Braves: The Tyler Flowers Problem

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If you listen to the podcast, follow us on Twitter, read this site; you know how we feel about Tyler Flowers. I’m not going to harp on it. Let’s dive into the numbers to dissect what’s going on here.

Over his last 30 games: .172/.252/.333

May: .167/.216/.354

June: .234/.373/.426

July: .171/.216/.371

August: .186/.271/.302

Tyler has also committed three errors with 15 passed balls and owns an abysmal 20% CS rate. He leads the majors in passed balls, as no other TEAM has 15 passed balls combined. Flowers has only caught in 71 games. It also can’t be understated how many “wild pitches” he’s caused with his poor technique. So if we are being honest, that passed ball number is really at about 25 on the year because most professional catchers can block a ball in the dirt right in front of them. On top of all that, he embarrassed the entire organization by arguing with a bunch of teenagers on Instagram following the whole Willson Contreras incident.

So what am I getting at? We all know Tyler Flowers has been awful. He stinks. He should not be on a Major League roster, let alone a playoff roster. So can anything be done about it?

The unfortunate answer is, for now, no. Personally, I’d rather watch Alex Jackson adjust to the MLB game than a 33-year-old who looks like a position player behind the plate. Brian McCann is still on the IL, Francisco Cervelli left yesterday’s game with an injury, and AA will keep Flowers around because he’s familiar with the pitching staff. However, I do believe there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Rosters expand next month. Francisco Cervelli is hitting .556/.556/1.111 in a limited sample size with Atlanta while bringing a veteran presence to the locker room. Brian McCann will also be back soon. He can return as early as Saturday from the IL. When the rosters expand, the Braves will be able to limit Tyler’s playing time severely. Brian Snitker will hopefully do that, or take the opposite approach and work Flowers all through September to give Cervelli and McCann time to rest for the playoff push. These guys have to be healthy for this to work, as the best ability is availability.

Whatever the front office and Snitker decide on, there is no way Tyler Flowers should be on Atlanta’s roster come October, assuming Cervelli and McCann are healthy. I know many teams like to keep three catchers, but few organizations have depth like the Braves. Think about this: Presuming Charlie Culberson is penciled into a spot on the playoff roster, as he should be; if Atlanta keeps Tyler Flowers around in October as the third catcher; they would have to leave off Johan Camargo, Matt Joyce, Adeiny Hechavarria and one of Nick Markakis, Ender Inciarte, or Austin Riley. That would be some significant firepower wasting away in street clothes while Flowers is busy being the worst defensive catcher in the league and hitting below the Mendoza line. You don’t need three catchers on the playoff roster. If McCann and Cervelli are healthy; they should be the only ones to make the cut.

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