back-to-back singles from Yadier Molina and Jhonny Peralta, putting runners on first and third. Dean Anna came in to pinch-run for Peralta while Kolten Wong came to the plate.

Wong, even in the count 2-2, weakly hit a Sugar Ray Marimon breaking ball to Terdoslavich at first base. Molina had gone too far past the third base bag and Terdoslavich charged. He tagged Molina and adroitly noticed Anna trying to dive into the third base bag just ahead of him. Terdoslavich dove and tagged out Anna for an easy double-play at third base… from first base.

The Braves ended up losing 1-0 as they couldn’t get anything going against Adam Wainwright for four innings nor Carlos Martinez for three. Carlos Villanueva and Kevin Siegrist polished off the final two innings for the win.

Jason Heyward bought his teammates PS4’s

Jason Heyward

Jason Heyward has earned just over $5 million over his Major League career, and recently inked a two-year, $13.3 million contract extension with the Braves. The outfielder is spreading the wealth, as he bought each of his teammates a Playstation 4, a gift for winning the NL East title last season.

On the box is a card that reads:

Congratulations on winning the 2013 NL East title. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication.

[Braves NL East champions logo] Jason Heyward

Alex Wood and Chris Johnson both tweeted pictures:

Joey Terdoslavich is still going to be playing Call of Duty on his Xbox, though:

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

1995 World Series

Braves 2, Indians 0: Tom Glavine with eight shutout innings and David Justice with a big homer. Wait, sorry. Having flashbacks. The real amazing thing here is that if you would have told me before the season that the Braves would have a game in late August where Elliot Johnson got a start and tripled in the Braves only runs — and one of those runners was Joey Terdoslavich — I would have assumed that they were 12 games out of a playoff slot.

Red Sox 13, Orioles 2: Two homers for Shane Victorino in this laugher. You know, when Victorino was signed many — including yours truly — mocked the signing. Not so much because of the player himself, but because of the multi-year deal coming off of the season he had and what many suspected was the beginning of a steep decline. The jury is still out on whether Victorino will be worth his contract over its entire course, but there is no denying the fact that he has been a great pickup for Boston this year, contributing on both offense and defense and looking, at the moment as one of the best free agent signings of the winter.

Mets 5, Phillies 0: Jon Niese was like a one-man army, like Charlton Heston in “Omega Man.” You ever see it? Beauty. A three-hit shutout, a three-RBI double and a run scored on a hustle play, blowing through the third base coach’s stop sign. Teammates? Who needs teammates?

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 1: Four RBI on two homers for Alfonso Soriano, including his 400th career shot. Pettitte tossed seven shutout innings. Robinson Cano was hit on the hand in a manner which often leads to broken bones but thank goodness for the Yankees he only suffered a contusion.

Nationals 2, Marlins 1: Three hits for Ian Desmond. Five effective innings for Ross Ohlendorf and his old-timey windup. The pen took it from there.

Brewers 7, Pirates 6: Aramis Ramirez had a mini-Soriano night. Instead of 400, he hit his 350th career homer. Drove in four as well. Three straight losses for the Pirates.

Athletics 6, Tigers 3: Pretty spiffy when you can pitch five innings and get credited with a complete game, but Tommy Milone did it. Brandon Moss had a two-run homer off Justin Verlander in this rain-shortened game.

Angels 6, Rays 5: Another four-RBI night for someone, this time Erick Aybar. Jose Molina had three hits and three RBIs. The Angels were down four entering the seventh and rallied. Fernando Rodney blew yet another save. Just a bullpen disaster for the Rays.

Cardinals 6, Reds 1: We might be looking at the best team in baseball here. I mean, if the Cardinals were ever going to let up, it was going to be when Yadier Molina was out. The bent a bit then but didn’t break and now they’re running over everyone. The seventh straight game in which Matt Holliday had an RBI. Six wins in seven for the Cards, including two straight from the Reds. Cardinals moved one and a half games ahead of Pittsburgh and four and a half up on Cincinnati.

White Sox 4, Astros 3: Three hits for Jordan Danks. The Chisox’s ninth win in 11 games.

Giants 5, Rockies 3: Hunter Pence hit a homer over the left field bleachers, measured at 457 feet but thought by some to be much farther. Pablo Sandoval hit a homer right after that and Brandon Belt had four hits.  Yusmeiro Petit got the win. His first in four years.

Royals 6, Twins 1: Solid outing for James Shields. Alex Gordon had three RBIs as Kansas City scored five runs in the eighth inning.

Diamondbacks 10, Padres 9: Not exactly a pitching duel. Aaron Hill hit a walkoff single in the tenth.

Rangers 4, Mariners 3: Not a walkoff balk as the losers were playing at home, but the winning run did score on a Danny Farquhar balk in the tenth inning which, you know, dramatic. CB Bucknor called it. He’s one of the worst and if anyone is gonna launch an ump show it’s him, but Farquhar admitted after the game he gave “the slightest flinch.” Well, OK, if you’re not gonna fight the battle we won’t either.

Cubs 3, Dodgers 2: Travis Wood outpitched Clayton Kershaw. This is not a typo. Wood allowed one unearned run in seven innings, Kershaw allowed one unearned and one earned in five and two-thirds. With the way Kershaw has been going lately that’s, like, putting up a five-spot against mere mortals.