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Atlanta Braves news and links: Braves still having a good season despite awful record

It’s been a rough season for the Braves and their major league squad, but if you look past that, the organization has had a positive season overall.

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images


Freeman reaches 30-homer mark but Braves lose to Marlins

For the first time in his career, Freddie Freeman has hit 30 home runs in a single season. That’s the good news — the bad news is that the Marlins were able to put seven runs on the board and eventually won 7-5. It didn’t help that the Marlins were able to dink-and-dunk Matt Wisler to his doom tonight, as they scored six runs off of Wisler in his return following a missed start due to soreness in his side.

Despite bad record, Braves have had a solid 2016 season

The Braves are going to be fortunate to avoid a 100-loss season this year, and that’s obviously a bummer. With that being said, all hope is not loss. The rebuild that the Braves embarked upon ahead of the 2015 season is starting to bear fruit, and R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports has taken notice of the progress that the Braves have made this season.

...For the Braves diehards, 2016 has offered more than countless egg feasts served up by a poor offense -- it's given reason to believe in a more fulfilling tomorrow. That's because, bit by bit, the Braves' vision seems to be coming to fruition.

The biggest difference between the Braves' rebuild and the more conventional ones orchestrated by the Cubs and Astros is the starting point. Whereas most transitioning teams begin anew when their roster has reached the end of its competitive cycle, the Braves were quicker to hit the reset button. As a result, they were better positioned to restock their farm system with near-ready prospects. A few of those have already reached the majors -- and have shown signs of being legit big-league contributors.

Braves have been swinging the bat pretty well since All-Star break

One of the positives for the Braves has been their offense as of late. According to wRC+, the Braves have actually had the fourth-best offense in all of baseball in that regard. Scott went into further detail showing just how well the Braves’ offense has been playing as of late — especially in September.

Who will the Braves target in free agency?

John Coppolella had another #AskCoppy session on Twitter (and Snapchat!) yesterday, and one of the hot topics that the GM of the Atlanta Braves discussed was how the Braves would attack free agency next offseason. The free agent market isn’t exactly enticing, but R.J. Anderson (once again) came up with a few names that the Braves could be looking at come Hot Stove season.


Vin Scully will not call playoff games; final game will be on regular season finale

The legendary Vin Scully announced earlier this year that the 2016 season would be his final season in the booth. Even though the Dodgers are poised to make the postseason, Vin won’t be calling the eaction in the games, which means that the Dodgers’ season finale on October 2nd will be the final Dodgers game that the legend will call. Jesse Spector of the Sporting News made the argument that MLB Network should televise the game as a tribute to Scully.

The easiest programming decision that MLB Network will ever have is Oct. 2, the final day of the season.

Sure, all 30 teams will be playing at the same time, 3 p.m. Eastern, and there could be playoff spots still on the line. That’s a possibility every year, though. What we have on the final day of the 2016 season is a certainty: it is the last time Vin Scully will call a baseball game, and the network of the sport needs to pick up the final broadcast of the longtime voice of baseball.

Masahiro Tanaka is having a season to remember for the Yankees

Meanwhile, the Yankees are continuing their furious fight for a playoff berth, and one of the major reasons behidn their surge has been the pitching efforts of one Masahiro Tanaka. There were rumors that Tanaka wouldn’t even make it through this season due to issues with his elbow. Instead, Tanaka may be one of the best pitchers in the American League right now, and our friends over at Pinstripe Alley went into detail explaining why this is happening.

It seems like yesterday that fans were hand-wringing over the future of Tanaka. Can he stay healthy? Can he limit home runs? Can he stop hanging his fastball and sinker? These are always going to be concerns. His UCL is at risk to fully tear in the future, and his stuff is always at risk of reverting to pre-2016 levels.

For now, though, they should appreciate that Tanaka is easily one of the best pitchers in the league, and one of the best Yankees pitchers of the last decade.

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