Coppollella acknowledges on Twitter starters have been disappointing

Braves general manager John Coppolella acknowledged acquiring Hector Olivera was his biggest mistake and admitted he has been disappointing in the team's young starting pitchers this season. (AP photo)

Braves general manager John Coppolella acknowledged acquiring Hector Olivera was his biggest mistake and admitted he has been disappointing in the team’s young starting pitchers this season. (AP photo)

The first time Braves general manager John Coppolella tried to connect with its fan base on another level came in January, when the team asked folks on Twitter to send in questions with the hashtag #AskCoppy.

This dangerous venture into the social media underworld led to several grenades, such as, “Do you have any clue what your (sic.) doing?” and “Why you hate us? Why?” and “Its cheaper to watch the G-Braves in their local stadium. Will you be raising prices there since it’s the same team quality?”

But I will give Coppolella credit for this. While the losses continue to mount during this rebuild — the Braves are 56-89, the second-worst record in the majors behind Minnesota (54-91) — he continues to put himself out there. He held another #AskCoppy session on Twitter on Tuesday. Among the questions were:

• “How does it feel to be GM of a team (that) can’t throw the ball back to the pitcher without hitting somebody in the (bleep)?”

• Do you feel like you should be fired if the Braves are not .500 or better in 2017?”

•  “Are you a fan of yoga pants?”

• “Is Joe Flacco elite?”

Coppolella, however, did respond to some tough questions and a few of his answers were pretty revealing. I thought the most noteworthy of his responses was an acknowledgement that his young starting pitchers have not developed as quickly as he expected.

After Julio Teheran’s 3.01 earned run average, Braves starters with at least six starts are: Matt Wisler (23 starts, 5.00 ERA), Mike Foltynewicz (21, 4.41), Aaron Blair (12, 8.23; on the disabled list; pitching in Gwinnett), Williams Perez (11, 6.04), Joel De La Cruz (9, 5.02), Tyrell Jenkins (8, 6.20), John Gant (6, 4.40).

Here are some of Coppolella’s responses through the Braves’ Twitter account:

On his biggest mistake, the Hector Olivera trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers:

On his biggest disappointment this season — starting pitching, which is at the heart of this rebuild:

On front office gaffes like former manager Fredi Gonzalez receiving an email on his travel itinerary change before he was told he was fired.

On whether Matt Kemp is here to stay:

On saying publicly that Matt Kemp needed to get in better shape before next season:

On failed expectations this season:

In response to a jab/question on whether he and John Hart actually believe what they tell fans:

Another jab: Why should the front office be believed moving forward since it was wrong about this season?

So it may not help the Braves in the standings but at least their general manager is good on Twitter.

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11 comments
James Rackley
James Rackley

They've done a good job with the exception of of the Oliver's trade, think they should have kept Grilli and Harrell. Grill I was coming off injury, Harrell was inexpensive and successful. Now they are looking for starting pitchers again to bridge the gap until the younger guys develop more. Agree that they should keep Teheran. Young catchers are developing, pitchers should as well. The turnaround under Snitker who is used to training and evaluating talent has been exceptional. The team is jelling and their desire and competitiveness under the duress of this season is phenomenal as well. The depth with the new guys joining the major league team looks good. If this team picks next season where the last few months of this season has been I think the rebuild will have been a success already, perhaps with minor tweaking and additions. GO BRAVES! Looking forward to next year.

Big Wally
Big Wally

He is a fantasy baseball GM.   He's learning on the job.  The funny thing is, Schuerholtz who the media in this town refuse to criticize, is actually leaving the team in as bad as shape as when he took over in late 80's or early 90's, (whenever he came here).  For all the Hall of Fame accolades he gets around here, the franchise is back to ground zero.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

I get that the prior regime let the farm system erode and was running out of pitching at the MLB level, and had signed a bunch of players who either weren't interested in playing here or who couldn't get the job done any more. My issue is with the intentional total tank job and pull-back on investment in MLB-level players, which has effectively eliminated the team from competition before the season even started the past two years. That is a disservice to the fans, as has been much of the propaganda put out by the new regime (they seem to be coming to grips acknowledging the fans don't buy the BS).


There are some signs they may be building a decent roster of position players once again, with the caveat they need to invest intelligently in free agency as well. The Kemp move helped, aside from his production it was a signal the GM isn't totally insane. What they may find out, though, is the best laid plans are no guarantee of producing anything of value when it comes to pitching. I would say, being fair, they have the team back approaching where it was at the end of the 2014 season minus Kimbrel but with more talent in the minors. Maybe they have cleared up some of the bad contracts, but for every positive step in that direction they seem to take at least a half-step backwards.

TideDawg
TideDawg

Well,....Maybe the Braves management is looking at it this way....."The more you lose this year, the easier it will be to improve in 2017". :o)) Not to mention the high draft choices they will get in the next draft.The Braves are getting "prospect" heavy. When do they start cashing them in for better players? They need to hire Dimitroff! Maybe he's better at drafting baseball players than he is at drafting football players.

Shon McEachin
Shon McEachin

@TideDawg LOL definitely no about Dimitroff, you are quite right about his failures to draft well for the majority of his tenure.


The Braves almost assuredly will have to look to free agency (although this is a dismally disappointing free agent class) and to trades (because of the dismal free agent class major league talent will cost more in terms of prospects) to improve the 2017 team.  I know they hope for more maturity and development from some of their younger players as well.  I just hope they don't sacrifice the long term health and welfare of the franchise trying to improve for 2017.  This offseason will NOT be conducive for impact additions by most accounts.


With that said I'm a firm believer that small upgrades in baseball tend to make larger upgrades in win loss percent in the majors.  The Braves need at least two quality starting pitchers, improvement in catching (which is with few exceptions suffering a down cycle throughout all of baseball) and improved play at thirdbase.  I just hope they don't sell out the farm to make a big publicity bang so they sell tickets at the beginning of the season.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TideDawg

The "high draft choices" they'll get are worthless, given the stunning level of incompetence demonstrated consistently by the team's front office.

patriotdog
patriotdog

He's a PR disaster. Seems as arrogant as Wren, Can't believe Hart keeps him around. He seems to be rather a tool.

STHornet1990
STHornet1990

If Cobb Park is not a full house this late in the season next year, he is toast. The money grabbers at Liberty can't stand a (money) loser.

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

This so called GM....is a bumbling idiot.  How did end up here??  No wonder the Braves are a hot mess.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

I went last night. That stadium was empty. It was weird. Bye Turner field.