#140: New Faces for 2015, Part V

By Gil in Mechanicsville

With only about two weeks left before games begin in earnest and the promise of a brand new season starts the long and rutted road to the World Series, the Braves still have spots open for the taking in their line up. The foot injury to Melvin Upton Jr. and the recurring shoulder problems of left handed pitcher Mike Minor has created opportunities for at least two more players to begin the season playing for the Big A.

Holdover players Freddie Freeman, Chris Johnson, Andrelton Simmons and Christian Bethencourt looked to have had a good spring training. While CJ took a while to heat up, he has suddenly returned to 2013 form but with more power. Allowing the home runs to come rather than pursue them looks to have allowed the Atlanta third baseman to stay on the ball longer and make solid contact with greater frequency.

Simmons, Freeman and Bethancourt all have looked comfortable at the plate and should provide steady offense this year. Newcomers AJ Perzinski and Jonny Gomes have done nothing to dispel the names they have made for themselves as professional ball players. The veteran leadership often needed in a clubhouse full of youngsters was sorely missing last year after the departure of Tim Hudson and Brian McCain have been replaced with the likes of Perzinski, Gomes and relief pitcher Jason Grille.

Nick “The Neck” Markakis has begun his long awaited return to the game after off season spinal fusion surgery and by all accounts will be a force in the Atlanta outfield, perhaps not as exciting Jason Heyward but no slouch. Understandably, it will take a few weeks for him to regain his full strength but his initial return against Astros showed him going 3 for 4 as the DH. A good sign for a guy who had not seen live pitching for five months. His reputation is as a solid outfielder who knows how to play the game. He does not make mental errors and always hits the cutoff man and throws to the right base.

The rest of the starting line up still appears to be in a bit of a flux. Alberto Callaspo, one of John Hart’s earliest off season signings and projected starting second baseman showed up overweight. The teeth gnashing and ash wallowing began amongst the Braves fans who follow the blogs. Fortunately, it appears the 31 year old Venezuelan has shed some pounds and has played regularly at both second and third base this spring. He began slowly but of late, his bat has heated up. The switch hitter has shown the versatility that would enable him to be part of a soft platoon with Chris Johnson at third. Perhaps urged on by the strong showing this spring by Jace Peterson, who came to the Braves as part of trade that saw Justin Upton depart for San Diago, to win away from him the starting job at second base gave him incentive. Peterson’s slash line of .341/.449/.390 in 41 at bats this spring and solid defense has been a very pleasant surprise. Project as a “super sub” type player, Peterson has taken a bit of the air out of the “Perazza Now” balloon. That and Jose Peraza’s youth becoming evident at the plate. While his glove is major league ready, his bat evidently can benefit from some more time in the minors.

The center field jobs looks to be won by an impressive showing by E Y Young Jr. EY Jr was released by the Mets and was signed to a minor league contract by the Braves. Initially he was penciled in as a possible utility, fourth outfielder but the foot injury to Melvin Upton has given him the opportunity to open the season with Atlanta manning the number eight position in the defense. The added upside to EY Jr is he is a natural lead-off man. While it does not look at this point Upton has been Wally Pipped at this point, he has at least given most Braves fans the sense that Upton should take his time getting healthy before he needs to return.

Todd Cunningham’s window of opportunity may be closing if he does not win a job outright this spring. He has the ability to play all three outfield positions but he may be the pro-typical Quad A player. The same may be true for Joey Terdoslavich. He has had a decent spring for the Braves, hitting .278 with seven extra base hits, he can play either corner outfield spot as well as first base. He worked with his dad during the off season to cut down on his swing. He is in the mix against veteran Kelly Johnson who has played everywhere the Braves have asked him to to display his versatility. KJ’s bat has begun to heat up of late and it appears he will be given every opportunity to win a spot as a utility/left handed bat off the bench for this year’s club.

The last players to be considered will be Phil Gosselin, Zoilo Almonte and surprising off season minor league signing Pedro Ciriaco who has 15 hits and 7 strike outs in 42 at bats this spring. A second baseman who has spent time with Boston and Kansas City, he has a strong accurate arm and some speed. While it would be a long shot to see him make the team this spring, he has opened some eyes. Phil Gosselin looks to have secured his spot as the utility infielder again this season after being the starting second baseman the latter part of the 2014 season. Zoilo is still vying for the spot platoon role with Jonny Gomes. It’s my opinion that he is on the bubble to start the season with the club.

The pitching is still to be discussed. I will do so in my final spring training blog.

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340 Responses to “#140: New Faces for 2015, Part V”


  1. 1 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    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.“

    Goose has a spot; the only real question for him question is how he impacts other spots.

    Like

  2. 2 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    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

  3. 3 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Methinks Pedro gets the playing time today as a “showcase” of sorts for the other 29 MLB teams. 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

  4. 4 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    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 among Stults, Folty and Cody Martin could be in the pen as long reliever/swing man. And that’s OK. Cody Martin has pitched very well, and hopefully won a job somewhere. Fredi probably cannot keep more than 2 of all of those 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.**

    ** Caveat: Avilan has options left and could be sent down so that Outman can remain in the organization. But if it’s a true competition, neither Outman nor Russell has done anything of substance to win a job.

    Like

  5. 5 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Gil, Very good summation of the situation as we speak!
    I am excited to see “real” games played…really wonder what will happen with this team…the gloomy gus in me can imagine them losing 90 games (Swell pitching, F.F. walked 150 times, no hitting) but the glass half full guy can imagine…wait for it…a .500 team, or better, depending on the hitting , more importantly, the timely hitting….
    we shall see

    Like

  6. 6 Vox O'Raison March 27, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Ber, I wholeheartedly believe they are a .500 team. I really do…

    Like

  7. 7 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    I am really impressed by Jonny Gomes. He made two outstanding hustle plays in left field when he could have phoned it in on either one and folks would have understood. After all, it is just a spring training game. Ya think the rookies noticed? If they didn’t they don’t deserve to make the team.

    Teheran looked solid today. No, not swing and miss solid but not rattled, cool under pressure solid. Joe West is still in spring training mode as far as his strike zone is concerned. Got to be tough on catchers… I noticed AJ held his tongue this time.

    Kelly Johnson looks like he wants the bench role. Nice home run to center this afternoon pinch hitting for Teheran.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Ciriaco with another clutch hit in the 2nd too. Nice win all around.

    Like

  9. 9 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Seems a bit much to put a 2nd baseman into CF in the 27th, and think he can fill in there…shoulda thought of that 3 weeks ago…perhaps if he shows ability, they can send him to AAA and he can work on being one?

    Like

  10. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Perhaps the Braves thought Eury would hit a bit better. but, you make a valid observation Ber.

    I think Uggla has actually played himself onto the gNats OD roster this spring. Maybe something for the Braves to think about next time they have someone get conked in the head and can;t see the ball any longer. I wonder if Melvin needs his doctor’s number?

    Oh well, at least somebody on the Braves’ payroll will be in the playoffs this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2015 at 7:02 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 2 people

  12. 12 Carolina Lady March 28, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I think I’ve missed some important birthdays! Raisins, Ber – my most abject apologies! HAPPIEST BIRTHDAY WISHES EVER! I’ve been caught up in having surgery on both eyes – but that’s still no excuse! I sowwy. 😥

    Liked by 2 people

  13. 13 Carolina Lady March 28, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Gil, superior lead, as always! I might have to give you a raise!

    Like

  14. 14 berigan2electricboogaloo March 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    <b) I’ve been caught up in having surgery on both eyes – but that’s still no excuse! I sowwy.
    oh contraire mon ami, as excuses go, a very good one! Hope the surgeries went well, and you will soon be seeing 20/20! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 15 berigan2electricboogaloo March 28, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    I’ve been caught up in having surgery on both eyes – but that’s still no excuse! I sowwy.
    oh contraire mon ami, as excuses go, a very good one! Hope the surgeries went well, and you will soon be seeing 20/20! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 16 Carolina Lady March 28, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks, Ber! Yes, it is greatly improved. Even at this point, it is now 20/25 which is an enormous improvement. Still will take a little more time until it “settles in” – doc’s words – but I’m loving what I can see now!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 17 berigan2electricboogaloo March 28, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Gil, I have seen far more S.T. Games than I wanted to (always on mlb channel at night) never see the braves, so Brady Feigl, I have only recently heard the name, and never have seen. But, I trust your judgement… man, the season is fast approaching, eh what? 🙂

    Like

  18. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Glad to see you back CL…. 🙂

    Seriously, we have missed you, now we know the reason for your absence.Glad you had a positive outcome.

    Like

  19. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    The kid played for Mt St Mary’s in MD. Bowman said he pitched in advanced A but I think he has been away from the game for a while. Not a flame thrower but knows how to get guys out. He is currently assigned to the minor league camp.

    Like

  20. 20 Vox O'Raison March 29, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Seems a bit much to put a 2nd baseman into CF in the 27th, and think he can fill in there…shoulda thought of that 3 weeks ago…perhaps if he shows ability, they can send him to AAA and he can work on being one?

    They aren’t trying to make a CF out of him, rather just want to know if he could handle it. They need a RH bat that can back up CF… nobody on the roster fits that bill. Fredi is just looking at all his options, which now includes a guy named Joe Benson who has exactly 6 plate appearances all spring. And don’t forget, it’s really only for a couple of months until the return of Melvin.

    BTW- it’s quite an indictment on the switch-hitting CF Todd Cunningham. Kinda tells you where he stands with the club. 😐

    Like

  21. 21 Vox O'Raison March 29, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Oh… and as for the release today of James Russell, I shed no tears for him. Actually, I admire the front office for cutting ties with the guy. He has been horrid since joining the team, and worse than horrid this spring.

    Like

  22. 22 berigan2electricboogaloo March 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    V, I just think it’s a lot to ask of a kid to play CF, the most difficult OF position, on the fly like that…with just a few S.T. games left. who knows, maybe he can take to it quickly, but it seems most players can’t play well at a new position, in a handful of games..
    and yeah, Todd Cunningham has to wonder whats the issue with his playing. Decent spring, .287 last year at AAA…
    as for James Russell…has anyone heard that he had a sore shoulder, or volocity was down? Didn’t we talk about last year awhile back? Or was that a loogy in 2013? He had a 2.22 ERA in 22 games, so I don’t see how that is horrible. I do recall he couldn’t get lefties out of course….
    I just dont’ get giving a guy the 2 + Mil contract, then only giving him 3 games all s.t. and saying, he isn’t worth keeping. I know, his job is to get lefties out…well, why don’t I see 3-4 games where he only faced a lefty?
    Just odd….

    Like

  23. 23 berigan2electricboogaloo March 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Jose Veras was in 6 games this spring…Arodys Vizcaino 7 games…man, a lot of guys really stunk up S.T. this year, eh???

    Like

  24. 24 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Feigl was signed as an undrafted free agent by Gene Kerns, the veteran scout who found Brandon Beachy after he was not drafted out of college. The young reliever has never pitched above the Class A Advanced level. But the Braves have seen enough this month to believe he could make a successful jump to the Major League level. Mark Bowman

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 25 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 9:14 am

    When was the last time we headed into the last week of Spring Training with a handful of roster spots still in the air?

    Folty makes a hugely important start today… literally one final push for the rotation. And there still seems to be no good RH bat off the bench. Had Terdo not gotten hurt last week (pulling off his epic unassisted DP) he might have it wrapped up. He’s a switch-hitter who’s splits favor largely against LHP. That said, he cannot backup CF. That’s what made it so important to know if Gosselin could capably back up CF from a defensive perspective. It would allow John and Fredi to keep Terdo for the bench. As it stands, there is NO backup CF, unless you choose to keep the anemic Todd Hamilton at which point you gut your bench offensively.

    FWIW, I thought Goose played CF just fine. He could certainly play it in an emergency if EY should get injured, and until a roster move could be made. He’s a very talented athlete in the same ilk as Martin Prado, without the power potential.

    I’ll tell ya, it’s a shame Pedro Ciriaco can’t back up CF. That dude has had a tremendous spring. In fact, as hard a time as the team has had looking for an OF to step up, all of their IF have stepped up. Jace Peterson has had such an impact on the team that they have taken a look at Jose Peraza in CF. Even Alberto Callaspo, the object of unwarranted derision from me early in spring, has had a decent camp. Gosselin has been steady as a rock. And that doesn’t even take into account Kelly Johnson, who looks to still have something left in the tank.

    If I had to make those 2 backup choices right now, with no $$ considerations at all, I’d keep Gosselin and Ciriaco. Which is not necessarily bad news for Kelly Johnson because. See below…

    Right now, I still could not make that last OF pick. But if pressed, I’d keep KJ and Terdo… hoping Gosselin could back up CF if needed.

    And I’m not sure I could make the last rotation pick yet either. If pressed, I’d keep Stults for my #5 and give Folty more time in AAA. Perhaps he will change my mind with today’s start. I know the stuff is there. But does he have a grip on it yet? (No pun intended. OK, well maybe a little,)

    The bullpen is still somewhat a mess behind Kimbrell, Grilli and JJ. IMO, RH Cody Martin has won a job… same with RH Michael Kohn. As for the LH’s, at this point, I’d go with Avilan and Feigl… and hold my breath. (This will be the team’s Achilles heal in 2015.)

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 26 berigan2electricboogaloo March 30, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Gil, I hope Gene Kerns gets a little bonus for the guys he finds in the weeds….

    Like

  27. 27 berigan2electricboogaloo March 30, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I wonder if the braves would have interest in Chris Perez, who the Brewers just released?
    Reading about this on mlbtr, I was expecting to see a terrible spring…
    ….Perez, 29, pitched 46 innings for the Dodgers in 2014. He posted a 4.27 ERA with 7.58 K/9 and 4.86 BB/9. The former Indians closer has locked down 133 career saves, but he began to struggle with command and control in 2013. His stuff has remained largely intact, including a 94 mph fastball. He pitched to a 2.70 ERA this spring with five strikeouts and three walks in 10 innings.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 10:10 am

    VOX, They can always wait for the Nats to drop Uggla and pick him back up, after all, the Braves are already paying for him…

    While there are no guarantees on Melvin being able to hit, he sort of makes any outfield decisions short term.

    Playing centerfield at Turner is a bit of adventure to begin with as the poor lighting can make the ball disappear in mid air. Could make for some interesting routes.

    Young pitchers are so hot and cold. Remember the formula, Your one and twos pitch well every game, your three 2 out of every three, your four about half of the time and your five one good game out of three. Just the way it works.

    I would let the Folty refine his stuff along with ManBam in Triple A and use Stults as a five with Cody Martin in reserve. While the Braves may be competitive, no use going crazy this year. Still moves to be made to get the roster in order.

    You are right however in your observations that there are really too many unanswered questions going into the final week of S.T.

    Who would have thought the Braves would be looking for a right handed power bat off the bench this season? (Cough, Gattis)

    Anyway, I was a bit disappointed in Kohn giving up that 2 run homer in the ninth yesterday. Oh well, it’s is just an exhibition game but they are getting more important the closer we get to April 6th.

    Like

  29. 29 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Chris Perez eh? Wonder why the Brewers let him go? Could be worth a look one would think. I’m thinking the Braves will be scanning the wavier wire for a back-up outfielder…

    Like

  30. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 10:18 am

    Okay, sprained ankle Sunday…

    Like

  31. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Going back and re-reading some of the post by Bowman and Cunningham of the AJC, it looks like the Braves are seriously considering Joe Benson as a back up outfielder. Ya never know..

    Like

  32. 32 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Chris Perez is a fairly nondescript righty reliever that the Brewers had signed to a minor league deal with a big league camp invite. He didn’t have a bad spring, but not a great one either. Just kinda average. And there was not going to be a spot for him in their bullpen, so they let him go look for another job. If he were a lefty, there would probably be 29 teams all over him. I think the Braves are OK with their RHRP’s. But the southpaws… ugh. Hopefully Feigl, who has had a pretty decent camp, will be as good as advertised.

    Like

  33. 33 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 10:41 am

    I’m thinking the Braves will be scanning the wavier wire for a back-up outfielder…

    it looks like the Braves are seriously considering Joe Benson as a back up outfielder.

    Yes and yes. Speaks volumes.

    Like

  34. 34 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 11:07 am

    As for OF, the Fish have released old friend Reed Johnson. The last couple of years, he has been chewed up by RH’s but has still hit LH’s well. Wonder if the Braves will inquire?

    Like

  35. 35 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 11:08 am

    Then again, I suppose Terdo pretty much gives you the same offense as Reed. Neither, of course, can play CF.

    Like

  36. 36 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Well, so much for my thinking that Kohn had earned a job… he has been assigned to AAA. As Fredi pointed out, he has averaged a walk per inning. So has Vizcaino, who has similarly been optioned to AAA.

    Like

  37. 37 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 11:17 am

    With today’s re-assignment of Kohn to AAA, I think it’s a clear indication that Martin has a job. I also think it could mean that whomever misses out as 5th starter between Folty and Stults might come out of the pen. Man, they really need Folty to have a big start today.

    Like

  38. 38 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Wonder if Martin still has a shot at the #5 starter’s job?

    Like

  39. 39 berigan2electricboogaloo March 30, 2015 at 11:34 am

    Wonder if Chris Perez can get out lefties, but not righties? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    While I think Folty has a ton of potential, I would rather have him start in the minors as opposed to working out of the pen, that way he can take Wandy’s spot when the old lefty finally blows a gasket… Just saying, I don’t think Rodriqizes will hold up the entire season.

    There are always some nice surprises coming out of spring training but the grind of the season will expose your weaknesses PDQ. For pitchers, it is facing tougher line-ups and for hitters, it is your weaknesses being exposed.

    Hanging around .500 for the first month would be a real positive outcome methinks.

    Like

  41. 41 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    So the SH Todd Cunningham leads off today’s game with a single. That is great for him and for Fredi. Man has he ever been given a great opportunity today!?!

    Like

  42. 42 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Bowman opines that KJ has won 1 of the OF spots and that the last OF spot, the backup CF, is the only remaining position battle. That sounds very accurate, especially in light of the fact that Ham gets a start today. You kinda have to think that since he’s the last remaining real CF on the team, and that he is a SH, the job is his for the taking… as long as he can reach out and take with just a few days remaining.

    Like

  43. 43 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    While I think Folty has a ton of potential, I would rather have him start in the minors as opposed to working out of the pen

    Agree 100%. I just don’t see many candidates to fill the pen. Unless Cody Martin surprises and seizes the 5th spot in the rotation, he should have one RHRP spot. But who’s the other? Juan Jaime might touch 100mph on the gun, but he can’t control it. And we’ve seen already the priority that Fredi places on throwing strikes. But who’s left? Youngsters Brandon Cunniff or Aaron Kurcz? Neither has been bad, so maybe somebody catches a break…

    I dunno. Since we as fans have not set “playoffs” as a goal this year, I’d just as soon let Folty take a few lumps and get his experience up here in the rotation. I definitely think he could use some seasoning, but might as well get a full helping of it. If you do that, then you can drop Stults into the long relief/swingman role.

    I guess that’s why they get paid to make decisions.

    Like

  44. 44 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    And as I type that, Ham ranges very nicely in straightaway CF to make a nice play. That has to remind Fredi how much good D in CF matters. Another plus for Todd today.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. 45 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    And Ham walks in his 2nd PA. Plus.

    Like

  46. 46 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Folty is not seizing the day…

    Like

  47. 47 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Of course, as I say that he did not seize the day, the Braves commentators are saying the opposite… that he pitched well today. I could be tainted by the 3 mile HR he gave up to Cespedis.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 48 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Bowman characterizes the 3.2 inning stint as “encouraging” and notes that Folty was “much more composed” today.

    Like

  49. 49 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Both beat writers note that Terdo is still out with a sore wrist. This non-beat writer comments that it has probably cost him a spot on the Opening Day roster.

    Like

  50. 50 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Lost in the hubbub (FOB?) of the IF, OF and pitching battles is the strong spring by Christian Bethancourt. Dude is raking in the GFL. He just went oppo for a long home run. He came into today’s tilt batting .303 with 6 RBI in just 12 games.

    Like

  51. 51 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    This is kinda cool…

    Wanna see the new SunTrust Park being built via live webcam? Click here.

    Like

  52. 52 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Solid effort by Stultz today, 4 innings pitched, 1 hit 1 walk and 2 Ks. 4 ground ball outs and 4 fly outs. He is ready methinks…

    Like

  53. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Even more impressive, actually went five 1 hit, 1 walk, 3 Ks, 5 and 5….

    Let the teeth gnashing begin in Chicago. They sent Bryan, the new wonderkin of baseball, Cannot blame the Cubs for holding him down 2 weeks so they gain an extra year of control. I’d make that call if I were Theo.

    Jaba the “Pizza Hutt” Chamberlin very hittable today.

    Todd C wants that final spot…

    Like

  54. 54 berigan2electricboogaloo March 30, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Gil, it pains me horribly to agree with Bor*ss on ANYTHING, but I feel he is right here, for once in a decade. The Cubs COULD, could compete this year, at least for a wildcard. They COULD be this years K.C.
    Their best hitter, by far…they are sending down.
    I want to see the cubs win the w.s., in my lifetime. But, part of me wants to see the cubs start 4-8, and finish 1-2 games out of the playoffs…..the cubs, are swimming in money…they can actually afford to pay him whatever scarey amount of moola he will ask for in 6 years.
    They are not serious about winning….the cubs make money no matter what.
    They will be “competitive”…all they really want to be.

    Like

  55. 55 berigan2electricboogaloo March 30, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Wish there was some exciting young kid to be dying to see at the start of the braves season. No F.F. , JHey, Peraza , maybe in 2016/2017 . I have to remember he is only 20.
    The pitchers the braves got for the outfield…well, perhaps 2016. Miller should be fun to watch, once a week… :/

    Like

  56. 56 berigan2electricboogaloo March 30, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    WTH??? what is the braves braintrust doing? Hope the guys there can do the job….

    The Mets announced that they’ve acquired left-hander Jerry Blevins from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Matt den Dekker (Twitter link). Blevins becomes the second left-handed reliever added to the Mets’ bullpen today, as the team struck a deal to acquire Alex Torres from the Padres in exchange for Minor League righty Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later.

    Like

  57. 57 Vox O'Raison March 30, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Well, If the decisions were to be made based on today’s performance, both Ham and Stults would have cemented jobs. I think Stults has a job anyway – either as 5th starter or in the pen – but Ham may have kept himself off the long bus rides with his game today. Timely for the roster hopeful.

    Like

  58. 58 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Ber, Borrass really only has his own best interest in mind, if it happens to help the player, all the better.

    I saw that trade by the Mets today too, they needed a situational lefty and a lefty reliever and filled both those needs.

    The Mets have looked strong this spring, the Nats are really going to miss Tyler Clippard. Great trade, they gave up their 8th inning guy and got Yunel Escobar to play second… HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA….

    Liked by 1 person

  59. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Now the real test, can TC repeat? Does he have to?

    Like

  60. 60 Vox O'Raison March 31, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Not much in the news today yet, since the Braves do not play until 6:05pm. owever, they did open up one 40-man roster spot by releasing Yenier Bello. He was a 30-yo C they signed out of Cuba last year, but didn’t really fit into any future plans.

    5th Starter race looks to be still open as both Folty and Stults impressed yesterday. I thought Stults was especially impressive. I think he wins the job and Folty goes down, leaving Cody Martin in the bullpen.

    KJ is starting tonight in LF vs. the RH Asher Wojciechowski (and yes, I had to cut and paste his name). Anyway, I think KJ has won the LF platoon job to compliment Jonny. Fredi calls is a “soft” platoon, which simply means he can go with it – or not – as he pleases.

    Ham may have done enough yeserday for Fredi to have confidence in him as the 5th OF. And let’s face it, it’s only for 4-5 weeks anyway until Melvin returns.

    Speaking of Melvin, he has reportedly been working even with the cast/boot on. They say he did soft toss from his knees while in the cast, and has been taking BP in the cage with the boot. Think he sees the writing on the wall? He’s expected to get the boot off Friday but essentially is looking at starting completely from scratch, hence the 4-5 week timetable.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 61 Vox O'Raison March 31, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Melvin, courtesy of ajc.com:

    “I’ve thrown a couple of times, lifting weights. Just waiting to get it off,” he said. “It’ll probably take a week to actually start really working on it again — get in the shoe, start walking on it again. There’s no timetable.

    Like

  62. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I saw somewhere that Dan Uggla told the gNats he was not interested in being a bench player at this stage of his career… Translation… Dude, I am still picking up 13 large from the Braves this season and can be picky…

    Liked by 1 person

  63. 63 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Sigh.. Wandy not so magical tonight….

    Like

  64. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    My bad, t’was Cunniff who walked two then gave up a dinger..

    Like

  65. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Methinks Feigl is nailing down a spot on this team.

    Like

  66. 66 berigan2electricboogaloo March 31, 2015 at 10:48 pm

    some “braking” news from the evening hours in case you all miss it in the am….pretty impressed with what a 3 year old can do, wait til he’s in his teens! 😉
    Yahoo’s Jeff Passan tweets that utility man Kelly Johnson has made the Braves‘ 25-man roster. Johnson inked a Minor League pact that included a yet-unreported base salary. His versatility, the organization’s familiarity with him and the fact that the 3-year-old slashed a hefty .273/.396/.523 with a pair of homers in 54 plate appearances this spring likely all factored into the decision.

    Like

  67. 67 berigan2electricboogaloo March 31, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Braves Outright Zoilo Almonte
    By Steve Adams [March 31, 2015 at 5:51pm CDT]

    Outfielder Zoilo Almonte has cleared waivers and been outrighted by the Braves, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com (via Twitter). Atlanta had signed the 25-year-old to a Major League contract this winter despite a very limited big league track record. By outrighting Almonte, they’ve cleared a spot on their 40-man roster.

    The former Yankee hit just .245/.283/.265 in 53 plate appearances in his bid for a spot on the Braves’ 2015 roster. Instead, he can head to Triple-A Gwinnett and hope for another opportunity to join the roster at some point this season or elect free agency and seek an opportunity with another club, as he has previously been outrighted in his career…..

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/03/braves-outright-zoilo-almonte.html

    Like

  68. 68 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Yep, ol’ friend KJ has nailed down the LF partnership with Jonny. That might just be a pretty productive spot in the lineup, too. What’s funny to me is that aside from Justin’s couple of years here, LF was a black hole for the Braves for many years, So relatively speaking, I think we are ahead of the game.

    Like

  69. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Trims it down to one outfield spot, one pitcher, one reliever…

    Listening to the overnight chatter, one would think the Braves are looking more towards Shultz for the final spot in the rotation. Both he and Wandy are the same price. Folty can be moved back and forth between Triple A and despite the 8 strike outs last night, there were a lot of hard hit balls off Rodriguez the past couple of games. As much as I would like to see Wandy make it back, I don’t think he will hold up for an entire season. Few pitchers do but he looks tired already and it’s just spring training.

    Let’s look at the projections, Minor should be back in about a month to month and a half. Who do you move? While 2 mil is chump change to most MLB clubs, it is still 1 1/2 mill more than it would cost for Foltynewicz to ride the shuttle and the Braves are still shaking out the couch cushions trying to balance their budget.

    Shultz has also shown he can be effective out of the pen if the need arises. Fiegl continues to impress. I think the Braves have their lefty specialist who could pitch an inning or two. He has been much more impressive than Avilan this spring.

    Like

  70. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2015 at 10:17 am

    And of course, I completely forgot about Cody Martin who has looked very good this spring.

    Like

  71. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I still think Avilan wore his arm out a couple of years ago.

    Like

  72. 72 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Today’s game against the Phillies will be re-broadcast at 6AM on the MLBTV network (channel 213 on DirecTV) An opportunity to see the progress of Teheran as well as see how good Cole Hammels looks. He is slated to the be the opening day starter for the Phillies. I still think he and Howard will be traded but who knows? Teams are still playing it pretty close to the vest these days.

    Like

  73. 73 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Bowman: The battle for the final bench spot will be on display as Cunningham (RF), Benson (CF) and Ciriaco (LF) are all in today’s lineup.

    I love it!

    Braves vs. Phils in Clearwater at 1:05pm. Julio vs. Cole Hamels.

    Like

  74. 74 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    2day’s lineup:

    1- Todd Cunningham, RF
    2- Simba, SS
    3- Jace, 2B
    4- CJ, 1B
    5- Joe Benson, CF
    6- Callaspo, 3B
    7- Pedro Ciriaco, LF
    8- Flores, C
    9- Julio, RHP

    Like

  75. 75 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Marlins beat writer Joe Frisaro has confirmed that LHRP Andrew McKirahan has been claimed off waivers by the Braves. That means the Braves now must work out a deal with the Fish to obtain him. (Kind of a technical matter, though, since he’s been waived and now claimed.) McKirahan was a Rule 5 pick by the Fish from the Cubs, so the Braves have to keep him on the active roster or give him back to CHI.

    May spell the end of Avilan in ATL.

    Like

  76. 76 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    McKirahan had a 2.08 ERA w/ 57 K’s vs. just 14 BB’s in 65 IP split between A & AA in 2014. In 9 IP this spring, he has a 3.00 ERA w/ 6 K’s vs. 3 BB’s. Fredi places a very high priority on not giving free passes.

    Like

  77. 77 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    More on McKirahan…

    He’s 25 years old. He’s 6′ 2″ and 195 lbs. (He needs to eat a sammich or 2.) The Fish were expected to try to trade him since they don’t have a roster spot for him. I suppose by exposing him to waivers, they lock the claiming team into meaningful negotiations.

    Like

  78. 78 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Do not panic! Julio has given up 4 HR’s through 4 innings today, but I would not place too much stock in that. This is his last start of the spring, and he’s likely only getting in a set number of pitches/innings and not really “airing it out”, so to speak. You might equate it to a bullpen session. Most of the regular team isn’t even on this trip. Get down off that bridge!

    Liked by 1 person

  79. 79 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    I was just going to say, you might not want to watch the delayed telecast..

    Sounds as if Julio was practicing his fastball today. One of those deals where you don’t really want to show adivision rival too much, I’m thinking it might be ugly with Woods against the Fish tomorrow too.

    Cole Hammels doesn’t care what the Braves see, he knows they are not going to hit him anyway….

    Might be a deal where they claim him knowing if the Marlins don’t keep him on their roster that they have to give him back to the Cubs. Likely it will be for cash considerations. If I were Outman, I would be worried….

    Like

  80. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2015 at 4:07 pm

    Of course, Julio might have wanted to give his outfielders some practice on fly balls. Just got up in the jet stream … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 81 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Of course, Julio might have wanted to give his outfielders some practice on fly balls.

    That’s it. Since each was essentially auditioning for the 25th roster spot, Fredi had Julio give them a good defensive workout. Of course, it doesn’t take much defensive accumen to turn and watch. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  82. 82 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Kevin McAlpin: LHP Josh Outman is dealing with a shoulder issue. Went back to Atlanta to have it examined.

    Well… isn’t that convenient?

    Like

  83. 83 Vox O'Raison April 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Now Outman can open the season on the DL and give Fredi a couple of weeks to assess Feigl and McKirahan with live bullets flying.

    Like

  84. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    At least Outman has a legitimate reason for stinking up the joint… What is Avilan’s excuse?

    Hey, homeruns happen, walks preceding homeruns shouldn’t… Not being able to throw a strike tells me either they do not have control or they don’t have anything with which to challenge the hitter.

    Like

  85. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Folty’s problem is he overthrows the ball too often. Dial it back to 92 and make it cut kid…

    Like

  86. 86 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    6:05pm start time for the game at Disney this evening, and the Braves FOT’s (Front Office Types) are filling their morning schedule with roster meetings. We could hear the position winners/losers as early as today.

    Like

  87. 87 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    2nite’s lineup vs. the O’s:

    1- EY, CF
    2- Joe Benson, LF
    3- Neck, RF
    4- Freddie, 1B
    5- Jonny, DH
    6- CJ, 3B
    7- B’court, C
    8- Callaspo, 2B
    9- Andy Simmons, SS

    LHP- Alex Wood

    And according to Bowman, newly acquired LHRP Andrew McKirahan is scheduled to pitch in the game. Cody Martin, Grilli and Wang are also available.

    BTW- I’ve said it repeatedly. I like Freddie in the 4-hole. I’d like to see the lineup start with EY, Jace, Neck, Freddie, Jonny/Kelly. In fact, it can continue with CJ, B’court and Andy, and I’d be pretty happy with it.

    Like

  88. 88 berigan2electricboogaloo April 2, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    V, I am afraid FF is going to be pitched like Barry Bonds when he was hitting 70 HR’s . Every team is going to say there is 1 guy to worry about, don’t ever let him beat you…. I think it would make more sense to have FF bat 3rd, and Nick M back cleanup, even though he is not a classic 4 hole hitter.
    I know, if there are 2,3 on in front of him, they have to pitch to him…and hope that happens a lot! But, when there is 1 or no one on….who are pitchers going to pitch to?
    Jonny Gomes, he of the 6 HR’s and .244 BA in 273 AB’s, Kelly Johnson, he of 7 HR’s (in those massive parks of NY and Boston) 27 RBIs, .215 BA
    Or FF, after an off year, hitting .288, 18 HRs, 78 RBI’s???
    What would really help is CJ or Bethancourt getting hot…someone has to be hot to give FF any chance of getting pitches to hit

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Good afternoon fellow Stuffians… Line ups are subject to more changes than a … well… nothing I can think of right this second but You Know…

    Anyway, Ber, find that leak yet?

    Now baseball… over/under on the number of walks by Freddie Freeman this season with the baseline being 130…. ? Lots of RBI opportunities for somebody.

    I still think Feigl should get a shot but likely McKirahan will bump him if he sticks. If I were Avilan, I would be looking over my shoulder….

    Not having the opportunity to actually see a lot of guys play this spring puts me at a serious disadvantage when it comes to evaluating talent for this season’s club. One has to think Joey T did not help his chances at making the team this year when he dropped a fairly routine fly ball in the eight inning yesterday.

    Prediction, In the Braves match up with the Marlins to open the season, one team will win and one team will lose… I doubt it will make or break either team but one thing you do not want to do is start in a deep hole like Arizona did last season against the Dodgers. The D-Backs never recovered. Hovering around .500 for the first couple of months will be okay with me. Of course, I’m not sure how much good that would do except to give some of the kids an little more confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  90. 90 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    If I were Avilan, I would be looking over my shoulder…

    I think Avilan opens the season in AAA. I’ll bet the Braves open the season with McK and Feigl.

    Like

  91. 91 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I do not mind being the lone optimist residing in B&S-land. But I will also not mind gloating a bit when the Braves finish this season with a better record than in 2014.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. 92 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 93 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Per all of the team’s beat writers/reporters, OF Joe Benson has been officially added to the NRI list today (with only 2 days remaining in spring training) and “finally has a locker in the Braves major league clubhouse”.

    😆

    Liked by 1 person

  94. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Joe Benson, the one guy of whom I made absolutely no mention of this spring. Goes to show, I may need to surrender my Nostradamus card…

    Liked by 2 people

  95. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Play hard boys, you never know when someone is watching, willing to give you a chance.

    Like

  96. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Wood and Feigl impressive, Wang, not so much…

    Like

  97. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Now, that was a game to lift the hopes of a couple of kids on the bubble…

    Like

  98. 98 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Todd Cunningham might try to spike Joe Benson’s Gatorade…

    Like

  99. 99 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  100. 100 berigan2electricboogaloo April 2, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Wow! 27, had a bad year, but still…D-Backs are going to pay half of his 12 mil deal, traded a minor leaguer that doesn’t seem to be a real prospect, AND….obtained a compensation round draft pick in return.
    Don’t get it, but glad the braves got this sweetheart deal!

    Like

  101. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Sounds a lot like what the Braves would have to do to unload Melvin….

    Liked by 1 person

  102. 102 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Well, that takes care of the 4th starter race. The real question is who wins between Wandy and Stults for the 5th spot? Wandy may have taken the early lead, but Stults finished strong.

    Word is that the Braves are still shopping for the last OF spot, too. (And at least keeping their eyes on the reliever market.)

    Like

  103. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2015 at 10:44 pm

    Still think the Braves should ditch Wandy and keep Stuliz

    Liked by 1 person

  104. 104 Vox O'Raison April 2, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    According to the beat reporters, the Braves were not hip to open the season with 2 junk-ballin’ lefties at the back end of the rotation. 1 yes, but not 2. So they went shopping. IMO, a good move. Remember, he’s the 5th starter once Minor returns.

    There was at least a slight sense of urgency to do something as both of the aforementioned junk-ballin’ lefties have opt-out clauses that hit on Friday.

    So who stays and who goes? My money is on Stults to stay.

    Like

  105. 105 berigan2electricboogaloo April 2, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Doesn’t it make you wonder if they don’t think Minor will be able to contribute much for the first half? Otherwise, why worry about basically who will be the 5th starter, when you don’t even need one in April?

    Like

  106. 106 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 8:57 am

    Doesn’t it make you wonder if they don’t think Minor will be able to contribute much for the first half?

    One has to at least think…

    Like

  107. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Hedging one’s bets they are… 🙂

    Like

  108. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Vizcaino suspended for 80 days for testing positive for PEDs.. We hardly knew you Arodys… Well, didn’t know you well enough…

    Like

  109. 109 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Bowman: Nothing has been finalized, but it sounds like Juan Jaime will get one of the available bullpen spots. [He is] out of minor league options, so expect him to make it. (Also, he’s pitched better lately, so they’ll hope.) Members of the organization are split on Jaime. So there’s still a chance this could change.

    Big arm; no control. I say cut him loose. He’s had time to mature and harness it, and has yet to come around. Time’s a-waistin’, and so is his 40-man roster spot. Say “bye”.

    Like

  110. 110 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Oops… 😳

    The above quote(s) were both Bowman and O’Brien, accidentally intermingled. Sorry about that…

    Like

  111. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    Jaime reminds me of my ’81 ElDorado. It had the potential to be a very nice car bit it constantly disappointed me. Ran really great for 30 minutes the whole two years I owned it.

    Liked by 1 person

  112. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    Guys with big arms have a really tough time dialing it down a notch, thus, they overthrow the ball a lot. Results in a lot of walks and wild pitches. Give me a kid with a 90 MPH fastball with movement any day…

    Like

  113. 113 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Braves release Wandy, along with Jose Constanza and Jesus Flores… and a few more minor leaguers. I’m digging now…

    Like

  114. 114 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    DOB tweeted: “Braves released a bunch of minor leaguers, with Jose Constanza and reliever Todd Coffey notable among them.

    One tends to think that “a bunch of minor leaguers” means… well, a bunch. No other names have been listed anywhere yet, though.

    Also, CMWang was assigned to AAA. If I recall correctly, he also has an opt out clause, but it’s a couple more months down the road.

    Like

  115. 115 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Very good John Hart quote, via Bowman:

    “We obviously haven’t announced anything with [Eric] Stults, but he has pitched well, and we realize that the one thing this guy has done is eat innings,” Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said. “He doesn’t have Wandy’s career [achievements], but he also doesn’t have Wandy’s medicals.”

    Kinda figured that might come into play, especially given the fact that the Braves signed Wandy les than a week after he had failed a physical with the Phils.

    Like

  116. 116 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    So… reading between the lines, this is what we can assume. The Braves want Stults to “eat innings”, so that means when Minor returns – whenever that may be – Cahill is likely to be dealt, or dealt with in some manner. The Braves have only a 1 year commitment to him at less than half his 2015 salary, that being $5.5M of the $12M he’s owed. As Ber alluded to earlier, we are probably looking at a mid-season return for Minor, at which time the Braves can seek to trade Cahill at the ASB, the trade deadline or whenever circumstances dictate. And of course, those circumstances include other injuries, performance, etc. Many moving parts. As the old saying goes, you can never have too much pitching.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 117 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Fredi has announced his starting pitching plans, which as expected include Julio, Woody and Shelby (in that order) starting the first 3 games in Miami. Stults will start the home opener after the off day, and the 5th spot will be skipped until the next turn through with Cahill taking the bump on 4/15. He will be available in the bullpen for the first turn through the rotation.

    Like

  118. 118 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Whoa!!! 😯

    Per MLBTR, Ervin Santana suspended 80 games for PED use. Crikey!!

    Like

  119. 119 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Yes, the Braves continue to follow the B&S it seems. I liked Wandy but just felt like his arm could blow out with any pitch. I hope he gets picked up by someone, it would be good for him. No hard feeling Bro…

    VCU had their basketball coach poached today by Texas, such is the life of a mid-major. Your always in someone’s sights. As for me? oh well, good luck at a football school…

    So, the Braves are being evaluated as the second worse team in baseball this season by Leith Law… I think that is a bit harsh when you consider the D-Backs and the Rockies… They were rated above the Phillies… Big deal. So, more motivational material to post on the bulletin board.

    Okay, Markakis is not quite as good as Heyward but if you consider where Heyward had to bat last season, I don’t think it is that much difference all told. Justin Upton was a force but had extended droughts and no charism on team leadership. The Braves will miss his bat but I am not sure how much. That leave Gattis… Was Evan really that much of a force? As a hitter, yes but as a catcher, well, not so much. As power depleted the Braves may look on paper, they likely will equal last season’s total with the current crew. It all comes down to not making errors. Playing within themselves. I feel pretty sure the Braves will win a third and lose a third of their games this year. That other third is going to be huge…

    Like

  120. 120 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    I bet Wandy’s agent is on the phone to Dayton Moore as we speak!

    Like

  121. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Ervin Santana suspended 80 games for PED use

    Wow, that is a huge blow for the Indians… Ya think Anrody gave him up? :-).

    Like

  122. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    Oh wait, make that the Twins… Hey, those AL teams all look alike to me….

    Like

  123. 123 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    The braves are expected to announce their OD roster tomorrow, ahead of Sunday’s noon deadline. The only positions still in the air are the 5th OF, and much of the bullpen.

    I think the suits really like Joe Benson. And given that Todd Cunningham can go work in AAA (as could Benson), they don’t have alot to lose by keeping him on board. It’s not like they want him to start.

    The bullpen… well, it’s as clear as mud. I think the LH side will be Feigl and McK. The RH side… well, I still believe Cody Martin has made the team, but I don’t make the decisions. That leaves 1 more RH spot. Heck, they may just keep both Folty and Martin as the RH compliment. I can think of worse. Still, if they prefer ManBan to keep on the starting routine, they should feel the same about Folty. Then again, with his size and stuff, he might be better suited for shorter innings as his career progresses. I wonder if the suits envision him that way? Hmmm…

    Like

  124. 124 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Oh wait, make that the Twins… Hey, those AL teams all look alike to me…

    That’s OK, Gil… I mentioned the GM of Kansas City. 😆

    Like

  125. 125 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    But I bet Wandy’s agent knows which GM to call; if not, Wandy needs a new agent.

    Like

  126. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    There will always be stuff that happens, why in the world would you bring that kind of trouble upon yourself.

    Like

  127. 127 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Braves’ lineup for 2nite vs. the O’s in Sarasota:

    1- EY, CF
    2- Peterson, 2B
    3- Freeman, DH
    4- KJ, 3B
    5- CJ, 1B
    6- Jonny, LF
    7- B’court, C
    8- Simba, SS
    9- Ham, RF

    SMiller takes the hill as the RHSP. The other scheduled pitchers have not been announced yet.

    Like

  128. 128 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    The game is on TV tonight here locally, Orioles broadcast team. Comes on at 6PM so I won’t have to watch the news… Yea!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  129. 129 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    What we are usually not privy to are the nicks and bumps all pitchers aquire during the plying of their craft. A lot of times teams try to hide these so other teams won’t takes advantage.

    Like

  130. 130 berigan2electricboogaloo April 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Amazed, and disappointed in Santana….just once, I wish they could find it was accidental….but it never seems to be the case

    Like

  131. 131 berigan2electricboogaloo April 3, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Phils have to be the bottom of the MLB barrel, and are wanting to toss Ryan Howard, by all accounts, a great guy, with the team his whole career, and a guy that would have driven in 100 RBI’s (Remember when driving in runs was an important stat? So glad we have moved from that, and care more about WAR, VORP, and pitch framing) if dopy manager Ryan Sandberg didn’t bench him for a week or so…and there was some talk of them trading him, and eating all but 10 Mil of his contract, and I recall some dopy writer (lots of dopes out there 😉 ) saying a team shouldn’t take him on for even that money…so, the trick for the Phils will be getting the #1 pick, and still screwing things up…they can do it though

    Liked by 1 person

  132. 132 Vox O'Raison April 3, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I had VORP once. Doc gave me an ointment and it cleared up in about a week or so.

    Liked by 2 people

  133. 133 Vox O'Raison April 4, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Although no formal announcement has been made by the Braves, it looks like the Opening Day roster will be:

    Rotation; Teheran, Wood, Miller, Stults, Cahill

    Bullpen: Kimbrel, Grilli, JJohnson, Avilan, McKirahan, Jaime, Martin

    C: Bethancourt, Pierzynski

    IF: Freeman, Peterson, Simmons, CJohnson, Gosselin, Callaspo

    OF: Gomes, Young, Markakis, KJohnson, Ciriaco

    Like

  134. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville April 4, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Well, I never got around to the final “Spring Training” blog but the release of Almonte and the keeping of Ciraco I guess would rank as the only two real surprises. Mainly, Ciraco making the club. Let’s face it, someone is going to be bumped off the roster when Melvin returns. I doubt the Braves will pay BJ to sit. Of course, by them, the Braves might have either surprised the heck out of people on not…. The bar has been set pretty low this season, this team has all the trappings of making or breaking Fredi Gonzalas’ career with Atlanta.

    A couple of quick comments though. While this season’s edition looks to be short on power, they have a lot of spunk and moxie. Put the bat on the ball and run out every grounder blue collar kind of outfit.

    Biggest surprise of Spring Training, trading for Trevor Cahill….

    So, do the players meet in Atlanta then fly to Miami? I guess a lot of them have their cars in Orlando. What is it, six hour drive from Orlando to Atlanta?

    Like

  135. 135 berigan2electricboogaloo April 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    Almost here!
    Here are the spring stats if anyone cares…
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ATL/2015.shtml

    Like

  136. 136 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    He is risen!!

    Liked by 2 people

  137. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Well, a bit of a surprise that the Braves opted to place Outman on the 25 man opening day roster and leaver off Ciraco. I guess there was not enough room on the 40 man roster for him at this time.

    Like

  138. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Of course, the minor league clubs are close to home for the first week or so. You almost need to put 4 guys in the outfield at Miami.

    Like

  139. 139 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    OK… for some reason, the Braves are carrying 13 pitchers on the OD roster, adding Outman and leaving Ciriaco behind. There has to be a story behind that… and we may never know what it is. But I smell something going on behind the scenes. What makes it even more unusual is that Fredi is skipping the 5th starter through the first turn, so it effectively makes for 9 pitchers in the bullpen. Most unusual and illogical. If anything, they would carry one less pitcher for the first 6 games.

    Something doesn’t add up.

    Like

  140. 140 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    DOB speculates that perhaps this is all procedural since two separate medical reports haven’t given them basis for Outman’s shoulder/collarbone pain. Says that the team was dissatisfied with his performance and considering a release when Outman complained of the shoulder discomfort. He also makes note that if the Braves had disabled him, they couldn’t release him. Perhaps it’s all purely procedural so as not to rankle the ire of the MLBPA when they cut him loose. Dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”.

    I’m sure it all comes down to $$.

    Like

  141. 141 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    One more interesting possibility…

    DOB also speculates that Outman could simply be a placeholder for a better 5th OF option that Benson or Cunningham. Perhaps the Braves are pursuing another bench piece and will release Outman at that point. Maybe even as soon as later today.

    I might also add that Cody Ross was let go from the D’backs yesterday. He bats RH, as some pop, and can play all 3 OF positions. Seems like at least a possibility.

    Like

  142. 142 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Bowman says that the Braves are still talking to teams about additional moves. Things are making a little more sense now. Placing Outman on the roster gives them a little more roster flexibility.

    Like

  143. 143 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Holy smokes!!!!!! 😯

    Like

  144. 144 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I have no words. Just read it for yourselves.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/04/padres-have-completed-trade.html

    Like

  145. 145 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    The Braves effectively had to give away the best closer in baseball to get rid of the biggest albatross in baseball. This fan is not happy.

    Yes, we picked up a highly rated pitching prospect. Better stated, we picked up another highly rated pitching prospect. In fact, he was SD’s #1 prospect. But how many do we need? And we picked up an OF prospect. We also picked up a pair of has-beens in Carlos Quentin and Cameron Maybin. Maybin, when healthy, might make a fair 5th OF. Quentin will not be any better than Melvin. But his contract only runs through 2015.

    This was a salary dump, pure and simple.

    I immediately recant my earlier prediction of a .500 season. I think given the shocking nature of this trade, whom no one saw coming, I should be allowed to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  146. 146 Carolina Lady April 5, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I’m nauseous. Glad I didn’t pay big bucks to watch them this year. My disgust is total.

    Like

  147. 147 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Matt Wisler is a 22 year old. RHP who pitched in AA-AAA in 2014. Baseball America has him as the #34 prospect in baseball, and was #1 in the SD organization. He K’s close to 1 per inning on the strength of low-90’s fastball that he throws to both sides of the plate, and a knee buckling slow curve. SD had him pegged as a 2014 arrival. I expect he’ll start out in AAA with the possibility of joining the big club if needed

    Jordan Paroubeck is only 20 and was SD’s 2nd round pick in 2013 and played in Rookie League in 2014, although it was cut short with a shoulder injury. He is a SH with an easy swing and power from both sides of the plate. He also has plus-speed and plus-arm, allowing him to play all 3 OF spots easily. He’s still growing into his frame and could wind up as a classic power hitting corner OF. He is a raw talent with a high ceiling.

    Carlos Quentin is surplus and I hope they can figure out a way for him NOT to clog up our 25 man roster, even if it means releasing him and eating the $8M he’s owed this season.

    Cameron Maybin had his 2014 season marred by both injuries and a 25-game suspension for amphetamine use. He’s owed $7M in 2015 and $8M in 2016. At least he’s cheaper than Melvin. I think that’s about the best thing I can say about him.

    They are also getting the 41st pick in the draft. This pick traditionally follows the 40th pick, and comes in ahead of the 42nd pick. It is an odd number, and therefore cannot be divided by the number 2. It’s also a prime number. (Do you know how difficult is it to provide an analysis of a yet to be used draft pick?)

    Liked by 1 person

  148. 148 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    I guess the Braves felt like Kimbrel’s talents would be wasted on a so so ball club and Melvin’s contract would continue to weigh them down.

    Quinton, no gain, Maybin is not a bad player, just passing through.

    I am sad to lose Kimbrel but I will get over it like I did with Evan Gattis. Shades of 1988….

    Liked by 1 person

  149. 149 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Beat writers are reporting that Quentin will be designated for assignment.

    Like

  150. 150 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    I am sad to lose Kimbrel but I will get over it like I did with Evan Gattis.

    Me too, Gil. I’m moving on. I got over hurt feelings when Tom Glavine donned a Mets uni and when John Smoltz put on the Boston “B”.

    Liked by 1 person

  151. 151 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Lots of dust still whirling around huh…

    Like

  152. 152 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    That takes care of the 13 pitcher nonsense. I still think Outman is a short timer, though.

    So who closes? Grilli? JJohnson? Both?

    Why not… Folty? He’s a big framed flame thrower. Perhaps he could be lights out 1 inning at a time. At least bring him back and let him pitch the 7th, with JJ taking the 8th and Grilli closing. Then he might be ready to take the closing gig in 2016.

    Like

  153. 153 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    In my mind, even if the DFA Quentin and insert Maybin as the 5th OF, there is still one big unanswered question.

    The bullpen doesn’t make any sense. There are 3 LH in Outman, McK and Avilan, along with RH longman Cody Martin and Juan Jaime. Assuming Grilli takes the closer role, and JJohnson takes the 8th inning, who pitches the 7th? Jaime? I doubt it. There is no longer a lock down pitcher for the 7th. And there is an imbalance of LH’s, one of which was on the verge of being released.

    No… I think there is still at least one more roster move (not counting cutting Quentin loose) to be made before the team opens the new campaign tomorrow night.

    Like

  154. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Grili or Johnson could work, I still like Fiegl 🙂

    Like

  155. 155 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Lots of good young arms coming along.

    Liked by 1 person

  156. 156 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    i gotta let my jets cool for a little while. Maybe some of this will make a little more sense in a couple of hours.

    Like

  157. 157 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 7:56 pm

    Farm system got better too.. 🙂

    Hey, lots of lemonade needs to be made this year

    Liked by 1 person

  158. 158 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    I think we can now say the Braves are in full rebuild mode…

    Liked by 2 people

  159. 159 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    John Hart says RH Brandon Cunniff will be added to the bullpen prior to tomorrow night’s lid-lifter.

    Jet cooling resuming.

    Like

  160. 160 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    Like

  161. 161 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Like

  162. 162 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Like

  163. 163 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Like

  164. 164 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Like

  165. 165 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks, Chipper, for coming to the rescue of throngs of disillusioned Braves fans.

    If Chipper can see the bright side, then I can see the bright side.

    Like

  166. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    It is all about perspective. I am going with the glass half full this time. Watching them make the sausage is pretty ugly but hopefully it won’t be half arsed like it was post 2005..

    Liked by 1 person

  167. 167 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    It should also be noted that RHP Matt Wisler was the pitcher the Braves wanted for Justin, and was rated higher than LHP Max Fried whom we eventually got. Now the Braves have both.

    Like

  168. 168 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Look at the young pitching…

    Already we have Teheran, Wood and Miller… even Minor.

    On the horizon is Wisler, Fried, Folty, Manny Banuelos and maybe the real diamond in the group: Tyrell Jenkins. That doesn’t even count Lucas Sims who has somehow become forgotten in all the shuffling since he was actually in the organization prior to this past off season.

    (I still think Folty would make a good closer.)

    Like

  169. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    (I still think Folty would make a good closer.)

    Think they could get Billy Wagner to come back to coach him?

    Problem for me is Folty’s lack of control.

    Jaime throws hard but it is a laser straight fastball..

    Like

  170. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    Look at the young pitching…

    Braves becoming the Marlins…

    Like

  171. 171 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Or Mets…

    Liked by 1 person

  172. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    So, even with Kimbrel, the Braves were still rated the 29th worse team in MLB. I don’t think they are any danger of slipping but at least they will suck for a lot less money.

    When you are trying to unload a lemon (BJ) You really have to sweeten the pot.

    Like

  173. 173 Gil in Mechanicsville April 5, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    SD must have really, really wanted Kimbrel.

    Like

  174. 174 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    MLB Pipeline slots newly acquired RHP Matt Wisler as the Braves #2 prospect behind Jose Peraza and ahead of Mike Foltynewicz.

    Like

  175. 175 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Keith Law says “Atlanta huge winners in Kimbrel deal.”

    Like

  176. 176 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    More Law: “I’ve understood most of the Padres’ moves this winter, perhaps all of them, but this trade, which sends Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton to San Diego, looks like a much better deal for Atlanta.”

    Like

  177. 177 Vox O'Raison April 5, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    The Gwinnett Braves rotation could be epic: Matt Wisler, Mike Foltynewicz, Manny Banuelos are certain. Jason Hursch and Williams Perez are probable.

    Like

  178. 178 berigan2electricboogaloo April 5, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    so, on Easter (He is Risen Indeed!) I didn’t bother checking in here except for a minute early this afternoon…no need I am sure, to scroll up…see you all later! 😛

    Like

  179. 179 berigan2electricboogaloo April 6, 2015 at 1:42 am

    Ok, just let me let some venom out…then see if I can be backed of the ledge during the season…(most likely I’ll be off the ledge in 2016/2017, maybe in 2018?)
    The 2nd most identifiable face of the team is gone(sorry, Simmons will be, and well..I guess is now, but wasn’t before the trade) So..l..even less folks will show up. Less revenue , I am pretty sure =’s less money to spend on the team…if there is half the attendance of last year…and team loses 90 games and there will be less fans in seats in 2016, at least until the team proves itself to be good, we already know this is a fair weather town…
    This team is NOT the A’s, is it? They don’t have to trade EVERY good player to get more players back, and once you know their names, trade them for folks most fans don’t know… Do they want to be? Poor, poor Liberty…let’s start up a collection fund for them. Sad smile
    The Braves had the 3rd best NL ERA last year, the Padres, the 2nd best. Neither team…..made the playoffs…in fact, neither team… even had a .500 record.
    in fact, in 2014, the top 5 teams in baseball, via ERA, only 2 made the playoffs (and one of them, the infamous A’s barely made it in for basically game 163) so…the braves have gotten a bunch of very good arms. Swell…
    But, as we see, very good arms often blow out, especially when they are young (and young right now in 2014/2015, perhaps they will find Torn UCL’s are actually a type of disease?) I know, the next argument, you then need to have a bunch of young arms, because of this very issue. Ok, fine…fair enough…but, I see teams with far too many outfielders, 2nd basemen, 1st basemen (but mainly outfielders) and the braves keep trade for…pitchers.
    Again, right now…I see a swell, contacty (blog first) team…that cannot compete within it’s division. But Berigan, the braves will have a swell rotation, well, the top 3 at least (as long as no one gets injured) then 2 question marks. Not sure why I am not chomping a the bit to see 35 Y.O Stutz , he of the 8 and 17 record and 4.30 ERA and Cahill, who was 3 12 with a 5.61 ERA…. take the ball every 5th day (actually, I did say I liked the Cahill deal, he is throwing 94 they said, perhaps he might close down the road if he doesn’t make it as a starter?)
    Well, guess what? Every team, save the AAAA Phils, has a very good/great rotation right now. The Nats have Tanner Roark, after going 15 and 10 with a 2.85 ERA, penned in as a 6th starter, aka, a worthless longman on a team full of studs that go deep…a swell guy to have if a starter goes down though. Do I have to go through the Mets (If Matt Harvey’s elbow stays together, is one of the top starters in baseball, some scout said he looks like a HOF’er right now) Marlins have a deep rotation, and get back another HOF’er looking pitcher José Fernandez (can you believe even after TJ, still only 22?) in a month or two…and they have some outfielder that is probably the NL MVP.
    Now, for closer…there is nothing more depressing , for a team, or a fan base than a lousy bullpen that blows games late…so, the 2 names mentioned for closing… 38 Y.O Grilli (how many closers are there over the age of, say 35? Joe Nathan? He had a 4.81 ERA last year) Jim Johnson? Before last year’s sterling 7.00 ERA, saved 50 games in 2013. That’s swell…he also blew 9, and I heard a lot of complaints then….Kimbrel blew 4 last year. Kimbrel has a 1.43 career ERA, and is only 26. He is the kind of closer you want when you want to win the W.S. Clearly, the braves think any ol’ arm is fine in the bullpen (is the homeboy upstairs chiming in on how to put a bullpen together? Any arms + great pitching coach = Great bullpen)
    All this team has done, is get rid of the fireballers, out of the pen. One could make a argument that they sold high on all 3 95+ MPH arms….but….this bullpen was weak before. And, Kimbrel is the best closer in baseball!!! Plus, he’s young, and cheaper than someone forever floated to teams that need a closer, Papelbon(and he is getting folks out with smoke and mirrors these days) and this is the best you could get for him? Really? Red Sox, Dodgers, couldn’t trade some for him some stud outfielder that they cannot find a place for in their still crowded outfields? (Heck, the red sox have 6-7 legit outfielders, their minor league team is going to be a terror) Perhaps those teams were not yet willing to deal…then wait til someone gets injured, or some team that no one thought would be in first place in June, is willing to bet the farm on a sure fire ace closer…I know, he was the Pad’s #1 prospect! Well, from MLBTR…. Wisler is the most valuable property headed to Atlanta in the deal. Baseball America recently rated him the No. 34 prospect in baseball, with Baseball Prospectus ranking him No. 53 and MLB.com placing him at No. 69. MLB.com ranked him the Padres’ second-best prospect, praising his slider and the movement on his low- to mid-90s fastball. The 22-year-old righty posted a 4.42 ERA at Double-A and Triple-A in 2014, although he had a fine 8.3 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9, and most of his 146 2/3 innings were in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Oh, be still my beating heart! MLB.com has him as the 69th best prospect! (V will point out the B.A. report saying he is the 34th best Smile with tongue out ) (Plus some kid from rookie ball. He will help soon, say in 2020, so be sure to remember his name, whatever it is Sad smile ). Yet another unproven in the big leagues arm, who wasn’t even in the running for the 5th spot for the pads. But, by golly, when Teheran and Wood have been traded away for more cheap unproven arms, he will get his chance in 2017. #newstadiumwillcureallills

    Like

  180. 180 berigan2electricboogaloo April 6, 2015 at 1:53 am

    Don’t think I got all the venom out just yet! 😉 I know V, and Gil will say positive things…and CL and I will say Bah humbug! 😉
    IF one day they can trade one of the arms for some actual, real outfielder/3rd baseman with power…then great(tired of typing a sarcastic swell) but, this team as we know, doesn’t have the revenue power of the Nats, or Mets. And because of Wren’s misdeeds, the farm is not as strong as the Nats or Marlins. But…this isn’t the 90’s Thank goodness for the Phils mismanagement, or the braves would be a last place team for the next 2-3 years.. They have a ton of revenue, but will be bad for awhile too.
    A question, who will be the CF and LF for the braves in 2016????

    Liked by 1 person

  181. 181 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 8:41 am

    I understand the venom, Ber. And I’m not just farting rose blossoms myself. But there was little else that could be done. Frank raped the farm system and misshaped the major league team. The team as constituted was going nowhere and had no one to hope for coming through the pipeline. One need only look at the Phillies to see where we were headed.

    I’m going to go into a brief story here… but please bear with me.

    Last week, as all the trees and grass were beginning to green up from the winter, my front shrubs were still a bunch of sticks in a square shape. It looked bad, so I called the local County Extension Office who sent out an ag agent. He looked at the perfectly square set of dead sticks and asked me one question: how do you prune them? I said, “Prune them?” He asked if all I ever did was shape them up to make them look good. Naturally that’s all I’ve ever done.

    The problem was that I have never pruned them all the way back – to where they would actually look pretty ugly – to remove the old excess growth and allow the shrub to remain healthy. Oh, I kept them shaped nicely so they looked OK from the outside, but they were dying from within. Now I have to dig them out and replace them completely.

    Well, that’s where John Hart stood. Frank had continued to shape the squad and make them look kinda nice, but all the time the system was becoming badly unhealthy and was slowly dying from within.

    And if you don’t understand the heavy concentration on pitchers, let me try to put it this way. First, not all of them will work out. That’s just a fact. Second, pitching is the foundation of every team, and you can never have too much. Second, you can also look at them as currency… in much the same way that St. Louis and San Diego used their pitchers to obtain offensive players.

    What John has done is to stock the farm system with the best pitching he could for both purposes. At the same time, he has removed $54M in long term salary commitments and positioned the team to be able to fill holes in 2016 and 2017 through the FA market.

    What was the recipe to the historic 14 year run with the Braves? It began with good young pitching, followed with good defense, and finished with a steady stream of good young talent yearly from one of the best farm systems in baseball. The gravy was to be able to cherry pick the one impact FA that could take the team over the top, and be able to compete financially for his services. John has made it possible for all of those elements to re-emerge.

    While Hart’s moves are certainly not popular, they have been necessary. When 2014 ended, the Braves were old, bad and headed toward what the Phillies have become. As the 2015 season dawns, the team is young and hungry, and positioned to embark on another long and healthy run.

    Like

  182. 182 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 8:57 am

    A question, who will be the CF and LF for the braves in 2016????

    Good question… and it’s too early to answer. I can tell you who it won’t be. It won’t be Melvin Upton. And with the $17M you were slated to pay him, you can probably buy both positions, at least temporarily.

    Or you can make a trade, because we know we have the “currency” to do so.

    It’s possible that Dian Toscano will be the LF, but we can’t get the guy in the country to know exactly what we have.

    You also have to know that the Braves will have their #1 prospect Jose Peraza ready to take 2B very soon, even though this year’s spring surprise is 2B Jace Peterson. And if you shift Peterson to 3B, where does #5 prospect 3B Rio Ruiz play? I’ll bet one of those guys ends up as an OF.

    BTW- you could have asked the question who will be 2/3 of the OF for the Braves in 2016 even before the first trade of the makeover was consummated. The difference now is that the one certainty is Nick Markakis, not Melvin Upton.

    Like

  183. 183 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Now… enough wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    It’s Opening Day, baby, and I have been wearing my Braves jersey and hat already for a couple of hours. It’s almost time for me to post my first real lineup that matters, and I can’t wait.

    I love the Atlanta Braves. Period. I have since as early as I can remember, and that is about 1970 when the team had guys like Sonny Jackson and Felix Millan. Yes, the great Hammerin’ Hank Aaron was on that team. So was Knucksie Phil Niekro. My favorite was the Road Runner Ralph Garr. There was some guy named Dusty Baker. Anyone else remember Rico Carty or the the original Flyin’ Hawaiian Mike Lum? Catcher Earl Williams was ROY that season. He wore #43. I remember because I had a generic red and yellow #43 t-shirt that mom had bought at Sears, but to me it was my very own Earl Williams jersey.

    I also remember that they lost alot that year. But I didn’t care… I loved them. That’s why I can still name so many guys from that team even though I was just a kid.

    I remember Rick Camp and Gene Garber. I remember “The Count” John Montefusco, whom the Braves gave uni number 17, and his first jersey had “Channel” on the back instead of “Montefusco”. The commissioner’s office put a quick end to that nonsense.

    I remember when the Braves drafted Bob Horner out of ASU and placed him directly on the major league team, bypassing the minors completely.

    i remember when Brian Asselstine got his spikes caught in the RF fence and broke his leg.

    i remember when Terry Harper dislocated his shoulder waving a runner home from 3B.

    I remember when Rick Camp, the closer and lightest of light hitting pitchers. hit hs only career home run in the 18th inning on July 4th only to blow the game in the 19th. I also remember that the July 4th post-game fireworks went off as scheduled, drawing the anger of all the local residents since it was about 4:00 a.m. in the morning.

    I am a life long fan. Whether they win big or lose big, I will be a fan. I will follow them closely and intimately. I will know guys like Pat Rockett, Rowland Office and Rod Gilbreath just as much as I know Jeff Blauser, Andruw Jones and Chipper Jones.

    And I will always be excited on Opening Day, regardless of whose names are penciled into the starting lineup.

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 184 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 9:39 am

    And 1st pitch is only 6 hours and 26 minutes away.

    Like

  185. 185 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 10:44 am

    According to Bowman, the Braves are shopping Quentin to all the AL teams (he’s only suited to DH these days), but may end up simply releasing him and eating his salary. Even if they do so, they’ll save money over paying Melvin.

    Like

  186. 186 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Ber, It is funny how quickly I got over the Kimbrel trade. Yes, I know how important a good bullpen is, in particular this season as I don’t see this group of starters going deep into games but I am also realist about where the Braves are at this point. John Hart is falling on the sword for this organization.

    Great analogy VOX on the lessons of horticulture, if I were you, I would take the opportunity to visit Gwennett a lot this season so you see this kids play when it only cost $10 instead of $35… It was the thing I loved about having the Braves Triple A farm club. I saw all these kids when they were still kids and there were a bunch.

    I also remember the Braves when they had Dale Murphy and no one else, I hope he is able to council Freddie Freeman this season because he will be able to relate.

    What I don’t want to see is a bunch of guys who phone it in every night because everyone has written them off this season.. If the Braves had done nothing this off season, they would have still been written off. Just the facts folks, just the facts…

    So I am going to save a lot of time this season by not worrying about whether the Braves will make the playoffs this year, now I can get on with my life.

    So many outside pressures on me to watch a lot of other teams this year. The Nationals being only 90 miles away, the Giants AA club playing near-by. Seeing all the Braves alumni playing in San Diego, Houston, Cardinals, White Sox, Yankees…. Perhaps the most ironic this is Dan Uggla starting at second base for the Nationals today… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..

    Just so funny, I can’t stand it…

    Maybe it is like the old curse of the Braves for outfielders. Guys who had torn it up for everyone else would come to Atlanta and absolutely stink up the place…

    So, I am patiently awaiting 4 O’Clock and the Braves vs Marlins foray. Also will keep an eye on the Mets/gNats…

    Liked by 1 person

  187. 187 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Like him or not, this was a classy farewell.

    Liked by 1 person

  188. 188 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Legend.

    Like

  189. 189 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I think the Fathers looked at this deal as “how much are we willing to pay the best closer in baseball” Just that a big chunk is going to Melvin.

    Funny, the Braves are a lot more willing to write off $8 mil as opposed to $17.5 mil.

    Of course the Dodge dealer who spent all that money doing the commercials with Kimbrel is driving off the cliff this morning…. Don’t follow him off Ber, come on down off the ledge big guy…

    We just got so spoiled with all those great years. Getting that big dose of reality sucks.

    On the positive side, parking will be easier to come by at Turner Field this season, I expect a lot of $1 hotdog promotions…. I’m sure Turner Field will have a Mistake on the Lake kind of feel to it this year.

    I’m can hear it now:

    Ber: What time does the game start tonight?

    Braves ticket office: What time can you get here?

    Liked by 2 people

  190. 190 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    And with much fanfare…

    2day’s lineup vs. the RHP Alvarez:

    1- Young, CF
    2- Peterson, 2B
    3- Markakis, RF
    4- Freeman, 1B
    5- Bethancourt, C
    6- KJohnson, LF
    7- Callaspo, 3B,
    8- Simmons, SS
    9- Teheran, RHP

    Fredi wasn’t kidding about platooning at LF and 3B, was he?

    Like

  191. 191 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    Quentin has been officially DFA’d, Outman has been placed on the 60-day DL, Brandon Cunniff has been promoted and is magically already in Miami, as is Cameron Maybin.

    Liked by 1 person

  192. 192 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    2 hours!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  193. 193 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Stocking up…

    Like

  194. 194 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    DOB clarifying the 75th pick thingie…

    Like

  195. 195 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    Watching a trio of games this afternoon getting the old remote warmed up for the season. Lots of one sided contest so far.

    So, think the Braves will take any young hitters out of those early picks? Good shot at getting a top five pick in 2016… Hey, got to look at the positives…

    And Hammels gives up a dinger to Petroia… No one is invencible are they?

    Like

  196. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Should be fun to go to the Braves’ minor league games the next few years.

    Like

  197. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Maybe even another “Great 8” like we saw when Chipper Jones and friends made their way to the majors. That is when the extra money put into your scouting and development pays off.

    Like

  198. 198 Carolina Lady April 6, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    “Ber: What time does the game start tonight?

    Braves ticket office: What time can you get here?”

    Gil, thanks for the first “Braves” smile since…since….can’t remember that far back. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  199. 199 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    C’mon everybody! The names on the back of the jerseys might have changed, but the name on the front is the same. It’s time for some Braves baseball!!! 😀

    Like

  200. 200 berigan2electricboogaloo April 6, 2015 at 4:21 pm

    V, Gil, I LOVE, the positive attitudes, honest! 🙂 And whilst I don’t go back as far as you guys, I do recall Rick Camp’s infamous game, I was sooooo happy seeing him hit that homer…then….he gave it up the next inning like you said…oh well….
    I just don’t see it right now…I see the Cards gave up a 2-3 starter, and another young arm, for a 25 YO hitter who had a off year…several off years (By the way, his swing has finally been fixed, and looks great at the plate again…too bad he or the hitting coaches couldn’t figure it out…here) who had 1 year of eligibility before becoming a F.A. They gave up another young stud (Joe Kelly) and Allen Craig, to the the Red Sox for 35 YO. John Lackey…
    so….getting a stud hitter is tough, apparently. Funny, it was pitchers no one wanted to give up a few years ago…
    thing is, get a free agent with the freed up money…well…maybe…if they want to come to the ATL….thing is. the Diamondbacks have a billion dollar tv contract, Pads now have money to burn because of their tv contract…the braves won’t. And I know they have to be creative, but someone is not going to come to the braves for 15 mil a year, when the Mariners, Pads, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, blah, blah, blah….can offer 20 Mil a year…
    so, I see a tough road ahead…I predict 90 losses, many defeating late inning blown leads…and few fans…at least at the games…revenue will be down, so I hope the bean counter realize this, and won’t cut scouting/etc and will get the FULL BLOWN REBUILD a chance…
    wow, 6 players from last season’s opening game…
    Come on braves, prove me way wrong, I will forgive you winning 90 games this year! 🙂

    Like

  201. 201 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    … and the season is underway!! 😀

    Like

  202. 202 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Jace Peterson collects the Braves’ 1st hit of the year. 😀

    Like

  203. 203 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    And Nick Markakis drives in the 1st run of the season, driving in Peterson. 😀

    Like

  204. 204 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    And it must be noted… NO strikeouts in the 1st inning. 😀

    Like

  205. 205 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Stanton goes down swinging! Julio is dealin’! 😀

    Like

  206. 206 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Him! 😀

    Like

  207. 207 berigan2electricboogaloo April 6, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    and a rain delay with a retractable roof….Joe saw the rain coming, but the marlins brass didn’t? Must be Dems 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  208. 208 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    Marlins still have a minor league ground crew…. Leave to Loria to try to pinch pennies…

    Liked by 1 person

  209. 209 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Embarrassing. And man Julio was dealing. I sure hope it doesn’t derail him. 😀

    Like

  210. 210 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Maybe it is the Marlin’s way to play mind games with the opposition.

    Liked by 2 people

  211. 211 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Now that was a highlight reel DP by Simba and Jace

    Like

  212. 212 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Going to the bullpen. This is where it gets hairy. 😀

    Like

  213. 213 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 6:42 pm

    Like a boss!! 😀

    Like

  214. 214 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Well, for today, I apologize for badmouthing the pen. Fantastic job. Now we’ll get to see our new closer.

    And at home, what will they replace the flames with? Griddles with grilled cheese?

    Liked by 1 person

  215. 215 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I’m not sure I will last another 161 games.. Whew, that was a thriller.

    Johnson was outstanding, Grille seared the fish… Not to take anything away from the rest of the team… Like the man said, as long as you have a bat in your hands, you have a chance.

    Like

  216. 216 Vox O'Raison April 6, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Great game, and fun to watch. I’m in. 😀

    Like

  217. 217 Gil in Mechanicsville April 6, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    One thing you kind of knew, the Braves would not be swinging for the fences and the Marlins would be.

    Like

  218. 218 Vox O'Raison April 7, 2015 at 9:41 am

    7:10pm start time tonight. LHP Alex Wood vs. RHP Mat Latos.

    Like

  219. 219 Vox O'Raison April 7, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Ha ha ha… I just saw a great nicknamed coined by DOB… Teheranasaurus. I love that!!

    Like

  220. 220 Gil in Mechanicsville April 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    If he had come up with Teheranula, we could call him Spider for short

    Liked by 1 person

  221. 221 Gil in Mechanicsville April 7, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    So, VOX, do you get the MLB network?

    Game is being shared with a national audience tonight but I suspect they will broadcast the Marlins feed.

    This year’s team is a bunch of grinders sprinkled with a few stars. Funny, people always ask why players are swinging for the fences, answer, because singles hitters don’t get multi million dollar 10 year contracts. If it were so easy, everyone would hit over .300.

    Like

  222. 222 Vox O'Raison April 7, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    So, VOX, do you get the MLB network?

    Yep, but I also get the local feed. I’ll take Chip and Joe.

    Like

  223. 223 Vox O'Raison April 7, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    This from the ajc (DOB) “mailbag”:

    Q: We read a lot of player reaction to kimbrel departure. Any words said about upton?

    A; None.

    Ouch! :mrgreen:

    Liked by 2 people

  224. 224 berigan2electricboogaloo April 7, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    ok this team will only lose….89 games 😉
    Think players on the padres go up to …Upton, and say, man, why does your brother have to play on every team you are on! 😛

    Like

  225. 225 Gil in Mechanicsville April 7, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I did not see the Upton brothers as being particularly close. I think that perception was more of a manufactured, made for TV movie kind of vibe that was pushed by Frank Wren and Company to sell the trade of Prado…

    We can all look at that era of Braves baseball safely in the rearview mirror.

    Liked by 1 person

  226. 226 Vox O'Raison April 7, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    We can all look at that era of Braves baseball safely in the rearview mirror.

    You mean the era of selfishness, silence and a fractured clubhouse?

    I’ll take this brand of baseball (and baseball player) any day. It was reported that several of the players hung out in the clubhouse way after the game was over, talking about the game and other things… but generally just hanging out. It was characterized as a closeness not seen in the Braves clubhouse in several years. Blame it on whomever, but it’s gone now.

    it was also noted that Fredi was “looser” afterward because he’s no longer being told what he can say to the media.

    Rear view mirror indeed. Thank you, Lord.

    Like

  227. 227 Gil in Mechanicsville April 7, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    VOX, the G-Braves have great promotion for 4 games, I would bite if I were a tad bit closer to Atlanta…

    You too Ber, fill up the Lincoln and head north, it’s all Interstate isn’t it?

    $10 per seat is a fair price and not nearly the fear of being mugged like it is at Turner. Just saying…

    http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20150406&content_id=116593892&fext=.jsp&sid=t431&vkey=&partnerId=ed-9078577-55448850

    Liked by 1 person

  228. 228 Gil in Mechanicsville April 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Looking over the rosters for the G-Braves and the M-Braves, they have some decent talent not seen for a while in the Braves minor leagues.

    Guys, it all begins with strong roots. I can remember the National’s announcers bragging on the gNats’ minor league teams beginning about 4 years ago with the Class D Potomac club winning their league titles. I look for the Braves to have a very productive draft the next couple of years.

    Patience Ber, I know it is tough waiting out the rebuild but at least we know there is light at the end of this dark tunnel we are in. Yep, know all about camaraderie. Makes it a joy to go to work/play/worship etc. It takes all types, the leaders and the followers, the loners and the pack… I think the 80s term is synergy… The whole is greater than the parts. Anyone remember how many Braves were chosen to participate in the ’91 All-star game?

    answer: one… Greg Olsen, the catcher,, and only because each team needed a representative.

    I know, it’s early and talent usually proves out in the end but all I ask is the team leaves it all on the field at the end of the day. If they are beat by a better team, so be it, but play like you want to be there…

    You cannot play 162 games on emotion alone but you can get thru some bleak times with it. It can get you over the hump.

    I just thought of a great title for this year’s team story “Extreme Makeover, Baseball”

    Like

  229. 229 Vox O'Raison April 7, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Like

  230. 230 Vox O'Raison April 7, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Just put the bat on the ball, boys… just put the bat on the ball.

    Like

  231. 231 Vox O'Raison April 8, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Well, this will be the first of many times I use this pun, but I just can’t help myself:

    Wood was solid last night.

    Liked by 2 people

  232. 232 Vox O'Raison April 8, 2015 at 7:35 am

    😀

    Like

  233. 233 Gil in Mechanicsville April 8, 2015 at 8:56 am

    That was impressive folks… Aside from the clutch hitting, I was most impressed by Cody Martin…. Reminds me of Brandon Beachy. Not a flamethrower but he must have some wicked late movement on his fastball. Not Greg Maddux movement mind you but enough to make opposing hitters miss just enough.

    Alex wood looked strong last night, maybe a little too strong. Lots of two strike hits by the Marlins. Too many deep counts. I told Josie he would have a tough time making it through 5 innings as his pitch count crept up early. We saw that a lot last season.

    All those opposite field hits were a thing of beauty last night.

    Hey, ride the wave as long as you can, their might even be 30,000 in the stands for the opener if the Braves can sweep today.

    Cameron Maybin must really like a loose uniform. Reminds me of, well, can’t put my finger on it right now, but looks like he only weighs 140 pounds.. Impressive at bat last night with two strikes.

    The Braves still cannot get out Yelich can they?

    This could be fun folks…. Early days though, must temper my enthusiasm…

    Like

  234. 234 Vox O'Raison April 8, 2015 at 9:13 am

    Y’all did hear the story on Maybin’s new hitting approach didn’t you?

    He was watching a national broadcast of one of the Braves spring games, (he grew up a Braves fan in NC), and heard the broadcasters talking about Kevin Seitzer’s hitting philosophy. It interested him, so he went to the Padres’ hitting coach Mark Kotsay about it. Kotsay gave him the go ahead to implement it. So he was already on board with the team philosophy 2 weeks prior to being on the team. He personified the approach in his AB last night. Be patient, fight off good pitches, wait for one to hit, go up the middle.

    Yes, Gil… a great at bat indeed. This team is Seitzed.

    Like

  235. 235 Vox O'Raison April 8, 2015 at 10:36 am

    Professional journalist Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com lays out my sentiments in his own piece:

    http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/116872554/anthony-castrovince-jump-on-braves-bandwagon-even-if-its-unpopular

    Nothing new here, just from a guy with professional credibility.

    Like

  236. 236 berigan2electricboogaloo April 8, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Ok, 88 losses 😛

    Like

  237. 237 berigan2electricboogaloo April 8, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    I bet we will hear Mat Latos has some sort of arm issue…reminded me when the braves beat up Schilling at the end of his career a few years ago….89-90 MPH fastballs are usually hit, but kudos for not trying to homer off him, (except Chris Johnson, and can’t blame him with Latos needing to get a first pitch strike) just going with the pitch….

    Liked by 1 person

  238. 238 Gil in Mechanicsville April 8, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Ber, even I knew that the first pitch Latos was going to throw after the coache’s visit to the mound was going to be a fastball. can’t blame him for teeing off. Chris best at bat was that oppo single in the ninth.

    I have saw the Marlins pitchers trying to get Chris to chase a lot of down and in fastballs, to his credit he laid off of them.

    I was all geared up for a 1 o;clock start today.. DUH!

    I really need to get up and do something. I feel like I am in an old folks home…

    Like

  239. 239 Vox O'Raison April 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    The irony is that Chris’ shot would have been a home run in any other ballpark…

    Like

  240. 240 Gil in Mechanicsville April 8, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    So would that monster shot Morse stroked… 416 foot out.

    Anyone else notice the camera work is not as good as it once was for the Braves broadcast?

    Like

  241. 241 Gil in Mechanicsville April 8, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    Totally different game tonight, impressive DP by Stanton… tip your cap folks. Braves pitching is solid. Could be a 1-0 game tonight.

    Like

  242. 242 Gil in Mechanicsville April 8, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    ah.. 2-0

    Like

  243. 243 Gil in Mechanicsville April 8, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    YEEHAW!!!!

    Like

  244. 244 Vox O'Raison April 8, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Break out the brooms!

    Like

  245. 246 Vox O'Raison April 9, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    For those keeping score, through the 2nd inning of the Astros’ 3rd game of the new season, that’d be 20 innings total, the team has 27 K’s… including 6 in a row (and counting) by Evan Gattis, who wore the “golden sombrero” yesterday.

    By contrast, the Braves have 18 K’s through 27 innings.

    Folks, I’m not saying the Braves are going to take the league by storm this season, but the “all or nothing” approach failed miserably for several seasons here. The brand of baseball the team has adopted – put the ball in play and keep the line moving – is simply a better and more consistent approach. I have been thoroughly entertained thus far.

    Like

  246. 247 Vox O'Raison April 9, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Ugh… now 7 in a row… and counting. The team has 11 K’s through 6 innings today. Yowser!

    Like

  247. 248 Vox O'Raison April 9, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    Check out the Gwinnett Braves lineup for their opener tonight:

    1- Todd Cunningham, CF
    2- Jose Peraza, 2B
    3- Eury Perez, RF
    4- Pedro Ciriaco, 3B
    5- Cedric Hunter, DH
    6- Joe Benson, LF
    7- Elmer Reyes, SS
    8- Scott Kazmar, 1B
    9- Braeden Schlehuber, C
    SP- Folty

    Not a bad group to send out between the lines in AAA, eh?

    Like

  248. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville April 9, 2015 at 6:35 pm

    Saw that line up a bunch in spring training.

    Like

  249. 250 Vox O'Raison April 10, 2015 at 8:26 am

    … and they lost 1-0. Go figure.

    Like

  250. 251 Vox O'Raison April 10, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Folty pitched well but took the loss:

    4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 1 WP (79 pitches/51 strikes).

    Like

  251. 252 Vox O'Raison April 10, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Oh, and by the way…

    Zoilo opted for FA rather than accept an assignment to AAA Gwinnett, which was his right given his 9+ years of minor league toiling.

    See ya.

    Like

  252. 253 Gil in Mechanicsville April 10, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    CAn’t sw that I blame Zoilo, not a lot of upside for him to stay in Atlanta, too many other guys with bigger upsides ahead of him now.

    Like

  253. 254 Gil in Mechanicsville April 10, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    And, in the “talk about sour grapes” department. 7 Kentucky players opt to declare themselves eligible for the NBA draft. I guess championships are not so important to them as money. Of course, the same could be said of the NCAA… but that is an opine fr\or another day…

    Like

  254. 255 Vox O'Raison April 10, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Like

  255. 258 Vox O'Raison April 10, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    Just saw on FB that our old friend Lew had a heart attack today and is in pretty bad shape. Sounds like he could use some divine intervention. I’m praying…

    Like

  256. 259 Vox O'Raison April 10, 2015 at 8:31 pm

    Sad to bring the news that Lew has passed away. Now praying for his family…

    Like

  257. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville April 10, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    RIP Lew….

    Liked by 1 person

  258. 261 Carolina Lady April 10, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Sincere condolences to Lew’s family.

    Liked by 1 person

  259. 262 berigan2electricboogaloo April 10, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    Sorry to hear that about Lew…Condolences for his family too…

    Liked by 1 person

  260. 263 Gil in Mechanicsville April 11, 2015 at 10:09 am

    Well, it has been a fun ride for the first week of baseball in Braves country, 4-0… Who would have thunk it? Certainly not me, 2-2 maybe but not this. Only thing to do is to ride this wave as long as we can because it sure is fun.

    An absolutely shut down pen and some timely hitting and an occasional home run just to remind us it is possible. But, not relying on the long ball as the sole offensive weapon. Fun indeed…. Watching a pitching staff become a group of pitchers and not just a bunch of throwers. Indeed, fun…

    I know, it cannot last, the Braves will lose d\some games but lets watch them run off 13 or so wins in a row before suffering the agony of defeat. It is way early to be inscribing the Braves’ name on the championship trophy but isn’t it fun not to be out of it and written off at the end of the first week of play?

    And now a word about Andrelton Simmons.. WOW, just WOW…. Play of the night indeed. No one else in baseball can make that play. No one…

    So, clutch hitting, stellar defense, shutdown pitching… gotta love Braves baseball…

    Liked by 1 person

  261. 264 Vox O'Raison April 11, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Great job Bravos. Fundamental baseball at its finest. Stellar job especially, once again, by the bullpen. Praying that Julio’s knee is fine. Man he was really cruisin’ until he tweaked it.

    5-0 baby… 5-0.

    Like

  262. 265 chrisklob April 12, 2015 at 1:18 am

    i read about lew’s passing earlier today. very sad news. prayers go out to his family. i was fortunate enough to receive a piece of his artwork some years ago. no, it wasn’t a wurlitzer but a piece he did of a former player that we both knew personally. i need to go find it and have a look at it, which i haven’t done in some time.

    on a happier note, and i know lew is happy about this, the braves have surprised everyone with a very strong start. my sched doesn’t allow me to watch many games but i saw tonight’s and ive seen highlights. funny what good pitching and aggressive baserunning will do for you. don’t forget clutch hits too. it’s been fun to watch so far!

    btw,who the hell are these kids anyway? aside from teheran, freeman, and simmons i barely recognize anyone! well, i did recognize matty diaz who was doing analysis but seriously, who are the rest of these people?

    Liked by 3 people

  263. 266 Carolina Lady April 12, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Hey, Chris. Wonder what will become of Lew’s massive baseball memorabilia collection? I do and always will appreciate the signed Smoltz sketch he did. He’ll be missed by many.

    Like

  264. 267 Carolina Lady April 12, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Great article on last night’s game with 6 good videos HERE

    Like

  265. 268 chrisklob April 12, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    i guess lew’s wife will have to figure that out. or maybe his son. had an older friend that had been collecting for at least 40 years that passed a couple of years ago. He had TONS of stuff. always wondered where that went to. his kids didn’t seem to have much interest in it.

    Like

  266. 269 Gil in Mechanicsville April 12, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Well, if it adds any insight, likely it will go the same way all the things I have collected over the years… Actions… Just the way it works…. It is in the eyes of the beholder as to the value one has for objects. I know I will always cherish my Wurlitzer of John Smoltz, I only regret not having Lew do one of Matt Diaz for the wife.

    Now baseball… Jamie sucks!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  267. 270 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Juan Jaime only made the team because he is out of options, and they wanted to give that “live arm” a further chance to settle in. I don’t think it ever will. I think he’s short-timing…

    Like

  268. 271 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 8:32 am

    This is the pitcher we got back in the Kimbrel/Melvin trade. I predict he’ll be in the major league rotation before the year is out.

    Like

  269. 272 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 8:36 am

    For those keeping score, Wisler’s a higher rated prospect than Folty…

    And speaking of starting pitching, Mike Minor had another setback yesterday while throwing from a mound for the first time since being shut down. Braves have sent him to their team orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation. As you recall, 2 separate MRI’s have found no structural damage. One option is an exploratory arthroscopic procedure, but it’s the last option. It is invasive, although minimally, but would certainly shut him down for an extended period. I’m sure we’ll hear more as this week progresses.

    Like

  270. 273 Gil in Mechanicsville April 13, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Anytime they “open you up” it is for an extended (60 days) period. Just they facts of science. Hope they have insurance on him….

    Reading the folderol this morning, I agree, Jamiie might be given another opportunity but I doubt he will feel very relaxed about it and neither will the Braves. Walks are a killer, no matter how good your defense is, they cannot help a pitcher get out of an inning. I thought McKirahan did a heck of a job considering what he was faced with.

    Anyone else get the feeling Woods is being squeezed by the home plate umpires? Maybe not but a lot of close pitches sure are called balls a lot. I realize he is still young and has not had time to learn how to control his emotions. What did Yogi say? 50% of the game is 90% mental… Anyway, he has not yet learned to rely upon his defense and as a results, go deep into counts and not very deep into games.

    At least the Braves did not roll over yesterday, the Mets had to earn it.

    Okay, the fish come to town today with a lot to prove after getting skunked by the Braves in Miami.

    Liked by 1 person

  271. 274 berigan2electricboogaloo April 13, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Got my taxes done! And with 2 whole days to spare! Who’s the man??? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  272. 275 Gil in Mechanicsville April 13, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Good for you, now to the post office for that all important post mark…

    The IRS may not have enough folks to answer your phone calls but you can bet your last dollar they have enough to still sent you nastygrams….

    Well, I am officially retired now. No more disability from Uncle Sam, does this mean Fox News will stop bad mouthing me for taking money out of their pockets? Honest, I’ll trade them my back pain for their millions..

    Now baseball… Watching the Mets/Phillies game… can you root for them both to lose? I can root for Harang I guess…

    Liked by 1 person

  273. 276 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    Just heard this great stat:

    The Atlanta Braves 3B platoon is producing a .522 avg. through the early going. Not bad, Fredi… not bad.

    Like

  274. 277 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    Well, who didn’t see that coming?

    Like

  275. 278 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Like

  276. 279 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!

    Like

  277. 280 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 4:30 pm

    From Bowman & DOB: Fredi says Ray Marimon will fill the long-relief role that Cody Martin had; will use Martin in more high-leverage situations now.

    Like

  278. 281 Vox O'Raison April 13, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    According to Bowman, Marimon and Julio Teheran are first cousins and spent a lot of time growing up together.

    Cool!!

    Like

  279. 282 Gil in Mechanicsville April 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    I can see the headlines now, Sugar Ray punches above his weight, KO’s Marlins

    Now, if someone will just take Hamie off our hands…

    Like

  280. 283 Gil in Mechanicsville April 13, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Rain delay… ack!

    Like

  281. 284 Vox O'Raison April 14, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Lawd this team is getting stellar pitching. Jim Johnson looks scary. Roger McDowell is a genius. They need to give Mike Minor’s contract to RogerMc.

    Like

  282. 285 Gil in Mechanicsville April 14, 2015 at 9:09 am

    So,are the Braves really this good or the Marlins this bad? I guess it is why you need to make the loop through the first two months before making any real assessments.

    Freddie Free is going to break out soon, you cannot hit balls that hard and not have some of them start to fall in.

    Miller really needs to develop an out pitch. Too many foul balls on strike two because they other team is sitting on his fastball. If he can develop a change up, they will not be able to touch him.

    Cody Martin is my hero!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  283. 286 Gil in Mechanicsville April 14, 2015 at 10:40 am

    So, tonight we get our first look at Trevor Cahill in a Braves uni. We did not see him at all in the spring although I guess he pitched for the D-Backs in Zona this spring. Could be a big plus if he buys into the current positive vibe being exhibited by this bunch of overachievers we call the Braves.

    I have to say I am impressed by the Marlins outfield as far as their defense. no way I thought Yeliash had a chance to catch that bullet stroked by Maybin last night.

    Did anyone else feel a bit nervous in the ninth inning last night besides me? My worry is at some point Johnson and Grille will get tired. I know, it is still early but the Braves’ starters need to get a little deeper into games to allow for some rest for the twin closers of the Braves.

    Last night, the heavy air following the rain delay kept a couple of hard hit balls by Freedie Free in the yard. He has been crushing balls with little to show for it. Baseball can be a cruel game, but fun when you are 7 and 1… I’ll take it… .

    Like

  284. 287 Vox O'Raison April 14, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Yes to all you just said.

    Folks, I gotta tell you… I love the the back end of our bullpen. And this comes from a guy who initially though the bottom dropped out of the season when Kimbrel was traded. But Jim Johnson has some of the most wicked “stuff” I’ve seen thrown from a mound, and Grilli just kills it. He’s so intense!

    The suits told us this team would be fun to watch, and man they weren’t kidding. Dominant pitching and speed for days. These guys fly around like their hair is on fire for 9 innings, and I just love it.

    This is what baseball should be… a fun game.

    Like

  285. 288 Gil in Mechanicsville April 14, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Funny how things can work out, Cammeron Maybin looks to be a very good pick up for the Braves. (Watch him commit two errors tonight because I gave him props) While not on a par with some of the other outfields being utilized around the league, these guys look to be solid. No 40 homeruns guys but as long as they keep hitting with guys on base, I’ll take it….

    Like

  286. 289 Gil in Mechanicsville April 14, 2015 at 11:00 am

    So, this question, in retrospect, who did the Braves get rid of besides Kimbrel who will cost them games this season? Justin Upton? I don’t see any drop off after that and EY adds to the outfield with his speed, Justing did hit some long homers but most were bases empty shots.

    Ride this wave as long as possible guys, the Marlins would love to w\swap records right now.

    Like

  287. 290 Vox O'Raison April 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Like

  288. 292 berigan2electricboogaloo April 14, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    “Jim Johnson looks scary. Roger McDowell is a genius. They need to give Mike Minor’s contract to RogerMc.
    Yep! Whatever he is paid, it ain’t enough…. Jim Johnson was TERRIBLE last year. And not with just one pitching coach, but 2. That’s why I didn’t think the braves should expect anything from him (and he was shaky at times as a closer in Baltimore) so, I was thinking, maybe a 4.00 ERA, 6th, sometimes 7th inning guy at best. Clearly, I was wrong, and clearly, one should not underestimate what he can do for a pitcher….and to think, he was such a goofball as a player!

    Like

  289. 293 Gil in Mechanicsville April 15, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Well, wasn’t that something?…

    The good… Sugar Ray Marimon, pitched very well, no, he did not hurl 4 shut out innings but he did not stink up the joint either. He made the Marlins earn the 2 runs he gave up but he wasn’t all over the place and didn’t walk the park. I think he will do fine.

    The bad… What happened with the Braves offense? They sure acted like they were in a hurry to go somewhere. Too many short at bats, too many upper cut swings. Get your heads back in the game guys. Of course Kohler may have had something to do with it.

    The ugly… Trevor Cahill… I expected it, we had not really seen him all spring, Looked very much like a pitcher the D-Backs were willing to pay $6mm dollars to get off their club. Okay, it’s still early and maybe Roger has not yet had enough time to work his magic with him but his mechanics looked so discombobulated it may take a while. Sorry but I think I would rather see Cody Martin start every 5 days than watch that train wreck toe the rubber again. On a side note, McKirahan did not have it last night. When he came in and threw his first three pitches way high, I knew he wasn’t going to have a one two three inning. At least Sugar Ray saved the bullpen and for that, I am grateful and so should the the Braves be.

    Like

  290. 294 Vox O'Raison April 15, 2015 at 7:48 am

    RE: Marimon. Yes, he did fairly well, all things considered. And for his efforts, he’ll probably be demoted so that a fresh arm can be brought up. After all, he pitched 4 innings last night, so he’s unavailable for a few games.

    At least they have an off day tomorrow. Better hope Stults can go deep tonight.

    Like

  291. 295 Vox O'Raison April 15, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I read an interesting article yesterday (… well part of an interesting article anyway. it was on Baseball Prospectus, and most of it was behind a pay wall. Still, I saw a few paragraphs) about batting the pitcher 8th in the lineup. It’s a practice I have always hated. But BP broke down some percentages, and actually had it making a little sense. Still, I’m not a fan.

    But in the midst of the article, they talked about Tony LaRussa being the modern poster boy for the strategy. They also talked about something he tried back in 1993 with the A’s where he piggybacked 3 pitchers for 3 innings each, and pitched them on 3 days rest. It was a short lived experiment.

    What struck me is that i don’t recall hearing about him doing that… and I thought I had come up with that “brilliant” strategy years ago! It always made sense to me. Pitch a pitcher for just 3 innings and he doesn’t tire. And the opposing team doesn’t get to see him repeatedly and get their timing down. And since the pitch count ought not be over 50 pitches or so, they are available again in 3 days instead of 5. With the 12 man pitching staff, you still have 3 “relievers” to fill the gaps.

    Apparently it was a failed experiment, because he only toyed with it for about a week. Still… I think it would work if you began Spring working toward it.

    Here’s where you run into the real problems…

    Today’s modern pitcher would be against any change that would affect their statistics and in turn affect their earning potential. The agents would actively lobby against it, and the Players’ Association would probably file a grievance. Forget luring that big name FA pitcher to the team. (Actually, you probably wouldn’t need him.)

    As much as I love baseball, I hate that it is such a numbers driven sport. In reality, the only number that should really matter is the number of W’s in the standings. I could not possibly care less about WAR, WHIP, BABIP, DIPS, or LIPS. (Yes, there is actually something called LIPS.) I care only about the team’s W’s.

    But isn’t this yet another symptom of the society in which we live? We have long since turned our focus away from the “team” and onto the individual. It doesn’t matter how badly it affects the rest of the country as long as I get mine, right? Hope and Change my @$$. I’ve been hoping for a little leftover change for the last 6 years…

    But I digress.

    3 pitchers, for 3 innings each, every 3 days. What do y’all think?

    Liked by 1 person

  292. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville April 15, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Didn’t the Rockies and Clint Hurdle try that a couple of years back? It was September and they brought up a bevy of pitchers so they had a very deep pen. Bottom line, didn’t work. You still have to have pitchers who can throw strikes and get hitters out.

    Like it or not, I suppose we will have to suffer through a few more starts with Cahill. Perhaps he will turn it around like we saw with Matt Latos last night for the fish.

    After all, it’s not like we are going to see him go up against Matt Harvey every fifth start.

    Like

  293. 297 Vox O'Raison April 15, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Happy Birthday Gil!!

    Like

  294. 298 Carolina Lady April 15, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GIL!!! Wishing you a hundred more!

    Like

  295. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville April 15, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    Thanks guys, would have been nice if the Braves had won for me today…

    Liked by 2 people

  296. 300 Carolina Lady April 15, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Finished my taxes early this year! two hours to spare.

    Liked by 3 people

  297. 301 chrisklob April 16, 2015 at 12:01 am

    raisins, that’s an interesting post. wouldn’t surprise me if someone took off and ran with that idea. as for the stats, i’m not sure they’d be effected negatively that much — just so long as the same guys don’t actually start the game. if you only pitch the first three you’re obviously not eligible to win. if they rotate the starter then it would make it more fair and, as you pointed out, hitters wouldn’t be able to get the timing down. definitely something to ponder.

    on another note, some minor league systems do, or at least did, employ this unusual technique by using just two pitchers to complete nine innings. one guy would start and pitch four or five. the second would finish the game (at least by plan). that gave ten guys the chance to prove they could be major league starters. i don’t think it’s a widespread practice so i’m guessing the results haven’t been great.

    Like

  298. 302 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 8:17 am

    Manny Banuelos’ line last night at AAA Gwinnett: 5 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 7 K, 2 BB.

    That’s why we traded David Carpenter and Chasen Shreve for him, despite Ken Rosenthal’s assertion that it was a bad trade. Of course, Shreve has already been sent down to AAA for the Yanks. Carpenter is already all he[‘ll ever be, and Shreve will never be more than a spot reliever at best. ManBan has top-of-the-rotation ability, and is only 24. I suspect we could see him next year. (I suspect we’ll see him as a LHSP in the ATL rotation before we see Mike Minor.)

    Here’s the thing… we really needed Minor to be healthy and effective this season so that we could trade him for a bat. I believe that was the plan all along.

    Like

  299. 303 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Speaking of our top pitching prospects at AAA Gwinnett, here are their respective lines for their last starts:

    Wednesday-> ManBan: 5 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 7 K, 2 BB
    Tuesday-> Folty: 4.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 5 K, 4 BB
    Sunday-> Matt Wisler: 5 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 5 K, 2 BB

    Liked by 1 person

  300. 304 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 9:38 am

    BTW- based on Cahill’s and Stults’ early starts, those are pitchers we need to keep our eyes on.

    Like

  301. 305 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Wisler is probably the most polished and closest to ready.

    Like

  302. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville April 16, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Good morning, I saw Chasen pitch 3 1/2 scoreless innings against the Red Sox the other night for the Yankees, I think he was sent down because the Yankees needed some fresh arms for their pen after the 18 inning game they lost. Anyway, he looked good. More than I can say for Cahill but it is still early. I’m willing to give him another chance.

    I think it is great the bevy of young prospect pitchers are doing well at triple A. According to the John Hart time line, they have 2 years to get ready for the big team. Still, not walking people and keeping the ball in the park are big pluses, especially the not walking part.

    Raisins, for a long time now, I think the Braves have limited their minor league pitchers to 5 innings per game. I’m not sure if this really helps them or not.but it’s “The Braves Way”…

    The Mike Minor issue will not be resolved before the All-Star break. Around the same time we might see Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen make their major league return. If they scope Minor’s shoulder, we may well have seen the last of him in a Braves uniform. It does not take a lot to cause the bursa sac to get inflamed and cause a lot of discomfort. Rest helps but as soon as you use the shoulder, the inflammation returns. You either learn to pitch with the pain or you use your degree and acquire a new profession.

    The Braves are not going to rush anyone to the big leagues this season but may just make an exception if one of the kids earn it and one of the vets don’t show any improvement. Sadly, much like last season, the offense is not going to come to the rescue of the pitching staff too often. Give up more than two runs and you are likely to lose. Just the way it is….

    Like

  303. 307 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 11:11 am

    According to the NY Post, the Yankees have informed the Braves that they’re interested in Jose Peraza and have scouted him. Of course, it has been floating across different Twitter feeds for days that a NYY scout has been following Peraza, so this really comes as no surprise.

    It brings up a couple of interesting discussion points.

    First, and something we don’t really talk about, Peraza is a natural SS who was only shifted to 2B in 2014 because Andy Simmons has that spot locked up tight for several years to come. Now Jace Peterson has seized 2B and looks like a fantastic player that needs to be in the lineup somewhere. And that doesn’t take into account that he’s a great 2B and makes a superb DP partner with Simba. This fact became so apparent during spring that the Braves had Peraza work out in CF a bit.

    It doesn’t make much sense to move Peterson to 3B because young prospect Rio Ruiz is a guy the Braves FOT’s are salivating over. He’s on track to arrive at the hot corner in the magical year of 2017.

    Look, it’s a great problem to have. And all things considered, Peraza will probably be a better long term player than Peterson. But Jace is quickly becoming the 2015 Braves version of Martin Prado… a hard nosed player who works harder than anyone else and will do anything to help his team win. Teams need players like that, and they don’t come around every day. I submit that the Braves loss of Prado from their clubhouse was the move that started their downward spiral.

    So if you were running things, do you listen? Or do you hang up?

    IMO, it all depends on what the Yankees are willing to offer. Good teams deal from a position of strength to fill an area of weakness. In the Braves system, “area of weakness” can be identified as OF prospects. Mallex Smith (AA Pearl, ETA: 2017) and Braxton Davidson (A Rome, ETA: 2018) aside, there just aren’t any real OF prospects to get excited over.

    If I’m John (pick one), I have to at least listen. But they better blow me away. And I mean the return prospect has to be on the same rating level, plus something else, to trigger any interest at all.

    And I wonder, too, if the Yankees publicly showing interest will bring any other prospective suitors out of the woodwork. Could happen.

    Like

  304. 309 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 11:22 am

    If I’m John (pick one), I ask for the Yankees #2 prospect, a guy named Aaron Judge. Here is his profile:

    “Few players can match the strength and leverage Judge creates with his 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame. He has huge raw power, though he’s content for now to use a shorter stroke and the entire field, working counts and producing line drives. A more advanced hitter than expected, he currently projects to bat .275 with 20-25 homers per season but could produce more power (and hit for less average) if he becomes more aggressive and turns on more pitches.”

    That is what I ask for. Outside of that, I’m not interested.

    Liked by 1 person

  305. 310 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 11:24 am

    And Judge is a RH. He’d be perfect in the 4-hole behind Freddie. He’s currently in AA, but with an ETA of 2016.

    Like

  306. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville April 16, 2015 at 11:29 am

    VOX, interesting information. and of course you listen. Peraza is a couple of years away from being able to hit in the bigs if he ever is and I am not disappointed in what Jace Peterson has brought to the table. As long as he does not suddenly try to hit homeruns instead of being a table setter, I’d just a soon hang onto him.

    The Braves still need to upgrade their offense but who do you opt for? The directions of the the Braves might well be exhibited with this year’s draft. The Braves will have the opportunity to pick 6 of the best 81 ballplayers in America this June. They cannot compete with the old Yankee model which is now the New Dodger model of team building. That ship has sailed… They are going to have to take their lumps and grin a bare it for a couple of years as they acquire talent.

    By the way, think maybe the gNats aren’t looking for a corner stone shortstop. I know they are waiting for the return of Rendon to maybe move Escobar to short because even with their great staff, if you are not able to catch the ball and throw people out, you are going to lose.

    Like

  307. 312 Gil in Mechanicsville April 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

    You just never know when the next Mike Trout will appear. What I do know is kids are getting smarter and dumber both at the same time. The only thing the Braves can do right now is stay the course and keep their eyes on the prize. Meanwhile, the task is to keep us fans interested in the team.

    We got a dose of reality the past two games when the Marlins realized they could stop trying to murder every pitch a win with timely hitting. The fact they have a spectacular defensive outfield does not hurt them either. They have made some game changing plays in the outfield against the Braves.

    Like

  308. 313 berigan2electricboogaloo April 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    V, that’s an interesting thought, going 3 innings every 3 days or so…watching teams baby pitchers these days and still see elbows blow out…something may have to be done. Perhaps rules will be changed, and teams can buy rights or something to 12 year old pitchers, and make sure they are not overused at a young age might make a real difference.
    Seeing amazing young pitchers like Matt Harvey, and Jose Fernandez already have TJ is scary. Seems like the odds are good for them having to have a 2nd surgery, which means…well, who really knows, but they would be less likely to pitch past 30. Certainly they won’t be what they are now….

    Like

  309. 314 berigan2electricboogaloo April 16, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    I really hope with all the arms they have, the braves will focus on bats in the draft…and hopefully, not high school kids, but College age folks.

    Like

  310. 315 Gil in Mechanicsville April 16, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Ber, you realize you spoke for both sides of the equation on why you draft pitchers when you cite guys like Harvey and Fernandez. Everyone wants to see guys like Chapman throw 100 mph but they fail to remember it was players like Glavin and Maddux who went to the post every fifth day.

    It’s why I like Cody Martin so much. He appears to know how to pitch while not wearing his arm out. Even so, the big money will always go to the power guys… Homeruns and strikeouts is what get the press and big contracts. And with that, I put the real problem with baseball in the same sentence. So many strikeouts while trying to hit homeruns…

    Liked by 1 person

  311. 316 Gil in Mechanicsville April 16, 2015 at 12:33 pm

    But as for the upcoming draft, I agree, it would be great to draft some can’t miss position players. Just remember, aluminum bats can make a lot of .200 hitters into .350 beast. Maybe it’s why scouts love to sign Caribbean ball players because they still use wooden bats.

    Like

  312. 317 Gil in Mechanicsville April 16, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    The current fad is signing Cuban players. That is because it is a largely untapped source of talent. Soon enough, it will be like every other Caribbean country where the talent is steady but not head and shoulders above the rest.

    And on the observation of signing the 12 year old kid… The late Sid Thrift said the real art of scouting was to be able to spot talent early, anyone can spot the talent of a kid in double A or triple A, then again, Cody Martin flew under the radar of 29 other major league clubs when they could have claimed him so maybe not….

    Like

  313. 318 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    It’s why I like Cody Martin so much

    Me too. And as good as he pitched at AAA Gwinnett last season, he added a 2nd curveball this offseason which has proven to be an effective part of his repertoire in the early going.

    I’m willing to be a little patient with Stults given his spring effectiveness, but not more than 2-3 more starts. I know his main job is to “eat innings”, but I also don’t want to send out a sacrificial lamb every 5 days.

    As for Cahill, he gets a little more time since Roger didn’t get him until less than 2 weeks ago. The kid has a good arm as evidenced by his All Star season in Oaktown in 2010 when he won 18 games. You don’t luck into that. But he hasn’t been the same pitcher since he had a hip injury in 2013 with ARI.

    Here’s the thing.. his bread and butter is a tough sinker. Why do the Braves seem to favor sinker ballers? 2 words: Andrelton Simmons. And restoring order to sinker pitches is Rogers specialty. That’s the formula for success in the A. Let’s give Roger a little time to work out the kinks in Cahill’s pitches.

    As for Stults, I’d just as soon see Cody Martin every 5th day.

    Like

  314. 319 Gil in Mechanicsville April 16, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    I really see guys like Cahilll and Stults as trade pieces around the All-Star break if they can be rehabilitated by Roger. not for any great amount but more prospects and follow guys or international money to allow the Braves to build their farm.

    I wonder how many people remember the fact the Dodgers had a super AA club in Jacksonville a few years back. They were stupid with that talent and used a lot of it to acquire over the hill has beens but they did keep a few and now they are loaded. That and a billion dollar TV contract… of course, we don’t know the value of the Yankees’ and Red Sox TV deals because like Ted Turner, he kept that information secret.

    Like

  315. 320 Gil in Mechanicsville April 16, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    The problem for the Yankees is they seem to have forgotten how to evaluate talent but listen to every talking head who has a microphone to decide on who to give big contract to.

    Like

  316. 321 Vox O'Raison April 16, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    Like

  317. 322 berigan2electricboogaloo April 16, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Not shocked to hear that…the Yanks would love to get him for a few mid level (read, not regulars ever) players…I guess they, like the Red Sox try to get great talent for so-so’s cuz every once in awhile, they find a sucker GM

    V, agree about Cahill (insert Cahill U.S. Marshall pun/joke here) much younger than Stults and a livelier arm. Very low risk move that could really pay off…
    Saw Kyle Davies surfaced for a day with the Yanks. Amazing how much the braves then Royals thought of him. Shoulda tried to make a reliever out of him…When Bobby was managing, a 22 Davies was given quite a few chances over 3 years. this is the year that killed me, 2006. He was 3 7 over 14 starts…his ERA????? 8.38!!!!!!!!!!!! Good grief! No wonder that team didn’t make the playoffs (or even .500) Can you imagine any team today giving a guy with a 8+ era 14 starts?????

    Like

  318. 323 Vox O'Raison April 17, 2015 at 8:52 am

    2006 – That year, the Braves rotation was John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and a cast of others including Chuck James, John Thomson and Kyle Davies. Smoltz won 16 games that years despite his shoulder hanging on by a few sinuous fibers. (If you’ll recall, it was in the 2005 playoffs vs. Houston that Smoltzie was seen wincing with every pitch late in his start.)

    Anyway, 2006 was also the first sub-.500 year since 1990, with the team winning only 79 games. It was the year that injuries began to dog Chipper and he only appeared in 105 games. Heck, Wilson Betemit was in the Opening Day lineup!

    This will give you an idea of how bad that team was… Ryan Langerhans was a starter. The closer was Bob Wickman. The bullpen also included included such stellar performers as Lance Cormier, Chad Paronto, Ken Ray and Tyler Yates. Blaine Boyer appeared in 2 games and finished the season with a 40.48 ERA.

    Kyle Davies did get 14 starts, but Bobby had few options… he also gave Jorge Sosa 13 starts that season. That staff had several injuries. Thomson was limited to just 18 starts. The above mentioned Cormier made 9 starts himself. In fact, 12 different starting pitchers took the hill that season. Only Tim Hudson and creaky, duct taped together John “Warrior” Smoltz made over 20 starts, each taking the hill every 5th day for 35 starts each.

    So in summary, sketchy starting pitching + bad bullpen = 79 wins.

    Well, sketchy starting pitching and Ryan Langerhans. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  319. 324 Vox O'Raison April 17, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Braves tee it up in Toronto tonight against RH Drew Hutchinson. Who gets the DH role tonight? I’m guessing AJP. Could be KJ, but I think he gets the start in LF.

    Like

  320. 325 Gil in Mechanicsville April 17, 2015 at 9:44 am

    Actually Vox, Langerhans was a great defensive outfielder, it was his bat which was lacking. With marginal pitching, you better have a great offense.

    Kyle Davies had the ego, he just didn’t have the actual pitching IQ to understand you cannot blow fastballs by major league hitters every pitch.

    Smoltz should have won a Cy Young that year for his gutsy performance, lack of over all wins did him in. Bob Wickman was in the dog house with Bobby after retaliating against the Marlins in the ninth inning and blowing a save. It made Bobby realize the importance of a reliable closer. Or maybe it was Dan Kolb who did that but the Braves stunk it up for a while as they tried to rebuild on the fly.

    I remember Chad Peronto being a 10 pitch pitcher, any more pitches than that, he ran out of steam big time.

    Believe it or not, I think this season’s team has potential. Not enough to threaten for a pennant but enough to keep things interesting. Got to get back to getting on base and keeping the line moving, I’m thinking Maybin will supplant EY in center for the most part but a lot of baseball is yet to be played and .500 will be a challenge still. Just ask the Marlins.

    John Hart has zero pressure on him this season. Peraza isn’t going anywhere now the Braves have unloaded BJ. We will know pretty much what the Braves will do in June but as of right now, we can just hope for a little excitement every game.

    Like

  321. 326 Gil in Mechanicsville April 17, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Well, the left handed line up should be busy tonight. The real chore will be keeping the Jays in the yard. This Braves team isn’t going to score a lot of runs so they need to keep it close.

    Like

  322. 327 berigan2electricboogaloo April 17, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Wow, you guys sure remember 2006 better than I do! I did notice that in 06, other than Smoltz and James, no other starter had a sub 4.48 ERA! Sinkerballer Tim Hudson had a 4.86 ERA.
    You know who was the pitching coach that year? His first year, Mr. McDowell. Can you imagine if someone decided to fire him after the team had a 4.60 ERA?
    Glad they were patient! I seem to recall being in the what good does he do category for several years. Bet Hudson and Derek Lowe didn’t really want to listen to him, (Maybe Hudson did, later on) cuz it seems EVERY sinkerballer gets his sinker back under his tutelage (Blog first?)

    Like

  323. 328 Vox O'Raison April 17, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Fredi fooled us all and went with the RH Chris Johnson as DH. However, AJP is behind the dish. Maybin gets another start, with EY, Jr. in LF. I think we are beginning to see some preferences here, though. Fredi likes both speedsters in the lineup. And Jace is no snail either.

    Like

  324. 329 Vox O'Raison April 17, 2015 at 2:59 pm

    So for all of our lamenting “losing” all of our offense over the winter, the 2015 edition is off to a better offensive start than last season, per a new piece by Mr. O’B. (I won’t bore you with the numbers. Numbers… bleh!) Of course, considering we were next to last in offense in 2014, that shouldn’t take much.

    Like

  325. 330 Gil in Mechanicsville April 17, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    Hi guys, I am working on a new blog lead I hope to finish this weekend. The blog gets kind of slow when we hit around three hundred post. Problem is, staying focused. My ADHD is getting worse. So, I do about 200 words and then give out, It would help if I got off my lazy butt and went a bought a new keyboard for my desktop. The cheap ones I bought really are cheap, sticking keys etc. Anyway trying to stay foc.. OH LOOK, A SQUIRREL!!!…

    Liked by 1 person

  326. 331 Gil in Mechanicsville April 17, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    What a strange ball game, even for a Braves team…

    Liked by 2 people

  327. 332 Gil in Mechanicsville April 18, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I’m thinking maybe they should change the name of the Roger’s Center to Gopher Gardens… :Last night’s game reminded me of a boute of Wack-A-Mole…

    Like

  328. 333 berigan2electricboogaloo April 18, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Fun Games though, just not always in the braves favor :/ Apparently, Jim Johnson has an AL allergy

    Like

  329. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville April 18, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Some mighty odd ball and strike calls today. Poor Cameron, I know he has to wonder when the plate became 24 inches wide, tough enough to hit in the majors without also having an expanded strike zone. The ump must have had a date line up after the game.

    Jim Johnson threw one bad pitch, just Batista did not miss it. Perzenski did miss his. Ground balls through the holes are just that. Pretty sure he will be glad to get back into spacious Turner Field.

    Rubber match tomorrow than another day off…

    Like

  330. 337 Gil in Mechanicsville April 19, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Another fun game today, at least so far. got to love two out hits…

    Like

  331. 338 Gil in Mechanicsville April 19, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    A couple of observations… Even though some of the current Braves hitters have a pretty low on base percentage, it is not like they are throwing away a lot of at bats. Sometimes opposing players make some pretty spectacular plays to get outs.

    Cameron Maybin has some really bad luck on the basepaths. Just saying.. but, it not like EY is doing that much better. Maybe it’s the curse of Andruw Jones? Anyway, Big series upcoming with the Mutts who lost two players today, LeGaras and Blevins.

    Like

  332. 339 Gil in Mechanicsville April 19, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Correction, that was d’Arnaud…

    Like

  333. 340 Gil in Mechanicsville April 20, 2015 at 2:54 am

    NEW BLOG UP!

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

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