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Braves Daily News Digest: 8/1

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Trade deadline, Simmons, and more in today's Digest

Yeah, the Dodgers might have found something in this Kershaw kid.
Yeah, the Dodgers might have found something in this Kershaw kid.
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Braves News:

Kershaw Does His Thing, Dodgers Beat Braves 2-1

Welp, Clayton Kershaw had a very Kershaw-esque night (Nine innings, nine strikeouts, one run allowed) and shut down the Braves just enough to snag  2-1 win for LA. Dodgers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first off of an Adrian Gonzalez RBI double, and a Yasiel Puig home-run in the third was enough for the win, despite a late rally from the Braves.

Braves Acquire Bonifacio, Russell, from Cubs

Let's start this off with arguably the biggest piece of news regarding the Braves, their actions at the trade deadline. Today, they addressed two major needs all in one deal, acquiring left-handed reliever James Russell and utility infielder Emilio Bonifacio from the Chicago Cubs for catching prospect Victor Caratini. Bonafacio has played center-field, shortstop, third-base, and second-base this season. Russell is 0-2 on the year with a 3.51 ERA.

Is Andrelton Simmons Becoming a Problem for the Braves?

In 2013, Andrelton Simmons had an incredible season on the defensive end, and showed that he could handle a bat pretty well. He was, without a doubt, viewed as one of the best shortstops in the league. Now looking into his 2014 season, he's still great with the glove, but not as good as he was in 2013. To put in perspective, he had a 24.6 UZR last season, and just a 7.1 UZR as of now through more than half of the season. He's also just batting .256 with only five home-runs and 36 RBIs, with just a .303 OBP. Is this something to worry about for the Braves, or is it just a down season for a talented youngster?

This worked out for Simmons last year; he was well worth playing every day. It no longer seems like that formula is weighted in Atlanta's favor, and it may be time for the Braves to overhaul this roster with players who can help across the board.

MLB News:

2014 MLB Trade Deadline

In case you missed it, today was the non-waiver trade deadline, and it was one of the most entertaining one in years. So many huge names (Lester, Price, Cespedes) found themselves traded, and all have a chance to seriously alter the potential landscape of the league. If you missed any of the deals, or just want a refresher, check the live blog.

Phillies Stay Quiet at Deadline

In one of the more surprising moves at this year's trade deadline, the Philadelphia Phillies made zero trades whatsoever. This is quite the shock considering the amount of interest players like Marlon Byrd, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee had reportedly received. Their farm system is among the worst in the league, and their major league core is declining quick. After failing to get younger at the deadline, is Ruben Amaro Jr. on the hot seat?

Time to Consider Rule Change on Shifts?

Baseball is full of strategy. Be it pitching match ups, the order of a lineup, or who takes to the mound each day, you can't escape it. But would one strategy, shifting your infielders, be best left out of baseball? Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated seems to think so:

Is it time for an illegal defense rule? We can all sit here and pretend nothing is wrong and count on the natural "ebbs and flows" of the game to self-correct the decline in offense. Or we can do what the lords of baseball have done many times when offense was down, such as outlawing the spitball and putting a clean baseball in play (1920), lowering the mound (1969) and introducing the DH (1973): we can update the rules.

Tweet of the Night:

Even in a loss, you need to find solace in something