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Atlanta Braves news: Snitker, Anthopoulos seek power surge

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Both the dugout manager and general manager have made it clear that they’d like to see some more power added to the Braves lineup

St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images


Anthopoulos: We have to make up for our loss of power

We’re a long way away from the pre-rebuild days of 2013 when the Braves actually finished second in the National League in Isolated Power. Fast forward to 2018 and the Braves will be heading into this upcoming season with a noticeable lack of power. The team finished 13th in the NL in Isolated Power last season and they lost one of their biggest mashers in the form of Matt Adams. They’ll have to find a way to replace that and Alex Anthopoulos was frank when he was asked about it by Mark Bowman.

Adams (19), Kemp (19) and Phillips (11) combined to hit 49 home runs. The Braves tallied 78 home runs from players not named Freddie Freeman who are still with the organization. Despite missing seven weeks with a fractured left wrist, Freeman hit 28 homers, nine more than any other Atlanta player last year.

”We’ve talked about the loss of the power and how we make up for it,” Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. “I don’t have any answer today. Normally you would say, ‘It’s [early February], how do you not have an answer?’ But there are a lot of free agents still out there.”

Snitker: Hopefully the young players step up

Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution got a similar response from Brian Snitker when it came to the Braves current lack of power. However, Snitker was confident that this year’s team as a whole is still in a better place than last year’s squad and he noted that he’d be leaning on the younger players to step up for this season.

“You look at it, and you just hope some of the young guys step forward,” manager Brian Snitker said. “That’s a concern. The winter’s not over. We’ve still got a long way to go before opening day. So I think anything can happen, and I know Alex is continually working to help the club get better.”

No pitch is safe against Freddie Freeman

The good news is that one player who the Braves can count on for power year in and year out is Freddie Freeman. Our friends at Walk Off Walk noted that he’s averaged a 146 wRC+ over the past five seasons and his numbers from last season were excellent given the fact he spent a decent amount of time out and recovering from a wrist injury. Part of this is due to the fact that Freeman’s plate coverage is actually insane and Walk Off Walk did a good job of taking a deep analysis of just how great Freeman is at hitting any and everything that comes his way.


Still no certainty that pitch clock will come this season

This offseason has been very slow when it comes to the Hot Stove but while that saga has been dragging on, there’s been some more drama that’s been unrelated to the “plight” of free agents like Yu Darvish, Eric Hosmer and Jake Arrieta. The drama I’m talking about is Rob Manfred’s assault on the pace of the game. It seemed like the commissioner was ready to push through rule changes that would add a pitch clock to the game but now he’s decided that he won’t implement a pitch clock for 2018 and there won’t be one in 2019 if the players can get the game time down to two hours and 55 minutes. Good luck with that!

Milwaukee in pursuit of Tampa’s Archer

While it seems very likely that Chris Archer is going to be staying with the Rays for the foreseeable future, that hasn’t stopped the Brewers from at least trying to trade for him. However, since the Rays appear to want to hold on to Archer now and haven’t been actively shopping him for a while now, that means that Milwaukee would have to come up with a trade package that Tampa couldn’t possibly refuse in order to get Archer. While the Brewers have already proven that they’ve got a blockbuster trade in them, they’ve probably exhausted their resources when it comes to any more big deals. We’ll see what happens, though.