#139: New faces for 2015 and beyond, Part IV

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

By Gil in Mechanicsville

In early January, John Hart made two moves to shore up his outfield, the first was to sign right handed hitter Jonny Gomes to a one year contract for $4 million in 2015 with a $3 million vesting option for 2016. If the option does not automatically vest, it will become a team option.
Gomes, 34, has a career slash line of .277/ .376/ .485 against southpaws. Likely, Jonny will be used in a platoon in left field in a combination with either former Yankee outfielder Zoilo Almont or waiver pick up Eury Perez. Gomes has been referred to as being someone who plays like “his hair is on fire”. One thing is certain, no one will accuse this latest edition of the Braves of sleepwalking through games. Perhaps the biggest question will be Jonny’s ability to adapt to the proposed rules that the batter keeps one foot in the batter’s box at all times. Methinks he will need his entire time in spring training trying to overcome his current OCD routine of stepping out after each pitch. Maybe the Braves can start by finding him a batting helmet with a chin strap.

Until the sudden arrival Eury Perez, it was assumed the switch hitting Zoilo Almont would serve in a platoon role with Gomes with Zoilo getting the lion’s share of playing time facing right handed hurlers. The 26 year old Dominican has a career slash line of .268/ .330/ .433 and an OPS of.763. Zoilo however will likely have to now beat out Perez who fell into the Braves’ lap after being dropped off the Yankee’s 40 man roster to make room for Steven Drew.

Since the Braves appear to have lost faith in Todd Cunningham as a legitimate option in center, Perez rockets up the charts to B.J.’s backup and the out-of-options outfielder will have every opportunity to win a spot this spring on a wide-open roster. On a team that might have to steal a lot of bases to press the issue, Perez could have some value both off the bench and, if BJ struggles, he could steal some time from the high-priced outfielder. Perez probably won’t be much more than a fourth outfielder. On a good team, he’d be in AAA. On a bad team…well, he starts to looks a lot better than he really is.

Perez was originally signed as a undrafted free agent by the Washington Nationals in 2007, he was picked up by the Yankees off waivers last September when the Nats dropped him off their 40 man roster. At least the Braves are not waiting until the end of spring training to fill out their outfield like they did in the 70’s.

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403 Responses to “#139: New faces for 2015 and beyond, Part IV”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady February 23, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Thanks, Gil! You have an excellent grasp of the ins and outs of the Braves situation. Terrific!!

    Like

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    And thank you for offering the platform from which to opine.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Nothing like being there to make assessments of players in spring training. Yesterday Fredi G observed Jim Johnson RHRP doing his work in the pen and commented he felt very positive that Johnson’s sinker was working well. I feel very good about the Braves pitching prospects this season. Now, if they can just score some runs to support the starters, they might even be worth a look.

    Everyone (the talking heads) has conceded the NL East to the gNats but ya never know. Their are always surprises each season and perhaps the Braves will be a positive surprise rather than a negative one like last year.

    Like

  4. 4 Vox O'Raison February 24, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Yes, Gil… even Mr. O’B concedes that they should at least be more entertaining, if nothing else.

    This year, more than any in recent memory, there is so much uncertainty going into the season. I think there are only 2, maybe 3 real certainties for position starters, those being Freddie and Andrelton… and Nick if his neck is healed. Every other spot is up for grabs.

    Like

  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    One thing has never changed in all of baseball history, all things being equal, the guy with options left will almost always be the one sent to the minor leagues verses being put on waivers.

    Another truism of professional baseball, if you are a rookie, you always want to be the guy with the big signing bonus. You get so many more opportunities to fail.

    Thirdly, Major League baseball has become greedy with the prices they charge to see spring training games. Especially since they load up their travailing rosters with AA and AAA players. Unless you want to just enjoy the sunshine, it is hardly worth the trouble.

    Like

  6. 7 Vox O'Raison February 24, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    I saw Zoilo in a game at AAA Gwinnett last year. I remember him because he hit a HR in the game, and generally looked like a boy among men in all his AB’s. He was also called up to NYY a few days later.

    #Braves OF candidate Zoilo Almonte, former Yankees prospect

    A post shared by David O'Brien (@davidnobrien) on

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 8 Vox O'Raison February 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Rio has a nice compact stroke.

    #Braves 3B prospect Rio Ruiz

    A post shared by David O'Brien (@davidnobrien) on

    Like

  8. 9 Vox O'Raison February 24, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    Uber-speedster Mallex Smith. If he can just figure out a way to get on base…

    #Braves OF prospect Mallex Smith. who stole 88 bases in 110 minor league games in 2014.

    A post shared by David O'Brien (@davidnobrien) on

    Like

  9. 10 Vox O'Raison February 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Like

  10. 11 Carolina Lady February 24, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Definitely gonna need a score card!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 12 Vox O'Raison February 24, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    Interesting…

    I took a glance over at Braves.com at the posted depth chart… Eric Young, Jr. is listed atop the LF position, not Johnny Gomes. Of course, it means very little when full squad workouts have yet to even start, but it is a little interesting to me. I wonder if it is because Gomes has not yet reported? Dunno. It should also be noted that EYJr was signed on a minor league deal and is not even on the Braves 40-man roster.

    Other OF notables… Zoilo Almonte is now listed as the primary backup at RF, bumping Joey Terdoslavich to just being the 3rd 1B. He’ll no doubt be toiling again at AAA Gwinnett. Dian Toscano is listed only as the 4th RF. He’ll also open at AAA. Todd Cunningham is the only OF listed in all the spots, including the primary backup in CF ahead of Eury Perez. I imagine there will be a spirited competition between Todd/Eury/EYJr for the 5th OF/bench role. That will be a fun one to watch.

    2B is completely murky, where there are 4 guys who have a legit shot to be the Opening Day starting 2B. Alberto Callaspo is atop the chart there, but he may simply be the placeholder for Jose Peraza, who is not currently listed on the chart at all. Still, don’t be surprised if Peraza isn’t on the roster at least by June. (This is assuming he doesn’t “wow” management over the next 2 months such that they cannot send him down.) Phil Gosselin is much loved by Fredi and is certainly in the hunt. And that doesn’t even take Jace Peterson into consideration, who could become a victim of Gil’s “rule of options”.

    Something else that I think can be taken away from what is listed is that Gosselin is a lock for the roster, even if he doesn’t earn a starting job. He is listed as backup at 2B & SS, and is the only real backup the team has at SS. The surprising omission is Kelly Johnson, who is not listed on the depth chart at all. (He’s also not on the 40-man.) One has to wonder if the Braves brought him in to give him a shot to prove his value to some team if not ATL. No way KJ and Callaspo are both on the roster. Won’t happen. And I think there is at least a small possibility that neither is with the team when they break camp. That will be entirely up to how well young Mr. Peterson performs.

    And don’t forget, John Hart said yesterday, “We’re going to try to put the best club out there, but if you look at it and you’re not sure, we would certainly want to err on the side of the young player, to get them involved this year.”

    Like

  12. 13 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    And on KJ swing, I always thought he looked a lot like Chipper Jones in the box when he was with Atlanta. Have not seen him much since he left. I think he has evolved into a utility guy without the high OBP of a Prado or Infante’ … I believe he hit about .225 last season with the Yankees.

    Like

  13. 14 chrisklob February 24, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    good stuff mr gil. thanks for the update.

    there was a time that baseball, especially braves and minor leagues, were something i spent a LOT of time reading/watching/attending. my life has changed and i don’t know the back story on at least half this team. it’s depressing to me to feel so disconnected. maybe one day i’ll win the lottery and be able to redevote myself to the greatest game known to man.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 15 Carolina Lady February 25, 2015 at 12:44 am

    Hey, Chris! May I wish you a severely late happy birthday?! The warm wishes remain the same regardless of the date on the calendar. 😀

    Like

  15. 16 chrisklob February 25, 2015 at 1:10 am

    thanks carolina lady. no worries about the late thing. i don’t celebrate it any more. not much to celebrate lately but your sentiments are appreciated

    Like

  16. 17 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Hey Chris! Life has a way of getting in the way of alot of things I want to do. While the ol’ B&S doesn’t have the access that the beat writers have, we keep up and relay it fairly well. Not much slips under our radar if it has to do with “Los Barves”.

    Like

  17. 18 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 7:34 am

    I didn’t finish my thought before I hit the button!!! 😯

    Anyway, Chris… Just pop in here when you can. It’s like having the Reader’s Digest of Braves coverage handy. You can catch up pretty fast.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. 19 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Neck, er… Nick Markakis in the house!!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. 20 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Like

  20. 21 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Jonny Gomes in the house!!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 22 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:16 am

    I am so excited and ready for baseball I can hardly stand it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    Liked by 2 people

  22. 23 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:18 am

    That’s good with me. I want him strong through September.

    Like

  23. 24 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Like

  24. 25 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:19 am

    And henceforth, he is known here as Neck Markakis. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 26 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:20 am

    I think I’m gonna like this guy. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 27 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:21 am

    I’m definitely gonna like this guy.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. 28 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Yesssss.

    Like

  28. 29 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Gotta love Gomes…. 5 minutes in camp and he has already thrown down the gantlet…

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 30 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 10:32 am

    Gil, in the aforementioned 5 minutes he demonstrated exactly what was missing last year and why John (pick one) brought him here.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. 31 Vox O'Raison February 25, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Like

  31. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    And in three minutes, has endeared himself to Bobby Cox… 🙂

    Yes, he was exactly the kind of guy missing last season, especially in September when the Braves collectively began to phone it in. Gomes might not be the most talented guy in the clubhouse but for sure, he is like a pit bull. You just never know when the dude is going to take a big chomp out of your butt…

    Liked by 3 people

  32. 33 berigan2electricboogaloo February 25, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Yep, Gomes sounds like the right kind of guy for the team…Gotta like him! 🙂
    Chris, you talked about A. J. Pierzynski …I not only worry about his attitude, I worry that he is a 38 year old catcher. Pretty sure he is the oldest catcher in the game. IF the rumors are true that he seemed a bit old last year behind the plate, this spring training could be very telling. I think that is at least part of the reason so very many catchers are on the..well, they aren’t on the roster, are they? 😉 Have been invited…V is correct, you need warm bodies to catch all the pitchers, but…so many of the catchers are actual MLB catchers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if AJ, if hitting .133 at the end of spring training, and not moving as well behind the plate as other catchers, will be sent on his merry way…or at least on his way….

    Liked by 1 person

  33. 34 berigan2electricboogaloo February 25, 2015 at 9:55 pm

    Gil, isn’t it funny, if Eury Perez, and or Zoilo Almont make the team, and play well, we will have the Yankees to thank?

    Like

  34. 35 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Okay, enough of this white stuff called snow!!! Trapped in the house for another week… bahhhh, humbug…

    I thought some of the comments made by John Hart were curious and wonder to whom he was referring? He said the Braves signed some guys early but got some other guys late they did not think would be available, thus, lots of guys in camp… Callaspo? AJ?

    Like

  35. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Do Callaspo and Peirzinski have guaranteed contracts?

    Like

  36. 37 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 9:33 am

    Do Callaspo and Peirzinski have guaranteed contracts?

    All major league deals are guaranteed…

    Like

  37. 38 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 9:40 am

    John Buck and Jesus Flores were both signed on minor league deals, thus no guaranteed deal. For me personally, I personally do not have the same bleak outlook on AJP. I see him neither as over-the-hill nor a bad apple. I will hang onto Shelby Miller’s firsthand account that he was beloved in the Cards’ clubhouse. But that’s just me. Your mileage may vary.

    Like

  38. 39 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 10:15 am

    He said the Braves signed some guys early but got some other guys late they did not think would be available, thus, lots of guys in camp…

    They signed alot of pitchers late. Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson are likely the setup men and not on the bubble, but Josh Outman, Matt Capps and/or Michael Kohn might easily get knocked out by latecomer Jose Veras. Another factor will be the late signings of Wandy Rodriguez and Eric Stults. If either takes claim of the 5th starter spot, all indications are that Folty and/or Manny Banuelas could open in the bullpen. Folty’s clock has already started, so there is no real benefit to stashing him in AAA; lefty ManBan could, but if he pitches as well as fellow southpaws James Russell or Luis Avilan, he could stick. John has already stated that all things being equal, he’ll keep the youngster over the vet.

    A bullpen of Kimbrel, Grilli, JJohnson, Veras, Russell, Folty and ManBan would be pretty tough. That last spot might come down to ManBan, Kohn and Outman.

    They also had a couple of young OF drop in their laps… those being Eury Perez and Eric Young, Jr. I believe there will be a wide open competition for the last OF spot between those 2 plus Todd Cunningham. Now… I am making a pretty grand assumption that Zoilo Almonte is the early favorite to platoon with Gomes (or “soft” platoon, as Fredi calls it). But he better not relax too much because all 3 of the other guys want a job badly and will be competing hard. But Zoilo’s power potential definitely plays in his favor. If a potential LF tandem of Gomes/Zoilo could knock 22 HR and drive in 52 RBI, they would replace Gattis’ output from 2014. Heck, if they only knock 11 HR’s and drive in 58 RBI, they’ll replace JHey’s production. I’ll be happy with that!!

    Like

  39. 40 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Ha ha…

    Like

  40. 41 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Would love to be a fly on that wall…

    Like

  41. 42 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 10:26 am

    And away we go. #Braves first full squad workout of 2015 is underway.

    A post shared by Kevin McAlpin (@kevinmcalpin) on

    Yee haw!!!!!! 😀

    Like

  42. 43 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    What what?!?

    Like

  43. 44 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Heh heh…

    Liked by 1 person

  44. 45 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Strained oblique…aaaauuuuggggghhhhh!

    Like

  45. 46 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Braves radio announcer Jim Powell is having some kind of contest where folks are submitting their 2015 Opening Day rosters…

    Who needs a contest? Heck, I make up one of those about once a week!! In fact, it’s time for this week’s:

    ROTATION (5): Julio Teheran (RH), Alex Wood (LH), Shelby Miller (RH), Mike Minor (LH), Wandy Rodriguez (LH)

    BULLPEN (7): Craig Kimbrel (RH), Jason Grilli (RH), Jim Johnson (RH), Jose Veras (RH), James Russell (LH), Manny Banuelas (LH), Mike Foltynewicz (RH)

    CATCHERS (3): Christian Bethancourt, AJ Pierzynski, John Buck

    INFIELDERS (5): Freddie Freeman 1B, Alberto Callaspo 2B/3B, Andrelton Simmons SS, Chris Johnson 3B/1B, Phil Gosselin 2B/SS/3B/LF

    OUTFIELDERS (5): Jonny Gomes LF, Melvin Upton, Jr. CF, Neck Markakis RF, Zoilo Almonte LF/RF, Eric Young, Jr. LF/CF/RF/2B

    Like

  46. 47 Vox O'Raison February 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    If I give you some sets of offensive numbers for 2014, can you match them to the players?

    11 HR, 58 RBI, 98 K’s, 149 games
    22 HR, 52 RBI, 97 K’s, 108 games
    19 HR, 72 RBI, 119 K’s, 118 games
    6 HR, 37 RBI, 88 K’s, 112 games

    Here are the players:
    Jonny Gomes (BOS / OAK)
    Zoilo Almonte (AAA Scranton / NYY)
    Jason Heyward (ATL)
    Evan Gattis (ATL)

    Like

  47. 48 berigan2electricboogaloo February 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    I remember Heywards numbers, 11 and 58
    Evan’s were 22 and 52…I know Gomes didn’t hit many homers, so…6 and 37…so….Zoilo must be 19 and 72! Now, if only he can duplicate those numbers in the bigs!

    Like

  48. 49 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    22 HR- Gattis
    11 HR -Heyward
    19 HR – Almonte
    6 HR- Gomes

    I think…

    Like

  49. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    It’ s Rambo marathon day on AMC….. yea.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  50. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Not sure on the 5th starter VOX, The first four are a lock if no one is hurt… I see 4 legit candidates for that spot right now. None have a guaranteed contract. I think the last two weeks of spring training will be telling.

    Like

  51. 52 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I’m getting the feeling the Braves are having a bit of buyer’s remorse as far as Callaspo is concerned. Bowman indicted he showed up out of shape to camp and Bowman should certainly recognize out of shape although round is a shape…

    We shall see if he is sent to Triple A to work on his diet….

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I have found I can buy a gym membership but it does not mean I will go to the gym…

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Lazy can become a lifestyle…

    Liked by 2 people

  54. 55 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Mr. O’B reports that Kimbrel is experimenting with a change-up in camp. And around the league, there is a collective shudder from hitters… 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 56 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 7:39 am

    Fredi, on the 2B job: “I think it’s wide open. It really is.” – courtesy of AJC.com

    He went on to say that there are 5 legitimate candidates for the job: Callaspo, Gosselin, Peterson, Peraza and KJ… or any LH/RH platoon combo of the aforementioned.

    Yep, that’s about as wide open as it gets.

    Now… it raises the question – Are there that many choices because they are all legit 2B options, or because there isn’t 1 good one?

    Like

  56. 57 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Like

  57. 58 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 8:30 am

    I’m getting the feeling the Braves are having a bit of buyer’s remorse as far as Callaspo is concerned. Bowman indicted he showed up out of shape to camp

    Yep, the phrases “certainly didn’t have any reason to come to camp proclaiming that he is in the best shape of his life” and especially “Callaspo’s unimpressive physique” are indicting, prompting me to say:

    What an idiot!

    Either he hasn’t kept up with the goings on of his new team, or he’s just a flippin’ dumb@$$. Or maybe he’s just a thief of $3M. Fredi has too many IF options for the uber-mediocre Callaspo to think he could just phone it in.

    We all know 1st impressions are important. He hasn’t made a very good one to this fan and obviously not to Bowman. Maybe not to the powers that be either.

    For those keeping score, Vox loves Jonny Gomes, does not love Alberto Callaspo.

    Callaspo is henceforth known as FatAssPo until he impresses me otherwise.

    And I am now ramping up my rooting for Gosselin, Peterson and KJ.

    😡

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Ya’ll realize the Braves are paying a ton of money for mediocre up the middle. Uggla and Calasspo about 15 mil and BJ…. Oh well, it someone else’s money… Keep checking under those seat cushions guys…

    Liked by 1 person

  59. 60 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Great quote…

    Liked by 1 person

  60. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Reading Bowman’s blurb on Veras:

    Veras says he pitches better if used every two or three days than sitting for a week, Bobby could have broke him of that wish. Of all the great things Bobby C did, taking care of his relief pitchers was not one of them…

    Either way, the Braves seem to have stockpiled some good potential in the pen, Pitching may again be their forte’. Now, if they can just get some of the many base runners they have in from second and third, they might just make some noise….

    I love the long ball as much as the next guy but I love two out hits with men on even more. Just so much more exciting to see guys scampering home from first base. It is good to have power but better to have smarts and the ability to go the other way…

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 62 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Uggla and Callaspo…One is a tight ball of muscle, the other is a fat tub of goo.

    Like

  62. 63 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Yes VOX, just like hitting being contagious, so is enthusiasm. Unbridled, avid optimism. Gets me all warm and tingly… 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  63. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2015 at 9:56 am

    They always say, you can’t fire the team so you fire the manager, looks like John Hart fired the team…. kept the manager….

    Liked by 2 people

  64. 65 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 10:04 am

    What an ungrateful and disrespectful lump. He really chaps my boxers. The Braves saw fit to take a $3M chance on him and he rewards their faith by showing up fat and out of shape.

    If I were Fredi, I’d make sure he earned that $3M with 3M drops of sweat. I’d run his wide butt all over Disney’s Wide World of Sports. In fact, as the younger, “eager” players were snatching up all the showcase time, I’d have FatAssPo running on the back fields or riding a stationary bike in the clubhouse.

    And having a young impressionable team, Fredi needs to make an example of him. Otherwise, he just tossed discipline (and respect) out the window.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. 66 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I think what makes me so angry about FatAssPo is that he is a professional athlete. Not every batter is blessed with Chipper Jones’ eyes. Not every runner is blessed with Otis Nixon’s speed. Not every fielder is blessed with Simba’s range or arm. But every single one of them has the ability to be in good physical shape. This guy even supposedly had a personal trainer.

    Man it just grinds my gears… 😡

    Liked by 2 people

  66. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2015 at 11:09 am

    Andrew Jones syndrome… Takes too much for granted… The road to the show is littered with guys who took things for granted, thought they were better than they really are without putting in the extra work.

    Liked by 2 people

  67. 68 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2015 at 11:12 am

    If I were a major league GM, I would make sure I had a weight clause in the contract for any guy who has a history of weight problems.

    What is the most a guy can lose in spring training? 20 pounds? maybe? Most likely only 10…

    Liked by 2 people

  68. 69 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    “Toes are not to be trifled with.”

    Liked by 3 people

  69. 70 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Like

  70. 71 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Like

  71. 72 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Like

  72. 73 Carolina Lady February 27, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Okay, I’m confused. (Again) Didn’t the Braves trade Kimbrel to the Astros or somebody a little while back? He came back? Obviously I missed something/s! (…and I really do try to keep up, class!)

    Like

  73. 74 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    Hi, CL. No trade of Kimbrel. In fact, John Hart has been adamant this spring that Craig is one of the core players of this team and is a major part of the team going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  74. 75 Carolina Lady February 27, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks, Vox. I thought I remembered feeling great despair that he was being traded away and ranted (on and on and on) about it. Just a bad dream, thank goodness! 😀

    Like

  75. 76 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    In much of the emotional overreacting backlash to the Evan Gattis trade, many people, media types included, made the incorrect and irrational statement that Kimbrel would be traded next. Of course, that was entirely baseless, but still got alot of legs on social media. If John Hart is to be believed, Craig will be in ATL for the long term.

    Like

  76. 77 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Crikey!!

    Like

  77. 78 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Unbelievable… 😯

    Like

  78. 79 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    What? He was raking up palm fronds barefooted?

    Toes not to be trifled with… I was so all over that… 🙂

    No CL, it was my teeth gnashing and sack cloth wearing rants about Gattis, not Kimbrel, but I can see how we may have confused you.

    Now Upton…. EY Jr and Eury just kicked it up a notch…. My advice to Melvin. Take your time bro, no rush, make sure it heals completely. There is always room on the DL and insurance will kick in at some point… Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

  79. 80 berigan2electricboogaloo February 27, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Guys (and gal 😉 ) you are looking at the Callaspo situation all wrong! Imagine the shape he would have been in if he hadn’t had a trainer! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  80. 81 berigan2electricboogaloo February 27, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    I miss the more sarcastic tongue stick out of the older emoticons on wordpress…oh well…
    So Melvin will miss spring training, meaning he will have to play in the minors for at least a few weeks to get into playing shape…meaning EY Jr or someone else has a real chance to show off. Then what? EY Jr is a sparkplug, but he tends to start off fast, then cool down….but, do you take him out of CF for BJ cuz BJ, err Melvin is paid more moola?

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 82 Vox O'Raison February 27, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    2 words… Wally Pipp. And that is not in any way meant as an insult to Wally Pipp.

    Liked by 3 people

  82. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Trainer to Fredi G. Fredi, I have good news and bad news concerning Melvin:

    Fredi, What’s the bad news?

    Trainer, Melvin has a foot injury and will not be able to play for 2 months

    Fredi, What’s the good news?

    Trainer, Melvin won’t be able to play for 2 months…

    Liked by 2 people

  83. 84 Carolina Lady February 27, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Ber, I’d bench his butt and play the other guys. Might help.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2015 at 1:28 am

    Why am I still awake? Do I really think I am going to miss something?

    Liked by 2 people

  85. 86 Carolina Lady February 28, 2015 at 1:30 am

    That’s me in the other end of that boat, Gil! Row, row, row your boat…… You aren’t singing, Gil.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. 87 berigan2electricboogaloo February 28, 2015 at 3:27 am

    Yeah, what are you crazy folks doing up late like this?
    Wait, what am I doing up now? Oh yeah, looks like I am getting sick for the 4th time this winter 😦
    Have jury duty come Monday, that should be real interesting if this isn’t a quick cold/relapse and I am coughing my fool head off Monday.
    I actually feel asleep around 9 pm, which I do…never.
    Gil, by the way, too bad you went to sleep, you do miss something! 😆 And you need to sing more forcefully!

    Like

  87. 88 berigan2electricboogaloo February 28, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Now baseball….didn’t realize at first that Melvin was going to be out more like 2 months….wow. An all new outfield to start off 2015, amazing.
    Now, hopefully, Nick Markak…Marcakis, Mr M can bat 2nd, and Eury Perez, or Eric Young Jr. can bat leadoff…I don’t even know which side of the plate those guys bat, can they platoon?
    Ok, I have gone to a lot of trouble googling some names, (took like 10 seconds) so take note… Eury Pérez bats and throws…right handed.
    EY Jr swing from both sides of the plate. a career .248 hitting batting right handed, .261 batting from the left side…hmmm.
    A career .272 hitter in April, 210 in may .252 In june, just to confuse teams.

    Liked by 2 people

  88. 89 berigan2electricboogaloo March 2, 2015 at 7:09 am

    Sure wish the weather would comply with spring training. Hard to believe baseball is just a week away

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 90 berigan2electricboogaloo March 2, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Still waking up (and soon off to jury duty) I meant a month away til the real season starts

    Like

  90. 91 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 8:26 am

    It’s an interesting dynamic in camp for sure. Love the fact that Kimbrel brought them all t-shirts last week with a “Hi my name is _____” patch on the front.

    Craig, “This is going to be my best spring training because I’m going to know everybody’s name, I guarantee you. I’m going to learn everybody’s name like that.”

    😆

    Liked by 1 person

  91. 92 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 8:28 am

    I love this guy…

    Liked by 2 people

  92. 93 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 8:34 am

    So, from all the different things I’ve read over the weekend, it appears that EY looks good and appears to have the early lead in the CF sweepstakes. But Cunningham is showing a confidence and determination that has him standing out as well. Basically there are 4 guys battling for 3 spots, those being EY, Cunningham (needs a nickname), Zoilo and Eury. And the battle will continue for a while because as much as we may not want it, Melvin will return in May. At that point, somebody loses a job.

    My guess is that Eury is the odd man out in April and opens the season in AAA. Zoilo probably gets more time in LF splitting time with Gomes, leaving CF to EY and Ham. I am so enthralled with that battle. This may be one of the best springs in recent Braves history.

    Like

  93. 94 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Mr. O’B:

    Of the dozens of newcomers in Braves spring training, none has impressed more during the early days of camp than infield prospect Jace Peterson and previously obscure left-handed reliever Brady Feigl, a non-roster invitee.

    Peterson, 24, a line-drive hitter who came from the Padres in the Justin Upton trade, could push for the second-base job after Alberto Callaspo reported to spring training overweight. He hit .304 with a 33 extra-base hits (three homers), a .402 OBP and an .849 OPS in 382 plate appearances last season in the minors and also started 18 games for San Diego, including 10 at second base and eight at third.

    Bad news for FatAssPo.

    Liked by 2 people

  94. 95 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 8:54 am

    AJC.com:

    [Eury] Perez, 24, is a natural center fielder who hit .310 with a .371 OBP and 26 stolen bases in 67 games last season with Washington Nationals minor league teams. He has just 23 total plate appearances in callups with the Nationals in 2012-2013 and Yankees in 2014. Braves third-base coach Bo Porter, who held that position with the Nationals in 2011-2012, gave high marks to Perez as a defender.

    Perez stole 268 bases and hit .305 with a .360 on-base percentage in 698 games over parts of eight minor league seasons, including seasons with 64, 45 and 51 steals. He had more triples (25) than homers (20).

    OK, scratch what I said about expecting Perez to open in AAA. He may have the best chance of any of them…

    Like

  95. 96 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Given that Ham does NOT profile as a top-of-the-order hitter, he better exhibit some power over the next few weeks if he wants to stick.

    Like

  96. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2015 at 11:49 am

    Cunningham (needs a nickname)

    Richie?

    Yep, I thought Eury had some good numbers in the minors. Not so great i the majors but when you only play every 5th day or so, it is hard to be consistent.

    Depth is a very valuable commodity to have on any club. Especially when so many positions are wide open.

    Liked by 1 person

  97. 98 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Grin… 😀

    Like

  98. 99 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Wow!!

    Like

  99. 100 berigan2electricboogaloo March 2, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Gil, that is so funny, I was going to say Richie! I guess Mr C would work too 😉

    Like

  100. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I know if David Ross was in camp, that moniker would have already been hung on his neck like an albatross….

    Yep, always love to hear that prospects are impressing in camp. The only problem with “stuff” is often it is all over the place and it is hard to get strikes called by the ump who already is challenged to see curve balls as they cross the plate.

    .

    Like

  101. 102 Vox O'Raison March 2, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I’m calling him Ham…

    Like

  102. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Not to be confused with Hammy the hyper active squirrel from “Over the Hedge”?

    What would Bobby Cox call him? Hammy? Cunny? Hey you?

    Like

  103. 104 Vox O'Raison March 3, 2015 at 9:18 am

    AJC.com:

    Fox Sports South will televise four Braves spring training games and SportSouth will televise two. Fox Sports South has games March 20 vs. the Marlins, March 21 vs. the Nationals and a pair against the Tigers March 22 and March 30. SportSouth will televise games March 18 vs. the Yankees and March 19 vs. the Marlins.

    In addition, MLB Network will carry four Braves games, including a live broadcast of each in the Atlanta market: March 9 vs. the Nationals, March 12 vs. the Yankees, March 17 vs. the Red Sox and April 3 vs. the Orioles.

    Like

  104. 105 Gil in Mechanicsville March 3, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Hopefully, I will get to watch at least one of these. I suspect however, I will become beset with offerings of the Orioles and the gNats…. Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

  105. 106 Vox O'Raison March 3, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    I am liking the new additions… alot!

    Liked by 1 person

  106. 107 Vox O'Raison March 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    So, based on the way Fredi has his pitchers scheduled over the first week of spring games – which begin tomorrow 😀 – one can reasonably extrapolate (B&S first?) the rotation order to be pretty much what we predicted:

    1- Julio
    2- Woody
    3- Shelby
    4- Mikey
    5- up for grabs

    Like

  107. 108 Vox O'Raison March 3, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Speaking of the #5 starter, there are 5 realistic candidates for the job, being veterans Eric Stults, Wandy Rodriguez, Chien-Ming Wang, and youngsters Mike Foltynewicz and Manny Banuelos.

    Now, the best I can tell from the many resources I’ve read, most people expect it to come down to Stults and Rodriguez. In fact, I’m not even sure why Wang gets a mention as a candidate because I can’t find anyone who mentions him as a serious contender. The prevailing thought is that the Braves would like a veteran at the back end of the rotation.

    But I’ve got another idea…

    If all the candidates pitch well in spring, I believe the job could still go to Folty, and that Stults and Rodriguez could each be traded to any number of pitching starved teams toward the end of spring training. The Braves certainly won’t trade a young pitcher, and the vets, save Wang, won’t go to AAA to be insurance against injury.

    I think having excess veteran pitching at the end of spring training is a big bargaining chip. And since the Braves are in “re-tooling” mode, there’s no reason not to maximize the bargaining power.

    Liked by 1 person

  108. 109 Vox O'Raison March 3, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    Glad the media agrees with me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  109. 110 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 7:29 am

    If Fredi likes him, Fredi might get him…

    Like

  110. 111 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Bowman: When asked what scenario could lead to Peraza beginning the upcoming season with Atlanta, [Fredi] Gonzalez laughed as he said, “If I can convince some people in the front office.”

    Liked by 1 person

  111. 112 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Los Barves open their Grapefruit League schedule today at 1:05pm vs. the Mets.

    And I have waited 4+ long months to do this…

    2day’s lineup:

    1- EY, CF
    2- Jace Petersen, SS
    3- Fab 5, 1B
    4- Jonny, DH
    5- AJP, C
    6- CJ, 3B
    7- FatAssPo, 2B
    8- Zoilo, RF
    9- Cedric Hunter, LF (Who???)
    SP- Wandy Rodriguez

    Cedric Hunter is some obscure NRI. Never heard of him.

    Like

  112. 113 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Cedric Hunter is a 26-yo non-roster invitee LF who played 2014 in AA Mississippi. He’s LH and hit .295 w/ .386 OBP, 14 HR and 72 RBI last season. The former 3rd rd pick of SD was once a top prospect. He was signed as a Minor League FA last March by ATL. It should be noted that while he played exclusively LF last season in Pearl, he’s played mostly CF throughout his MiLB career.

    I find it fascinating that he gets the LF start in today’s GL opener.

    Liked by 1 person

  113. 114 berigan2electricboogaloo March 4, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Geez, can we make Fredi the new speaker of the house? He clearly has more guts then the present one!

    Liked by 1 person

  114. 115 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Well, if you have positions which are wide open, why not look at all your options. Jonny Gomes says these games count… Well, they do and they don’t. Depends on if you already have a position on the team or not.

    As for Peraza, depends on how free John Hart is with someone else’s money. They already have a guy who they are paying $3 to play second. I think he is one of the signings Johh Hart referred to as doing it early before they knew other folks might be available.

    Like

  115. 116 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Think Tyrell Jenkins is excited? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  116. 117 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Bowman has an interesting take on his opening day roster prediction. He is probably right that they won’t carry 3 catchers and will instead carry 6 IF. He has Stults winning the 5th starter spot over Wandy with neither Folty nor ManBan making the big squad.

    But the prediction I find most interesting, and that I think I agree with, is that Eury will take the CF job and that EY will be the primary platoon partner of Jonny, leaving Zoilo as a bench guy. I cannot disagree much. Obviously, there are a few weeks for that to define itself.

    Like

  117. 118 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Would this Opening Day roster excite anyone?

    1- Jose Peraza, 2B (R)
    2- Eury Perez, CF (R)
    3- Freddie Freeman, 1B (L)
    4- Jonny Gomes, LF (R)
    5- Nick Markakis, RF (L)
    6- Chris Johnson, 3B (R)
    7- Christian Bethancourt, C (R)
    8- Andrelton Simmons, SS (R)
    9- Julio Teheran, RHP

    Like

  118. 119 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Like

  119. 120 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 11:39 am

    1 hour and 26 minutes to 1st pitch… not that I’m counting.

    Liked by 1 person

  120. 121 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Underway!!!

    Like

  121. 122 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    EY gets on to lead off; EY steals 2B. And now you see the new philosophy…

    Like

  122. 123 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    The formula immediately pays off. EY got on and stole 2B. Freddie’s hit moved him to 3B. Jonny got the sac fly.

    Like

  123. 124 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Attaway to make an impression on the powers that be, kid…

    Like

  124. 125 Vox O'Raison March 4, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Who says these games mean nothing?

    Like

  125. 126 berigan2electricboogaloo March 4, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I really don’t get the love for Stulz… 4.50 era on the road, away from S.D. 4.30 overall. Ok, an innings eater. Swell…can’t a rookie have a 4.50-5.00 ERA? And get real experience? or is it a case of an veteran to talk to the kids about stuff?
    If the team isn’t going anywhere this year (I know, mid season, play .500, perhaps make a run at 1 game playoff—I too have dreams–Kate Upton will surely dump her Millionaire MLB pitchin’ boyfriend for me, I can totally see it happening!) then I’d rather get a kid some real world experience. Smoltz, Glavine, Maddux all stunk their first season, why not a kid out there?
    I was going to say, if you went with a vet, Wandy Rodriguez makes much more sense. Before last year (season ending knee surgery) he had 8 straight years of a sub 4.00 ERA. But, I see he also has an arthritic elbow, so I wonder how much he can be counted on. Thing is, he never had stuff, I mean, no fastball…just a fantastic breaking ball. He can still pitch, I imagine…just how much?

    Like

  126. 127 berigan2electricboogaloo March 4, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    yikes!

    Mark BowmanVerified account ‏@mlbbowman

    Though the #Braves aren’t ready to say it, Minor will likely not be ready to start the season. No reason to have him repeat last year.

    Like

  127. 128 berigan2electricboogaloo March 4, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Mark BowmanVerified account ‏@mlbbowman

    Minor has been scratched from Sunday’s start because of tightness in his left shoulder

    Like

  128. 129 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 8:02 am

    I really don’t get the love for Stulz

    Well…. admittedly I don’t really know anything about him. But I can tell you Bowman’s reasoning for picking Stultz for the 5th spot:

    I’m going with Stults, who finished last season strong and has some history with pitching coach Roger McDowell. Top pitching prospect Mike Foltynewicz could seemingly benefit from spending a little more time harnessing his command at Triple-A.

    As for me, I’ll go with John Hart’s own words which essentially said that if all things are equal, he’ll take the young guy over the old guy. To me that means a straight up competition. To me that means the job is wide open. As long as that is true, I’ll be happy with whomever emerges as the winner.

    Liked by 1 person

  129. 130 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 8:15 am

    As for yesterday’s Grapefruit League lid lifter, Wandy did not seem particularly sharp. Wang did not seem particularly sharp, although he did wiggle out of a mess of his own making. Same for Avilan. Jose Veras was horrible. Matt Capps’ fastball did not crack 90.

    But it was game 1 and none of that really registers good or bad with me. If a pattern sets in, then I’ll show concern. Well, Capps velo would be concerning if I thought he was a serious contender for a job. I don’t; he isn’t.

    Jace Peterson impressed with 2 walks and a ground rule 2B in 3 PA’s. Cedric Hunter made a great play in LF, and EY played well in CF, as well as stealing a base and scoring.

    Chris Johnson’s new and improved plate approach seems to be having positive results, as did AJP. Hands lower; balls hit to center and right-center. Bowman says they have been “Seitzed”.

    Jose Peraza got picked off 1B immediately after coming in as a PR. Probably embarrassed him more than anything. Might be a great lesson learned.

    Zoilo made a couple of bad decisions on throws from RF.

    Like

  130. 131 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Now Minor…

    (Segue homage to The Scribe.)

    His shoulder tightness is most concerning to me. Last year’s issues were blamed on truncated off-season conditioning related to his , uh, man-land issues. This year he proclaimed himself as feeling great and ready to start the season. Fredi even remarked that his bullpen sessions looked like he was in mid-season form. Now the shoulder again? And he still got paid in arb? Shows the flaw in the arb system if you ask me, but that’s another rant for another time.

    It will certainly have an impact on how the team approaches the 5th starter race now. If Folty can command his mighty fastball, he has to be the one to benefit most from the news. It might also give the team the temptation to enter ManBan into the fray. I do know they will want to limit his innings overall this season. Still, he could open in the rotation – much like Alex Wood in 2014 – then be sent to the ‘pen or to AAA upon Minor’s return. I also know they’ll be very careful with Minor and make sure he’s fully healthy when he returns to the showcase, er… rotation.

    Like

  131. 132 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 10:07 am

    1:05pm today vs. the Tigers in Lakeland…

    2day’s lineup:

    1- Eury, CF
    2- Gosselin, 2B
    3- KJohnson, 3B
    4- CJohnson, DH
    5- B’court, C
    6- Ham, RF
    7- Terdo, LF
    8- Buck, 1B
    9- Elmer Reyes, SS
    SP- Teheran, followed by Stults.

    Like

  132. 133 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Pitchers scheduled to follow Teheran and Stults today are Brandon Cunniff, Ian Thomas and Jason Hursh.

    Like

  133. 134 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I’d rather get a kid some real world experience

    One more thought on this…

    Most people concede that the Braves will not be challenging for any title this season. Even this Vox, who is the ultimate “glass half full” kinda guy really only hopes for a .500 season. It is probably a smarter decision from an organizational standpoint to keep the youngsters in AAA and not start any service time “clocks”. This of course refers Peraza and ManBan, Given that Folty made 7 relief appearances in 2014 for Houston means his time is already ticking. It’s why I think he has a legitimate shot at the rotation, but can still contribute out of the bullpen if that doesn’t happen.

    But why start the clocks of ManBan and Peraza this season if you don’t have to? Not in a season that is for the most part a transition season.

    Like

  134. 135 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Like

  135. 136 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    So Fredi gave John Buck the start at 1B today, mainly to help the veteran improve his market value over the next few weeks.

    He has made 2 E’s over there today. Not really helping himself…

    Like

  136. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    May as well give everyone a look see this spring, Perhaps he is thinking of who can catch/PH/ play the field. Sounds like the perfect opportunity to us Joey T.

    While he is not an experience catcher, he has volunteer to learn…

    I noticed errors charged to Kelly Johnson and Eury too.

    Not like I can actually see anything from here however.

    Like

  137. 138 Vox O'Raison March 5, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Like

  138. 139 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    While I cannot be overly excited about a spring training win, it is still better than a spring training loss. Have to admit however, having someone steal home in the ninth has to make some folks sit up and take notice…

    Two out hits with runners on are also impressive….

    Liked by 1 person

  139. 140 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    It will be nice win I can actually watch some games…

    Liked by 1 person

  140. 141 Carolina Lady March 5, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Hits with runners on base?? I thought MLB had outlawed that or something!

    Liked by 1 person

  141. 142 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    Only in Atlanta CL….

    Liked by 2 people

  142. 143 Vox O'Raison March 6, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Yep… a double steal, hits with bases loaded, hits to opposite field, putting the ball in play…

    This team is becoming “Seitzed”. Man I wish I had come up with that phrase.

    As this spring progresses, notice that players will be increasingly frustrated – and less accepting – at striking out. And those who show a propensity (FOB?) to the K might not make the squad this time around. Contact has been made a priority as the days of “all or nothing” have passed in ATL.

    Like

  143. 144 Vox O'Raison March 6, 2015 at 7:57 am

    Eury had 2 SB’s, and Juan Camargo added another. I can foresee the plan already. At first I thought it a mistake that EY was listed atop LF on the Braves.com depth chart. Now I see that he is the one Fredi wants to platoon with Jonny. And when they talked in general about early signings that may not have happened had they known about some later additions, I think Zoilo may be one specifically alluded to.

    They will open this season with EY/Jonny in LF, Eury in CF and Neck in RF. That last OF spot will be contested between Zoilo and Ham, with the winner likely the odd man out when BJ, er, Melvin returns.

    Fredi wants to run, run, run. If he has both EY and Eury in the same lineup, he’ll light it up, too.

    Like

  144. 145 Vox O'Raison March 6, 2015 at 8:04 am

    One more note…

    I am not imagining either EY or Eury as the second coming of Kenny Lofton. And neither may hit much above .250. But if they can get on base in front of Freddie, and be the distraction that we all remember Lofton being, Freddie will see more fastballs.

    When people make the argument that “a leadoff hitter only leads off once”, they don’t take into account the order as a total construction. Distractions and protection give good hitters the best chance at seeing good pitches. It’s so important to get someone like Eury or EY on base ahead of Freddie to create havoc and divide a pitcher’s attention.

    Like

  145. 146 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2015 at 9:02 am

    Yes VOX, how many times have we seen a pitcher rolling along merrily until someone gets on base and they suddenly have to pitch from the stretch and BOOM! the wheels come off, (cough Mike Minor)…

    Anyway, Braves play the gNats today but still no TV game for me 😦

    It’s Josie’s and my anniversary today. To be honest, I cannot remember not being married to her and cannot imagine life without her.

    We had planned to go out for dinner tonight but the snow may put a damper on that idea… I just don’t do slips and falls well anymore.

    Now, back to baseball…. So that is two, Zolio and Callespo who may not make the turn past the first furlong… Still, Markakis may or may not be ready the first week or so of the season. That could be a factor.

    Liked by 2 people

  146. 147 Vox O'Raison March 6, 2015 at 9:24 am

    Congrats Gil and Mrs, Josie!!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  147. 148 Vox O'Raison March 6, 2015 at 9:26 am

    This makes me soooo happy!!!! There is not a guy in Braves history that I have liked much more. Just a happy bloke, ya know?

    Liked by 1 person

  148. 149 Vox O'Raison March 6, 2015 at 9:34 am

    2day’s lineup:

    Let me try again with that #Braves lineup vs #Nats

    A post shared by David O'Brien (@davidnobrien) on

    Like

  149. 150 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2015 at 9:34 am

    Thank you Raisins. 🙂

    Yep, interesting turn of events for the ol’ sidewinder…

    Like

  150. 151 Vox O'Raison March 6, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Ha ha…

    Liked by 1 person

  151. 152 berigan2electricboogaloo March 6, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Happy anniversary Gil and Josie! And many more! 🙂

    Like

  152. 153 Vox O'Raison March 6, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Like

  153. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Sure would like to be able to see today’s game, Game Day leaves something to be desired….

    Like

  154. 155 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2015 at 7:30 am

    T’was a slugfest yesterday in Orlando. Braves came up short to the gNats. Seems a shame to waste 8 runs like that but Jamie showed the same inability to find the strike zone that haunted him last season. He was just one of many dark spots yesterday. On the positive side, Jonny Gomes and Freddie Free continue to light it up.

    Like

  155. 156 Carolina Lady March 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Congratulations to two of my favorite people! Both of you are special and deserve only the best. I think both of you got it! 😀

    Like

  156. 157 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Thanks CL… Josie has escaped today and gone to one of the grand daughter’s 16th birthday party. Being the old fuddy duddy that I am, I just sent money and lazed around. Sorry, but snow and ice petrify me these days… Come on warm!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  157. 158 Carolina Lady March 7, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    I understand!! I sure know what you mean about slick surfaces. I’ve gotten to the point that I think training wheels would be a good idea. You remember those round things on wheels that people put babies in? Something like that would be ideal!

    Like

  158. 159 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I have strongly considered adapt the same device.. 🙂

    Like

  159. 160 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Looks like Cody Martin is trying to get noticed. 🙂

    Like

  160. 161 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 9:14 am

    Yesssssssssss!!! 😀

    Like

  161. 162 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Like

  162. 163 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 9:19 am

    Heads up!!

    Mr. O’B says today’s 1:05pm game vs. the Nats in Viera will be on the MLB Network.

    Liked by 1 person

  163. 164 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Now that is a line up that will strike fear in the heart of a lot of Braves fans…

    Liked by 1 person

  164. 165 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 9:46 am

    That’s okay though, at least I will get a look at the new kids on the block, that is, in between the prattle of the announcers who will ignore the game and talk about their golf games we might get to see some baseball. At least a little…. Thank goodness for mute buttons.

    Pretty interesting game yesterday, a no hitter that results in a 2-2 tie… that stirs some mixed emotions doesn’t it? Glad to see Jim Johnson pitch a clean inning with three ground balls for outs. That could make him the designated reliever for when a double play is needed to halt a rally.

    Some guys need a clean inning to start (cough, James Russell) but I will be curious to see if “Magic” Wandy can rebound from his shaky start last week and if Juan Jamie can find home plate while avoiding the gNats bats.

    One thing for sure, the non-roster invitees can’t say they were not given an opportunity to show what they can do this spring. Lots of playing time is being accrued by the”Motly Crew”…. It is curious to see Callaspo slated to play short stop today.

    I wonder if we will see Dan Uggla play today?

    Okay, the temps are rising finally. I need to make a dump run, later folks…

    Like

  165. 166 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Rosenthal:

    Teams looking for another starter figure to scout the Braves, who do not figure to keep all three of their veterans on minor-league contracts – righty Chien-Ming Wang and lefties Eric Stults and Wandy Rodriguez.

    Stults can exercise an out on April 3, shortly before the season starts, according to a source with knowledge of is contract. Wang’s out is not until July 1, while the potential of Rodriguez to escape his deal — and when — is not known.

    I think we stated this last week. Rosey is falling behind.

    Like

  166. 167 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 10:30 am

    It is curious to see Callaspo slated to play short stop today.M

    I believe he is starting at 3B, with #77 Daniel Castro getting the start at SS.

    Like

  167. 168 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 10:41 am

    … and if Juan Jamie can find home plate

    He won’t. He can’t. it’s why the 27-yo with a 100 mph fastball only has 12.1 MLB innings under his belt. In those 12.1 innings, he has 9 BB’s. In 7 minor league seasons, he has averaged 6.1 BB’s per 9 innings, most recently 7.9 BB/9 last year in AAA Gwinnett.

    Here’s the thing. He has also averaged 12.9 K/9, including 13.8 K/9 last season. For those keeping score, Craig Kimbrel averaged 13.9 K/9 last year. The difference is that Kimbrel doesn’t issue free passes at nearly the rate Jaime does. If this kid could ever harness his control, he could be special. But at 27-yo, is that likely? Possible maybe, but not likely.

    Like

  168. 169 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 10:46 am

    One more note… speaking of Callaspo at 3B…

    Chris Johnson is nursing a sore left wrist that he directly attributes to changing his batting stance and lowering his hands at the instruction of Kevin Seitzer. So do you think these guys are buying in or what? You have to like the fact that even with it affecting him physically, CJohn still believes in it and says it’s only a matter of getting used to the new positioning.

    Seitzed!

    Like

  169. 170 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 11:18 am

    So Denard Span undergoes “core muscle” surgery, and is out a minimum 4-6 before even resuming baseball activities. Tack on another 2-3 weeks to get into baseball shape and he’s out for at least the first month of the regular season.

    Another perfect example of how great teams on paper still have obstacles to overcome. And the Nats always seem to be snakebit, especially when they are the favorites to win it all.

    Like

  170. 171 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Speaking of the Nats having obstacles to overcome, they have our old buddy Yunel Escobar as their 2B. he’s a walking snakebite. He could still pay dividends to the Braves even after being traded to the Jays, then the Rays, then the A’s on his way to the Nats.

    Rays… Jays… A’s… Hmmm…

    Like

  171. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Another good news bad news thing for the gNats. Span out for a month, gives Michael Taylor an opportunity to play full time… Sigh!

    Like

  172. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I think the gNats will flip Escobar as soon as they find someone willing to put up with his crap…. Perhaps an early desperation move by the gNats looking for a second baseman but Yune will never be a second baseman, not willingly, he is too afraid of the contact. Just the way it is… Kind of like having a catcher who is “bat blind”, but different.

    Like

  173. 174 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Could be. But there’s not another team that rhymes with Jays, Rays and A’s. Maybe the Padres? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  174. 175 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 11:51 am

    And the first wave has washed over.

    Like

  175. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I mis-read the line-up card, thought there was a 6 by Callaspo’s name. Yes, I am aware of CJ’s wrist soreness. Like tennis elbow. All the reps will do that to old muscles I suppose.

    I would be curious to learn as to how insurance policies are configured to protect a team’s investment in a pitcher. Does it require a pitcher to miss an entire season or is it a prorated type deal to cover short term disabilities too? Just wondering…

    Like

  176. 177 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    As I understand it, Gil, a player has to miss a certain defined amount of time (I’m sure it differs between pitchers and everyday guys) before insurance kicks in. I do not know the details, though.

    According to Minor – I heard an interview with him over the weekend – he could pitch now, but the team is being cautious. He describes it as a tightness, something akin to tendinitis.

    If you ask me, he’s saying all the right things but hasn’t a clue what’s going on in there and would really like to know. I don’t blame him or the Braves. And maybe it’s nothing major. (See what I did there? “Major”..? Minor..?) Maybe it’s a “loose body” or something relatively benign causing an irritation. Regardless, both sides want, er… need him to be 100% sooner than later.

    Here’s what I do know. I fully expect the Braves to trade one of Wandy or Stults before Opening Day. I think they’ll open with one of those guys in Minor’s spot with either Folty or ManBan taking the #5 spot until further notice. And I think they’ll keep Wang around in AAA as long as they can, apparently July 1, as the last line of defense. Gwinnett ought to have a pretty good staff this year. 😉

    Like

  177. 178 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Crikey!! Lost track of time!! 😯

    Like

  178. 179 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    EY Jr is impressing the heck out of me…

    Wandy looked magical today.

    Like

  179. 180 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    EY is impressing everyone… including those who make club decisions. i love seeing him fly around out there. That’s a guy who wants a job, and I think he could win it going away.

    Like

  180. 181 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Perhaps more impressive than the home run was the put out of Tony Gwen Jr when EY played the ball off the right field wall, which had been hit over Zolio’s head and he threw to Perraza at 2nd and the rookie threw it on a line to Callespo at third to nail Gwen trying to stretch a double into a triple. If Parraza is paired with Simba up the middle, a lot of runners will get nailed at the plate. Really strong arm for a guy playing 2nd base.

    Like

  181. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Another thing I noticed today, maybe the uniform hides flab but I did not think Callespo looked to be out of shape. Certainly less so than Prince Fielder or the Panda. I guess it is all in the eye of the beholder.

    I thought Jose Flores looked good behind the plate. I think he is much better at blocking pitches than Bethancourt. Physically, he reminds me of Evan Gattis but not as tall, still, a big dude. Good option to have in the hole.

    I thought Wang and Rodriquize both looked sharp today. The Braves hitters made good contact wit the ball, just at some folks. Wish I could see more…

    Like

  182. 183 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    My bad, it was Castro and not Perraza who made the relay throw that nabbed Gwen. Hey, it’s hard to keep up whit changes when you are getting the National’s feed…

    Like

  183. 184 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    I agree totally on Callaspo, which is why I have returned to calling him by his real name. And I agree on Flores too. Very solid defensive catcher, without the flash that Bethancourt displays. Nice pickup for the club. And I agree on Wandy and Wang (sounds like a shady law firm…). Both looked really good today. Wandy’s breaking ball was devastating. Wang was the prototypical “crafty” veteran.

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 185 Vox O'Raison March 9, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Bad deal…

    Like

  185. 186 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Good morning B&S!!! The Mets come into Orlando today for a 1:05 tilt. Bartolo “Goodyear” Colon vs. Julio Teheran in Julio’s 2nd start of the spring. Look for Julio to extend out to 3 innings today.

    Scheduled to follow Julio today are Eric Stults, “Dirty” Craig Kimbrel, Jose Veras and Arodys Vizcaino.

    This will mark Craig’s 1st appearance of the year, and should quell the ever present Negative Nellys who keep asking why we haven’t seen him yet. Craig says he simply doesn’t need as many appearances to be ready for the regular season.

    Rotation hopeful Stults needs to keep firing those grounders to keep pace with “Magic” Wandy who had his breaking pitch buckling knees as he pitched a very clean 3 innings yesterday.

    Arodys needs to harness his control today if he intends to stay in the race for a bullpen slot. He was wilder than a sailor on a weekend pass in his last appearance. Fredi’s displeasure was loud and vocal. Another scattered inning might earn Arodys an early ticket to Gwinnett.

    And Jose Veras was even less sharp. But he contends he needs to pitch often to stay sharp. Maybe… but he’s gonna have to figure something out soon or he may be looking for regular work somewhere else.

    Like

  186. 187 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 8:33 am

    He saw Dr. Andrews yesterday. Hopefully we get some news today.

    Like

  187. 188 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Like

  188. 189 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Well now…. ain’t that interesting? 😯

    Like

  189. 190 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 9:24 am

    MLBTR’s Steve Adams: “[Hector] Olivera looks to be a near-term fit at second and long-term option at third for Atlanta.”

    Like

  190. 191 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 9:29 am

    Bowman adds: “But with the possibility that highly regarded prospect Rio Ruiz could be ready to serve as Atlanta’s third baseman as early as next year, it’s possible that Olivera’s long-term value in Atlanta would be as a left fielder.”

    Like

  191. 192 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

    Now is where I could get on board the Olivera train… in LF.

    Like

  192. 193 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Overview of Hector Olivera’s profile, minus all the fluffy boutique stats, via FanGraphs:

    “First, he’s 29 and turns 30 in a few months, so teams are signing up for his decline years. Being from Cuba means that no MLB team can independently confirm Olivera’s age.

    Secondly, Olivera has a worrisome medical track record. Teams don’t have access to Olivera’s medical information (this info comes via Cuban media reports and scout chatter) and won’t get it until a physical, which will only happen for the team that agrees to terms with him, keeping the other 29 clubs in the dark.

    There’s undeniable talent here: Olivera has above average bat speed, bat control, plate discipline and raw power, which is to all fields. He’s an above average runner that can play second base or third base and has an above average arm.

    That’s an above average everyday player with the statistical track record to give you some confidence that he’ll perform in the big leagues, but there’s real risk of him staying on the field regularly and not having his tools regress in a few years.

    What all of this the means is that the optimistic outcome is, in 2015 in the big leagues, that Olivera could hit .260-.280 with a good OBP, 15-20 homers and solid-average base running and defensive value.”

    Like

  193. 194 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 9:48 am

    My guess is that while the Braves have indeed apparently made an offer, it is probably not a “top dollar” offer, and possibly even loaded with incentives to insure that the team gets a return on its investment. If that’s the case, they probably are not in the running, leaving Olivera to teams like the Dodgers and Padres, who are spending money like a politician in an election year.

    It really doesn’t make sense for a team that is obviously in “retooling” mode to take a high $$ risk on an older player with so many question marks.

    I’ll guess Dodgers and continue to monitor the race between Jace Peterson and Alberto Callaspo.

    Like

  194. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2015 at 9:52 am

    One has to look at Cuban ball players about the same way one rates those from Japan. Same sort of penalty to sign them but with the money going to the player. It is almost like buying a used car without knowing anything about the car…. I guess the questions to ask, do I need the car? Which car will I get rid of? After all, only so much room to park it. What about the car I already have on order? That snazzy Perazza model? But, left field? Maybe I think I can flip one….

    Like

  195. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2015 at 9:59 am

    At the rate they are leaving the island, soon there will be more Cubans in MLB than in a South Beach night club…

    Liked by 1 person

  196. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2015 at 10:02 am

    Sure looks like Chris Johnson will be playing somewhere else soon…. I wonder who’s cat he ran over?

    Like

  197. 198 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 10:21 am

    For those keeping score, the current Braves payroll sits right about $97.5M, give or take a few hundred grand. That includes the $13.2M the team is so graciously paying to division rival Nats hopeful Dan Uggla. Since the team has not released the specifics on its pre-arb contracts, the exact figure is not determinable. Still, it is about $17.5M less than last year’s total payroll, which was in the neighborhood of $115M. And that’s a pretty nice neighborhood.

    I say all that to indicate that there should be some payroll flexibility given that Braves CEO Terry McGuirk said back in November that the team’s payroll wouldn’t be going down in 2015. Of course, that was before the current “re-tooling” course was set in motion.

    Like

  198. 199 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2015 at 10:44 am

    So, what you are saying is the Braves are playing with house money right now. I expect that CJ does not figure into John Hart’s long range plans for the Braves and will be packaged with another player for more prospects. So, the Braves would love to see Johnson raise his value this spring.

    Like

  199. 200 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 11:23 am

    So, the Braves would love to see Johnson raise his value this spring.

    In all likelihood, CJohn will last 2015 in ATL. And unless he performs in 2015 like he did in 2013, his contract will be untradeable. He’s due $6M. $7.5M, and $9M for 2015-2017, with a $10M team option for 2018 that contains a $1M buyout. So you’re looking at a minimum $23.5M obligation. (His contract extension probably caused the first raised eyebrow to look Frank’s direction.) Anyway, as long as he’s producing, that’s not an unreasonable amount. But if 2015 is more 2014-like than 2013-like, it’ll be an anchor to any possible trade getting off the ground.

    Should they strike a deal with Olivera, which I doubt will happen, I see him more as a LF option for 2016 like Bowman hinted. The Braves have too any IF options already available and in the pipeline in Jose Peraza, Jace Peterson, Rio Ruiz. And with SS and 1B locked down for the foreseeable future, leaving only 2 contestable spots for those 3, there is not a long term landing spot for the Cuban unless it’s the OF where there is a dearth of elite minor league talent.

    There is no projectionable LF in the Braves future. Mallex Smith is on the horizon for CF maybe as early as 2017, but certainly by 2018 when Melvin hits the FA market again. And Braxton Davidson is slated to arrive in RF in 2018, right after Nick Markakis’ contract expires, But LF is a clear void. I suppose there is some hope pinned to the other Cuban Dian Toscano, but we can’t even get him in the US to see what he brings to the table.

    Still, it reinforces the notion that the Braves are probably not pursuing Olivera too aggressively and with too much $$.

    Like

  200. 201 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Speaking of minor league talent, the AAA Gwinnett Braves should have some good talent to go see this year, with OF’s Toscano and Cedric Hunter, C Jesus Flores, old standbys Terdo and Ham and some real pitching talent with Cody Martin, Jason Hursch and possibly ManBan or Folty. Heck, they could keep Wang around there too. They could have one heckuva AAA rotation.

    Like

  201. 202 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 11:40 am

    And they have a ton of catchers to sort through. Certainly they won’t keep more than 3 in AAA, leaving you to believe that John Buck will be traded or released before the boys head north, and that Jose Yepez is probably seeing his final days in the Braves organization. That’ll leave them with 3 very decent C prospects in Flores, former Red Matt Kennelly and last year’s Cuban import Yenier Bello, who is a fairly interesting case. Bello is an offensive oriented C that the Braves are probably developing to trade. He would be that rare Gattis-like dude that could be a good DH and still catch a game or 2 a week.

    Like

  202. 203 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Yikes! 😯

    My mistake… I had Kennelly mistaken for someone else. He’s an organization guy drafted by the Braves out of Australia in 2007.

    Like

  203. 204 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 11:55 am

    What what? In CF? Well now… isn’t that interesting in light of the Olivera news?

    Liked by 1 person

  204. 205 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Multiple sources: Dr. Andrews saw no structural damage in Minor’s shoulder, just inflammation in the rotator cuff. Gave him an anti-inflammatory injection. Shutting him down completely for 2 weeks. Also, Minor intends to lessen his weight lifting regimen which he says may be making him too tight and thus contributing to the problem. He will start this season on much the same timetable as he began 2014, in which he spent the first couple of weeks on the DL.

    Liked by 1 person

  205. 206 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    OK party people… here is the radio link where I have been listening to the Spring games:

    http://player.streamtheworld.com/liveplayer.php?callsign=WFOMAM

    Liked by 1 person

  206. 207 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Have we not suggested in the past that moving Peraza to centerfield could be an option? Having a plus arm is a real asset at short, center and right field, even as a catcher and 3rd base but it is kind of wasted at second and first.

    He would not be the first fleet footed infielder to be moved to the outfield. Athletes are just that, the best are usually stationed at short. Big guys put on the corners. Little guys at second and center, big bats in left and no bats are turned into pitchers….

    Like

  207. 208 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Thanks Raisins… At least I can now listen…

    Like

  208. 209 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    It’s spring, there is a game in a half hour, and neither Bowman or DOB has posted anything on Twitter in about an hour. I wonder what’s keeping them occupied?

    Like

  209. 210 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Well crap. That is the radio link that I was listening to the games on. Today they keep the national network feed and don’t stream the game. Grrr… 😡

    Like

  210. 211 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Typically speaking, you cannot find a radio broadcast of a MLB game streaming on the internet because MLB holds exclusive rights and wants $$ for the privilege. Thus, they offer the MLB at Bat app. But during spring, some of the smaller radio stations let the games slip by… like WFOM has done until today. Looks like the long arm of the MLB enforcers caught up with them…

    Like

  211. 212 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    Dadgum. I hate it for him. That’s probably the end of the road, I would think…

    Like

  212. 213 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    It was opined last season that the injury he suffered was one of those which are seldom overcome.

    Like the old dragster I once raced, every time I did something to make it faster, something else broke…. Weak link in a chain et al….

    It’s sad though, Floyd was a good guy. I hope he signed a contract somewhere that pays him deferred money. Uncle Sam takes such a huge bite out of your butt anyway, may as well try to have something steady when the inevitable happens.

    Watching the Phillies and the Tigers on MLB Network. Tough for Cliff Lee… I expect him to try to tough it out until his arm falls off. Not like he has a real choice. 38 is a little late in life to go through Tommy John. Of course, if someone could come up with a cure that used packed red blood cells and steroids, it would promote healing. Laser light etc…. Still, it won’t heal just by wishing…

    Liked by 1 person

  213. 214 berigan2electricboogaloo March 10, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Cliff Lee is a mere babe, at 36 😉 Weird is it a torn flexor, which while still bad, the down time is 6-8 months I read….so, at least he could pitch next year. but trade value..nada, zilch…and why the Phils ought to trade Hamels before he invariably needs TJ , etc

    Like

  214. 215 berigan2electricboogaloo March 10, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Feel bad about Gavin too…shame some arms can’t handle the high levels of stress that pitching places on elbows, shoulders, etc…makes you wonder how in the wide, wide of world of sports Warren Spahn, at the age of 42, was able to pitch 259 innings, and have a 2.60 ERA….

    Like

  215. 216 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I wish I had dropped 7 pounds since they started camp…

    Liked by 1 person

  216. 217 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    DOB’s piece on Peraza in CF: http://t.co/T6ARHOcmR6

    Like

  217. 218 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Oops!!! 😳

    Wrong link. Try this one: http://t.co/1ocRFv6A6Q

    Like

  218. 219 Vox O'Raison March 10, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Like

  219. 220 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Nice to see Freddie Free has his power stroke working this spring, I have a feeling the Braves are going to need it.

    Like

  220. 221 berigan2electricboogaloo March 11, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Hard to believe Peraza is only 20…guess it makes sense to keep him down on the farm a bit more…

    Like

  221. 222 berigan2electricboogaloo March 11, 2015 at 8:21 am

    and around 95 years ago, Babe Ruth was swinging at some pitching. Funny, looking at that swing, does it look like one you would teach to a kid?
    http://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A20952

    Like

  222. 223 Gil in Mechanicsville March 11, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Ber, and thus the term “walking into one” was born….

    I doubt the Babe would ever win a home run title today, he would however be one of the highest paid pitchers in baseball….

    Different eras, different priorities…

    No the Braves, the team is looking a little better everyday methinks. It’s still hard to get a gauge on things in spring training. So many different players who will not be in the Bigs playing on teams. You can c\get a since however on the direction a team is moving in.

    A lot fewer big swings seen by the Braves players this year, a lot of solid contact even if no hits to show for it.

    Dan Uggla may be earning himself on a major league roster this spring too. Maybe he had a point with all those beanings blurring his vision. Not saying he will be playing in DC but people notice things and he is very cheap and could fill a roll as a bench guy for some teams. We shall see, we already know he is a good club house guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  223. 224 Vox O'Raison March 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Maybe he had a point with all those beanings blurring his vision.

    I heard the Nats broadcasters talking about it in MLB Network Monday. Doctors measured his vision this off-season and determined that it was fine while keeping his head and eyes in a fixed position, such as reading an eye chart. But when he moved his head or eyes, as if to track something, his vision diminished rapidly. Kinda makes it hard to see a baseball approaching at 90+ mph and cutting away, eh? They started him on a regimen of exercises to improve that issue. Hopefully for him it pays off.

    And yes, they attribute the cause to 2 specific beanings and the resulting concussions.

    Liked by 1 person

  224. 225 Vox O'Raison March 11, 2015 at 9:50 am

    “B” game in Kissimmee.

    Like

  225. 226 Vox O'Raison March 11, 2015 at 9:52 am

    “A” game lineup vs. Cards at Disney.

    Like

  226. 227 Vox O'Raison March 11, 2015 at 9:55 am

    No surprise. No reason to pick at a scab.

    Like

  227. 228 berigan2electricboogaloo March 11, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    That is interesting about Uggla, and the eye chart stationary vs moving…
    Remember how Justin Morneau had 1-2 concussions a few years ago?(Just looked it up, 2 one the next year) I remember his head hit the knee of an infielder at 2nd baseman…didn’t look all that bad, he still had his helmet on…well, it was around the midway point of the season. Looked it up, 2010. He was hittin 345 at the time, and that wasn’t in Colorado, he was still with the Twins. Hit .227 in half a year in 2011. Hit .267 in 2012, .259 in 2013.
    Granted, it was with the Rockies, but finally seemed to be himself (albeit with less power, just 17 HR for the Rockies) hitting .319 (.327 at home, .309 away, about the best splits I have seen on a Rockie player) he too is around the same age, 33….I’d love to see Uggla make it back for someone….

    Like

  228. 229 Vox O'Raison March 11, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    didn’t look all that bad, he still had his helmet on

    A helmet is pretty much useless to prevent a concussion. It isn’t the outside impact that causes it. It’s the brain rattling around inside the skull. Unless they can figure out a way to make the helmet absorb a large amount of the energy… of course, that kind of helmet would make them all look like a bobble-head. Or Barry Bonds.

    Like

  229. 230 Vox O'Raison March 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Of course he did.

    Liked by 1 person

  230. 231 Vox O'Raison March 11, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    This team has been Seitzed.

    Like

  231. 232 Vox O'Raison March 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    OK… the radio link I posted yesterday IS BROADCASTING the game today. 🙄

    Like

  232. 233 Gil in Mechanicsville March 11, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Figures, I was not home today….

    Like

  233. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville March 11, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Sigh, C Johnson in the doghouse today. Yep, two errors will do it but when you walk a bunch of guys, you are asking for it. Just saying…

    Like

  234. 235 Vox O'Raison March 12, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Happy Birthday Murph!!

    Liked by 2 people

  235. 236 berigan2electricboogaloo March 12, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    With all the TJ surgery going on again this spring…I’m thinkin’ of grabbing my glove and stretching my arm out…anyone else thinking of doing the same thing? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  236. 237 Vox O'Raison March 12, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    I’m thinkin’ of grabbing my glove and stretching my arm out…anyone else thinking of doing the same thing?

    I’m afraid I would stretch alot more than just my arm… and not on purpose, either.

    Liked by 2 people

  237. 238 Vox O'Raison March 12, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    So… a couple of observations thus far…

    It looks like Jace Peterson has impressed enough to be a frontrunner for one of the 2B/IF spots. He could very well be the Opening Day 2B. At worst he’ll be the utility IF. If the Braves carry 6 IF, which it looks like they will, Goose and Callaspo will edge out KJ, who can hopefully hook on somewhere else. I appreciate a good moment of nostalgia like anyone else, but KJ just doesn’t have a spot on this team.

    EY has earned the Opening Day nod in CF, and will likely shift over to share LF with Jonny once Melvin comes back from his foot injury. Actually, depending on how long EY can maintain this level of play, he may share LF and CF. Fredi isn’t just handing a starting job out to Melvin this year. He’ll have to Smith Barney it. What this means is that the last OF spot is going to be a 3-way battle between Zoilo, Ham and Eury, none of whom has really distinguished himself. Somebody better step up.

    Like

  238. 239 Vox O'Raison March 12, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Something to note here… Zoilo is out of options. If he doesn’t make the cut, he’ll have to pas through waivers before he can be assigned to AAA. He probably would not pass through cleanly, and the Braves may not be willing to take that chance. Then again, with Eury and Ham still in the fold, along with Dian Toscano, they might. In fact, they might seek to make a trade. (The wild card here is Hector Olivera, which would scramble everything.)

    Like

  239. 240 Vox O'Raison March 12, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Speaking of Hector Olivera, Ben Badler of Baseball America tweeted a couple of days ago that the Braves are among a handful of teams to have already conducted a physical on the Cuban 2B with the reportedly questionable elbow. (I say questionable because Olivera disputes the report of an elbow issue, and his medical records from Cuba are not obtainable.)

    What I find odd is that it is my understanding that the rules say that a physical cannot be performed until an agreement is reached between player and team. Perhaps this case falls outside those guidelines because he has not previously had any MLB affiliations. I don’t know. But it does make me feel a little better knowing that the braves FOTs were able to make their own assessment of his physical condition before extending a contract offer.

    Liked by 1 person

  240. 241 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Eury Peraz is also out of options, it is how the Yankees were able to claim him from the Nats and the Braves from the Yankees…

    Like

  241. 243 Carolina Lady March 12, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    Out of all those names, I knew three. Others I’ve heard of but wouldn’t recognize them if they were standing right in from of me. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

  242. 244 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    The Braves’ game slated for 7PM tonight will be shown on a delay telecast at 12M on the MLB network. That should be right in your wheelhouse Ber…. for me, it is record on the DVR and then not look to see who won when I get up in the morning like I usually do.

    As always, it is a bit of a chance to see who is playing up to snuff and who is phoning it in (cough, CJ) Okay, maybe that is not fair, I’m sure he was giving it his all when he booted those balls yesterday. Still, making it easier for John Hart to pull the plug on a trade.

    I would not say he has an un-tradable contract, just on which is tougher to unload without additional incentives. Maybe he will revert back to his 2013 numbers now he is returning to the philosophy he had when he first showed up. You cannot deny it, you adopt a different mindset when you are batting clean-up. Put him back down to number 7 and he will take off.

    He could be a two hole hitter if he had a bit more speed but being somewhat less fleet of foot tends to clog up the base paths.

    I’m thinking AJ would be a good clean up guy on the days he is catching, maybe even Markakis. We shall see how it shakes out.

    Liked by 1 person

  243. 245 Carolina Lady March 12, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    less than fleet of foot always makes me think of McCann trying to run, bellyflopping to “slide” into third. Chipper hanging onto that post, laughing hysterically. Some snapshots in your mind never fade. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  244. 246 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    CL, you are right about McCann’s flop slide into third, It had to be one of the ugliest slide in history as well as the funniest. Somehow I suspect the memory of that night will be revived at someone’s HOF induction by someone….

    Liked by 2 people

  245. 247 Carolina Lady March 12, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    A Kodak moment of a different kind! Priceless!!

    Like

  246. 248 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Chris Johnson is not helping himself. When did that big loopy swing return? Did it ever leave? Miller looked fine, sure was a homer friendly ump last night. I don’t blame Fredi for getting thrown out. Okay if you call a low zone, just do it for both sides.

    Like

  247. 249 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Can anybody think of a time a manager got thrown out of a spring game after 1 pitch? Well, 1 pitch in the bottom of the 1st inning, but still…

    And he introduced himself to his new players. Shelby Miller was gushing over how his manager stood up for him.

    Speaking of pitchers we got back for JHey… how about that Tyrell Jenkins, huh? That dude can flat pitch.

    Chris Johnson is in the same speed class as BMac and Sid Bream. Remember Skip’s comment about Bream’s speed? He said you didn’t use a stopwatch to clock him; you used a calendar. 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  248. 250 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 11:35 am

    Braves play the Kitties at Disney today… 1:05pm start time.

    2day’s lineup:
    1- Simba, DH
    2- El Callaspo, 2B
    3- Gumby, 1B
    4- Gomer, LF
    5- AJP, C
    6- Chris “You doesn’t have to call me” Johnson, 3B
    7- Zoilo, CF
    8- Cedric the Hunter, RF
    9- Pete Ciriaco, SS

    2day’s pitchers:
    Folty (3 innings) and Cody Martin (3 innings), followed by James “Turf Toe” Russell (toes are not to be trifled with), Jose “can you see” Veras and Aaron Kurcz (acquired from BOS in the Anthony Varvaro trade)

    Like

  249. 251 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Braves also take on the Mutts at their place… also at 1:05pm.

    2day’s lineup:
    1- EY, CF
    2- Goose, SS
    3- JacePete, 2B
    4- KJ, 1B
    5- Ham, RF
    6- Rio Ruiz, 3B
    7- John Buck, C
    8- Eury, CF
    9- Matt Kennelly, DH

    2day’s pitchers:
    ManBan … followed by a host of mystery hurlers

    Like

  250. 252 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Foul ball blows up a bird!! 😕

    Highlights on ESPN, I am sure.

    Like

  251. 253 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Ew…

    Like

  252. 254 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Sounds like he may have punched his ticket to AAA Gwinnett today.

    Like

  253. 255 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    Not sure who had a worse day, the bird or Folty… 😕

    Like

  254. 256 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Sigh, the kids show why they may not be ready for prime time… Ugly couple of first innings. Looks like they are thinking Gwennett to start the 2015 season. Still, it’s only spring training games. Will fret a little more the final week or two when the regulars are manning the field.

    On Fredi being ejected. Don’t blame him, I would have gotten ejected too. Like I said, a lot of home cooking by the umps last night. Reminded me of an NBA game….

    Like

  255. 257 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    He made an impression alright…

    Like

  256. 258 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Interesting.

    Like

  257. 259 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Ha ha ha… We get the official call of the bird’s demise right here:

    Like

  258. 260 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    What is worse than Folty leaving after just 2/3 inning while giving up 4 runs to the Tiggers in Orlando? How about ManBan going just 2/3 inning while giving up 5 to the Mutts in Port St. Lucie… 😛

    Like

  259. 261 Vox O'Raison March 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Hurry back Mike Minor!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  260. 262 berigan2electricboogaloo March 13, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    so…may be seeing why the Astros were willing to give up a hard throwing 23 yo starter…then again…it’s 2 whole starts. That’s all someone is given these days? Does a hitter get 3-4 games to impress a team , and if he only has 1-2 hits, then back to AAA?

    Like

  261. 263 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    Actually Ber, yes… or so it seems which leads us to the over throwing by the rookies. It would be better if the Braves were honest with them to begin with and tell them they are in camp for a look see but don’t get too comfortable here kid…

    Liked by 1 person

  262. 264 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    They say failure is a great teacher, I would say both young Banuelos and Foltynewicz both got the advance course today. I remember my first actual fully involved structural fire as a young rookie firefighter, with my heart racing 100 MPH and my knees rubbery from adrenalin, my Chief looked calmly at me and said, Gil, it’s just a fire….

    One of many pearls of wisdom imparted to me and later passed along by me. Note to all young pitchers, it’s still just a game. The opposing hitters are all human. They just seem 10 foot tall and bullet proof….

    John Smoltz should tell them all about his opening day the Marlins when the fish clubbed him for 10 runs. The best quote was from Bobby Cox, he said he heard from the commissioner of baseball and he had told Bobby they still had another 161 games left on the schedule.

    Liked by 4 people

  263. 265 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2015 at 9:05 am

    A good read on Jonny Gomes, gives you an idea of how deep he is as a person…

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/03/31/jonny-gomes-survivor-who-makes-good/5YdDaX4QtiF3w2pP996ZcM/story.html

    Like

  264. 266 Vox O'Raison March 16, 2015 at 10:55 am

    I always hate to hear this…

    Like

  265. 267 Vox O'Raison March 16, 2015 at 10:56 am

    2day;s lineup:

    Like

  266. 268 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2015 at 11:07 am

    VOX, it looks like the Braves are getting closer to putting their opening day line up on the field together. In another week, we should begin to see how this group is going to stack up. I think this year’s team is going to score some runs but the starting staff is still a bit shaky at this point.

    Sucks for the Mets and Wheeler…. A reminder of how young arms are so fragile. I fear this is more the norm than the exception, as long as pitchers throw splits and sliders, this will continue. And no, I don’t have an answer…

    Like

  267. 269 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I am incline to believe that young Jace Peterson has emerged as a very strong candidate to play second base for the Braves this season. From all accounts, he has looked better than anyone else playing that position this spring. Peraza’s youth has been telling. The stars are still in his eyes… Give him a bit more time on the farm to help suppress the awe he feels being around big leaguers.

    Kelly Johnson won’t make this team out of spring training. That said, Chris Johnson isn’t helping his cause either.

    EY Jr on the other hand has played his way onto this year’s roster.

    Like

  268. 270 Vox O'Raison March 16, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Mark Bowman has asked the question, and I think it is worth asking here…

    Wandy’s has been fairly impressive in consecutive outings, and thus has gained the attention of a handful of teams looking for a veteran to fill out their rotation.

    Given the fact that the Braves do have some decent young arms at the upper minor league level in Folty, ManBan, and Cody Martin, not to mention the presence of Eric Stults and James Russell, should the Braves trade Wandy rather than keep him here for our rotation?

    3 important factors need to be taken into account…

    #1: Least important is that he is a non-roster invitee and would require a 40-man roster spot to be placed in the Major League team. Since the current 40-man is full, someone would have to be outright released or placed on waivers.

    #2: Something else to consider is that his contract guarantees him a $2M salary if he makes the team. It’s not terribly significant since the team is comfortably under their budget, but $$ is always a factor. Especially when you consider #3.

    #3: He’s 36 and failed a physical prior to signing a deal with the Phillies just 4 months ago. The Braves subsequently signed him here to a minor league deal. He has made only 18 starts over the last 2 seasons while battling elbow and knee ailments.

    Rotation spots 1-3 are set with Julio, Woody and Shelby. #4 belongs to Mikey Minor when he gets healthy, perhaps as early as 3 or 4 weeks into the season. Until then, there are 2 spots available. Stults has pitched well enough to claim one of them, at least until Minor returns. Of the 3 rookies, Cody Martin has looked the best, even if his ceiling is probably about right where he is.

    So should the Braves take a $2M chance that Wandy can earn his $2M, or maximize his current success, trade him now, and use one of the youngsters in the #5 slot.

    As for my own opinion, I say trade him now if you can get a decent return for something the team needs. This team isn’t going to walk away with the hardware at season’s end anyway. And Minor should be back in a month. I just think there are plenty of capable candidates in house that could stand some experience. Strike while the iron is hot and save that $2M. Heck, if providence does shine down on us and we do find ourselves in the thick of things at mid-year, John can trade for a top starter and use that $2M toward him.

    Like

  269. 271 berigan2electricboogaloo March 16, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Yeah, just read about Zack Wheeler….that sucks. There really needs to be a concerted effort to figure out what can be done to cut down on this. From Little league on up…I remember Smoltz saying years ago, wondering if all the breaking balls in LL on up was why he had several elbow operations.
    They should ban it, IMHO till you are 16. I know, a lot more offense…people usually don’t complain about that problem.
    And the number of pitches overall…and as we have all heard, throwing as hard as possible, all the time

    Like

  270. 272 Vox O'Raison March 16, 2015 at 11:38 am

    The more I think about it, I might do something a little off the beaten path…

    LH James Russell has made no bones about his desire to start. And he was actually pretty successful in his spot starts last year. And his splits as a LHRP do not lean heavily toward success vs. LH, so his value as a reliever is lessened. Conversely, that lack of disparity is actually an assert as a starter.

    Maybe open with the rotation of Julio/Woody/Shelby/Stults/Russell, and use the southpaw ManBan out of the ‘pen. Let Folty have another year at AAA to work on harnessing that tremendous cannon (and potential) with lesser pressure.

    I think ManBan Could do have success as a LHRP this season, and I think Russell could be a capable starter. But what do I know..?

    Like

  271. 273 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2015 at 11:45 am

    VOX, It appears the Mets are in the market for a number 5, or 4 as the case may be. I think Wandy has impressed some teams this spring. My question is this, if he is signed to a minor league contract with a Cinderella clause, cannot other teams just wait out the Braves? They will have to sign him and release someone else or keep him and pray he holds up.

    My only concern is despite the reports he is making a strong showing this spring, the number of walks is a concern. He really does not have anything to challenge a hitter with anymore and if he is faced with a “tight” strike zone, well, it won’t be pretty….

    Soft toss pitchers do not have to have over powering stuff but they sure better be able to hit their spots. Still, we don’t know who is working on what. Spring training can be really misleading when it comes to things like ERAs and such.

    Like

  272. 274 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I cannot disagree on the idea of using Russel as a starter. I thought it was a good fit for him last season as opposed to being a lefty specialist out of the pen. We have not seen much of Russel this spring.

    Like

  273. 275 Vox O'Raison March 16, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Ber, I personally don’t think it’s the type of pitches these kids throw as much as it is that they are now throwing almost year round.

    Back in my day (Get off my lawn!), we played baseball in the summer, football in the fall, and basketball in the winter. We used all muscle groups evenly. These days, kids (or their dads) seem to zero in on 1 sport in their early teens and concentrate solely on that sport year round. And with pitchers it’s worse. Their school season starts in late winter and finishes by early summer at which time they join their high leverage travel squad. When that season wraps, they are free to find a fall league team, which are plentiful. Those finish in early winter, leaving these kids with roughly 6 weeks to get in those 2-3 important throwing camps so that they can be noticed by all the college coaches and MLB scouts.

    They never stop.

    In my 20’s, I played softball about as much, playing on 1 team for the Spring “Warmup” season, 2 Summer A teams, 2 Summer B teams, 1 Fall team, and 1 Winter Short Season team. I was off only in Dec. and Jan. I played SS, 3B, CF and LF. That’s when my rotator cuff went. My greatest asset was my strong arm, and I loved nothing better than showing it off. But after my rotator cuff surgery, I lost all the arm strength as well as the ability to throw pain-free. When I came back, it was as a 2B and occasional 1B. 2 years later, I was out completely.

    Major leaguers, the ones these kids (and their dads) idolize, know the value of regular rest during and after the season. Why can’t kids (and their dads) not see it too?

    Liked by 1 person

  274. 276 Vox O'Raison March 16, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    We have not seen much of Russel this spring.

    He’s had turf toe. Toes are not to be trifled with. He’s hoping to make his 1st appearance in a game this week. Plenty of time to get “stretched out”.

    Like

  275. 277 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2015 at 12:11 pm

    Of course, Wheeler reminds of how fast a team can go from fat and happy and flush with pitching to being desperate for arms….

    Liked by 1 person

  276. 278 berigan2electricboogaloo March 16, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    V, I imagine if Wandy doesn’t make the team, he will be released. Remember how Aaron Harang had a good spring last year for the Indians, and still was let go? And he has a history of good health.
    It’s funny, but if there wasn’t such an epidemic of T.J.’s right now…you could argue there is enough pitching to warrant 2 more expansion teams….laugh if you will….but, more and more players from Japan, Korea, Cuba, Australia come to the U.S. More people….are born every year….there are some teams with 6-7 completely legit candidates to start, and if there are no injuries, they will be next to worthless longmen…or traded….
    Still not excited about Stulz, but whatever….I wasn’t too excited with Aaron Harang either :/

    Like

  277. 279 Vox O'Raison March 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Yep, just 3 weeks to Opening Day, and as Gil said, the lineup is beginning to resemble something like we will see on April 6 in Miami.

    I think Jace Peterson has won the 2B job, and I think Al Callaspo has done enough to stay on the roster. I think EY has won the CF job, but the LH platoon partner for Jonny has not yet emerged. I think Terdo really wants a spot on the bench, and he might be hitting his way there, even if it’s only until Melvin is healthy. I think he would get the nod over C-Ham. The other candidate is Eury, who has not been bad, but has not really stood out either. He is obviously a superior defensive piece, but Terdo may supply some power that is going to be sparse on this team in 2015.

    I don’t have a clue on the 12 pitchers we’ll break camp with, but I will take a shot at the remaining 13 roster spots, with starters in bold.

    CATCHERS (2): B’court, AJP

    INFIELDERS (6): Freddie 1B, Jace P 2B/3B, Simba SS, CJ 3B/1B, Al Callaspo 2B/3B, Phil Gosselin Utility

    OUTFIELDERS (5): Jonny LF, EY. CF/LF, Neck RF, Zoilo LF/CF, Terdo RF/1B.

    NOTE: Eury Perez was signed on a minor league deal, thus does not have to use an “option” to be assigned to AAA Gwinnett.

    Like

  278. 280 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Which goes to show that an invite to Spring Training camp is pretty important to guys on the bubble. You just never know who is paying attention. If you are a pitcher like Wandy trying to comeback, every appearance you make without A) getting hurt B) getting shelled C) walking the ballpark, can mean a potential deal for somebody. Maybe not a 5 year bazillion dollar deal but one which will keep the lights on and the kids in private schools…

    I am still concerned with the number of walks given up by Braves pitchers this spring, should I be?

    Like

  279. 281 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Braves game will be on MLB channel tomorrow at 1 PM against the Red Sox.

    Like

  280. 282 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    The fact Eury signed a minor league contract is a very big deal as far as wiggle room. I expect he will share time at Gwennett with Melvin as BJ tried to regain his pre Atlanta form. I don’t hear anyone bemoaning the fact Melvin is out on disability right now. To me, the die is cast and if they can get someone to play center (EY Jr.) The cost is really the same.

    While no one likes to have a white elephant hanging around. If EY can continue to perform at his present level, Melvin may spend an extended amount of time in Gwennett whether he likes it or not.

    Like

  281. 283 Vox O'Raison March 16, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Re: Russell…

    He’s hoping to make his 1st appearance in a game this week.

    I missed it. He made a 2 inning appearance late last week, allowing 0 hits, 0 runs, doling out 1 free pass and ringing up 1 K.

    And I continue to maintain he’d make a better starter.

    Like

  282. 284 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Since folks will be bombarding us with Irish blessings all day, I’ll offer up something from the Bible:

    “God bless you and keep you, God smile on you and gift you, God look you full in the face and make you prosper.” – Numbers 6:24-26

    Liked by 1 person

  283. 285 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 8:21 am

    And speaking of Irish blessing, the O’Braves will be on MLB Network today, St. Patrick’s Day, at 1:05pm vs. the O’Red Sox in Fort O’Myers. Shelby O’Miller gets the start for the our local chaps. I’m sure they’ll be wearing green hats or something.

    Like

  284. 286 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I have the Bosox roster before the Braves!! Travesty!! 😯

    Like

  285. 287 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2015 at 9:47 am

    Question? Does Rolling Rock count as a “green” beer? 🙂

    Like

  286. 288 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2015 at 10:07 am

    So, I’m pretty sure I am going to keep my kilt in the closet today. Nobody wants to see my gams… According to my genealogy, my mother’s side of the family had some Irish in them… Scotch Irish, not Irish Catholic… The ones who celebrate St. Patrick. Of course, as an American, I am proudly a mixture of just about every ethnic group know to man and some who are not… Like my mom use to say, Momma’s baby, Daddy’s maybe…. Anyway, I guess I will try to find something green that is not mold…..

    Now baseball, the next few weeks are the ones to watch. Of course, April 6 none of these games will count. However, we should not be getting grasp on who looks ready and who doesn’t I still see a lot of spots open this spring, more so than just about any other spring I can remember. Most times, a player has until June first to play themselves off the team.

    In the outfield you have Jonny Gomes and about 7 other guys playing for a spot. Peterson looks to have nudged Callaspo out of the everyday job at second. Kelly Johnson tenure looks to be short term. Chris Johnson has looked awful this spring but he is safe so far only because of his contract. Still a mystery to me how he pulled that off.

    I am still waiting to see who emerges as the team’s 4th and fifth starters. Will the Braves opt for saving a few dollars or tough it out for the first three months.?

    Liked by 1 person

  287. 289 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Anyway, it appears Joey Tee is making a strong push to make this year’s opening day roster. Good for him…

    Like

  288. 290 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Another $$ deal to come out of the new ballpark. Give these execs their due… they know how to find new revenue streams.

    Like

  289. 291 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 10:49 am

    2day’s lineup vs. Bosox:

    1- EY, CF
    2- Jace, 2B
    3- Jonny, DH
    4- B’court, C
    5- Simba, SS
    6- Johnson, 3B
    7- Terdo, LF
    8- Johnson, 1B
    9- Ham, RF
    SP – Shelby Miller

    Now as to which Johnson is playing 1B and which is playing 3B, not clear. My guess is that KJ is batting 8 and playing 1B. We’ll see.

    Like

  290. 292 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 10:56 am

    One more thought… Terdo is getting the start in LF today. If he proves he can handle the position defensively, he might zoom to the top of the candidates to platoon with Jonny. Zoilo has hit poorly this spring, and Eury has not done much better. (You remember the old saying right? You can’t steal 1B.) Anyway, Terdo leads the team in batting. If today were the final cut day, I think Zoilo would be on waivers, Eury would be in Gwinnett, and Ham would be the 5th OF since he plays all 3 positions and is the best defensive OF on the team.

    I think the most intriguing position battle will be Callaspo vs. Gosselin. They both sort of do the same thing, except Gosselin is better defensively and is faster. Callaspo has done nothing to distinguish himself, but he is guaranteed $3M. And as we all know, $$ talks. If I were a betting man, I would bet that John (pick one) is running up his cellular minutes looking for a team in need of a veteran IF.

    Like

  291. 293 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2015 at 11:01 am

    The first 6 players in the line-up look to be opening day guys. The others are still playing for a spot. Maybe not starters but bench players. It should help us get a grasp on what the team looks like. Of course Freedie Free is absent but right field is pretty fluid right now waiting for Markakis to appear.

    Like

  292. 294 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Like

  293. 295 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 11:34 am

    How does this sound, Gil?

    1- EY (SH), CF
    2- Simba (RH), SS
    3- Freddie (LH), 1B
    4- Jonny (RH) / Terdo (LH), LF
    5- Neck (LH), RF
    6- B’court (RH), C
    7- Johnson (RH), 3B
    8- Jace (LH), 2B

    Like

  294. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    About right VOX, could change if Fredi decides to go with full time platoons. I not sure on who fits bets in the two hole, Simba or Peterson. Markakis has more power than either Gomes or Joey but if the Braves go with the contact vs home run mode, it may make little difference. I am still worried CJ has not yet worked himself out of the long ball swing mode Still looks pretty loopy to me. Hard to break a bad habit.

    What we have seen so far this spring is the Braves do not really have a bunch of pitchers who have no-hit type stuff. The offense is going to have to help out a lot more than last season. Otherwise, it’s going to be a painful experience for Braves fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  295. 297 Vox O'Raison March 17, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Crap!! 😡

    Lost track of time! Darn work!!

    Like

  296. 298 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    T’was old people’s day at Kroger so I hit record, now busy avoiding all references to the game until I can watch the game. Currently 4:30 but it is only the top of the fifth with the Braves up 4-0

    Like

  297. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Now that was a game I really enjoyed watching…

    Like

  298. 300 Vox O'Raison March 18, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Good thing I didn’t relay the play-by-play!!

    I’ll tell ya, these guys look like they are buying into the Kevin Seitzer way of hitting. Coincidence? I don’t know. But they are certainly driving the ball into the gap middle and away. Well, everyone but Chris Johnson. I noticed his hands are back up in his ear again, too.

    And they are getting hits with RISP, especially with men on 3B.
    As long as you make contact, 3 things can happen: you can get a hit, you can get a sacrifice, nothing. 2 of those 3 are good. If you strike out, it’s all bad. The Braves of 2014 would strike out so many times with RISP. Is the difference Seitzer? Is the difference the absence of certain players? A combination of both? I don’t know the answer to that either. But I can certainly see the results.

    After yesterday’s action, the Braves are 2nd best in all of baseball in K’s with only 6.0625 K’s per game. (For those who wonder, San Diego is 2nd worst at 8 per game.)

    To me, that number alone is striking. Somebody is doing something right.

    Like

  299. 301 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2015 at 9:12 am

    VOX, I noticed the same “tell” with Chris Johnson. Like I said, bad habits are hard to break.

    There was a lot to like in yesterday’s game for the Braves. 4 double plays was foremost among them. The combo of Simba and Pace could lower the ERA for every ground ball pitcher on the staff. Being strong up the middle is a big plus.

    Bethencourt looks really good at the plate. Still a little rough around the edges on defense but he sure can hurl a baseball 90 feet.

    Wow, did the game ever slow down noticeably in the eight and ninth innings… Was like watching the final minute of a basket ball game or the final 2 minutes of pro football… I guess watching the AAA guys can do that for you.

    I thought Joey T. looked good, making a case for himself methinks…

    Like

  300. 302 Vox O'Raison March 18, 2015 at 9:35 am

    High cotton.

    Liked by 1 person

  301. 303 Vox O'Raison March 18, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Like

  302. 304 Vox O'Raison March 18, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Like

  303. 305 Vox O'Raison March 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    My guess is that from this point forward we’ll see Simba and Jace penciled in everyday in the middle IF so that they can continue to get their timing down around the bag; although they sure looked pretty smooth yesterday. Jace Peterson is our 2B this season. He’s earned it. And he could very well be our 3B when Peraza finally makes his anticipated jump. Jace has shown me alot, and has to be in the lineup somewhere. Wonder if he can play LF? Bet he can…

    Liked by 1 person

  304. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    To be honest, other than first basemen, I not really seen an infielder who cannot play in the outfield. It is a tad bit more boring out there but to me, the least physical positions in baseball aside from being a DH is first base and left field. It’s where they always put the fat guys. That and catchers, but I digress… We are not talking about beer league softball. In the majors, you better have a bunch who can catch, run, hit and throw if you are going to be successful…

    Second base is a position where you can hide a weak arm and the best athlete normally plays short.

    Today’s game has become one where a player who can play multiple positions is much more valuable than a specialist. That is, unless a guy can hit 50 home runs and drive in 120 each year. Then you are willing to sacrifice some Dee.

    Drive in more than you let in is the adage.

    Like

  305. 307 berigan2electricboogaloo March 18, 2015 at 3:59 pm

    Gil, I thought you liked low scoring affairs! 😉

    Like

  306. 308 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    Ber, I do as long as the other team is doing the low scoring… It is the out of control 11-10 games I detest. That and walk fest…. Make em earn it, I don’t trust the umpires to call a game even evenhandedly… Seen to many examples of the opposite to take it for granted.

    I also hate sloppy games. Sometimes it cannot be helped but most times it is failure to pay attention what hurts your team.Like failing to run out a ground ball, but different…

    Like

  307. 309 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

    Still lots of work to do for the Braves pitching staff…

    Like

  308. 310 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 8:08 am

    It would appear that the bulk of the damage was done against Mr. James Russell.

    And per Bowman, Folty took a big step forward last night, after heeding some specific instruction from Roger McDowell. (I contend that one day we’ll hold Roger McDowell in the same lofty esteem as Leo Mazzone.) By all accounts, he was commanding his changeup and curve consistently, and accurately locating his 95-98 fastball to both sides of the plate. That, my friends, is a recipe for success.

    Here is a direct quote from Bowman: “If Folty pitches like he did tonight in each of his next three GL games, it will be hard to keep him out of the rotation to start the year.

    Like

  309. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Pierzynski opted not to address the issue Wednesday night. While playing for the Red Sox last year, the veteran catcher was ejected from a game when he turned to rookie umpire Quinn Wolcott and said, “Give me a ball, a new ball — one you can see.”

    Sometimes things just make me laugh out loud… 🙂

    It actually helps to have a true smart ass around once in a while. I suspect AJ was complaining his pitcher was getting squeezed last night and it’s tough to win in those situations. Of course, maybe AJ was tired of having his neck snapped back by all those home runs…

    Yep, put last night’s game under the heading of looking at the bright spots.

    Like I said, still some work to get done to shore up the pen. At least K. Johnson looks to be making better contact. The boy always had some pop in his bat, just missed too many times to make a difference. It would be nice if he can get his timing down. There are times when you are just going to have an o-fer or two. Need to show you can make contact on a consistent basis to win a spot on the bench.

    Like

  310. 312 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Here is the thing about Russel, who ever heard of a lefty relief guy who could not get out lefties? Not many in the majors anyway… If I were him, I would be asking for some help right about now….

    Like

  311. 313 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 9:53 am

    still some work to get done to shore up the pen

    Step 1: Release Jose Veras ✔

    Like

  312. 314 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Per Kevin McAlpin: “Braves announce they’ve released Jose Veras. Veras, a non-roster invitee, allowed 7 ER on 8 H in 5.1 IP (6 appearances) this Spring with 7 BB & 4 K.”

    Like

  313. 315 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 10:01 am

    Speaking of bullpen…

    DOB: [Craig] Kimbrel, [Jason] Grilli, [Jim] Johnson and left-hander Josh Outman are the only bullpen certainties for the Braves, although lefty James Russell, making $2.425 million, also figures to have a spot. Among the many others competing for a few spots are lefty Luis Avilan, Arodys Vizcaino, Juan Jaime (who is out of options and can’t be sent down without clearing waivers), Brandon Cunniff and non-roster invitees Jose Veras and Michael Kohn.

    Ha! Obviously that column was written before Veras’ release. I don’t know that Russell is such a certainty. As the dead horse we’ve been beating will attest, a LH reliever must be able to get LH batters out. Russell has yet to prove that ability.

    Like

  314. 316 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 10:12 am

    Our Braves host the Fish today at 1:05pm. The game is scheduled for Fox Sports South locally, and delayed broadcast on MLB TV (not sure what time).

    2day’s lineup:

    1- EY, CF
    2- Callaspo, 2B
    3- Free, 1B
    4- Jonny, LF
    5- B’court, C
    6- C. Johnson, 3B
    7- K. Johnson, RF
    8- Goose, SS
    9- ManBan, SP (LH)

    No DH today. And KJ gets a start in RF? Well, whomever wins that last bench spot better be versatile. I suppose if his bat does begin to heat up, he could also enter the LF LH-half-of-the-platoon race.

    Like

  315. 317 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 10:15 am

    Scheduled to follow ManBan on the mound today for Los Barves are LH Josh Outman, LH NRI Donnie Veal and RH Cody Martin.

    Like

  316. 318 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 11:42 am

    More player news, as roster shaping ramps up with just 3 weeks before Opening Day:

    Tyler Pastornicky has been released.

    No big surprise here. I saw a photo just yesterday taken of a gathering in the minor league camp, and there was Pastor hanging around the back of the crowd, clearly out of place. Problem is, he has not earned a ticket to The Show, either. Maybe he can hook on somewhere else and get a fresh start.

    Like

  317. 319 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 11:46 am

    And it appears that B’court has been scratched from today’s game, reportedly exhibiting the proverbial “flu-like symptoms”. John Buck will take his place behind the dish and in the lineup.

    Like

  318. 320 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 11:54 am

    DOB: “If camp ended today, Fredi G said Braves would go w/ infielders Freeman, Peterson, Callaspo, Simmons, CJohnson, Gosselin (and 2 catchers)”

    … as we expected and have mentioned over the last several days.

    In fact, the updated Braves depth chart lists as follows:

    1B- Freeman, CJohnson, Terdo
    2B- Jace, Callaspo, Goose
    SS- Simba, Jace, Goose
    3B- CJohnson, Callaspo, Jace

    Clearly the Braves have been impressed by young Jace Peterson this Spring.

    Like

  319. 321 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 11:59 am

    DOB goes on to surmise that due to Callaspo’s guaranteed $3M major league contract, and KJ’s non-guaranteed minor league deal, KJ will NOT pass Callaspo as the last IF on the roster. He does go on to say, though, that he still has a shot as 5th OF… which reinforces Fredi’s choice of KJ for RF in today’s lineup.

    Like

  320. 322 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    And to be fair to Callaspo, he hasn’t been bad. He just hasn’t been outstanding. And neither has KJ. The reality is that neither of them would be competing for a spot on Washington’s roster. :-/

    Like

  321. 323 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    More DOB: “If Markakis is ready, Braves right now would go OFs Gomes, EY Jr (CF), Markakis, and EPerez, Almonte, KJ, Terdo compete for 2 spots…”

    Well, duh. No news there, except that Ham is not mentioned. Sadly, he has not really distinguished himself in a year that opportunity was abundant.

    My money is on Eury for 1 spot, with that last one coming down to Zoilo and Terdo. And if all things are equal between the 2, I think Terdo gets the nod.

    Like

  322. 324 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Here’s the rub, though. Eury is on a minor league deal and thus could simply be assigned to AAA with no issues. If he makes the OD major league squad, that changes. Terdo has minor league options remaining, and can be optioned to AAA with no ripples throughout the year. Zoilo is here on a major league deal and is out of options. He would have to pass through waivers to be outrighted at any point.

    Now, that matters in that another decision will have to be made on someone in another month when Melvin is healthy once again. He’ll have to be activated, and the Braves will be faced with making a decision on an OF again.

    It might be advantageous from a roster flexibility standpoint to open the season with Eury in AAA, and Terdo on the OD roster. It would allow them to keep both with no chance of exposing either to other teams.

    So in my mind, such as that is, the key is Zoilo. Has he done enough this spring to make himself a part of the team’s long term plans? If not, they may just choose to cut bait now and protect the others. This last 3 weeks is of utmost importance to Zoilo, and I’ll bet that Fredi plays him alot.

    Like

  323. 325 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    One last roster note, and I’ll stop. Pedro Ciriaco has actually had a pretty nice camp. In fact, he might be one of the reasons that Pastor has been released. Pedro has actually had a better camp than Callaspo, and maybe even Goose, but he is not on the team’s 40-man roster. He’s a guy who has played every position on the field but P & C. Given that he’s already 27-yo, the Braves may let him seek opportunities elsewhere. IMO, he’s a decent kind of guy to have in the system, and could be a valuable utility type to stash in AAA.

    Like

  324. 326 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Bowman: “One scout who recently watched Pastornicky on the back fields said he appeared to be pouting about not getting an invite to big league camp.”

    If you want to be released, that’s one way to achieve it.

    Like

  325. 327 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    On the Pastor, he’ll sign a deal with someone somewhere, likely as insurance and will play in triple A, Yep, one of the quickest ways I know of to get gone is exhibit a bad attitude. No one wants you around.

    One thing for sure, if Kelly Johnson does not make the squad, it won’t be from lack of opportunities given by the brain trust. I’m sure Fredi would like to have another veteran on the bench but like you said, a lot of moving parts.

    On the guys clearing waivers, I doubt the Braves would whine too awful much if some other team took Callaspo off their hands. Same for Zolio. I’m sure the Braves have looked long term as far as who makes the team and who will have to be moved to make room.

    It’s been my experience that other teams would much rather snatch a young kid off the waiver wire than a vet. That and if a guy isn’t good enough to stick with the Braves, likely he will not be grabbed too quickly by someone else.

    One last thought about Pastornicky, with the addition of Peterson plus Paraza in the wings, Pastornicky was not going to get another shot with the Braves. Good luck kid, you will need it….

    Like

  326. 328 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Joey T might just be the victim of the numbers game. The 26th player on a 25 man team. That and he has options… I think it comes down between him and Zolio for an outfield spot. I think Eury could stick because of his speed but EY Jr. has moved everyone down on the depth chart with his good showing this spring.

    I think MLB should change things around a bit on roster size in the spring, at least through April they should allow a 30 man roster.

    Like

  327. 329 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I doubt the Braves would whine too awful much if some other team took Callaspo off their hands. Same for Zolio.

    Problem is, Callaspo was signed to a major league deal that guarantees him $3M. The Braves are obligated to that $3M, even if he’s waived or released. And I cannot imagine another club assuming that $3M in a deal. I’m afraid we’re stuck with Callaspo, like it or not. One thing I’ll say about Callaspo is that he does not strike out much. He gets the bat on the ball.

    Zoilo is a different story in that he is still pre-arb and probably not making much more than the $511,300 contract he had with the Yankees last season. That said, $511,300 still isn’t chump change. I would imagine that some team could claim him off waivers and thus assume his salary. But said team would have to keep him on their major league roster since he’s still out of major league options. Now if he were to pass cleanly through waivers, then all bets are off and the Braves can do anything they want with him. His Spring slash line of .212/.270/.242 isn’t helping him any, but might be helping the Braves alot.

    The emergence of Kelly Johnson’s bat, and his versatility to play all over the field (he’s made some nice plays in RF today), have put a huge impediment in front of Zoilo. Terdo too, I imagine. Kelly’s making a late charge to claim that last OF spot. As I said earlier, he could certainly pair up nicely with Jonny in LF.. at least until the return of Melvin.

    Like

  328. 330 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    A couple of observations and opines. I don’t think the Brave would release Callaspo, just allow someone else to pay his salary if they were so inclined. As for Melvin’s return. I doubt he will suddenly declare himself healthy and find himself in the starting line-up. I imagine he will spend quite a bit of time rehabbing before he is allowed to return. I other words, If he is hitting .200 in Gwennett, I don’t see him moving someone else out off the roster.

    Ah, the ebb and flow of spring training batting averages, it’s not just how many hit you have but who you are getting those hits off of, or not…

    You have a valid point about being a hit percentage contact guy versus a swing and miss type. Something Chris Johnson is having a real hard time putting behind him at this point.

    Like

  329. 331 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Cody Martin had another nice outing today. He allowed 3 hits and 1 BB in 3 innings today, but 0 in column that counts… runs. In fact, he hasn’t allowed a run all Spring, being 8 innings over 3 games. In those 8 scoreless innings he has notched 7 K’s against 4 BB’s and 4 hits.

    Like

  330. 332 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Bowman: “While mentioning Banuelos and Martin as pen candidates, Fredi expressed his frustration toward the lack of control shown by other candidates.”

    As he should. Those 2 should be considered because they’ve earned it. At least the LH ManBan has shown an ability to get out LH batters, something the other LHRP’s seem to be struggling with.

    Like

  331. 333 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    BTW- editorial note:

    I am making a conscious effort to cease posting Tweets, Instagram pics, etc. here on the ol’ B&S. While it’s pretty easy to do, and perfectly conveys the original intent of its author in an authentic manner, I think it makes the page load slower since it has to wait for Twitter, Instagram, etc. to load along with it.

    So to that end, I’ll go back to simply posting their quotes instead.

    Like

  332. 334 Vox O'Raison March 19, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    And on a completely different note, congratulations to the #14 seed Georgia State Panthers for upsetting #3 Baylor today in the NCAA Tourney. I mention it partly because it is a huge upset and geographically relevant, but mostly because HOF Tom Glavine picked the upset on his bracket. Is there anything Tommy G can’t do?

    Like

  333. 335 berigan2electricboogaloo March 19, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I really can’t blame Pastornicky a bit…your 25 and your team doesn’t think you are worth wasting time with in S.T.? Yet they were willing to give Callaspo a 3 mil contract, after the 31 year old hit 229 with a .290 OBP….

    Like

  334. 336 berigan2electricboogaloo March 19, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    and V, I’m not sure who Ham is…
    I have only gotten to see one game so far….need to DVR a few more…I don’t know many of the players….hope Joey T gets a real chance, he looks much better to me right now….like a real big leaguer…

    Like

  335. 337 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Ber, the Braves game is on channel 213 at 9AM Friday morning.

    Like

  336. 338 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 7:30 am

    I really can’t blame Pastornicky a bit…your 25 and your team doesn’t think you are worth wasting time with in S.T.?

    That’s because he isn’t.

    I blame him. I blame him for acting in an unprofessional manner in front of many young impressionable players. He had his chance, and he couldn’t hack it. Heck, the Braves gave him more of a chance than many… they anointed him as starter in 2012 without even a proper audition. They just dropped the job in his lap, and he couldn’t keep it.

    He’s being paid to play a kid’s game. He’s being paid to be a professional. He should act like it.

    Like

  337. 339 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 7:51 am

    One more thing…

    When the Braves dropped Pastornicky from their 40-man roster in January, they had to pass him through waivers, where exactly 0 teams took a sniff at him. And thus far, it doesn’t look as if any teams are scrambling to pick him up before breaking camp. At least the Braves kept him employed. At least they continued to give him a paycheck, and not a bad one at that.

    I get a bad taste in my mouth when I see a guy gainfully employed, especially in a professional sport, and not being grateful about it. There is only a small percentage of working people that can make their living playing a flipping game. Maybe a little humility might have worked in his favor to push him back into prospect status, if not in Atlanta at least somewhere else.

    If you don’t like where you’re working, then quit. It’s not complicated. But don’t stick around and gripe about your circumstances. Pride has taken out many men. Hopefully he gets another chance with a new perspective. But I don’t feel bad for him here. He engineered his own dismissal.

    Like

  338. 340 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 8:08 am

    OK… I had to get that off my chest. It just bothers me when I feel someone is unappreciative of a rare opportunity.

    Like

  339. 341 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Kind of like Frenchie, but different… Oh well, as they say, youth is wasted on the young… He’ll pick up somewhere, Independent Leagues most likely. The kid always seemed snake bite to me.

    Being released this early gives him a chance to pick up somewhere, it is the guys who are released at the very end of camp who have it the worse. Anyway, he won’t be alone on the unemployment line.

    Like

  340. 342 berigan2electricboogaloo March 20, 2015 at 10:08 am

    V, I guess we just will have to agree to disagree….there was no reason to not invite him to S.T. Hard to be loyal to a team that thinks so little of you…I am infinitely more insulted that someone like Alberto Callaspo , born into a very poor country like Venezuela, inexplicably gets a 3 mil offer, after having a terrible year, instead of arriving in the BSOML , arrives soft, (and he was supposed to have been working with a trainer, correct?) and HAS to make the team, cuz…cuz…he has a guaranteed contract. But, hey, at least he brings some welcome speed to the lineup, lets see he stole, no bases in 2014, nor in 2013. Just what the team needs… (Insert more sarcastic smiley than wordpress allows)
    The Pastor will sign a minor league deal with some team (hey, who wanted EY Jr a month ago?) and will get back to the majors this year…
    Hopefully, Jace Peterson will be given a real chance to hold 2nd base. Hopefully, Callaspo, will not whine too much not starting for the first time….

    Like

  341. 343 berigan2electricboogaloo March 20, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Gil, thanks for the tip on the game…strangely, they have blocked a lousy s.t. game! Can’t find it on espn….hmmm, wonder if it’s on sports south…I can’t even remember what channel(s) its on….

    Like

  342. 344 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Disagreement agreed upon. And for the record, I didn’t and don’t like the Callaspo signing. And I am in full agreement that contract status should not have a bearing on making the team. But that’s a function of the Players’ Association demanding guaranteed deals. So it comes back on the players. Sometimes you get what you ask for, unintended consequences included.

    Like

  343. 345 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Now… back to the team at hand.

    Per DOB, here’s Fredi’s take on the race for OF spots:

    “For me, everybody’s in the mix. Almonte’s in the mix with the left-handed pop. Eury Perez gives you (an option) if you want to run him into center field against a left-hander. Kelly’s playing right today [yesterday]. He’s playing second base on Saturday in the split squad. He’s played both corners in the infield. Terdo’s played first base and both corners in the outfield. The other guys are more outfield (specific) guys. We’ve also run Gosselin out in the outfield. I’m running Ciriaco in the outfield in the next day or two — he didn’t play it all last year but he’s played it before — and see how that all shapes up.”

    That clears it up, doesn’t it? 😀

    Like

  344. 346 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 11:12 am

    Programming alert!!!

    Tonight’s 7:05pm tilt vs. The Fish in Jupiter is scheduled to be broadcast live on Fox Sports South and replayed on MLB Network at 3am.

    Like

  345. 347 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I got to see yesterday’s game this morning, will likely record tonight’s game to do the same tomorrow. Some observations… The Braves pitchers are throwing too many balls outside the strike zone. Tells me they don’t trust their stuff or maybe don’t have any stuff to begin with. No, I don’t think pitches should be middle/middle, just, if you are going to nibble, make it look like something the batter would like to swing at. Deep counts equal trouble and make the game long and boring.

    Bottom line, it does not appear the Braves’ pitchers are getting much late movement on their offerings.

    Chris Johnson has returned to his high handed approach but that is acceptable to me as long as he doesn’t load up on his swings. Short swings equal fewer strikeouts.

    Kelly Johnson is playing like he wants to make this team out of spring training.

    The Marlins do not look shabby at all.. They are going to be a tough team to beat this season.

    Like

  346. 348 berigan2electricboogaloo March 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Yep, seems like the outfield situation will not clarify itself til the last week or so of S.T.
    V, were you able to watch the game this am on MLB channel, or was it blacked out for you too on DISH?

    Like

  347. 349 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    If it was overnight, then I was only watching the backs of my eyelids. But I caught the latter innings of it live yesterday.

    Agreed that KJ is making a late push for a job. And it’s quite effective IMO. Terdo too. That cat can hit. Can he field enough to justify a roster spot? I think he could. He’s a guy I think could come off the bench late and get a knock or two.

    Problem is that the only other guys on the team that can play CF besides EY are Eury and Ham (as in Todd Cunningham). All Ham had to do was hit even a little bit this spring and had a great shot at a job. He’s the best defensive OF on the team and plays all 3 spots. Problem is he’s hitting only .250 this spring, and slugging a paltry .286. But the thing is, no one else has done anything to distinguish himself either. Except maybe Terdo, who leads the team with 7 XBH and is tied with Freddie for the lead in RBI with 7. (To be fair, he also leads the team in K’s with 11 in 33 AB’s.)

    So it’s wide open. Everyone still has a chance. But the time to step up is now. And as Gil likes to say, it matters as much who you hit as much as how you hit in spring. And now that camp is past the half way mark, the slugs and roster fillers have mostly moved along. It’s crunch time baby. Ramp up the competition.

    Like

  348. 350 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Speaking of Ham, today’s his birthday. Happy Birthday Ham!

    Like

  349. 351 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    2nite’s lineup:
    1- EY, LF
    2- Jace, 2B
    3- Freddie, 1B
    4- Zoilo, RF
    5- Simba, SS
    6- CJohnson, 3B
    7- Eury, CF
    8- Jesus Flores, C
    9- Wandy, P

    Starting to look alot like a major league lineup…

    Like

  350. 352 Vox O'Raison March 20, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Pitchers scheduled to follow Wandy are Luis Avilan, Williams Perez, Arodys Vizcaino and Ray Marimon.

    I must confess, I’ve never heard of Williams Perez. A quick look reveals he has appeared in 2 games, going 3.2 innings while giving up 7 hits and 5 earned runs. Yikes! 😯

    Like

  351. 353 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    I think there is some unwritten rule at least one pitcher in the game has to be someone no one has heard of and stands no chance of appearing in a major league game. Helps boost the offense and is why no one should ever bet on spring training games…

    Like

  352. 354 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    I believe the losses to both the Marlins last night and St Louis today kind of bare out my prior post.

    Like

  353. 355 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Lots of minor leaguers on the rosters today. At least the starting pitchers look better, or at least their slash lines. To be honest, I am not sure how Wandy no hit the Marlins last night for 5 innings.

    Like

  354. 356 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Joey T’s unassisted DP at third against the Cardinals has to go down as one of those plays I have never seen before… Making it most unusual has to be he was playing first at the time…

    http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2015/03/21/113855848

    Like

  355. 357 berigan2electricboogaloo March 21, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Yep, I too had never heard of Williams Perez…had a decent year at AA, but man…he just doesn’t seem ready for prime time, at least not now. Given him 3 chances this spring. Funny, someone was talking to Chip during fridays game about how the Marlins had a set team, for the most part (think it was someone from the Marlins broadcast team?) and this guy said, well, you know if you have…slight pause, 8 positions to fill, you probably know that you are not going to be very good that year…nice save there pally boy! 😛 We only need to fill…3 positions, well 4 if you count 3rd…Look out Nats! Look out Marlins! We are coming to get ya! 😉

    Like

  356. 358 berigan2electricboogaloo March 21, 2015 at 11:11 pm

    V, I have enjoyed your twitter posts, perhaps just copy and paste them?(like this none techie has to do) Something does seem odd with this blog…every time I post, I get pushed up to posts made 1-2 days ago….weird

    Like

  357. 359 Vox O'Raison March 22, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Jose Constanza is a perfect example of what can happen when you keep a good attitude and keep plying away at your job. None of the candidates for the remaining OF jobs have taken full advantage of the opportunity, and thus Jose, a guy without an invitation to major league camp, has suddenly found himself back in the mix. Great job, Jose! Go win a job!!

    Like

  358. 360 Gil in Mechanicsville March 22, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Yes, VOX, attitude can go a long way towards being recognized as an asset versus a liability.

    Like

  359. 361 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Here we sit on a Monday morning, a mere 14 days until Opening Day in Miami against the Fish. Let’s try to recap where we sit currently.

    The rotation, sans Mike Minor, appears to be 4/5 set since Wandy has asserted himself and taken control of the #4 spot. #5 still looks to be contested between Stults and Folty, both who have had some very good outings of late. Interestingly, Chen Ming Wang’s name doesn’t appear to be seriously in the mix, but he has had some really nice outings lately as well, and his sinker looks to be dipping the way it did when he had success earlier in his career. Given that this battle is for #5, and that Minor will return at some point, I don’t feel very concerned about it. I think they’ll be fine. (I am more concerned that Wandy can hold up over the long haul. But again, Minor will return.)

    The bullpen looks quite solid at the back end with Kimbrel, Grill and Jim Johnson… more solid than last season for sure. But the other 4 spots are not quite as well defined. None of the LHRP’s have had success against LH hitters… and that’s kind of a prerequisite. Avilan has flat out stunk, and Russell hasn’t been too far behind. You got a sense for a while that Josh Outman would take that spot, but he has gotten tagged his last few outings. Fredi ought to consider ManBan for the role, but will more likely want to continue his development as a starter at AAA. Still, if no one emerges, Fredi may not have any choice. As for RH’s, I think Cody Martin has won a major league job. He’s done nothing but pitch well, and really does not factor into the Braves long term rotation plans, so why not? Vizcaino may have also earned a job. Has Michael Kohn done enough? He’s pitched fairly well, as far as I can tell. Here’s the thing… if Russell or Outman can get it going over the last 2 weeks of ST, the jobs are theirs for the taking. My biggest concern is whether or not we can get LH hitters out late in the game.

    Neck, er Nick Markakis is set to make his Grapefruit League debut today as DH and tomorrow in RF. He says he’s on track to play Opening Day, and Fredi defers to Nick. I suppose I will also, and declare that the Opening Day lineup is set with Freeman, Peterson, Simmons, Johnson, Gomes, Young, Markakis and Bethancourt.

    The bench is a little murkier, but a couple of spots are definite. AJP will be the BUC, and likely catch Shelby Miller every 5th day. I personally like this arrangement. Callaspo and Gosselin will be the reserve IF.

    Now… that leaves just 2 bench spots remaining, 1 of which will be the LH compliment to Jonny in LF. If you absolutely made pick that platoon partner today, I couldn’t. It could be Zoilo, it could be Terdo. Heck, it could be Kelly Johnson. But I will say that I believe Eury has edged out Cunningham for the last spot on the bench.

    Not that we are inside 2 weeks until the 2015 MLB season cranks up, there ought to begin to be a little movement trade-wise as teams have defined their final needs and are wanting to make last minute tweaks. I don’t look for the Braves to be seekers, but they could be suppliers. Look for the Braves to make John Buck available, as well as… maybe Zoilo? Maybe. Just not sure if there will be any takers. Maybe KJ? Maybe. I’ll bet my lunch that they are still actively looking for someone to take Chris Johnson, but that’s another story for another time.

    And one more thing…

    The Braves are still reportedly in the final mix for Hector Olivera. He should pick his team very soon, maybe even as early as today. That would throw a major wrench in the works. Where would he play? 2B? 3B? I suppose we need to keep a very close eye on that story.

    Like

  360. 362 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Folty scheduled to start today in Kissimmee vs. the ‘Stros. This is a very important start for him. If he can repeat the success of his last start, where he employed a slower more deliberate approach at the behest of Roger, he could take the lead in the #5 race.

    The weather may not cooperate, though. DOB says the Weather Channel calls for 100% chance of thunderstorms until noon, then 80% after.

    Like

  361. 363 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 9:26 am

    One more thought on Hector Olivera. 3 weeks ago, we were told he wanted to get signed and get in camp to be ready for Opening Day. Then he changed agents and were were told he had several teams interested, and would pick by the end of the next week. Then we were told he had one offer in hand from a mystery team for 7yrs/$53M, and would pick by the end of last week. Now it appears that all teams have dropped out except the Padres, Dodgers and Braves, whose initial offer was believed to be somewhere around 4yrs/$35M. They have stated that they will not go beyond 5 years, but will go 5. It looks like Olivera’s camp wants an avg. salary in the $10M range, and would ideally like 7 years. And that’s why I think the delay continues. His camp must believe some team, *cough* Dodgers *cough*, will offer 7yrs/$70M. I don’t think even LA, the league’s new bastion of irresponsibility, will commit that much to the talented Cuban. But 6yrs/$60M might be offered. Not by the Braves though.

    The longer this drags on, the less I want the Braves to secure his services. Yes, he’s very talented. But he’s also 30 years old with at least a couple of questions regarding his health. And now it looks like he just wants to get the biggest deal he can find. If $$ is his motivation, then let him get it elsewhere. I want a team that places the game and the team 1st.

    And if you have watched the Braves over the last couple of weeks, you have seen a team that has carved out its identity as a team that can get on, steal a base, bunt a guy over and manufacture runs. And they’re doing it consistently and pretty dang well. I’m having fun watch these dudes play the game. It’s a much more entertaining group than we’ve had in recent years, when the only thing they could do consistently was turn 180 degrees at the plate and walk back to the dugout after striking out <b.again.

    Like

  362. 364 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Excellent opines VOX, spot on as to the pitching situation, I will not be surprised to see some late spring training trades take place to see the left handed relief position filled. The Braves have to right handed depth to work with as trade bait.

    As for another crazy Cuban… Well, New York is where they want to play, let them…

    While I don’t blame the player nor the agent for trying to get maximum money,at some point you have to say what is this guy’s motivation? Is it just the money?

    The Braves paid Markakis $44 mil for 4 years and he needed off season neck surgery but he had a pretty impressive track record, Paying a guy that amount after essentially playing for a triple a level his whole life is pretty foolish. The Braves would have to shed somebody to make room and I don’t see a lot of takers for anyone the Braves are paying big money to.

    Too bad Dan Uggla did not play this well for the Braves… He has looked very good in the gNats camp this spring. Ah well, spilled milk…

    Sometimes not being the winning bidder is not a bad thing. I staid home yesterday from an auction because I knew if I went I would spend money on something I do not need and and have no place to put. No use tempting fate…

    Like

  363. 365 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Kevin McAlpin via Twitter: “For those asking, today’s game is still on as scheduled in Kissimmee. Forecast isn’t promising though.

    Like

  364. 366 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    McAlpin at 12:40pm: “Rain really coming down now. Fredi G and AJ Hinch meeting along 3B line as we speak.

    I’m not optimistic.

    Like

  365. 367 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Bowman: “Sounds like OF Dian Toscano is at least a few more weeks away from being cleared to enter the United States.

    Like

  366. 368 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    More Bowman: “Mike Minor is scheduled to begin his throwing program again this week. Still some hope he might be ready in late April or early May.

    Like

  367. 369 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    If you don’t think this is a new era of Braves baseball, check this out:

    Chris Johnson has walked in each of his first 2 PA’s today, and Simmons has driven him in both times.

    Braves are up 5-0 in the 3rd inning by getting walks, singles and doubles, many of their hits being to the off field.

    This team is buying in, and it’s paying off.

    Like

  368. 370 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    And you have to love this, courtesy of Bowman: “Markakis doubled off the right-center field wall in his second plate appearance.That was the 9th live pitch he’s seen this year (all today)

    Like

  369. 371 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Bowman: “Almonte has singled in his first three at-bats today. He entered the game with just five hits in his past 31 at-bats.

    Can’t wait any longer. Time to step it up.

    Like

  370. 372 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    And the Braves have scored 9 runs in the first 4 innings on the strength of zero HR’s, 12 hits and 2 BB’s. This team is Seitzed!

    Like

  371. 373 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    … and I should have also made note:

    Zero K’s. It’s a new age.

    Like

  372. 374 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Sadly, James Russell stunk it up a bit again today.I guess he is still tring to get into shape…

    I know the game was on Sports South today but I do not get that channel. At least, I’m not willing to pay for it because they (MLB) blocks all the baseball games.

    Yunel Escobar played 2nd base for the gNats today. Same old Yunel… afraid of the contact. I look for him to be traded to someone who thinks he is worth a bucket of used balls and some fungo bats. Of course, the gNats could play him at 2nd and good for the Braves. He will keep the games close. Methinks Billy Bean snookered the gNats on that one..

    Like

  373. 375 Vox O'Raison March 23, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I didn’t realize the game was televised locally, but I did listen to the first 5 innings on radio.

    Just to reiterate my earlier point about the new Braves, today they scored 14 runs on 19 hits and 5 BB’s vs. only 1 K. None of the hits were HR’s, but there were 5 2B’s and 1 3B.

    Like

  374. 376 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    While today’s game gave us a glimmer of what is possible with this year’s club offensively, I view it all with a grain of salt. Sacrificial lambs were led to slaughter on the pitcher’s mound after the torrential rains made it borderline unsafe.

    Anyway, it is still nice to score some runs no matter who is pitching given the fact that last season, the Braves couldn’t hit even when the ball was placed on a Tee. So, we’ll take it and be happy with the promise that Nick “The Neck” Markakis has shown he is not going to be another Melvin.

    Another day, another spring training game tomorrow, this one against the Phillies I think. Keep the good work rolling boys.

    Like

  375. 377 berigan2electricboogaloo March 24, 2015 at 2:35 am

    MLB channel is going to profile the team at some time today….
    Heard F.G. on Baseball tonight (espn is finally aware that baseball is ramping up, and actually covering the sport–a bit) he said he expects Minor to be back, mid May to the beginning of June…wow….
    Also, if season started today, he said Jace Peterson would be the starting 2nd baseman. You may have heard this before, but new to me, and that’s all that matters…to me! 😛

    Like

  376. 378 Vox O'Raison March 24, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Just wow…

    Like

  377. 379 Vox O'Raison March 24, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Oh my goodness… 😯

    Like

  378. 380 Vox O'Raison March 24, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    2day’s lineup:
    1- EY, LF
    2- Jace, 2B
    3- Neck, RF
    4- Freddie, 1B
    5- Gomesy, LF
    6- AJP, C
    7- Callaspo, 3B
    8- Andy Simmons, SS
    9- Folty, P

    Folks, I like Freddie batting cleanup. I’ve said it many times. 1-5 looks good to me.

    Like

  379. 381 Gil in Mechanicsville March 24, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Braves’ pitching looked shaky today, part of pitching in the minor leagues is learning how to control your emotions.

    I was also reminded of why I hated watching ball games on ESPN, it would be nice if the talking heads remembered there was a baseball game going on, I did not tune in to listen to them talk about football and golf etc,

    Liked by 1 person

  380. 382 berigan2electricboogaloo March 24, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    Gil, I hear ya!(Though griping at MLBTV mainly) I know it’s spring training, and it has to be a bit boring for the broadcasters too…but still….I can find a game any time I flip by(as that is what they seem to run 21 out of 24 hours a day) but I am bored out of my goard watching games that aren’t the braves…and that’s all I have been catching. Diamondbacks vs Rockies, etc…bleh

    Like

  381. 383 berigan2electricboogaloo March 24, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    and from the of course section of the baseball news world….
    Dodgers To Sign Hector Olivera….
    The Dodgers have reportedly landed yet another high-profile Cuban talent by agreeing to a six-year, $62.5MM contract with infielder Hector Olivera. The deal contains a $28MM signing bonus and is pending a physical.

    Like

  382. 384 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2015 at 7:40 am

    If there is one thing these Cuban players have learned living under Castro is get as much money as you can up front…

    Must be nice having a billion dollars in you back pocket (The Dodgers) from a TV deal so you can afford to throw money at the problem. I sure takes a lot of soul searching and hard work out of the equation. Farm system? We don’t need no stinking farm system! We have money!

    Look, I don’t blame the players for getting all they can, after all, the owners have done the same thing. So, who loses? Well, us poor saps who must shell out a higher proportion of our income if we choose to follow our favorite team.

    If I were still working for a living, something I would do with much less frequency. So, that is our dilemma. No one is forcing us to pay if we don’t choose to. I guess I would not mind so much if I was not still besieged with commercials.

    So, ESPN will broadcast Friday’s game versus the Red Sox. I watch only to get an idea of the pitching prospects. So far I can see how the Braves are projected to finish somewhere close to 90 losses. Maybe so, maybe not. We still don’t know who is working on getting ready for the season and who is giving it their all. That and pitchers are still facing a lot of triple A and double A ball players.

    Like

  383. 385 Vox O'Raison March 25, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Re: Dodgers… Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan says, “The Dodgers are intent upon a long-term strategy as both the smartest and the richest organization in the game.”

    One is easy; one is not. Often, being able to spend alot of dollars leads to not using alot of sense.

    Like

  384. 386 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I cannot protest too much, after all, it was Ted Turner’s willingness to spend more money than anyone not names the Yankees to gain respectability as an organization. Unless and until MLB adopts the same system of revenue sharing as the NFL, you will always have the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers and the 27 dwarfs.. Of course big money does not guarantee big success but it sure allows for you to cover up your mistakes.

    So, if the Braves want to win, they are going to have to do it the old fashion way, draft and trade wisely and surprise a few folks every few years. It still requires great pitching and an offense that can score just enough runs to cover the spread.

    Liked by 1 person

  385. 387 Vox O'Raison March 26, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Bowman has a new piece out on the much ballyhooed addition of leadership to this year’s clubhouse. Think it is overblown?

    The players don’t:

    “When we started losing a couple games in a row last year, we didn’t have anybody to light into someone,” Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “I don’t think that will be the case this year.”

    “When you play with guys who have been in the league a little longer, they come in with a little more sense of confidence in who they are and what they’re trying to do,” Braves closer Craig Kimbrel said. “That’s always a plus. They don’t talk about experience for no reason. It’s called experience for a reason.”

    “When you see [Jonny] Gomes, you make sure you do the right thing,” Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. “He’s scary, but he’s a nice guy.”

    “When you’re in the big leagues, you’re expected to win,” [Jason] Grilli said. “It’s not about development, that’s what the Minor Leagues are for. When you get to the big leagues, it’s time to win. So put on your big-boy pants and go out and win.”

    I think I may have to own a Grilli jersey.

    Click here for the article in its entirety.

    Like

  386. 388 Vox O'Raison March 26, 2015 at 10:48 am

    BREAKING NEWS

    Official news release from the Atlanta Braves:

    Braves catcher John Buck announced today he is retiring from baseball to spend more time with his family.

    I thought he was having a decent spring with a chance to hook up somewhere, even if not in ATL. That said, it’s good to leave on your own terms, and for the best of reasons.

    Like

  387. 389 Vox O'Raison March 26, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Over 11 seasons with 7 teams, the 34-yo Buck totaled 1,090 career games w/ 844 H’s, including 134 HR’s. He owns a career .234/.301/.398 slash line. He was always a solid receiver. I remember him especially as a Marlin, even though his best year was with the Jays. I never though he had a realistic shot at the Braves roster unless someone got hurt, but I did think he was playing well enough to hook on somewhere.

    Like

  388. 390 Vox O'Raison March 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

    2day’s lineup vs. the Bucs:

    1- EY, CF
    2- Jace, 2B
    3- Callaspo, 3B
    4- Gomes, LF
    5- Bcourt, C
    6- KJ, RF
    7- CJ, 1B
    8- Andy Simmons, SS
    9- Wandy, P

    KJ seems to be getting an awful lot of looks in the OF. I almost feel like Fredi really likes him there, and is basically giving him plenty of chances to solidify his grip on the last OF job.

    Like

  389. 391 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2015 at 11:17 am

    Re: John Buck.. I think the Braves were honest with him and told him he was 3 or four deep on the catching chart and he did not want to ride in buses any longer. Yes, he looked good this spring but catching is hard on you and perhaps being “old” at age 34 he felt it was time to find a job closer to home. Good luck to him.

    I mentioned in an earlier post that Fredi was giving Kelly Johnson every opportunity to make the team. We know he can play three infield positions, has some left handed power and came up as an outfielder plus he won’t cost a ton of money. It has taken him some at bats this spring to get his timing down but he has shone he has the ability to put the bat on the ball. I think the Braves will still have some strike outs this season but not at the same rate as last season.

    Like

  390. 392 Vox O'Raison March 26, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    Braves have scored 3 runs thus far in the 1st inning on 4 singles and 2 ground outs. Making contact pays off.

    And… there goes a 2-run HR by CJ.

    Braves are up 5-0 after 8 batters step into the batters box before the Bucs can get out of that half of the frame.

    Like

  391. 393 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Okay, a little shaky today but positive end for the Braves… Chris Johnson looking good. Who would have thunk it?

    Like

  392. 394 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Bowman:

    Eury Perez, Williams Perez and Manny Banuelos were optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett this morning. With Perez out of the mix, [Todd] Cunningham’s roster bid improves because of the need to have at least one backup who could play CF. But the Braves are still looking at all options. They’ll test [Phil] Gosselin’s versatility by playing him in CF today.</b

    Like

  393. 395 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 10:28 am

    The Bosox come over to Disney to challenge our Los Barves today at 1:05pm. Televised on ESPN, if I am not mistaken.

    2day’s lineup:
    1- Pedro Ciriaco, SS
    2- Neck, RF
    3- Free, 1B
    4- Jonny, LF
    5- AJP, C
    6- CJ, 3B
    7- Callaspo, 2B
    8- Phil Gosselin, CF
    9- Julio Teheran, RHP

    Like

  394. 396 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Nothing would please me more than for Goose to play CF capably today. It would allow the Braves to keep a heftier bat – Terdo? – on the bench instead of the light hitting Todd Cunningham. (I love you as a gamer, Ham, but we don’t need another AAAA player.) Plus, I love a guy who can play all over the field. Goose might just be that guy who plays every position but P & C. And he might could even toss an inning in a blowout… who knows?

    Like

  395. 397 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Methinks Pedro gets the playing time today as a “showcase” of sorts. He’s a 29-yo FA NRI, not on the 40-man and probably would not accept a minor league assignment, thus a trade is in everyone’s best interests.

    Also something else to think about as the team looks to make its final cuts over the next week. (Roster is currently at 39). The 40-man roster sits at 39; none of EY, Wandy, Stults or KJ are on it. EY and Wandy have made the squad. Stults and KJ could. Y’all can do the math.

    The Braves could need to free up to 3 roster spots.

    Zoilo is out of options, so he either makes the team or he’s gone. RHRP Juan Jaime is in the same boat. If he were a LHRP, the team would be more inclined to keep him around, but he is defintiely on thin ice. Josh Outman is a LHRP, and his guaranteed 1-yr / $925K will help him. But he hasn’t been particularly impressive.

    Speaking of LHRP’s, James Russell has had an atrocious spring, yet is under contract for a guaranteed $2.43M. Dude has never been able to get LH batters out. I was hoping he would have a good spring, maybe even push for the 5th starter’s job. Now I kinda hope someone might take him off our hands in a trade. Strange how LHRP’s have a strong market even if they aren’t exactly Billy Wagner.

    Both Outman and Russell had to be elated that the Braves chose to send ManBan to AAA rather than have him pitch out of the ‘pen.

    And it makes it tough for someone like Todd Cunningham. Even with options left, he could be waived to open up a spot. With Eury on board, and Mallex in the wings, Ham might be expendable if he can’t make the OD roster.

    Those are the guys I see as being on the proverbial bubble.

    Like

  396. 398 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

    One more thought as Spring Training 2015 enters the home stretch and the final roster is being fleshed out.

    The IF is set. The OF is down to some final competition, but it’s a matter of the best guys winning the job. The rotation is kind of the same, as 4 spots are set and the 5th is in competition. Still, it’s the 5th starer, and whomever seizes it will be OK.

    But the ‘pen concerns me. The back end is pretty good with Kimbrel, Grilli and JJ, but the other 4… oy!

    As for RHRP’s, Michael Kohn has been good. Viz had a spot to lose, and he probably has. Whomever loses the 5th starter job between Stults and Folty will be in the pen as the long reliever/swing man. And that’s OK. Cody Martin should be a candidate for the #5 job, and he should be a pen candidate as well. Fredi probably cannot keep more than 2 of these guys as he needs at least 2 LHRP’s.

    Oy! The LHRP’s…

    No, I said no LHRP’s have stepped up. Luis Avilan? Meh. Josh Outman? Ew. (Spring ERA of 8.10.) Russell? Worse! (Spring ERA of 10.57.) So it makes me a little surprised that ManBan has already been assigned to AAA. I suppose they simply want to continue his development as a starter.

    My predictions for the pen:

    Kimbrel, Grilli, JJ… given. RH Kohn, RH Martin, LH Avilan, LH Russell.

    Stults wins the #5 starter job; Folty goes to AAA. Outman is out, man.

    Like

  397. 399 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Well, I had a new lead posted but it did not show up, will have to make some changes anyway with Eury going to AAA.

    Like

  398. 400 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    Don’t be surprised if the Braves make some moves next week for a LHRP. I don’t see the Sox being interested in Ciriaco but there is always someone watching. Pedro has had a good spring. I’m sure he has played short somewhere in his past. Of course, he could be auditioning for the utility role for the Braves too.

    Like

  399. 402 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    VOX, repost your last four comments to the new blog if you can… Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  400. 403 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Brady Matthew Feigl… This kid impresses me more and more every time he pitches. For a guy with zero professional experience, he sure appears to have a handle on how to get guys out in the late innings, unlike some of the higher profile guys on the team. I know if I am just a blogger but I can’t be the only person who sees his potential to make this team.

    Juan Jamie on the other hand… well, you know….

    Perhaps Feigl will be this year’s Evan Gattis rags to riches story…

    Liked by 1 person


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