Atlanta Braves GM Frank Wren must be living near a meth house if he honestly doesn't think defense is a concern for his ballclub after last year's disastrous performance in the field. Stop breathing in those fumes asshole. Defense is extremely important when it comes to playing winning baseball. Maybe not as important as pitching but it's right up there. Here is what Wren had to say about the defense. And remember last year the Braves committed 126 errors (1 off the league high) and now have a second baseman in Dan Uggla who has the most errors for a 2bagger for the past two seasons. And oh yeah Chipper ain't exactly Brooksie over at the hot corner with his bum knees.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think errors contribute a great deal to losses,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “I mean, that [126 errors] is still less than an error a game. And it depends on when the errors happens. With nobody on, you boot a ground ball and then you get a double play, it’s an error. But all errors aren’t created equal.
“I think that’s much overblown. When you put together your team, it’s the full contribution of players. What they do, whether it’s running the bases, or offensively, there’s lots of other things that guys can do, which add to your ballclub.”
I guess Wren decided not to watch Brooks Conrad personally butcher the playoff series with the Giants last year because I'm pretty sure his defense fucked us in that game. I also tend to remember a lot of wins literally being thrown away because of crucial errors from our infielders including one Brian McCann. But yeah defense isn't a major concern at all. Especially with your starting All Star second baseman Martin Prado playing left field for the very first time (Prado should be at second base IMO while Uggla should be in left). Listen Wren. Defense wins you games. Especially in the playoffs. So don't be a dickhead and say it's not a concern.
I'm not nearly as optimistic about the Braves chances this year as I was last year. Last year I thought they could make a run for the World Series because it was Bobby's last year and the pitching could get them over the hump come playoff time. This year I have my doubts they even make the playoffs. The Braves have some potentially huge holes at both corners of the infield (Freddie Freeman is a rookie who only hit .167 during his short time in Atlanta and Chipper Jones is 39 and coming off another knee injury) and the outfield has potential with Jason Heyward (trying to forget his disastrous second half and brutal playoff performance) evolving into the superstar we all know he can be and Prado having another MVP season but does anybody in the Braves organization really expect anything from CF Nate McLouth? The problem with the Braves last season was they had horrible defense, didn't have good baserunners, and the lineup didn't have much pop. This year the defense looks like it will again be average to awful while there are still no speed guys and Uggla does bring the pop but what do they really expect to get out of premium power hitting positions such as 1B, 3B, and CF? Because right now I don't expect too much out of Freeman, McLouth and Chipper this season for various reasons (rookie mistakes to self confidence issues to washed up superstar).
And I'm not even going to mention the pitching which could potentially be league average. In order for the Braves to reach the playoffs they need to have great pitching and great defense this season. If Wren doesn't see it then either he is fooling himself or is just a fool. Hopefully just the first option.