Braves Head Scratching 2017 Exposed
The season hasn't quite turned out like Braves management was hoping. That hasn't stopped several players from having surprisingly good seasons.
R.A. Dickey was supposed to eat innings and be a solid number four or five starter. Dickey leads the team in innings pitched with 161 2/3, no surprise, there. The veteran knuckleballer has been much more than an innings eater though, leading Braves starters in ERA at 3.91. That is a surprise.
Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp are the Braves power hitters and RBI kings, right? Freeman has registered 343 ABS and leads the Braves in RBIs with 60. Kemp has 55 RBIs in 397 ABs. Would you believe Matt Adams has 53 RBIs in only 266 ABs? Adams is also second on the team in HRs with 18, Kemp only has 16.
Adams isn't a very good left fielder (that's an understatement) but Kemp is almost as bad. Why aren't the Braves platooning Adams and Kemp in left field? My legs hurt just watching Kemp run.
The Braves appear hell bent on trading Adams in the off season. It will be interesting to see what they receive in return. My guess is Atlanta will receive a pitcher who just underwent Tommy John surgery. If Adams finishes strong, they might even get a second pitcher, one who just had ACL surgery.
Perhaps the biggest surprise this season is Kurt Suzuki's 15 home runs in only 214 ABs. If Suzuki ends up having more home runs than Kemp this season, it will place a punctuation mark on why the Braves had a disappointing season.
Sure the starting pitching hasn't developed like the Braves brain trust thought it would. But Matt Kemp hasn't been anywhere near as productive a hitter in the middle of the line-up as everyone expected.