Atlanta Braves podcast S2E15: so why can’t this team just win?

Atlanta Braves pitcher Huascar Ynoa. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Braves pitcher Huascar Ynoa. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s another week of streaky play for the Atlanta Braves, and we’re still waiting for the streak to stay positive for a while.

While the Atlanta Braves have had a lot of ups and downs so far this season, it’s good and right that we pay attention to a couple of the good stories around.  Right now, none of those is any better than the emergence of Huascar Ynoa.

We tend to take for granted the Latin American players that we see at the big league level and don’t think about what it took for them to get here.

Most sign a pro contract at the age of 16 or 17 and then are whisked away from their homes to a brand new world immersed in baseball — many arriving in a country they’ve never been to before.

Most of these kids don’t make it… probably at least 95% of them.  Only a smattering are deemed good enough to graduate from the Dominican Summer Leagues and come to the US mainland to continue their training in the “regular” minor leagues.

At this point, we may start hearing some of their names… but even so, this only happens for the best of them:  those whose stats jump off that page.  Names like Albies or Acuna.

But Huascar Ynoa is an exception to multiple rules involved here.  He got to the US and played in the rookie Frontier league at the age of 17.  He clearly showed early promise there — ERA’s below 3.20 for his first 100 innings stateside.

That was enough to get him tagged for a trade when the Twins took Jaime Garcia from Atlanta in 2017.  But then Ynoa’s numbers seemed to falter… ERA values in the 5’s were regular… yet the Braves continued to show confidence in him and kept moving him up the chain, reaching the majors for a brief stint in 2019 at the age of just 21.

But now… suddenly… he’s arrived:  both figuratively and literally.  He’s pitching like he has known all along what he’s doing and is sporting a 2.36 ERA over 34 major league innings this season.  Remarkable… and never mind what he’s doing with a bat in his hands!

His route hasn’t been “normal” or “expected” — but part of the equation is the man… whether the player himself has the mental confidence and wherewithal to meet the challenges faced at every level.

So while we aren’t ignoring the problems of the Atlanta Braves in this week’s podcast — by any means — we also take a moment to recognize the work of Huascar Ynoa and what he’s meant to this team.

We celebrate players like this… and for sure, we fans needed to see someone step up and provide pitching relief this year.  He has done that, for sure.

So about that Braves podcast…

So let’s get to it, then: get your copy downloaded from here, click the player below, or grab it from your favorite subscription service… whatever way you’d prefer to do that is perfectly fine by us.

Next. "Hey, Fred!" (in Barney Rubble voice). dark

This is still our team, and we’re still awaiting a return to full strength… hopefully that happens soon while other clubs are fighting with the same kinds of problems of inconsistent play and injury.