#149: A Call To Arms

by Gil Elliott 'Gil from Mechanicsville'

‘Gil from Mechanicsville’

With Shelby Miller traded away this winter, the Braves are down to only one really proven starter. Of course, I’m sure Shelby has to be happy moving to a team which has a legitimate chance of allowing for him to improve on his won/loss percentages.

JulioTeheran

Projected number one will be Julio Teheran. Julio has experienced steady growth as a hurler since being promoted to the big club some four years ago. He now has three plus pitches although his slider can be a little cranky, especially with an umpire with a strike zone the size of a postage stamp. Hopefully Tyler Flowers reputation as a good pitch framer will pay dividends for the Braves when paired with the young Panamanian.

Matt Wisler

Matt Wisler

The projected number two looks to be young Matt Wisler. Matt would likely be a number four or five on a contending club but with the rebuilding of the team, he will have to take his lumps as he grows into a real big league pitcher. He has shone he has the ability to be stellar at times but young pitchers always experience problems in their early years building consistency.

Bud Norris

Bud Norris

Bud Norris will fill the roll of seasoned veteran for a very young staff, if he proves he still has something left, I expect him to be used in the three slot. Hopefully, pitching coach Roger McDowell can help him return to the form he showed three years ago and not the guy who has been constantly shelled the past two seasons.

The four and five spots will be up for grabs among a bevy of young arms or possible one of the free agents singed to minor league contracts. Either Jhoulys Chacin or Kyle Kendrick who both have major league experience but are coming off down years due to injuries.

Jhoulys Chacin

Jhoulys Chacin

Jhoulys Chacin was released by the Diamond Backs last fall after coming up through the Rockies organization. While he is somewhat of a longshot to make the team out of spring training, he will certainly get an opportunity to make the staff. He has spent the majority of his career in the minor leagues but performed well last fall for the DBacks when given a chance going 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in five appearances, four starts. If not used as a started, he has been effective as a right handed reliever.

Kyle Kendrick

Kyle Kendrick

Kyle Kendrick is another right hander who is trying to make a comeback. He has spent the majority of his career with the Phillies before pitching for the Colorado Rockies last season. Again, the Braves signed him more as cheap insurance than as a sure fire back end of the rotation started. He will have an opportunity to make the team if the Braves feel their young prospects need more time in the minors.

Manny Buanuelos and Mike Foltynewics both had off season surgery
this fall. ManBam had bone chips removed from a troublesome elbow and Foltynewics had a more serious procedure which removed part of a rib which was suspected to be causing blood clots to form. Baseball has become a year round sport as far as conditioning is concerned. We will have to wait and see if there are any lingering effects for either of these two pitchers.

Williams Perez

Williams Perez

While Williams Perez will not be at the top of anyone’s fantasy league picks, he has a chance to make this season’s starting staff. While he did not possess blow them away stuff, he was not exactly horrible either. He will be on the bubble to begin the season with Atlanta but he is still pretty young. He is not blessed with a 97 mph fastball but he does have a good idea of how to pitch. He may only serve as a place holder for some of the Braves more highly touted young arms but he will have as good a chance as anyone to make the team as a number five/ long relief pitcher to begin the season.

I will talk about some of the projected relievers on my next post.

 

Gil2

 

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184 Responses to “#149: A Call To Arms”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady January 25, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Another homer, Gil! Many thanks, Chief!

    Like

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    Thanks for updating for me boss. I was getting a little worried about you by the way, you had gone dark….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Vox O'Reason January 26, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Thanks for recapping the Braves potential starters for this season, Gil. I am well documented on my opinion as to how the Braves will approach this season with their rotation.

    Julio is the obvious #1, and we are in agreement that Wisler will likely settle in as the #2 unless one of the veterans just has an unbelievable spring and leapfrogs him in the order. (More on the veteran hopefuls later.) But Wisler’s in the mix regardless.

    Also in the mix will be Manny Banuelos, unless he’s not 100% physically, which team docs say that he is. Why do I say that he’s in? First and foremost, he’s the only real lefty candidate. The only other southpaw starters in camp will be minor league FA David Holmberg (Who? Exactly.) and young prospect Sean Newcomb. And I’m pretty sure they don’t want to rush Newcomb. ManBan is in.

    So that gives us Julio, Wisler, veteran inning chewer, and ManBan. By my count that leaves one other spot.

    With the season shaping up as a preparatory season for hopefully contending in 2017, why would you block another young pitching hopeful with a second veteran? You wouldn’t. The #5 spot has to filled with a youngster, and most likely it will be either Williams Perez or Folty. And I think that the pitcher who doesn’t win that #5 competition goes to the bullpen. BTW- that’s a good thing.

    Now, back to the veterans. The way I see it, the Braves will have Bud Norris (R), Jhoulys Chacin (R) and Kyle Kendrick (R) all vying for the same “veteran anchor” spot. Norris has the inside track given that he was signed to a Major League (read “guaranteed”) deal. But don’t count out Chacin, who probably has the best “stuff” of the three if he can control it. Chacin is young enough (28) that you might consider stashing him in AAA as pitching depth, but certainly not Norris or Kendrick. At least one of those guys will be traded to a team in need by the end of ST. Plus, stashing a guy isn’t an easy deal to facilitate either.

    Here’s why you won’t/can’t stash more of the veteran hopefuls at AAA as insurance. (Same for Folty and WIllyP.) You’ve got so many new prospects that you have to have a place for them. Here’s a preview of what the AAA rotation could look like: 1- Tyrell Jenkins (R), 2- Aaron Blair (R), 3- Sean Newcomb (L), 4- Casey Kelly (R), 5- Chris Ellis (R) or Ryan Weber (R) or John Gant (R) or Chris Volstad (R) or Chacin (R).

    See what I mean?

    In fact, there’s at least a chance that the Braves could even start Newcomb at AA with Lucas Sims to begin the season just to spread these guys out a little.

    I suppose too that we all need to prepare to see one or more of these shiny new pitching prospects flipped for a bat somewhere along the line, too. Unless Fredi is going to trot out an unorthodox 8 man rotation in 2017, there is going to be a surplus. Then again, that’s the plan. That’s all by design.

    BTW- a recent publication has just rated the Braves rotation as dead last. To me this is a little ridiculous because the Braves don’t even know who will be in it, much less the media. But if you look at who is on the cusp, publications will not be giving the Braves the same disrespect much longer.

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  4. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    VOX, In reviewing some of the young guys for my next post, there was a lack of information on most but when you dig, That said, I can understand why the Braves might be rated as last, no one really knows what to expect. Media types hate not knowing. For sure, the Braves have some talent. I don’t think they will want to bring up a kid to start the clock on them prematurely. In other words, they don’t want to create another “Super Two” like they did with Mike Minor. They will let the young guys mature as long as they can.

    I thought Chacin was an interesting case. He had experience some success as a starter in Arizona. Not so much in Colorado but he is approaching the age when a player matures into who he had the potential to be. He is a pitch to contact guy which could explain his woes in Colorado. He is a ground ball guy so he could be successful. Will he be in the Braves future plans? Likely not but I expect him to have a good chance to start the season with the big club.

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  5. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    As for ManBan, He has the potential, it is the stamina which is called into question. It is why spring training will be important for both Banuelos and Folty. And who is being left out of the conversation? Former number one Braves prospect Lucas Sims, who is not yet on the 40 man roster.

    I know, Sims is not yet ready but he will get a look see this spring. Again, lots of questions about the staff. If I were a young pitcher or a veteran, I would see being with the Braves as a huge opportunity. Lots of spots available to be filled. Don’t we see lots of kids transfer from one school to another for just that reason? Having an opportunity to play?

    Like

  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    And as for stashing guys in triple and double A, The Braves have a 5 inning limit on many of their starters, Still lots of innings available for pitchers.

    Like

  7. 7 Vox O'Reason January 27, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Outstanding news! I’ve made note before that Wisler looks alot like a RH version of Glav to me in his stoic mound presence. This would make it even more so.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 8 berigan2electricboogaloo January 27, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Excellent work as always Gil! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  9. 9 berigan2electricboogaloo January 27, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I haven’t been sayin’ much here of late…sure that has everyone in tears ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Anyway…still not feelin’ it. Hoping I will once we get closer to the start of the season.
    Bud Norris (R), Jhoulys Chacin (R) and Kyle Kendrick (R) ? Waste of time and money….and, valuable starts for a system overloaded with starters. More young starters than ever? Leave them in the minors…start their clocks lake cuz…well, so many will walk in 5,6, 7 years. have to keep ’em down on the farm for awhile…perhaps Bud Norris will knock a few runs off his ERA, get it down to 5. That will be fun to watch…
    I also really look forward to the new SS with the .300 OBP batting 2nd. he will do an excellent job bunting runners over, grounding out the 2nd baseman…And then the new Catcher with the sub .300 OBP, (but is really good at the most exciting aspect of the game….pitch framing)
    Dansby Swanson…if he makes the club (of course, he will have to have “seasoning” to start his arb clock late…) that will be exciting…
    Hopefully the Cuban in left will look less afraid in 2016…and that could be interesting…and…um….pitching. Lots of pitching . Lots of 2-1, 3-2 losses will be…yawn…interesting….90 + losses…not so much

    Prove me wrong Braves, prove me wrong! ๐Ÿ˜†

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Ber, to be honest, I have pretty much written off this season as a continuation of 2015 but I could be surprized, Eh, make that amazed by this year’s club but I view it as a continuation of the rebuilding process. At least they are rebuilding. The Braves will have some company at the bottom but unlike last season’s Padres, at least we won’t really be disappointed. We know what to expect, it’s just hoping the Braves can make progress.

    I guess we could buy a goat to take to the games but I don’t think it will get past the security folks, as in DUDE, That is one ugly dog…..

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Now, it is not as if the team is a total loss, you never know when lightning can’t be caught in a bottle, look at the Mets and Colon… Anyone really see that coming? Pretty sure he was not at the top of many folks fantasy picks.

    Like

  12. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2016 at 7:46 am

    And 2-1 3-2… Better than 10-1 12-2…. just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 13 Vox O'Reason January 28, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    As it currently stands – and I think that is a necessary qualifier since we really don’t know who we’ll field on April 4 – I think you can make a couple of safe assumptions.

    #1- The bullpen will not crash and burn like it did last season. Why did Coppy load up on so many veterans on non-guaranteed deals? Because they spent the last 2 months of the season trotting out minor league arms that had no business being anywhere near a major league pitching mound. That won’t be the case in 2016. From the many articles and columns I’ve read dissecting the grease fire a/k/a the Braves 2015 bullpen, there is a common belief that the ‘pen cost the Braves anywhere from 10-15 games by themselves last season. Even if you only give yourself a small improvement over that figure by having better talent and depth, you’re gonna improve by a good 5-7 games over last season’s 67 wins.

    #2- Having Freddie back in the lineup for more than 118 games, and at 100% health will have a tremendous impact on the offense and its ability to score runs. And even in the games he played in after the ASB, he was not the same player. 1st half vs 2nd half: AVG 299 / .241, SLG .520 / .395, HR 12 / 6, RBI 41 / 25. The impact of his injury was enormous to a team that was already lacking power. In addition to having Freddie back, you now have a real table setter in Ender Inciarte. You have a platoon compliment to Jace Peterson, and you have the bat of Hector Olivera that will obviously need to be seen and proven, but cannot be any worse than what was trotted out to LF last season. And if you take the emotional attachment out of the equation and look at back of the baseball card, Erick Aybar is a better hitter than Andrelton Simmons. He just is. No, the Braves won’t burn out any scoreboards, but they will be improved. If you go back and look at the number of 1-run games from last season, you’ll find that the team lost 18 of them. Improve that by just 30% and that’s another 5-7 games.

    And lets be honest. Last year’s team, as bad as it was, hovered around the division leaders for most of the first half until a rash of injuries took it down to the 2nd tier. Then the purge began. (I contend the KJ/Uribe trade hurt this team as much as any they made during the season last year.) Then more injuries in the bullpen and suddenly there wasn’t a major league caliber reliever to be found. My point is that the 2015 team was not as good as its first half, but not as bad as its finish. And it has been improved for 2016, even if only marginally.

    So can we reasonably expect a 10-14 game improvement over last season? I don’t think 10 games is an unrealistic expectation. Is a 77-85 season anything to get excited about? Not really, but it’s better than 67-95. How about 81-81? As for me, I’ll take a .500 season and be happy about it knowing that the team has set itself up for another sustained run of success.

    Obviously, my expectations need to be tempered in the knowledge that alot can happen during the course of 162 game season. That’s why they play the games, right? But as much as I need to couch my optimism, so should the negativism be guarded. We are still 22 days from P&CR, for goodness sake. Let’s not jump off any bridges just yet, OK?

    Liked by 2 people

  14. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Good opine VOX.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 15 Carolina Lady January 29, 2016 at 4:52 am

    It feels good to know that former Braves are working with the team, teaching and mentoring. Glavine, CJones, BCox and probably some we aren’t aware of. All of those are positives in my view.

    Apparently even the alumni Braves want to do what they can to help. I’d LOVE to see and hear what #10 is doing and saying in the background. The Braves were Chipper’s team until he retired and it appears that no one else stepped up to lead the band – so he’s come back. Anybody who doesn’t listen to what that trio has to say shouldn’t be allowed on any Braves’ team. JMHO. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  16. 16 Vox O'Reason January 29, 2016 at 9:24 am

    The Braves were Chipperโ€™s team until he retired and it appears that no one else stepped up to lead the band โ€“ so heโ€™s come back.

    Yes he has. Literally. Did y’all read that Chipper and his wife are moving back to Atlanta full time? In fact, I believe they are in town now looking at houses.

    He says:

    โ€œI came to the realization that this (his ranch near Carrizo Springs, Texas) isnโ€™t home for me. I like it out here, and during hunting season I could totally be out here. But itโ€™s not where home is. Home is Atlanta. Itโ€™s always going to be Atlanta. Iโ€™ve lived in Atlanta for 20-plus years. Iโ€™m happiest there.โ€

    But the best part is this:

    “I don’t want to just be a face that shows up every once in a while. And I know that’s the way it’s going to be if I’m living (in Texas). There are going to be times when Freddie Freeman is going to call me up and say, โ€˜I need you to look at me, I need you to analyze footage.’ Jace Peterson might say, โ€˜Hey man, can you come down and give us a third set of eyes?’ I want to be there for them. I want to be a phone call away. I want to be a 30-minute drive away. I don’t want to be five states and 1,500 miles. I’m taking this job seriously.”

    Now that is exciting!!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. 17 Vox O'Reason January 29, 2016 at 9:32 am

    By the way, did you notice that Chipper specifically called out Jace Peterson? Would he do that if he didn’t think the guy is an important part of the team? And as CL has said, I respect what Chipper thinks. I respect it alot.

    It seems to me that every time a team begins to emerge, there is a guy or two that has a breakout season… a coming out of sorts. I wonder if Jace could be that guy this year? He showed early what he’s capable of even though he faded severely late in the season. That said, he was dealing with his own wrist injury that he told no one about. That’s part of the growth of a major leaguer, though. You have to know when to play through it and when you’re hurting your team. Having a veteran like Gordon Beckham around him will certainly be a huge plus as well. From the time Jace took the field last season I had hopes that he would become our next Martin Prado, a sparkplug that seems to inspire his teammates with his drive. I still think he has that potential. I hope I haven’t misread him.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville January 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Yes VOX, the first I heard of Jace’s wrist injury was when Freeman mentioned it in an interview in December. It sure would explain the drop off. I can see where he was coming from, you don’t want to be a wimp but at some point you have to know when to fess up.

    Wrist injuries and lat pulls are the bane of every hitter. A lot like tennis elbow… but different….

    We shall see how he fares in spring training. Baseball players are a lot like computer hard drive, it is never a question of if they will crash, only a matter of when.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. 19 Carolina Lady January 29, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    V, fantastic news about Chipper! That really perks me up! CJ for manager at some point?? He lives and breathes this team and he’ll never be out of it, in my opinion. Heck, in a few more years, half the team could bear the name of Jones on their jerseys. Those boys are growing up now. Wouldn’t that be a riot? Jones, Jones, Jones, Jones and Jones. #6, #7, #8, #9, #10 (manager). Fun to imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 20 Vox O'Reason January 30, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Like

  21. 21 Vox O'Reason January 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 22 Vox O'Reason January 30, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    So it wasn’t a wrist injury after all. Well, there ya go.

    Like

  23. 23 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Pretty gritty dude if you ask me… Thumbs are like toes, definitely not to be trifled with.

    Like

  24. 24 Vox O'Reason February 1, 2016 at 8:40 am

    So the Braves FanFest was this past Saturday. The Ted was filled with Braves past, present and future, and there were many pictures tweeted and many interviews made. Way too much to try to post it all, and to be quite honest, y’all probably don’t want to see much of it anyway.

    It’s all positive and rosey.

    But of course it is; what else would FanFest be?

    So we’ll just let it all be what it was and move on. Only 19 days until P&CR. (Not that I’m counting or anything…)

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 25 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2016 at 9:30 am

    Yes, would have loved to have been there but just a tad bit out of my way. Heck, I still have two sets of decals to put on my license plates I have not got around to. Today is the day however, temps in the 60s… Yea!!!!

    Lots of things on my agenda these days, the want to is there, the can do is falling a bit by the wayside.

    The snow went away pretty quickly this time. More on the way in a couple of weeks methinks. Not as much but wetter and heavier. Then spring will arrive….. Yipee….

    Like

  26. 26 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2016 at 9:44 am

    And tomorrow is Ground Hog Day, Some movie channel will play a continuous loop of the film which brings big residuals to Bill Murray…

    I’m still waiting for some wit to come up with a reliable mascot who can predict his team’s success or failure on the premise of if he can see his shadow or not on the Feb 2nd…. I’m sure that day is coming.

    Like

  27. 27 Vox O'Reason February 1, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    No surprise there. In fact, maybe a blessing. It might give the organization a very good reason to start his season at AAA to build strength and stamina.

    Like

  28. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    VOX, You had no way of knowing this but on the new lead I began working on, I predicted that Folty would likely be behind the curve because of his operation. The 20 pounds he lost is likely muscle mass. I doubt he had much fat on him to begin with. Same problem Markases experienced last season due to his neck surgery.

    Because players are not allowed to use steroids to recover like they once were able to, it is a much longer and slower process.

    The first thing Folty will have to do is rebuild his stamina. Like I said, you never know who is going to slip up on the bats laying around in front of the dugout. I look for him to come up mid May or June.

    It is why depth is so important and why we are not privy to most injuries incurred. Somebody is always playing hurt. I don’t know if Folty is even off the blood thinners yet.

    Like

  29. 29 Vox O'Reason February 2, 2016 at 7:47 am

    The groundhog poked his head out this morning and declared that P&CR in just 17 days. (Not that he’s counting or anything…)

    Like

  30. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville February 2, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Quote of the day comes from Ms Josie commenting on the results of the Iowa caucus and Donald Trump.

    “Lots of people love to go to the circus but no one really wants to buy an elephant”

    Liked by 2 people

  31. 31 Vox O'Reason February 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Building a mighty Cuban army!!

    Like

  32. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville February 2, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    VOX. I have read somewhere that Cuba was the new Dominican Republic as far as Latin baseball talent.

    Like

  33. 33 Vox O'Reason February 3, 2016 at 8:43 am

    So there is a story out now that the Braves were “working hard” to acquire IF prospect Isan Diaz from ARI prior to the deal that sent SS Jean Segura and a pitcher from MIL to ARI for $12M 2B Aaron Hill, a pitcher, and the highly touted Diaz. (Peter Gammons, who broke the news that Coppy “worked hard” to make that deal happen, has likened the 19-year-old Diaz to Robinson Cano.) Most speculate that it was a simple salary dump by ARI to help them pay for the massive deal they gave Zach Greinke.

    Anyway, it is pretty much a non-story since it didn’t happen, right? Well, as the great Lee Corso likes to say, “Not so fast, my friend.”

    Two things need to be recognized here. #1, the characterization that Coppy doesn’t sleep, or at least sleeps with his phone to his ear is fairly accurate. He’s still out there actively trying to bring in more top talent to the team’s minor league system. #2, he was willing to take on the final year of Aaron Hill’s contract at the aforementioned $12M to make it happen. (In fairness, ARI sent $6.5 in the deal to MIL. Depending on the players going the other way, they may have sent some $$ back to us as well.)

    Now, why is that important? Two words: Touki Toussant. This failed deal is exactly like the deal they made with LAA that brought back the extremely talented Toussant. As you’ll recall, we agreed to take on the remaining $10M of post-TJ Bronson Arroyo and Toussant for essentially Phil Gosselin. In other words, we bought Toussant for $10M. (That’s cheaper than some signing bonuses for the top draft picks!)

    So how would that have affected the 2016 Braves? Hard to say, since we obviously don’t know what was proposed to go back to ARI. But one has to think Erick Aybar was in it since ARI got offensive-minded SS Jean Segura from MIL. If the deal structure was similar, you can figure Aybar and a 2nd tier pitching prospect.

    It would have also added another 2B to the Braves mix while removing the anticipated starting SS. The ripple effect would have been interesting. Hill’s been on the down side of his career for a couple of years, and not much more than a RH half to a platoon recently. But that’s all pure speculation now and not worth the keystrokes. In fact, I’ve wasted more than I should have already.

    So what’s my point? As long as Coppy has a phone, he’ll use it as often as PRESBO to make changes he deems productive. Don’t sleep on the guy. He’s constantly prowling.

    Like

  34. 34 Carolina Lady February 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Please tell me it’s not the “phone and a pen” that someone else bragged about! jk

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 35 Vox O'Reason February 3, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    CL, you picked up on my obscure reference! Yay!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  36. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville February 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Same but different CL ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  37. 37 Gil in Mechanicsville February 3, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Glad to see the current GM still stockpiling or trying to stockpile young talent. The story about the Cuban youngster I thought interesting. It is with these kids you really need to have scouts who have a good eye. He is a kid who is 5 to 6 years away from making it to the majors.

    As long as it’s not my money, no problem…

    Liked by 1 person

  38. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville February 4, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    Reading the Braves MLB site story about Tom Glavin working with young Matt Wisler in perfecting his change up. To be honest, I never really thought about how technical pitching can be, as in “Just grip it and rip it” which is my mantra.

    No wonder it takes young pitchers so long to actually learn to pitch versus just throwing. Like golf, and hitting… if you have to think about it, you are doomed. Hey, I was never and All-star but when it came to hitting, the only thing I thought about was where I wanted to hit the ball. Anything beyond that
    I went in to brain overload. I guess that is why I stunk at gold so badly, my brain kept getting in the way of my swing.

    I really looking forward to spring train reports. I know not to have too high an expectation but I know if i were VOX, I would be attending more than my fair share of games at Gwennette scoping out the talent. I might try to attend a couple of games in Norfolk this season to check out the Braves when they play the Tides.

    We shall see what the spring brings.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. 39 Vox O'Reason February 5, 2016 at 9:17 am

    I certainly plan to see my share of games. I’m going to try to see each of our top starting pitching prospects, starting with Tyrell Jenkins, because he may not be at AAA very long. Then Sean Newcomb, then Aaron Blair, then Casey Kelly. I cannot wait!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

  40. 40 Vox O'Reason February 5, 2016 at 9:20 am

    What he said.

    Like

  41. 41 Vox O'Reason February 5, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Like

  42. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville February 5, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Yes, it is about $35 difference between the cost of a Triple A ticket vs Turner Field. That and the difference in traffic, parking etc. When you are evaluating talent, there is no substitute for live, in person eyeballing.

    The one thing lost with the two dimensional view of TV is you lose a sense of speed with which the game is played. Pitching is a little harder to judge unless you are behind home plate. Then your view is blocked by the ump… Of course, his view is blocked by the catcher. The talent level of minor league umpires is a huge drop off from the majors but, well, you know….

    Like

  43. 43 Vox O'Reason February 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Erick Aybar is working hard (albeit in a great location) to be ready for 2016.

    Like

  44. 44 Vox O'Reason February 5, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    A post shared by Erick Aybar (@erickaybar) on

    Swing is looking pretty good too.

    Like

  45. 45 Vox O'Reason February 5, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    He’s gonna be a great influence on the young’uns.

    Like

  46. 46 Gil in Mechanicsville February 5, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Nothing like a strong work ethic to get your teammates motivated.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. 47 Gil in Mechanicsville February 8, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Well, the media circus AKA, the Super Bowl is put away for another year. Winners and losers go well beyond the final score. Winners, John Elway, Peyton Manning, the Denver Defense and Budweiser. Losers, the NFL’s reputation, Cold Play, Cam Newton and of course the Panthers for failing to live up to the hype. Hey, I’ve seen that last part before. Anyone else remember the beating the Raiders gave the Redskins back in 1983 when the bad boys from the left coast drubed the Skins with a swarming defense 38-9. The Skins were heavy favorite in that game too.

    Question, what do you think would have happened if Chipper Jones made a statement that his race came first, then everything else? Newton only lost the respect I had for him due to his prowess on the field. He was outclassed and outplayed last night and his throwing a temper tantrum at the press conference left a lot of Carolina fans embarrassed.

    I’m not a Panthers fan per sec. I had to admire their record this season but character is what often shines thru after adversity. Anyone can be magnanimous after a win, it is how you handle yourself following a loss which reveals the most. Oh well, time to put that behind us. Spring training is almost upon us. Yipee…..

    Liked by 2 people

  48. 48 Gil in Mechanicsville February 8, 2016 at 11:23 am

    I did not realize they had volcanic ash beaches in the DR. Of course since the Carribean Islands are mostly as a result of volcanos, I should not be surprised.

    Liked by 2 people

  49. 49 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2016 at 7:21 am

    10 days ’til P&CR. That is all.

    No… wait. That is not all. I have an odd feeling. In my gut, I feel that Coppy is going to do something soon. I don’t know what, but soon. Maybe even before the team hits the field for their first workouts of spring.

    Ah… it’s probably just gas.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. 50 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Speaking of Erick Aybar (surely somebody somewhere was)…

    I look to get an “Edgar Renteria” season out of him. Even if it’s only a half a season, that’s what I expect. And as you’ll recall, Edgar was only here for 2 seasons, but he made an impression on both his teammates and fans. I think the recent accounts of Aybar’s offseason workouts are a great example of how a veteran can impact a young team. He’s a guy who will lead by example. And he might even be a vocal leader in the clubhouse, something we lost when Grilli went down in mid-season last year. As talented as Freddie and Nick might be, being that overt leader isn’t in the skillset.

    I’m excited to see the team hit the field in the next couple of weeks and get the ol’ ball rolling for 2016.

    Like

  51. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville February 9, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Okay, I am a realest. I don’t expect the Braves to be world beaters just yet. Too many holes in the team right now for that to happen but as they say, Rome was not built in a day, it took a couple of seasons….

    Yes, Aybar has all the things you look for as a mid season trade piece for more prospects, especially when you have a 23 year old waiting in the wings to take his place in the line up.

    That said, Aybar could galvanize a couple of other Latin players to do better, a Terry Pendleton type if you will.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 52 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2016 at 12:56 pm

    Like

  53. 53 Vox O'Reason February 10, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Single digits. That is all.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. 54 berigan2electricboogaloo February 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Speaking of Erick Aybar (surely somebody somewhere was)โ€ฆ

    I look to get an โ€œEdgar Renteriaโ€ season out of him. Even if itโ€™s only a half a season, thatโ€™s what I expect. And as youโ€™ll recall, Edgar was only here for 2 seasons, but he made an impression on both his teammates and fans. I think the recent accounts of Aybarโ€™s offseason workouts are a great example of how a veteran can impact a young team.
    I sure hope he will be in the BCOHL, or whatever it is ๐Ÿ˜‰
    36 at 2 PM, (we sure didn’t get in the single digits!, it was a warm 23)
    clearly, baseball is in the air! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Like

  55. 55 berigan2electricboogaloo February 10, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    BSOHL????

    Like

  56. 56 berigan2electricboogaloo February 10, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Erik Aybar splits last 3 seasons, .273 BA , .308 OBP…sure hope he’s a half a season guy…and a guy NOT batting 2nd….nice….8th place hitter, between he and the pitchers, the bottom of the order will allow a quick turnaround for pitchers to get right back out there on the mound to work on their craft…

    Like

  57. 57 berigan2electricboogaloo February 10, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    speaking of half seasons, Aybar hit .249 with a .275 OBP the 2nd half of 2015…Perhaps we should have the pitcher bat 8th? So we can have him bat 9th, it’s like having another leadoff hitter! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Like

  58. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville February 10, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    While it’s great to have Kieth Law throw some accolades towards the Braves for a change, after dismissing most of the negative things he has said in the past, it is tough for me to embrace him now. Of course he may have been right all along and being the unrepentant homer that I am, I just did not want to believe the Braves were as bad as he said. You know, like finding out your girl friend has been stepping out on you all along….

    The AJC posted their potential line up for 2016 with Aybar batting second and Peterson hitting eight. I’m with Ber thinking Eric might be much better down in the order. They also have Markasis hitting third and Fab 5 batting clean up. That might work if the 5 hole hitter is decent. We’ll see.

    Like

  59. 60 Vox O'Reason February 11, 2016 at 8:11 am

    That might work if the 5 hole hitter is decent.

    The mostly pragmatic and realistic DOB asserts that this team is just one good power bat away from a decent lineup. I think if you’ll go back and look at my record, you’ll see that I’ve said the same thing. (NOTE: I didn’t say world-beating lineup. I said decent lineup. Competitive.)

    I did not see the ajc lineup. Personally, I would prefer that Freddie bat in the cleanup spot, but he prefers 3rd, so that’s where Fredi will bat him.

    In fact, on December 31, I posted this lineup here on the ol’ B&S:

    1- Ender Inciarte, CF (L)
    2- Erick Aybar, SS (S)
    3- Markakis, RF (L)
    4- Freeman, 1B (L)
    5- Adonis Garcia, 3B (R)
    6- AJ Pierzynski / Tyler Flowers, C (L/R)
    7- Hector Olivera, LF (R)
    8- Peterson / Gordon Beckham, 2B (L/R)

    As for Aybar, I’m OK batting him 2nd as he has historically posted a high OBP for several years running, including 2015. He takes alot of walks and doesn’t strike out much. That is key for a good 2-hole batter. But looking back at his 2015 splits, he batted in the 5-slot more than anywhere else (along with #1 and #7) in the order last season and posted far better number there than anywhere else.

    All that said, though, I think you just about have to bat him 2nd because the top of the order is very LH heavy. You need him up there to balance it.

    You all know how much I love to make a lineup, so since the challenge is before me, I’ll show you mine as of today:

    1- Ender Inciarte, CF (L)
    2- Erick Aybar, SS (S)
    3- Markakis, RF (L)
    4- Freeman, 1B (L)
    5- Adonis Garcia, 3B (R)
    6- AJ Pierzynski / Tyler Flowers, C (L/R)
    7- Hector Olivera, LF (R)
    8- Peterson / Gordon Beckham, 2B (L/R)

    Yep. it’s the same as on December 31. Now, if you tell me that Freddie has to bat 3rd, then that changes things a little. If pressed that way, I’d make this change:

    1- Ender Inciarte, CF (L)
    2- Erick Aybar, SS (S)
    3- Freeman, 1B (L)
    4- Hector Olivera, LF (R)
    5- Markakis, RF (L)
    6- Adonis Garcia, 3B (R)
    7- AJ Pierzynski / Tyler Flowers, C (L/R)
    8- Peterson / Gordon Beckham, 2B (L/R)

    The wild card here, of course, is HO. I honestly don’t know what to expect from him. At all. If he’s the 20-HR gap hitter that Coppy envisions, then he’ll be fine in the 4-slot and could be the key that makes the whole thing work. If he’s still not ready for prime time, then he could be the sludge that gums up the works. That’s why I prefer him batting 7th, at least to start the season.

    More on HO below…

    Like

  60. 61 Vox O'Reason February 11, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Hector… what to say about Hector…

    Usually going into a season, you have a pretty good idea about what you’re trotting out to the turf, good or bad. But this year is different.

    I honestly have no idea what to expect from Hector, either batting or fielding. I’ve defended the guy (to a point) because I don’t think he’s a middle-aged hack that ought not be found in a major-league lineup. I think many times we (I have included myself here) take out our frustration from a trade on the guy that comes back to us. And although I would “undo” the trade today if possible, I won’t blame HO for it and won’t hate him because of my own disapproval.

    As I said earlier, I think this lineup is one good bona fide cleanup hitting bopper away from being competitive. How good would it look if Yoenis Cespedes were batting 4th and playing LF?

    Exactly. Respectable and even formidable.

    But keep something in mind. Cespedis hit 35 HR last season, but many of those came in one torrid stretch right after the trade. Prior to that, he posted HR season totals of 23, 26 and 22. And still he is considered a middle of the order presence.

    What will we think of HO if he strokes the aforementioned 20-HR and drives in say… 80 runs? It could happen.

    As I said. A wild-card.

    But here’s the thing. If Coppy was to go out and find a RH bopper to insert into the lineup, I don’t think it’d be for LF. I think it’d be for RF. I have a feeling that Nick could be traded in a deadline deal this year, especially if his moderate power returns. He has a reasonable contract that would only have a 1.5 season commitment remaining. That’s about perfect for a contending team that doesn’t want the proverbial “rental” but also doesn’t want a long term commitment. And Nick would be a great veteran acquisition for a team looking to make a playoff push. I can see it happening. And his replacement would likely come during the next offseason… the time that the Johns have publicly said they want to make a “splash”, and a time that making said splash would generate some excitement to coincide with a move to a new park.

    But I’m getting way ahead of myself.

    HO… wild card… don’t know what to expect. But I’m looking forward to seeing what he becomes. Kind of like opening a surprise present, except different.

    Like

  61. 62 Vox O'Reason February 11, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Cornering the market…

    Like

  62. 63 berigan2electricboogaloo February 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    As for Aybar, Iโ€™m OK batting him 2nd as he has historically posted a high OBP for several years running, including 2015. He takes alot of walks and doesnโ€™t strike out much. That is key for a good 2-hole batter.

    V, I thought I told you that HRCDNC baseball stats site was a Democratic site, and just like the delegate totals for Bernie vs HRC (He wins 60% to 38%, but she got more Delegates?) their numbers are all wrong! ๐Ÿ˜†

    Erick Aybar has never walked more than 36 times in a season , he is almost, almost as bad at walking as Jeff Francoeur! He doesn’t strike out a ton, that’s for sure. But, he’s got a career OBP of .315 (.301 in 2013, .321 in 2014, .301 last year) Didn’t we trade away Jose Peraza , that old man of 21 cuz of his .342 career OBP in the minors, cuz he stunk at getting on base?.
    I know, Aybar, 1 year….I guess a balanced lineup is more important than one that hitters get on at the top of the order…

    Like

  63. 64 Gil in Mechanicsville February 11, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Yes, if the Braves are more than 5 games back by the deadline, I expect a couple of guys to be gone. Didn’t MLB extend the deadline to August 1st this season?

    I would think there are no untouchable on the Braves roster. Maybe Freeman, maybe not…. Just saying.

    I think the AJC had Olivera batting fifth, Adonis sixth and Perzinski seventh, or maybe Perzinski sixth and Adonis seventh…. I think they were striving for a line up that allowed left right type line up to prevent from being lefty or righty heavy.

    I was talking with my good friend Richbrave this morning about Cuban players and their transition to America, his wife who is Cuban says that for the most part these players are very spoiled. From age ten, they are snatched up to play ball and are repeatedly told how great they are. It means they do not respond to adversity very well. Humility is not a strong suit. He said Yunell Escobar was a good example. Million dollar talent, five dollar brain. He has only just recently got it under control. There is a definite transition period for these kids. I think Prigh is another good example.

    Hummmm… I wonder if Cam Newton is Cuban? Okay, I digress… That was a cheap shot wasn’t it?

    Anyone else excited about the prospect of the Braves signing the next Chipper Jones? The kid from Venzuala? I wonder if Eddie Perez has been camping out on his doorstep? I know kids want to play for a winner but really good kids want to have a chance to play and make a team into a winner.

    No Todd Van Poppels please…

    Liked by 1 person

  64. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville February 11, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Ber, I still think Aybar is a transitional guy. the only question is if he is traded prior to the start of the season or at the trade deadline. I will be shocked if he is on the team past August 1st. By that time, either Albies or Swanson will be occupying Eric position.

    Like

  65. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville February 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    What would be the return for Markakis? Depends on his power numbers… Who in the Braves system is ready to play right field? Would the Braves not have to make a trade to acquire such a player?

    Like I said, too many holes in the line up at this point for the Braves to be serious contenders.

    Wordsmithing at it’s best… Contending vs competitive. Deference is about $50MM and 15 wins…. Example, the Cubs are transitioning from competitive to contending. So are the Astros. A health Texas Ranger team is a contender, one which is banged up can only strive to be competitive. Will the Angles be competitive this season or be contenders.

    The Nationals will be contenders this season, so will be the Mets but they still need an offensive bat to beat a Nationals team which does not beat themselves. If the Nationals play up to their potential, the Mets can only hope to be a wild card. The Marlins will not be contenders but they will be competitive. they have wild card potential, to be a contender, the Mets and gNats will have to collapse.

    Okay, nap time…

    Like

  66. 67 Vox O'Reason February 11, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    I get the feeling that Ber would not like Erick Aybar if he was Santa Claus. I get it. He’s the guy that follows Andrelton at SS, not to mention that he came over in the same deal that sent Andrelton. It’s a little like following Bear Bryant at Alabama. It didn’t matter who the guy was, he was gonna be hated. (FWIW, it was Ray Perkins who was fired after 4 years and a 32-15 record because the boosters didn’t like him.) You never want to be the guy to follow a legend. You want to be the guy to follow the guy who follows the legend.

    Also FWIW, I wasn’t trying to make Aybar out to be an All-Star, just justifying batting him in the 2-hole. You have to have a RH bat there or the whole lineup is wonky. Unless you want your other favorite guy Hector to bat 2nd, there aren’t alot of choices. I believe he’s better in a spot to drive in runs. Adonis? Uh, no. Flowers? Beckham? No perfect choices so you go with what you have. Either that or you start your lineup with 3 or 4 straight lefties and give every other manager a tremendous advantage late in games when it comes to matchups.

    Like

  67. 68 Vox O'Reason February 11, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    What would be the return for Markakis? Depends on his power numbersโ€ฆ Who in the Braves system is ready to play right field? Would the Braves not have to make a trade to acquire such a player?

    Of course, I was merely speculating… spouting off at the brain, so to speak. But they could very well play Inciarte in RF. Don’t forget that CF Mallex Smith will likely make his ML debut this season. In fact, one might argue that the team will have to make room for Mallex somehow. Nicky makes the most sense to me.

    Like

  68. 69 Vox O'Reason February 11, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    Oh… and Mallex is another LH bat.

    Like

  69. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville February 11, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Oh yeah, forgot about Mallex… I guess it depends on who the Braves trade this spring plus if they feel Oliveria can make the jump. I don’t see both Bourne and Swisher breaking camp with the Braves.

    I know the Braves brain trust hope both have outstanding springs so they can improve their return.

    Like

  70. 71 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2016 at 7:38 am

    I donโ€™t see both Bourne and Swisher breaking camp with the Braves.

    Agreed.

    Like

  71. 72 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Mallex could bat .500 this spring and still not break camp with the Braves, Coppy will keep him on the farm at least long enough for him not to be a Super Two…. Right now, it’s all about the Benjamins.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 73 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Honestly, I don’t expect to see Mallex until closer to mid-season anyway. When he’s called up, it’ll be to play and not to sit. So a spot has to be open. That probably won’t happen until closer to the ASB.

    The only exception I could see to that is if someone gets hurt. That always changes the plans anyway.

    Like

  73. 74 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2016 at 9:40 am

    One week, folks. Just one week.

    Like

  74. 75 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Like

  75. 76 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2016 at 9:42 am

    ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like

  76. 77 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I believe the addition of Incarte has altered the trajectory of Mallex Smith to the big leagues. I hope he understands that his age works against him somewhat. The Braves have no qualms with allowing him to “season” more in triple A. The more at bats he gets, the better he will be in the majors.

    I don’t think the Braves will simply drop either Bourne or Swisher. It is spent money but if either can add to the bench, well, why not keep them. Besides, there are serious questions about Olivera. No need to change course now, no one seriously thinks the Braves will challenge the Mets or Nationals at this point. They just do not have the pitching depth as yet.

    They do have a lot of potential as far as young arms go but remember Smoltz and Avery both struggled in their freshman seasons, or two. So many moving parts and big league hitters know how to attack any weakness.

    That said, I look for the Braves to be competitive in 2017. This season is all about building towards that state.

    Like

  77. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Talent always comes to the fore. I still remember seeing Brett Butler and Brooks Jacoby play for Richmond and bemoaning the fact they were traded to Cleveland for a sore armed has been in Len Barker.

    Like

  78. 79 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2016 at 11:14 am

    I can almost taste it!!

    Like

  79. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    So, Alan Butts still resides in the Braves organization. one has to wonder how much input he has with the official coaches?

    To be honest, I am a bit excited by the infusion of talent the Braves have assembled. not quite the same as acquiring a guy with an impressive resume but the potential is there to make some noise.

    I will be following the Braves’ minor league teams with a bit more interest this season. Signing a kid like Kevin Maitan, a shortstop from Venezuela and Abraham Gutierrez, a catcher on the Venezuelan 15 and under international team. The pair would likely require about a $7MM signing bonus expenditure but the Braves from all accounts have budgeted this in their rebuilding plans. In fact, from the research I have done, it is expected that the Braves will go big this year as far as international signings.

    Don’t look for these kids to open the season with the Braves but 5 years down the road, they are expected to pay dividends. That is the thing about baseball. You really have to think long term. With free agency playing such a big part in the game, teams have to figure how to have replacement talent available to stay relevant. The thing Frank Wren failed to do.

    Like

  80. 81 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    teams have to figure how to have replacement talent available to stay relevant. The thing Frank Wren failed to do.

    Exactly.

    Like

  81. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    If I were a player, the Braves is a team I would love to be assigned to. There are so many more opportunities to play than a team with a set roster and someone ahead of me blocking every position. The way I see it, the opportunity to play will be based on talent, not a long term contract.

    Like

  82. 83 berigan2electricboogaloo February 14, 2016 at 6:27 am

    I get the feeling that Ber would not like Erick Aybar if he was Santa Claus
    Oh, if he was Santa, I’d love him! He’d give us a lot of gifts, like an OBP average that was better than 29 of the 30 teams! ๐Ÿ˜› seriously, only the Padres as a team had a worse overall team OBP .300, than Aybar as a player-bet no one saw me coming up with such a convoluted comparison! ๐Ÿ˜†
    I’m sorry, I hope he hits .300, and brings another wonderful arm to the organization in July…just can’t get excited over a guy that really should be a backup shortstop….

    Like

  83. 84 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2016 at 10:30 am

    Ber, what Aybar truly is… is a placeholder for Dansby Swanson, whom we may very well see sooner than later. True enough he’s only amassed 99 PA’s in the minor leagues, and all of those at single-A. But he had 600+ in 3 years at Vanderbilt from ages 19-21, when many young aspiring ball players are toiling away in the low minors. And at age 22, he’s mature enough to handle the pressure.

    For many teams, there would certainly be no rush to move any players up to The Show any quicker than necessary to preserve as many controllable years as possible, as Gil has noted a time or two. But it’s a bit different with the Braves. They need their young talent to arrive soon. They need them to flesh out a marketable product to a jaded fan base [nudges Berigan] and to build some momentum going into a brand new ballpark.

    That’s why I think we’ll see Dansby at mid-season. (… Mallex Smith also, but that’s a different comment for a different post.) It’s also why I’m happy with Erick Aybar. He’s the perfect veteran placeholder on a short contract that can easily be dealt at mid-season.

    Like

  84. 85 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Oh… and just 4 more days until P&CR. Not that I’m counting or anything…

    Liked by 1 person

  85. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Good morning fellow stuffians, snowing here in the Old Dominion. Soon changing to rain, warm weather out of the south turning the white stuff to just stuff. Brrrr….

    I’m sure many ballplayers will be glad to head to Florida and Arizona. Can’t blame them, I wish I could head there as well… As it is, I have not even retrieved my mail since Wednesday. Not like there is anything but junk mail and bills….

    Now baseball. Vegas predicts a 65 win season for the Braves this year. Cannot say that I blame them, not like the Braves are loaded with veteran pitchers. Okay, we saw the Astros go through this, we can tough it out, watch the kids mature as they take their lumps. At least we will not be saddled with unrealistic expectations.

    Team to watch? Mississippi … That will tell us what to expect out of the kids the Johns have acquired. Plus it can be exciting to see who get picked by the Braves 3rd over all…. What’s the over under on it being a pitcher or position player.

    Like

  86. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2016 at 11:59 am
  87. 88 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Vegas predicts a 65 win season for the Braves this year.*

    I’ll go 75, and say that 81 is not too great a stretch. The pitching is not the big concern for me. IMO, much hinges on just exactly what we have in Hector Olivera. If he’s a bust, the season will also be a bust. If he’s the 20-80 guy they envision, then things might be a little more interesting than the team is being given credit for.

    Somebody document this so that we can revisit it in October.

    Liked by 1 person

  88. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Like I said, 80 wins would be a good season for this band of misfit toys. Just too many holes on the roster to make it all up at once. I remember a sage once telling me, it is not how much money you are making, it is which direction on the economical scale you are headed.

    I think that same philosophy can be applied to baseball. No one really expects the Braves to have a winning season this year but if some of the young arms can have a Beachy or Medlin type performance, then they can position themselves to make some noise.

    At least they can create some noise and create some nervousness for some of the other teams in the division.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 92 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2016 at 6:51 am

    DAY

    Liked by 1 person

  90. 93 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2016 at 6:51 am

    AFTER

    Like

  91. 94 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2016 at 6:52 am

    TOMORROW

    Like

  92. 95 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2016 at 6:52 am

    … not that I’m counting or anything. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2016 at 10:45 am

    Just keep in mind, they report on Friday, they do not begin official workouts until Saturday. Then it’s just long toss and running etc…. I don’t think they start pitching off the mound until next week. At least they will have a chance to introduce themselves to each other… Break out the “Hello, my name is” Tee Shirts…

    Still trying to figure if I can work a trip to Spring Training into my budget. Not like I don’t have the time, just so many little things to figure on, like walking….
    Too bad I hate to fly but my arms get tired…. I’m thinking teleportation is still out of the question too.

    Oh well, guess I will have to depend on Dave O’Brien for my insight… Think it might be a slow news day at the AJC when their lead story is about Evan Gattis signing a one year $3.3MM contract with the Astros? Yeah, I miss him too…

    The Nats are loaded again, I guess the only bright spot is the speculation of how much the Yankees will be willing to spend to get Bryce Harper when he becomes available. The figure of $400MM has been bandies about…

    Word is Andrew Mccutchen has indicated he would like to play his whole career in Pittsburgh and would be willing to sign team friendly (within reason) contract to make that happen. In other news, the Braves continue to seek a new “publicly financed” spring training facility somewhere other than Orlando. Looks like the ship has sailed on a West Palm Beach local with the county already committed to the Nats and Stros….

    Perhaps the team should talk with the Tigers about a joint venture. ehen again, don’t be surprised to see Detroit relocate to an Arizona local. Not like it’s really all that much further to fly to from Michigan. It would balance out the
    scheduling with 16 teams in Zona and 14 in Florida.

    Long gone are the days when they gave away tickets to spring training games, it has just become another revenue center for baseball. Oh well, get em while they’re hot…

    Liked by 2 people

  94. 97 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2016 at 11:09 am

    the Braves continue to seek a new โ€œpublicly financedโ€ spring training facility somewhere other than Orlando

    They ought to talk to Vero Beach about the abandoned Dodgertown complex…

    Liked by 1 person

  95. 98 Carolina Lady February 17, 2016 at 11:19 am

    They wore out their welcome here. The group “negotiating” for the Braves wanted the public to foot the bill for everything with not that much in return. I was disappointed but had to agree with our local government for a change.

    Like

  96. 99 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

  97. 100 Carolina Lady February 17, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    Is that why I’ve been sneezing??

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    No CL, more likely pine tree pollen.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Still, it could be the same… but different… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  99. 102 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    One has to wonder the sanity of using tax payer’s dollars to finance a facility for the use of a corporation with has anti trust status. I’m not sure but I have not known of any municipality paying for the cost of a new office building so an insurance company can move in to occupy it.

    Pretty neat trick if you could pull that off.

    Like

  100. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    The City of Richmond made a huge outlay to bring a world bicycle racing event to our fair city. Anyone hear about it? No? I did not think so. Resulted in now having to short staff many fire stations because they used up all the money budgeted for overtime pay to staff the race.

    Yes, big cities can afford to do that sort of nice to have facilities but like I tell my kids, you need to take care of what is really important first. A place to live, food on the table, electricity and transportation so you can get back and forth work. Everything else is a luxury.

    Like

  101. 104 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    The thought, of course, is that having a major league baseball franchise move into the area for 6 weeks will bring in alot of $$ to the location from team, press, families, visitors, etc. that will need food to eat and things to do whilst enjoying the Florida atmosphere and everything that goes with it. I would be willing to bet that there are tons of studies done to show how much of an economic boost that such a venture can bring into a local economy from having a MLB team make it home for February and March. Of course, we all know that numbers can be highly distorted if necessary.

    A wise man once told me that figures never lie, and liars always figure.

    Liked by 2 people

  102. 105 Vox O'Reason February 18, 2016 at 7:49 am

    TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  103. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville February 18, 2016 at 8:27 am

    No doubt, a major league franchise does boost a local economy, of course that is limited to low paying jobs primarily in the service industry. I would much rather have a major employer like GM or Ford or even Toyota open up a manufacturing plant. The giveaways are about the same as far as infrastructure but the jobs tend to last longer (ie. not seasonal ) and pay better for the average Joe.

    Nothing beats geography as far as location for any business. Taxes (read as bribes made to industries) to locate in a city can play a huge part. Richmond has a very diverse manufacturing base but unfortunately local politicians cannot always see the forest. The city of Petersburg Va refused to work with several manufacturing companies, those companies relocated to other states. Now the city is a shell of it’s former self. No real base for income and a huge population which is on the public dole. The school system is so bad, no one will move there who has a choice.

    So, back to baseball…. I think it is a great coupe for any city to snag a big league team, even a minor league team but hey, if the county wanted to build me a brand new house then let me live in it for free, well, I think that would be just swell…. I wonder how Gwinnett feels about the expenditure they made to get the Braves Triple A team only to see the big league park being developed next door? Just wondering.

    To be honest, I would not be surprised to see the Braves relocate to Arizona for spring training. I know, far fetched but it is a business decision and not so far fetched as it might sound. Okay, just posing different options. I’m sure the Braves will find some locality which is willing to shell out several million bucks for the privilege of hosting a baseball team for six weeks each spring. In addition, they will get a class D or minor league club for the summer.

    Maybe it would be cheaper for the Braves to stay where they are and just buy a plane to fly to south Florida for away games. Oh wait… they are not going to spend their money… I forgot myself for a moment.

    Like

  104. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville February 18, 2016 at 8:28 am

    MEMO TO BRAVES: If you do not want the statue of Ty Cobb, I will be glad to take it off your hands, let me know when I can pick it up…..

    Like

  105. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville February 18, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Having lunch with Richbrave today, will apprise you all of his insight on this year’s team later. Of course, there is my insight too but that does not account for much these days. Lowered expectations equals fewer disappointments. It is always tough watching them make the sausage, especially when it includes seeing them kill the hogs…

    Like

  106. 109 Vox O'Reason February 18, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Me either, Mr. Aybar. And Berigan cannot wait for you!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  107. 110 berigan2electricboogaloo February 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    ERICK!!!!!!!!!!ERICK!!!!!!!!!!ERICK!!!!!!!!!!ERICK!!!!!!!!!!ERICK!!!!!!!!!!ERICK!!!!!!!!!!ERICK!!!!!!!!!!
    E-Rick!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  108. 111 Carolina Lady February 18, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    LOL

    17 hours to go according to our counter at this moment!

    V, I can easily picture you as a little kid waiting for Christmas morning! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  109. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville February 18, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Well, the warthog saw his shadow today and predicted 6 more months of misery for the Braves…. Ah well, I imagine it’s as reliable a predictor of the coming season as PERCOTA which predicted a last place finish for the Royals this season. Yes, the same team which won the World Series just a few short months ago. Did not know Jonny Gomes was that much of a difference maker…

    Liked by 3 people

  110. 113 Gil in Mechanicsville February 18, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Okay, nap time….

    Liked by 1 person

  111. 114 Carolina Lady February 18, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    scottmccloughanfan is now following Braves & Stuff

    scottmccloughanfan just started following you at https://bravesandstuff.wordpress.com. They will receive an email every time you publish a post. Congratulations.

    WELCOME! Join in any time!

    Liked by 2 people

  112. 117 Vox O'Reason February 19, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Liked by 1 person

  113. 118 Gil in Mechanicsville February 19, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Thankfully, everyone is in the best shape of their lives…. All arms feel great… I guess that means Mike Minor is nowhere to be seen…

    Okay, we know Folty is still recovery from hid rib endectomy or what every it’s called. So maybe not everyone but by next week, we’ll start getting some reports from the gadflys who hang around the team to apprise up of the progress being made, or not…. but yes, I’m excited too….

    Not elfing excited but about as excited as my bloat body will allow. After all, I start jumping up and down and I’m going to be a lot further down than up….

    Liked by 2 people

  114. 119 Vox O'Reason February 19, 2016 at 3:33 pm

    I guess that means Mike Minor is nowhere to be seenโ€ฆ

    Actually, he has been seen in the KC camp since he just signed an incentive laden deal with the Royals, where all post-surgical ex-Braves pitchers go to continue their careers.

    Liked by 2 people

  115. 120 Vox O'Reason February 19, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    And there are so many reports flying out of Disney that I can’t keep up with them all. Perhaps the best report, though, is that several position players are already there and working out at the facility, including Dansby, Ozzie and one Hector Olivera.

    Liked by 2 people

  116. 121 Vox O'Reason February 19, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 122 Vox O'Reason February 19, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    Like

  118. 123 Vox O'Reason February 19, 2016 at 3:43 pm

    Gee, Michael Bourn and Mallex Smith air locker mates. Who would’ve thunk it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  119. 124 Vox O'Reason February 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    And for those keeping count of such things, Jace Peterson and Rio Ruiz were also among the early arriving position players today.

    Liked by 1 person

  120. 125 Gil in Mechanicsville February 19, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    So, with so many players working out, how will we be able to tell the difference when workouts officially begin?

    So, Mike Minor got a deal that protects the Royals from buying a pig in a poke… Smart move on their part.

    Liked by 1 person

  121. 126 Vox O'Reason February 20, 2016 at 10:12 am

    So many pictures and quotes coming out of camp… impossible to show or report them all. It’s overload even for an information junkie like me. Of course, I’m not complaining… ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  122. 127 Vox O'Reason February 20, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Swing’s looking good. Very smooth.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 128 Vox O'Reason February 20, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Is it just me, or has HO put on some weight? And I don’t mean around the gut. Looks stouter. Maybe the move to LF has allowed him to add some muscle without worrying about sacrificing quickness.

    Like

  124. 129 Gil in Mechanicsville February 20, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Is it me or do all Latin players end up looking like either Bartolo Colon or Julio Franco? No middle ground… Must have a body fat ratio of <1% or >20%… No middle ground.

    That said, Olivera looks lean and mean, now, if he can just translate that into a monster year. One that would put aside all the second guessing of trading away Alex Woods et al. Hey, we can dream can’t we. If we lose hope we have nothing.

    Liked by 2 people

  125. 130 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Good morning folks, I was reading DOB’s most recent opine on the AJC and he made a really good point, the Braves face a really daunting schedule for the first two months of the season. It is almost the perfect storm as far as the Braves go in that the combination of facing strong competition while rebuilding and bringing along young, unproven pitching and not so sure offense, Braves fans may feel completely out of it by June first.

    Okay, I can deal with it. I can understand why most pundits only predict a 65 win season for the Braves. It is also easy to see how the Braves could part company with Nick Markakis and Eric Aybar at some point this season. A lot will depend on how well Olivera and super prospects Albies and or Swanson progress early on. I guess I should also include Malix Smith in the equation as well.

    While it is not out of the question the Braves could drop both Swisher and Bourne prior to the beginning of the 2016 season, I would think the Braves would like to see a somewhat more positive return on their investment. Personally, it’s my opinion the Braves will try to trade one or both and will be willing to eat 3/4 of what they are owed.

    Of course Swish could do the Braves a huge favor and really shine this spring. Bourne is good for a half a season of hard use. He could still be a great mentor for Smith. We will just half to wait and see how things work out for all concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  126. 131 berigan2electricboogaloo February 21, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Is it just me, or has HO put on some weight? And I donโ€™t mean around the gut. Looks stouter. Maybe the move to LF has allowed him to add some muscle without worrying about sacrificing quickness.

    V, I can’t swear to it…too much time has passed, but last year, either you posted a pic of him, or I saw one on the web and I was quite impressed , he looked…well, like he looks this spring. It was his Cuban playing days…
    then he showed up…and didn’t look so strong….weird…

    Like

  127. 132 berigan2electricboogaloo February 21, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    heh…check out the pics on this google page….he looks normal, then huge, then normal, almost skinny…but…check out (Scroll down 7-8 rows) TP shaking his hand on the field, TP looks like a 10 year old in comparison! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    https://www.google.com/search?q=hector+olivera&biw=1088&bih=519&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwjy6vPXwYnLAhXIcD4KHfxXDegQ_AUICCgD

    Like

  128. 133 berigan2electricboogaloo February 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    a bit of defending H.O. by ber…(say whaaa?) you come over from Cuba…a bit of a culture shock….then you join the Dodgers..play in the minors, get hurt…then you are traded, while hurt to the braves…play just a bit in the minors, then come up to the big show…a bit out of shape from being injured…He looked scared to me, like a 19 year old in the bigs, not a 30 year old…a strong spring will give him confidence…
    That, and his tricked out Maybach…I know that car would help me feel more confident ๐Ÿ˜•

    Like

  129. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Ber, I was talking with Richbrave about Olivera and he said it is a big difference for Cuban players when they defect. His wife is a Cuba ex patriot and said that Cuban baseball players are treated like royalty. They get the best of what the island has to offer. He says a lot of Cuban players have a hard time making the transition.

    Liked by 1 person

  130. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    like a 19 year old in the bigs, not a 30 year old
    You know Ber, so many Latin baseball players have lied about their age, I’m not sure they even really know how old they are. Age is just a number, right?

    Like finding that cream puff of a classic car in a garage…. We had a sale here locally about a year ago where about 10 cars had been stored in a building here in Mechanicsville. I don’t know the circumstances of why they had been their for ten years but one was a 12 year old Corvette that only had 50 miles on it.

    Like

  131. 137 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Gordon Beckham and Ender Inciarte are the latest position players to arrive early. I believe that brings the early total to 7.

    Like

  132. 138 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Yes, it’s 7 if you count non-roster invitee 1B Nate Frieman. Those who could not wait to get back to work are the aforementioned Frieman plus:

    Dansby Swanson
    Hector Olivera
    Jace Peterson
    Mallex Smith
    Gordon Beckham
    Ender Inciarte

    I believe the regular reporting date is Wednesday, correct? And is it any coincidence that the youngsters who are considered cornerstones of the future are already there? Swanson? Inciarte? Smith? (Can HO be a youngster for the purposes of my point?) It’s a perfect example of why they are fast risers… they are willing to go the extra mile, get there early, get in extra work, etc. Hard work pays off, and these are the guys to take us into the new era of Braves baseball.

    On the flip side, I’m a little disappointing that grizzled veteran Freddie Freeman has not also arrived early to lead the charge. Dare I say that Chipper would have had he been in the same position? If Freddie ever wants to reach the next level as a real star, he needs to learn to go that same extra mile. I was hoping that this might be the year that Freddie stepped up and really took the reins of the clubhouse. Maybe he still will, but I don’t see it. It just doesn’t seem to be in his DNA. Too bad.

    And by contract young Jace Peterson is there to win a job. Period. Those are his words, not mine. he says he knows he didn’t win the job last year, and he’s out to prove that he is the everyday 2B. He said, โ€œSo for me, Iโ€™m ready to go. Iโ€™ve got to compete and win a position, and thatโ€™s what Iโ€™m here for and thatโ€™s what Iโ€™m going to try to do. I mean I know Iโ€™m the second baseman, but youโ€™ve got to perform to stay. Youโ€™ve got to perform to play. So youโ€™ve got to compete, regardless.โ€ (courtesy of ajc).

    Add Jace to the list of players I am really pulling for this spring. Jason Grilli is another. I love a good comeback story, and he’s already one of my faves anyway. Just this morning he tweeted the following: “Every set back leaves behind a path to make your comeback.” He’s motivated. And he’s going to be a fantastic example for the young hurlers that are no doubt watching him get his work in. If he can be back 100%, either as closer or setup man, he will solidify the bullpen. I believe he’s that important, both as a talented pitcher and as a veteran leader.

    Ah Spring…

    โ€œIn the winter you may want the summer; in the summer, you may want the autumn; in the autumn, you may want the winter; but only in the spring you dream and want no other season but the spring!โ€
    โ€• Mehmet Murat ildan

    Liked by 1 person

  133. 139 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 9:01 am

    And by contrast young Jace Peterson… ๐Ÿ™„

    Like

  134. 140 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 9:08 am

    According to all the local writers in attendance, Ender Inciarte used to travel from Venezuela with his dad to Braves spring training. His dad was a huge fan of the Braves and of Chipper Jones especially. Inciarte said his dad told him, “I know it’s a lot to ask but I want you to play like Chipper Jones.” No pressure there, huh? ๐Ÿ˜† He continued, “I’m here, I’m excited. I’m here to prove I can play here a long time.”

    Liked by 1 person

  135. 141 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2016 at 10:18 am

    Hopefully, young Inciarte will send his dad an officially autographed Chipper Jones bat. That and dads will tell their sons, I want you to play like Ender…

    Hey, I saw the kid play for Arizona and I was impressed. No, he won’t have Chipper’s power but he has Chipper’s pre knee injury speed. I still see him as the future right fielder for the Braves when Mallex Smith arrives to play center.

    That could be as soon as this June. All depends on how well Olivera can play left and when they trade Markakis.

    Like

  136. 142 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Hopefully, young Inciarte will send his dad an officially autographed Chipper Jones bat.

    Sadly his dad is not still around to see Ender play for his favorite team…

    Like

  137. 143 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Ender!!

    Like

  138. 144 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

    #Braves 3b prospect Rio Ruiz, who added noticeable muscle since last spring. Batting practice happening now.

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

    Like

  139. 145 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Young Rio is starting to look like a 3B. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Like

  140. 146 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Speaking of Rio Ruiz, he’s almost lost in the wave of young talent that the Braves acquired this past offseason, But he’s the #12 prospect in a very deep system and likely to start this season at AAA Gwinnett. I won’t be surprised if he makes his ML debut in 2016, especially if Adonis cannot sustain his late blooming offensive surge.

    Like

  141. 147 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2016 at 11:09 am

    One thing often left out when rating prospects is how soon they are expected to arrive in the major leagues.

    If I were a Braves fan, and I am, I would not get too attached to any one player until this rebuild project is complete. If I were a veteran or prospect in the Braves organization, I would be giving it 100% because you just don’t know how long you are going to be around.

    Like

  142. 148 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    As far as position players go, Mallex Smith is probably the closest to being ready to make The Show, and I absolutely expect to see him at some point in 2016. Rio Ruiz is a step behind that, but I still wouldn’t be surprised to see him this year. As much as I would love to see Dansby, he’s at least 2017, if not mid-2017. The much vaunted Ozzie Albies is probably 2018.

    Like

  143. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    So, it is your estimation that Jace is safe (if he can hit) until at least when Swanson shows up. I expect Swanson arrival to coincide with the trade of Eric Aybar at mid-season. Gordon Beckham, whom was signed as a free agent from the White Sox very probably alternate at second and utility with Jace. I don’t think Gordon will suddenly hit .300 but he has the reputation as a sound defender.

    For sure, the rooster is far from set, a lot of pencils with erasers will be used this spring as far as the Atlanta brain trust goes.

    Like

  144. 150 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    So, it is your estimation that Jace is safe (if he can hit) until at least when Swanson shows up.

    In my opinion, Dansby and Jace are not tied together in any way. From the things I’ve read, Dansby is a SS. Period. And although some comments from Coppy may have hinted that they could bring him up this year, everything else points to them NOT rushing the guy that they look to be the face and foundation of the new era Braves. In fact, I expect him to start the season in AA Pearl and work his way up to AAA by season’s end. I think it would take injuries or other unexpected events to provoke an early callup.

    It will be interesting to see what the Braves do at mid-season regarding Erick Aybar. If there is significant interest, they almost have to trade him, right? This is what intrigues me… to see how they handle that without a clear successor ready to take over. I honestly don’t think they’ll rush Dansby. I guess they could trade Aybar and let Daniel Castro take it the rest of the way. But if the team isn’t contending this season, there’s no reason to keep any of the veterans with value who are on short deals. That includes Bud Norris, Kyle Kendrick, Jim Johnson and even Jason Grilli. And my position on Nick Markakis is already known.

    As for Jace, as long as he does all the things he did to earn the starting nod last spring, I think the 2B job is his until Ozzie hits the scene… likely in 2018.

    Like

  145. 151 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Probably the biggest mystery of spring will be how the starting pitching rotation shakes out. According to FrediG, he only has 3 starters currently penciled in… those being Julio Teheran, Matt Wisler and Bud Norris. That leaves two big spots open for the taking. It’ll be a great spring of competition, with as many as 7 pitchers gunning for those 2 spots. Along with holdovers Manny Banuelos, Williams Perez and Ryan Weber (who was surprisingly good in a handful of emergency late season starts), there are newly signed veterans Jhoulys Chacin and Kyle Kendrick. And according to Coppy (via Bowman), the team will not let Super Two concerns hold back Tyrell Jenkins or Aaron Blair from getting a shot themselves. (Note: Folty won’t be ready at the start of the regular season, so he isn’t a part of the conversation. But when he’s 100% healthy, he’ll make himself a part of the conversation.)

    You have to think that ManBan has a tiny edge given that he’s the only southpaw in the lot. At the very least they should give him ample opportunities to seize a spot.

    But for both spots, it’s really going to come down to whomever earns it. I love good competition. It ought to be fun.

    And crikey!! The rotation at AAA Gwinnett will be stellar!

    Like

  146. 152 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Well waddaya know. Ol’ Frenchy’s coming home. I like it. ๐Ÿ˜€

    The bench is getting kinda crowded, though. Somebody’s gotta go.

    Liked by 1 person

  147. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2016 at 6:42 am

    Makes the upcoming trade of Markakis easier. Still have a (ahem) major league outfielder to play in right. Clears some payroll to help eat Swishers $13MM or so when the Braves dump him. Just saying….

    Not that I have heard anything, just posing an option the Johns might have behind the scenes.

    Hey, Miss Josie likes the signing. Gives her a familiar face to root for.

    Reading some of the comments on the AJC, evidently they do not remember Gene Presley playing third base for the Braves pre Terry Pendleton…

    Like

  148. 154 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Oh Gil… I remember Jim Presley very well. And I get nauseous when I do. Ugh. That was truly the nadir for 3B in Atlanta.

    Like

  149. 155 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ๐Ÿ˜†

    Like

  150. 156 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Oh, and Freddie is in the house…

    Like

  151. 157 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Adonis Garcia. #Braves #BravesST

    A post shared by Kevin McAlpin (@kevinmcalpin) on

    Adonis is in the house!

    Like

  152. 158 berigan2electricboogaloo February 23, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    According to FrediG, he only has 3 starters currently penciled inโ€ฆ those being Julio Teheran, Matt Wisler and Bud Norris.

    Bud Norris? He of the 6.72 ERA in 2015? Yeah, that better be a penciled in name :/

    Like

  153. 159 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Ber, Norris is a Aaron Harang type signing. He was a low price place holder until some of their prospects can mature. You’ve got to remember, this is cooperate America franchising, not George Steinbrenner large and in charge. The Braves are not going to spend money on a team until they get most of the pieces they want in place.

    The Nick Markakis signing was done before the Braves decided to go all in on rebuilding. I hind sight, I suspect the Braves would like a do over on Markakis. Not the he isn’t a good player, just not where the Braves are at right now.

    Remember, Markakis was signed before the majority of the Braves offense was traded away. I think the Braves front office realized they were dead meat with their current roster so they just said, let’s blow it up and start over. They are still in excavation mode if you ask me.

    They want to be better but don’t have the moolah to do it. Too many other clubs stealing market share for them to use the 1995 model. The Nationals have a very small fan base respective to the Mets, Dodgers etc but they have the Federal Government with the super inflated prices which go with the area.

    So, we will just have to ride it out and hope the kids the Braves traded for work out.

    Like

  154. 160 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Bud Norris? He of the 6.72 ERA in 2015? Yeah, that better be a penciled in name

    IMO, Bud Norris is not as bad as 2015 and not as good as 2014 (15-8, 3.65 ERA). Rather, he’s closer to what he has averaged for the scope of his career, which is about an 11-game winner w/ 4 ERA. Not great, but for $2.5M what do you expect? The only reason he’s already “penciled in” is because he’s on a Major League (guaranteed) deal. But at just $2.5M, he’s a guy you can ditch if he really does suck and not worry too much about it.

    Kyle Kendrick is the guy to watch for though. He’s a sinker/slider pitcher… the kind that Roger typically works wonders with. Last season was not kind to him, but Colorado is rarely kind to any pitcher, especially one who relies on movement.

    Like

  155. 161 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I hope you Georgia fellows made it through the storms last night okay, the local forecast is for that line of storms to hit here around 4 PM. Already have my storm closet prepared… Keep safe folks.

    Liked by 2 people

  156. 162 Vox O'Reason February 24, 2016 at 11:11 am

    I hope you Georgia fellows made it through the storms last night okay

    We made it just fine up here in the NE corner, but the winds today are just crazy. The forecast was a little more dicey for the southside of ATL where Ber is. Hopefully all is well there too.

    Like

  157. 163 Vox O'Reason February 24, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Like

  158. 164 Vox O'Reason February 24, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    McAlpin: “Full squad is present & accounted for.”

    When was the last time the Braves could say that on reporting day? No visa issues or nuthin’. Cool.

    Like

  159. 165 Vox O'Reason February 24, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    NEWS:

    Like

  160. 166 Vox O'Reason February 24, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Bowman says Portuondo will likely begin this season with AA Pearl. He is a rightie with 8 seasons on the Cuban National team. Over those 8 seasons he has put up rather mediocre numbers. Maybe they saw something in his recent showcase in the DR that makes them think he has some potential. Time will tell, I suppose.

    Like

  161. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Yep, if you are going to sign anyone for near $1MM, I would think they would bring something to the table besides an appetite.

    Like

  162. 168 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Sadly, $1M is pretty much nothing in today’s market. Kinda mind-blowing. I have heard a few whispers that one of the reason the Braves signed this guy is that he’s represented by the same people that are handling Lazarito, one of the young phenoms the Braves have been linked to. And that because Portuondo is already 28, he doesn’t count anything against the team’s international pool money, thus has no effect on their ability to make a splash after the July 2 signing period begins other than to have “greased the skids”, so to speak, with this particular representative. So it could be a down payment of sorts toward Lazarito.

    If you aren’t familiar with Lazarito, he is Lazaro Armenteros, a 16 year old Cuban OF prospect that is considered the 2nd best international prospect after Venezuelan SS Kevin Maitan, whom the Braves supposedly already have a handshake agreement with, and whom has been widely compared to Miguel Cabrera and more recently some guy named Larry Jones.

    If the Braves could sign both Maitan and Lazarito, that would be more than just a big splash in the international market, it would be a tsunami.

    Like

  163. 169 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 7:44 am

    Notice in the above picture that Coppy is still on the phone even when a guy is putting pen to paper. Ha ha ha. That’s his rep… that he never sleeps and is never away from his phone.

    Like

  164. 170 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Ans just because I want to poke the “Ber” today, I heard Fredi Gonzalez in an interview yesterday addressing the offseason loss of Andrelton Simmons. He first praised Andrelton as the best defensive player in the majors, then made the comment that he never really cared if Andy gave him anything offensively as long as he continued his stellar work in the field.

    But then…

    He went on to say that Erick Aybar is likely a “better overall package” when you consider fielding, hitting and baserunning all together.

    I knew this would bring Ber out of hibernation. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    No one with one eye and half a brain would ever compare Aybar to Simmons defensively. So that part is right off the table.

    But hitting and baserunning? Just for the purposes of this exercise, I am going to compare some numbers. In fact, ceding to Ber that the 32 year old Aybar is at a completely different stage of his career than the 26 year old Simmons, I am comparing both 2015 hitting and baserunning totals and career hitting and baserunning averages. That’s fair, isn’t it?

    2015
    Aybar: .270 / .301 / .338, 15 SB
    Simmons: .265 / .321 / .338, 5 SB

    Career 162 game avg.
    Aybar: .276 / .315 / .378, 19 SB
    Simmons: .256 / .304 / .362, 5 SB

    There are a bunch of boutique stats I could post to supposedly measure the finer aspects of hitting and baserunning, but who wants to sift through all that computer generated bloviation and try to come up with a practical and real conclusion?

    So it’s fair to say that offensively they are similar. Aybar has an edge in baserunning.

    What does this mean? Actually, nothing. What else is Fredi going to say about a guy who has just been acquired to play under him? He said what any manager would say.

    If anybody thinks the team would rather have Aybar over Simmons, they’re cracked. But Aybar plus #2 prospect LHP Sean Newcomb and #11 prospect RHP Chris Ellis? Not to mention clearing the path for #1 prospect SS Dansby Swanson?

    Remember, it isn’t about 2016 in a vacuum. It’s about 2016 moving forward. That’s a great distinction.

    Like

  165. 171 berigan2electricboogaloo February 25, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Gil, V, thanks for asking! It was….spooky very early Weds Morning, around 1:15 I had just fallen asleep, when the power went out and the wind and rain were so strong(and it sounded like the Wind was blowing harder and harder) that for a sec I was thinking of getting Dad up and huddling in the bathroom! There had been so much talk about rain wrapped tornadoes on the news…..fortunately, that was as bad as it got. Had an appt for a full physical (first one ever) but between that, finally falling back to sleep, only to have the power come back on(My Direct TV box whistles when it powers on for some reason) I wasn’t able to get back to sleep…and I was supposed to go in at 9 fasting…made it til 7 am… ๐Ÿ˜•

    Like

  166. 172 berigan2electricboogaloo February 25, 2016 at 8:33 am

    and yes V, the winds were crazy! ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Like

  167. 173 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 8:38 am

    And in case you’ve forgotten about Newcomb and Ellis, allow me to offer a refresher course on the two pitchers. I am sourcing the most current scouting reports from mlb.com.

    Sean Newcomb, LHP. Age: 22. 6′ 5″ / 245 lb.

    Physically imposing on the mound, he generates easy velocity, consistently throwing his fastball in the low to mid 90s and touching 98 mph. His breaking ball has made strides in the last year, and his changeup gives him a third average-or-better pitch. His size and arm strength are uncommon for a left-hander, and he has a chance to become a frontline starter in time. ETA: 2017.

    Chris Ellis, RHP. Age: 23. 6′ 5″ / 205 lb.

    Three average or better big league pitches. His fastball usually operates in the low 90s as a starter, and he can sink it, cut it or run it in on right-handers. His changeup is his best secondary offering, and his curveball, while inconsistent, has good depth and power when it’s on. A reliever for most of his first two seasons at Ole Miss, Ellis moved to the front of the rotation as a junior. With a full arsenal and a pitcher’s build, Ellis will get the chance to show he can remain in the starting rotation, but he may ultimately end up back in the bullpen. ETA: 2017.

    Like

  168. 174 berigan2electricboogaloo February 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

    What does this mean? Actually, nothing. What else is Fredi going to say about a guy who has just been acquired to play under him? He said what any manager would say.
    Yep !!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I knew this would bring Ber out of hibernation.
    ROAR!!!!!
    ๐Ÿ˜‰
    E-Rick, last 3 years SB 43 CS 22. Oh…boy… .249 BA 2nd half of the year, but of course the Angels weren’t in the hunt for the playoffs…oh wait… ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

  169. 175 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 10:10 am

    ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  170. 176 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 10:12 am

    This is great news!

    Like

  171. 177 berigan2electricboogaloo February 25, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Man, seeing that pic above doesn’t it make you want to be in Orlando???????????????

    Liked by 1 person

  172. 178 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Vox, reference to Fredi’s comment about trading Andleton: It’s a bit like the story of the boy who traded the cow for some magic beans…. Just saying, could work out in the end if they are not eaten by the Giants….

    Like

  173. 179 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Okay, a new blog is coming just as soon as the boss can figure out where I left it.

    PS, Those storms blew through here around 4PM yesterday, fortunately for us, they veered too the right and left of Josie and I. Plenty of rain and wind but nothing serious.

    Ber, If you call DirecTV, they will replace your receiver at no charge. At least that has been the case for me but I pay the extra for the service warranty. Does not cost anything to ask….

    Yes, would love to be at spring training. Only reason for me to go to Florida to be honest. It’s a great reason but still…. I think I’ll just save up and go see the new stadium in 2017….

    As for today, time to take the trash to the dump.

    Like

  174. 180 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Looking good!! (And beardless.)

    Like

  175. 181 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Ber’s favorite!!

    Like

  176. 182 Vox O'Reason February 25, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Holy cow. This is news, and potentially could affect the Braves, if you like to look beneath the surface like I do.

    As of last night, the Orioles had come to a contract agreement with RF Dexter Fowler to fill a big need for them. They deal was to be for 3-yrs, $33M. But…the deal reportedly fell through when Fowler demanded an early opt out after the first season. Now this morning, the Cubs have announced that they have re-signed him for $8M for 2016, and a mutual option for $9M for 2017 with a $5M buyout. In other words, he’s guaranteed $13M and has the “opt out” he sought.

    But the big news is that suddenly, the O’s have no RF. They’ve reportedly been keyed in on Fowler for a few weeks. Now they have nothing and camp has begun.

    They were willing to shell out a guaranteed $33M for 3 years of Fowler. Guess what former O’s RF Nick Markakis has left on his deal. You guessed it… $33M for 3 years.

    Could the O’s circle back to the Braves and seek to trade for Markakis? Could a potential trade of Markakis be why the Braves signed Frenchy to his 1 year deal? When I tried to reason why they would sign yet another veteran OF for the bench, of which they already have a boatload with Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, and Emilio Bonifacio, the only thing I could come up with is that they are trying to unload Markakis. With Mallex Smith due to come up at some point this season, it’s really inevitable anyway.

    Stay tuned, folks. I have a feeling…

    Like

  177. 183 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Makes the upcoming trade of Markakis easier. Still have a (ahem) major league outfielder to play in right. Clears some payroll to help eat Swishers $13MM or so when the Braves dump him. Just sayingโ€ฆ.

    Didn’t say where, just had a feeling…. Now, I wonder what else the Braves could pry out of the Birds? Not just removing $33MM off the books, I have not looked at the O’s prospects list but I’m sure the Braves would like a somthing-somthing to sweeten the pot.

    Like

  178. 184 Carolina Lady February 25, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Okay, gang! Thanks to GIL, a new post is up! (Apologies, Gil. Life intervened – with storms. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

ChrisKlob: Feb 4

Raisins: Mar 13

Berigan: Mar 15

Gil: Apr 15

Salty: Apr 22

FloridaBravesGirl: Jul 8

Skip Caray: Aug 12

Miss Josie: Aug 18

Carolina Lady: Oct 7

BravesAndStuff: Dec 5, 2007


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