#137: New faces for 2015 and beyond, Part II

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

By Gil in Mechanicsville

Aside from the J-Hey for Shelby Miller trade, John Hart opted to sign free agent Nick Markakis, late of the Baltimore Orioles to a four year $44 million dollar deal. Markakis, while not exactly Jason Heyward, he is a good replacement. Perhaps the fact he has been plagued with injuries in the past and was diagnosed with herniated disc scared some other teams away from taking a chance on the 32 year old outfielder. Off season surgery was performed on his neck and by all accounts it was considered a successful procedure.

Markakis has a career line of .290/ .358/ .435. This is despite of a career low of .271 in 2013 following three surgeries in 2012 for a sports hernia, repair to a broken hamate bone in his right wrist and surgery to repair a broken left thumb. The Orioles declined to offer Markakis a qualifying offer this off season which allowed the Braves to sign him without having to give up a compensatory draft pick.
Nick has also acquired a pair of Gold Gloves while playing right field for the O’s. While not as expensive as Heyward was likely to become, he is a adequate place holder to roam the outfield for the Bravos.

Nick’s best position in the line up is the two hole but with the Braves currently lacking a pro typical lead off hitter, I expect Markais will replace Heyward in that position as well. Markais is not blessed with the speed of Jason Heyward but likely Nick will be on base with a greater frequency than J-Hey ever has. Of course it is hard to say good bye to a player like Heyward who was a fan favorite and grew up in the Braves system. That said, I expect Jason to prosper in St. Louis. Cardinal fans are some of the best in all of major league baseball in their knowledge of the game and appreciation for a player who gives 100%. Expect him to garner enough fan votes to appear in quite a few All-Star games in the future.

I think I can speak for most Braves fans that we knew the Braves were likely to trade Jason Heyward and Justin Upton this off season because of Atlanta’s need to replace two thirds of their starting rotation and the need to restock their minor league system. In addition, with the reality of not believing they would be able to afford to re-sign either Heyward or Upton after this season, they would be traded. The real shock perhaps was trading away Evan Gattis to the Houston Astros. This represented the dismissal of all the Braves’ power potential aside from Fredi Freeman. Perhaps the player who will miss the protection of either Justin Upton or Evan Gattis.

The 2015 edition of the Atlanta Braves will have to be one which relies on ABC baseball much more than the three run homer. For sure, with all the good pitching currently in the NL East, it will be interesting to see if the Braves can compete.

Another addition to the Braves is 2B/3B Alberto Callaspo, a 30 year old from Maracay, Venzeuela. He is listed as 5′-9โ€ 215 pounds. That is a bit on the stocky side but the Braves were advised he had employed a personal trainer this off season to assist in keeping the weight off. Callaspo is another of the Braves one year signings and is expected to be a place holder for young phenom Jose Peraza who is expected to make his major league debut no later than 2016. Most likely, Callaspo will be given the chance to hold down the 2nd base position but do not be surprised to see young Peraza after June of this season.

Callaspo has spent the majority of his career in the American League and has a career line of
.267/ .330/ .370 and an OPS of .700. Last season was Callaspo’s worse but much of it has been attributed to his being over weight. He is a switch hitter and projected to bat second in this season’s line-up. However, with young players like Peraza or Jace Peterson might push Callaspo to the bench or down to triple A to get into shape. Clearly, the expectation for the Braves is for Alberto to be worth the $3 million they have invested in him this season. The expectations for Callaspo is prove he can still play at the major league level.

13 Responses to “#137: New faces for 2015 and beyond, Part II”

  1. 1 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Trouble with WordPress methinks…


  2. 2 JoAnn Brooks Elliott February 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Me thinks you should be the manager for Nick Markakis,, Hehe Just kidding good article. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. 3 Vox O'Raison February 16, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    This morning I was looking at all the doomsayers for the Braves in 2015… those being the stat-head analytics worshipers, including the AJC’s Mark Bradley. While I do not expect to see the Braves in the playoffs, I certainly do not expect to see them last in the division, as some are predicting based on the numbers. This, of course, before P&C even report. So why even have the season? Since the numbers are all in, why even play the games?

    By the way, in March of 2014, FanGraphs, the false god of all the boutique stat worshipers, picked the 2014 KC Royals to finish 3rd in their division, and out of the playoffs. Similarly, the majority of the voters at Baseball Prospectus, another idol of basement dwellers, also picked them to finish out of the playoffs. Even the self-proclaimed Worldwide Leader in Sports ESPN missed the mark as ESPN Fantasy’s Eric Karabell also had the Royals missing the playoffs. How could this happen? They all had the numbers in front of them! They all had their WAR and BABIP and UZR and wOBA! (Seems like more letters than numbers to me, but what do I know? I just watch baseball…)

    Last I checked, KC went 89-73 in 2014, sweeping the A’s, Angels and Orioles in the playoffs on their way to the World Series, in which they were just 1 victory shy of being World Champs.

    Gee. I guess actually playing the games matters after all…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 4 Vox O'Raison February 16, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    And only 4 days until P&CR! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 5 Vox O'Raison February 16, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    BTW- the 2014 Braves were 79-83 with Frank’s collection of perennial underachievers. I’ll stick by my early prediction that 2015’s underdog version will win at least the same 79 games in 2015, based on nothing more than gut feeling and instinct.


  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Winter has arrived here in Mechanicsville….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 7 berigan2electricboogaloo February 16, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Good job Gil! So, getting a wee bit of snow Gil?
    We are just cold here, 38….


  8. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    Very rare combination of really cold air, (15 degrees) and moisture from the south. Normally, the storms out of the west hit the mountains then dump snow up the coast, this was sneaky, the moisture is from a coastal storm with frigid air from the northwest.

    Predicting between 6 and 12 inches but because it is so cold, it will be the light and fluffy variety. So, hopefully the power will stay on. As you know, it is the ice storm which are the worse.

    I am only going to let the current lead stay up until the weekend. I have three more ready to go so no since letting them lie fallow.

    I had planed to have lunch with Richbrave on Thursday but with the snow, may have to postpone. I am no longer very nimble and unlike Bumbles, I no longer bounce.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 9 Vox O'Raison February 16, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Snow is pretty. Ice is not. But it is tough on trees and power lines. We have nasty ice here, and many power outages all around us. Currently, we are blessed to still have power at my house. Hope it stays that way.


  10. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Got up to check on the dogs, 3:30 AM and all is well…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    It does not appear we experienced snowmageddon after all, Several inches, enough to shut down schools and allow them to use their snow days and drive their parents crazy…


  11. 11 Vox O'Raison February 17, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Icy conditions all over Northeast GA this morning. Almost 15K in my county lost power, including us. Ours went out about 10pm, came back on at 2:00am for about 10 minutes and went out again. Finally restored at 7:20am. Made a pot of coffee right away in case we lost it again. Very thankful for all the EMC workers and other emergency responders who have been working through the night to take care of the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2015 at 8:39 am

    The one good thing about really cold air is very light fluffy snow. I think we are good unless some nut job who thinks he can drive on Virginia roads the same way he can up north finds out our roads are crowned and are not flat. Results in car into (pick one) ditch, tree, power pole. The latter always affects the most people.

    In all my many years with the Rescue Squad, I always hated the snow days the worse. My shoulders would tense up and I always felt exhausted at the end of my shift. Now, I play it smart, I refuse to become part of the problem..

    We did prep the generator yesterday just in case we lost power. Not worried about the food so much as we can put it outside when it is only 20 degrees. Just making sure we have heat so all the warm blooded creatures don’t become hypothermic.

    Now baseball… Boy, I should figure out a way to become a snowbird in February and March….

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 13 Gil in Mechanicsville February 18, 2015 at 8:26 am

    New blog up. Does not want to link but here is a link…



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