#150: Plop Plop Fizz Fizz, Oh What Relief Is There?

Gil from Mechanicsville Mayor of Stuffville

Gil from Mechanicsville,

 

Last season, the Braves employed a menagerie of cast offs, retreads and hopefuls to fill the bullpen of a rebuilding organization. Two, Jason Grilli and Jim Johnson, performed well enough to help keep the Atlanta club at least within striking distance of first place until mid July. Then disaster stuck with Grilli going down with a torn Achilles tendon. At that point it seemed the Braves lost their heart. Suddenly the bailing wire and duct tape gave out as pitchers lost whatever mojo they had to begin with as the Braves traded away the glue which had held them together.

 

Jason Grilli

Jason Grilli

 

With a paltry offense and a spotty starting staff, the bullpen proved to be more cannon fodder from which opposing teams could feast. So, what do the Braves have to look forward to in 2016? With the pitchers and catchers reporting this week, at least we have some small idea of what to expect. Jason Grilli, ever the optimist, claims to be healthy. We shall have to wait and see if he can hold up to the riggers of the full season. In fact, we might well have to see if he can survive spring training. Having to suddenly go full bore following such a debilitating injury can reveal just how tenuous the human body can be following surgery. It is why we have so many pitchers fail to recover from Tommy John surgery properly. Everyone feels the need to push it often to the peril of the player.

 

 

Jim Johnson is back after an epic late season fail with the Dodgers. While pitching in Atlanta appeared to agree with him, when traded along with Alex Woods for Hector Olivera, Johnson stunk up the joint in Chavez Ravine. Even so, the Braves are hoping that reuniting him with Roger McDowell can again make him the reliable set up man he was the first half of the  2015 season. I have often heard the the mound in LA has a much steeper slope and could be a possible cause of his maladies but  I am really thinking not having Andrelton Simmons manning the six hole behind him. When you are primarily a pitch to contact, ground ball pitcher, you better have a stellar defense behind yo to make it work.

 

Arodys Viscaino

Arodys Viscaino

 

Arodys Vizcaino proved to be a good closer after being re-acquired by the Braves from the Cubs. It appeared that Arodys has finally learned how to find the strike zone with enough consistency to utilize his fastball. While Grilli is penciled in as this coming season’s closer, Vizcaino looks to be ready to assume that role. Of course, the Braves will have to be in more games late for that to be an issue. With so many young starters on the Braves staff, an effective bullpen will be a must if the Braves hope to improve on last season’s 67-95 record.

Chris Withrow

Chris Withrow

 

New comer Chris Withrow is another long term investment made by the Braves. Withrow was acquired from the Dodgers last May following Tommy John surgery in 2013. The 26 year old has the potential to become a reliable set up man in the Braves 2016 bullpen. It will have been about 2 years since his surgery when the season begins so he should now be on the proper time frame to be fully rehabilitated.

 

 

Mike Foltynewicz

Mike Foltynewicz

Mark Foltynewicz could go either way this season, a lot depends on how well he recovers from off season surgery. He has been used as both a starter and a reliever in the past. It is harnessing the control on his 97 mph fast ball and developing a third pitch to allow for him to go through line ups multiple times which could decide his fate. I do find it amazing how many pitchers can throw upper 90s fastballs these days. I has got to be tough to be a hitter in the modern era. That said, Folty is reported to be about two weeks behind so I expect him to start the season in triple A. He won’t stay there long, just long enough to recover from some pretty serious off season surgery.

 

David Carpenter

David Carpenter

 

 

During the off season, the Braves signed David Carpenter and Carlos Torres, aka Super Mario, to minor league contracts. The Braves are hoping they can rehabilitate both pitchers to past glories. We shall see. With so many good young arms now making their way to Atlanta, I expect we will begin to see the arrival of some of the highly touted prospects by mid June.

 

 

Andrew McKirahan

Andrew McKirahan

Paco Rodriguez

Paco Rodriguez

 

 

Some other names which deserve mention are Paco Rodriquez and Andrew McKirahan. One thing to keep in mind, last season the depth just was not there on the farm to cover the rash of injuries. Hopefully, the bullpen will not be the black hole it was last season. For sure, if you are a pitcher who is looking for an opportunity to play in the big leagues, Atlanta should be a top five destination. The word is bring it early and often to show you deserve a job. It’s not like you have a bunch of All-stars blocking your path.

 

It may be ugly early for the Braves but hey, it is a full-on rebuild in progress. At the top of the list is pitching, pitching and pitching. It’s tough to go through it but when you have tried to get by on the cheap for years, it’s not surprising to discover your foundation is riddled with termites. After all, no one really wanted to pay for the exterminator. Why worry about termites when the roof leaks every time it rains?

Gil2

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404 Responses to “#150: Plop Plop Fizz Fizz, Oh What Relief Is There?”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady February 25, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    A really good one, Gil! Many, many thanks! Wish I could get everything to line up better but WP’s editor leaves a LOT to be desired.

    Like

  2. 2 Vox O'Reason February 26, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Thanks, Gil. Good’un. Note, though, that the Braves did not sign Salomon Torres over the offseason… they signed LH Alex Torres and RH Carlos Torres, but not Salomon Torres. Although they should have done so to complete the set.

    Also, LHRP Paco Rodriguez is a very good and established pitcher, but on the shelf (60-day DL) recovering from his own TJ surgery. We’ll see him in 2017, the magic year for alot of players.

    In my humble opinion, the opening day bullpen will start out with Jim Johnson and Arodys Vizcaino setting up for Jason Grilli. Those guys are locks to be in the ‘pen.

    The lefty specialist should be Ian Krol, whom we received in the Cameron Maybin trade. The other lefty should be youngster Evan Rutckyj, whom we took in this year’s Rule 5 draft. He’s never pitched in the majors, but we have to keep him on the 25-man roster for the season or offer him back to the Yankees. The team is pretty high on him, so he’ll have to really flop to miss the cut.

    A healthy Chris Withrow is about as close to being a lock to making the roster as it gets, too. Like Rutckyj, he’ll have to really stink up the joint to not make it.

    By my count, that’s already 6 pitchers who have an inside track to making the Opening Day bullpen.

    The candidates for the last spot will be Daniel Winkler, another Rule 5 guy who has to open on the major league roster or be offered back to the Fish. Winkler came back last September after recovering from TJ and looked pretty good in his 2 appearances. His first one was a little shaky, but he looked alot better in his second. He’ll be competing with non-roster guy David Carpenter, the first one not the second one. Who says you can’t come home again? The guy to look out for is offseason trade acquisition Jose Ramirez, whom we picked up from Seattle. The 25-year-old RH has limited ML experience, but the team really likes his 95mph fastball. He’s out of major league options, so the last spot is almost his to lose.

    Notice that we didn’t even mention guys like Danny Burawa, Andrew McKirahan, Matt Marksberry or Ryan Kelly. While they were really too green to be thrust into the spots they had to fill last year, they will have a chance to go back and finish developing and contribute down the line. We also didn’t mention the aforementioned Torres boys, non-roster signees who have to work pretty hard to make the team. Two more non-roster guys are Hunter Cervenka and Alexi Ogando. Cervenka is a lefty whom the team signed out of indy ball last year that had a pretty decent season at AAA Gwinnett. Ogando is a former All-Star that is trying to resurrect his career after shoulder woes derailed it. His velo started to return last season with BOS, so he might have a legitimate shot at sticking around.

    This is the kind of pitching depth the Braves sorely lacked last year, and the biggest factor in the late season debacle. Coppy and Hart both vowed that they wouldn’t find themselves in that predicament again, and by golly they’ve taken alot of steps to make sure it doesn’t happen. It’s also one of the reasons I see a noticeable improvement on last season’s 67 game Win total. If I’m not mistaken, the depleted and overmatched 2015 bullpen probably cost the team at least 10 games all by themselves. That shouldn’t happen again.

    One more thing… even if Fredi and Coppy get this huge group sorted out for Opening Day, they’ll face another decision in June or so when Shae Simmons is ready to return from his TJ recovery. That’s a good problem to have…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Vox O'Reason February 26, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha 😆

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 4 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2016 at 9:51 am

    Thanks CL, I completely understand. Thanks for your help and guidance. VOX, i’ll go back and correct the Salomon Torres thingee… hey, it’s though being a real bona fide journalist. I did my internship at the AJC so it comes thru every so often… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. 5 Vox O'Reason February 26, 2016 at 10:16 am

    Pretty cool picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 6 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Great piece of history VOX. Babe Ruth’s story is often reads like a Greek tragedy. One would think he would have either never survived in today’s game with twitter and social media or would have his on reality series and been more popular than the Kardashians. Could go either way… for sure, he would never hit so many home runs because he would have always been a pitcher… Just saying…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 7 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2016 at 11:09 am

    How many folks see the similarity in the Dexter Fowler debacle in his on again off again spurning of the Orioles and what happened with Furcal and Frank Wren when he pulled the old hidden ball trick and stayed with the Dodgers after a gentleman’s agreement with Wren to return to the Braves.

    Take away should be… Modern athletes are a fickle bunch, just like owners…. They have a great career in politics ahead of them…. Just saying…

    Like

  8. 8 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    Well, getting ready for primary next Tuesday. I know who I would like to vote for and whom I will actually vote for. While not a Trump fan, I got a real incentive to vote for him as Al Sharpton promised to leave the USA if Trump was elected. …

    Anyway, I am really ready for baseball…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 9 berigan2electricboogaloo February 26, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Excellent work as always Gil! 🙂
    IMHO, David Carpenter is a key guy….a lot, a lot of ?????????? Marks in bullpen…not that it can’t come together, and be pretty good… but , counting on a lot of injured/bad pitchers …Jim Johnson may have lost it permanently, seems so odd he can’t control his hard sinker, after pitching for so long…

    Like

  10. 10 Carolina Lady February 26, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    The coming election: I know two I’m tempted to vote for, but somehow I don’t fully trust either one. Been praying for guidance. Trump has a LOT of supporters…….but….. is the one to lead our nation out of the Obama disaster? Cruz? Dunno. Those are my only two choices. sigh

    Like

  11. 11 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 9:44 am

    Bowman has made a few early predictions based on early observations. Obviously there is still alot of time left for things to change, but it does give us a pretty good idea of who truly contends for spots. Anyway, here are his early predictions:

    “Early prediction for Opening Day rotation: Teheran, Norris, Wisler, Perez, Banuelos. Early prediction for Opening Day bullpen: Grilli, Vizcaino, Johnson, Withrow, Carpenter, Ogando, Krol. If Grilli is not ready: Vizcaino, Johnson, Withrow, Carpenter, Ogando, Krol, Weber. With some uncertainty regarding the rotation, it might be necessary to carry Weber or another potential long reliever.”

    Speaks more to how well Carpenter and Ogando are throwing early on than anything.

    Like

  12. 12 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 10:26 am

    One more interesting note from Bowman. Management will not let the Rule 5 status of Dan Winkler and Evan Rutckyj influence their chances in the bullpen. Each will have to win a spot outright, and neither is throwing as well as some of the other candidates right now. Bowman feels the team is perfectly willing to offer each back to his former team if it comes to that.

    Like

  13. 13 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 10:28 am

    In the case of Rutckyj, he’s never pitched above high-A ball, and does not display great command over the strike zone. Nit unusual for young pitchers. The only thing unusual is that the Braves took him in last year’s Rule 5 draft. That said, it really won’t cost them anything to give the kid a “tryout”.

    Like

  14. 14 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Good moves. Those guys know how to win. Period.

    Like

  15. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville February 29, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Okay, here is a quiz for you VOX. Which David Carpenter?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 16 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Andruw: “I’m excited to be back with the Braves organization. This is where I began my career and I’m looking forward to working with the young players and watching them develop.”

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 17 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Ha!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 18 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Okay, here is a quiz for you VOX. Which David Carpenter?

    Good question. This would be David Carpenter #1.. or the one who pitched with us ’13-’14 before being traded to NYY along with Chasen Shreve for Manny Banuelos. Maybe we refer to him by his full name – Darrell David Carpenter – to eliminate confusing him with David Carpenter #2, who pitched for us last season.

    How about DDCarp?

    Like

  19. 19 Gil in Mechanicsville February 29, 2016 at 11:00 am

    Or we could just call him Darrell…

    O’Brien opines that Kendricks and Chacin are the likely part of the five for the rotation but I think after Teheran, it’s a crap shoot. That is, if the Braves don’t trade him but then, the Braves will need a veteran on their staff and he is about as close to acquiring that label as a 25 year old can get.

    Like

  20. 20 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    Just heard something on the radio that is pretty interesting…

    Buck Belue on the Braves’ flagship radio station recently talked to Coppy who told him that both Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies would be playing SS every day at separate levels in the minors. I am going to guess at AA and high-A respectively.

    Like

  21. 22 Vox O'Reason February 29, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Really interesting column by FOXSports’ JP Morosi. It’s a fantasy, but it is intriguing to me. And oddly, it even has some appeal to a purist like me.

    http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/how-would-a-32-team-plan-look-in-major-league-baseball-022816

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 23 Gil in Mechanicsville February 29, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Yes, I thought about that routine… and the one that says you can just call me Johnson…. but we can save that one for Kelly

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 24 Gil in Mechanicsville February 29, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    32 teams, how about 4 divisions with 8 teams each? Makes too much sense doesn’t it? Austin? Why not Charlotte? Or just add two teams in Texas and they could have their own league… I wonder if he ever read a map or realized the huge distances between Miami and Washington? Think he cares? Anyone who advocates for the DH is a football fan… Sorry, I’m a purist. Want to see lots of scoring? Go to a slow pitch softball game…. Want more scoring in soccer? Make the net bigger…. It is what it is.

    Like

  24. 25 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Austin? Why not Charlotte?

    Who knows. I suppose it doesn’t fit geographically. But if you go by TV market rankings, then Charlotte makes alot more sense. It’s the highest ranked TV market (24) without a MLB team in close proximity. Seems like a natural rival for ATL, too. But in JPM’s grand scheme, he’s lining teams up by geography, and Charlotte would overload the East Coast.

    Now Indianapolis seems like it might work. It immediately follows Charlotte in the TV market rankings (25). You;d have to include them in his “CHC, CHW, MIL” division and move STL into the “TEX, HOU, KCR” division. But it would seem to me that the Royals and Cards should be in the same division… assuming you are going to cause a major shakeup anyway.

    As to the DH, I hate it. I don’t want it in either league. But it’s inevitable. Whether I like it or not, it’s coming. In fact, I would imagine that we’ll see a plan to phase it in in this next CBA.

    I don’t like domes, turf, the DH in the AL, the Wild Card ,or inter-league play. But I have to live with them all. I’ll have to live with league-wide DH at some point too. Might as well accept it.

    Still, I like the concept even if it is pure fantasy. I might even trade the DH for the elimination of the Wild Card. Win your division and get into the round of 8. I can live with that. And I can also live with more game starting in a relative time zone.

    At least ATL isn’t in the NL West anymore. That was about as dumb as Lonnie Smith on the basepaths.

    Like

  25. 26 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Now that I think of it, if he’s going to blow up the traditional Leagues and Divisions, why even call them American and National leagues anymore? Why not go to the NBA model, which is alot more accurate. Western Division and Eastern Division… with the geographical subdivisions, Southeast, Northeast, etc.? Avoid Middle East, though. Not a good connotation…

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 27 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Now… to the business of reality.

    Today is game day!!! Braves vs. Orioles at Disney. The game begins at 1:00pm, and I’m sure there is an obscure radio broadcast somewhere, but not anywhere you can pick it up without paying. I’ll just keep up with the various Twitter updates.

    Today’s Grapefruit League lid-lifter lineup:

    1- Ender Inciarte, CF
    2- Erick Aybar, SS
    3- Freddie Freeman, 1B
    4- Nick Markakis, RF
    5- Adonis Garcia, 3B
    6- AJ Pierzynski, C
    7- Hector Olivera, LF
    8- Matt Tuiasosopo, DH
    9- Jace Peterson, 2B

    Williams Perez, RHSP

    I have not seen anywhere who is scheduled to follow Perez on the mound today.

    i think this is a fairly accurate representation of what we could see on Opening Day, except for the DH of course, and the starting pitcher.

    Like

  27. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Okay guys, don’t forget to vote in the primary today. CL, it’s your turn next week…

    Liked by 1 person

  28. 29 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2016 at 10:08 am

    The population of the U.S. and around the world, is always increasing…I think fans forget that…honestly, I see some teams with far too many talented players that will basically rot on the bench (Dodgers could still lose the NL West even though they have 4-5 guys who could start everyday at 2nd) and while starters can blow out elbows and shoulders at any moment, there will be guys all around the league that should be starting every 5th day, that will either be long relief, or wasting time (getting seasoning) at AAA…..

    So, I have no issue with expanding…plus, more teams hopefully = more baseball fans around the country..and more moola.

    I used to have more of an issue with the DH, but so many decades of watching pitchers hit worse than CL would (I am certain C.L. could hit better than a third of the pitchers in the NL 😉 ) I am ok with it in the NL.

    V, Gil, you are purists eh? I guess you are wanting to go back to 5 balls, pitchers tossing underhanded (Less TJ surgeries, though!) 45 feet to home, and throwing the ball a the hitter to get him out? 😛 Heh, that would make the game a bit more….exciting eh?

    Like

  29. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Don’t laugh Ber, I’ve played by those rules. Of course we did not have nine people on a side.

    To be sure, baseballs hurt when you get hit with one. I would not be opposed to underhanded pitching. Oh wait, that is fast pitch softball…

    Still, the game is what it is. and will become what it will become. I guess Alzheimer’s has its advantages.

    Like

  30. 31 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Ber, I think you are confusing “purism” with “primitivism”. 😉

    As to the notion of expansion, I think it’s coming. The Commissioner’s office desires to get away from having an odd number of teams in each league, and at the same time they want to expand the TV market to increase the TV revenue that is the only thing propping up the unsustainable salary structures in the league.

    Secondarily, the Players’ Association will push for expansion because it will increase it’s membership. So you can count on expansion being on the agenda at the next round of CBA negotiations that will crank up very soon as the current agreement expires after the 2016 season.

    Similarly, the MLPBA has always advocated for the DH in the NL because, in general, it means that each NL team will carry an extra high salary veteran instead of a minimum salary rookie. Some teams already do, and it doesn’t mean that every team will. But it certainly encourages that structure.

    Personally, if it has to happen, I wish it had happened prior to 2015. The Braves might have hung onto the defensively challenged Evan Gattis if they had needed a DH. 😉

    One more thing about the DH, then I’ll leave it alone. They are already conditioning us to accept it by forcing the NL to play under the rule in AL parks for inter-league play. It’s league-wide implementation is inevitable.

    Back to expansion. Montreal seems to be a lock. The city has been begging for a new team since the Expos left town, and the many exhibition games played there since have played to sellout crowds. Montreal will happen.

    I agree that Charlotte makes sense, but I just read back over JPM’s article and he points out that both Charlotte and Nashville, another city that makes sense, have just opened expensive AAA ballparks. That shouldn’t be a non-starter, but it does add a few of bumps to the road. Still, if either of those AAA stadiums could be expanded to handle a MLB franchise, each of those 2 cities would be an ideal candidate.

    Austin didn’t make any sense to me at first, but upon further inspection it is a fast growing city with alot of tech industries relocating into the area. It also has San Antonio fairly close by, which itself makes some sense. And Texas is plenty big enough to handle 3 MLB teams. In fact, Texans would probably want that distinction. Vegas has been mentioned fairly prominently, but even the bumbling knuckleheads that run baseball should be able to recognize the hypocrisy of expanding into the gambling capital of America. I don’t want to even acknowledge the whispers of Mexico City. Shhh. Let’s pretend I didn’t even utter it.

    5 years. 2020. That’s when it’ll happen. Write it down.

    Like

  31. 32 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Info found.

    Like

  32. 33 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    Hope they do the same for the regular season home opener on April 4.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. 34 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    5 years. 2020. That’s when it’ll happen. Write it down.
    Ok wrote it down…right…wait, where’d I put it? drat….

    Liked by 3 people

  34. 35 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    I would think MLB would not want to go back to Montreal again…it was a disaster at the end of the run….
    I was thinking Portland might be a place too…then found this article…
    never heard of the site before, but interesting…
    http://www.purplerow.com/2016/1/3/10248590/colorado-rockies-mlb-news-expansion-division-realignment-new-franchises

    Liked by 1 person

  35. 36 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Just looking at today’s lineup starters…

    1- Inciarte, CF
    2- Aybar, SS
    3- Freeman, 1B
    4- Markakis, RF
    5- Garcia, 3B
    6- AJP, C
    7- Olivera, LF
    8- Peterson, 2B

    … and comparing it offensively to last season’s late season regular lineup.

    1- Michael Bourn, LF
    2- Peterson/Daniel Garcia, 2B
    3- Freeman, 1B (injured)
    4- Garcia, 3B
    5- Markakis, RF
    6- AJP, C
    7- Cameron Maybin, CF
    8- Andy Simmons, SS

    I like this new lineup better, especially at the top. And if HO can hit as expected and move up in the order. I like it alot better.

    Like

  36. 37 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Ber… another interesting take on expansion. The one dude hypothetically moved some existing franchises due to poor attendance. But that is antiquated thinking. Attendance is important, but TV revenue is king. And cities like Miami, Tampa, and Oakland have strong TV markets. Those will not move. His proposal also seemed like fantasy to me. Too radical. The second guy’s proposal makes alot more sense and holds a little tradition in hand. The Rays get screwed on travel though, as do the Rockies. And I still don’t like Vegas as a destination, but MLB could feel differently.

    Like

  37. 38 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    So… unless they cut this stream off, I found the game.

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

    Like

  38. 39 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I also considered Nashville but either Nashville or Charlotte would cut into the Braves’ market share. Portland has been mentioned a lot. I could deal with it, another left coast team I won’t know anything about. At least the Mariners won’t have to travel 1000 miles to play their nearest rival.

    Until baseball adopts the same revenue sharing model as football, you will continue to have big market teams dominate.

    So why did Montreal tank? Awful field, worse management… Always used their talent as cash cows and development club for the rest of the league.

    I’m not sure how another team in Texas really improves revenue. Those folks already watch the Rangers or the Astros.

    Mexico City? Would the players be able to sue the league in 10 years for exposing them to a toxic work environment?

    I’m sure their are cities out there who would make a big push for a MLB team. Norfolk VA would qualify in some respects but the Nats and O’s would throw a hissy fit.

    It’s all about control. That is why we still have both American and National leagues.

    Want to expand TV market? Put a team in Winnipeg… or Tokyo…

    Like

  39. 40 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    It’ll happen eventually…

    Like

  40. 41 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    I knew that was too good (and free) to be true. 😦

    Like

  41. 42 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    drat…
    not much help here either…just where you can listen
    http://mlb.mlb.com/mediacenter/index.jsp?&affiliateId=SPRINGTRAININGSCHEDULE

    Like

  42. 43 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    heh, same thing V had…sorry….

    Like

  43. 44 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    V, WFOM 1230 AM barely comes in here, no way to listen online, cuz tune in and mlb won’t allow it…if you have a sensitive radio the game in on…E-Rick just got a double I love this guy! 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  44. 45 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    E-Rick just got a double I love this guy!

    I know you do!! We should henceforth call him Erick AyBER. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  45. 46 berigan2electricboogaloo March 1, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  46. 47 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    I cannot even come close to receiving WFOM over the air up here in God’s country. Was hoping for something online. I had the Braves feed for about 2 batters, then the station swapped the online feed over to ESPN Radio. Bleh. I’d rather listen to someone cutting their toenails.

    Like

  47. 48 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Well… isn’t that interesting?

    Like

  48. 49 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Like

  49. 50 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    I’m willing to bet that the topic of Markakis comes up again between ATL and BAL.

    Like

  50. 51 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    The future.

    Like

  51. 52 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Hector drove in a run today. Hooray for HO!

    Like

  52. 53 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Likely the O’s told the Braves they would be willing to take Markakis off the Braves hands. The Braves know the going price for Gold Glove outfielders. They are just sizing each other up right now.

    I’m thinking Swisher will be traded by April first, after he hit’s his third homer of the spring… just speculation but with a bit of old person’s savvy in these things.

    Nice for the Braves to not take a loss. Swanson is suppose to play tomorrow but reported he was feeling sick. Yep, time for the flu virus to sweep through camp. I hope the Braves can find enough players to make the trip… “sarcasm alert”

    Man, the dugout was cramped.

    At least a two hour bus ride to Sarasota from Orlando. Hope they lease comfortable buses. Do the Braves have enough vets to qualify for the minimum 4 starter rule for spring training away games?

    Like

  53. 54 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Primary alert… compare the number of Democrat vs Republican votes cast in each state. More important I think than who gets the most votes at this point.

    I expect the sun will still rise in the east in the morning….

    Like

  54. 55 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2016 at 7:36 am

    Good recap…

    Like

  55. 56 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2016 at 11:03 am

    2day’s lineup:

    1- Mallex Smith, CF
    2- Michael Bourn, LF
    3- Jeff Francoeur, RF
    4- Tyler Flowers, C
    5- Kelly Johnson, DH
    6- Gordon Beckham, 3B
    7- Nate Freiman, 1B
    8- Dansby Swanson, SS
    9- Ozzie Albies, 2B

    RHP- Aaron Blair

    Like

  56. 57 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Not a bad line up. Closer to major league than the bunch the Orioles sent to Disney yesterday.

    And, just as I suspected, the sun did indeed rise in the east this AM… The sky did not fall as some predicted… Okay, maybe it fell on a few heads but it was selective.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. 58 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    The future…

    Like

  58. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Add a home run to that total. Think he is trying to draw a little attention?

    Liked by 1 person

  59. 60 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Well… that’s one way to impress your future boss.

    Like

  60. 61 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    And Mirahan throws 4 pitches and hurts himself… SNAKEBITE!

    Like

  61. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    So far Mallix has two triples, a homer and a double… he will not want to leave Sarasota.

    It appears Swanson’s glove is ahead of his bat at this point.

    Albies says no problem bro, I got your back….

    Like

  62. 63 Vox O'Reason March 3, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Good morning all. Yes, a very nice debut for Mallex Smith. And Dansby’s bat was quiet. But as excited as I got about Mallex, I also know that it’s just 1 game for him. Same for Dansby. Same for Ozzie. Same for Aaron Blair, Evan Rutckyj, etc. There were alot of good things to take away from yesterday’s game, so we’ll just hang onto that and look for more progress. That’s the keyword for 2016 anyway… progress.

    On that note, 2day’s lineup:

    1- Ender Inciarte, CF
    2- Erick Aybar, SS
    3- Freddie Freeman, 1B
    4- Nick Markakis, RF
    5- Nick Swisher, DH
    6- Hector Olivera, LF
    7- Reid Brignac, 2B
    8- Chase d’Arnaud, 3B
    9- Ryan Lavarnway, C

    LHP- Sean Newcomb

    Will update on the pitchers to follow as soon as the names come across…

    Like

  63. 64 Vox O'Reason March 3, 2016 at 8:39 am

    And they just came across. Chris Withrow, Alexi Ogando, Ian Krol, Alex Torres, Carlos Torres and Chris Volstad all scheduled to pitch today.

    Like

  64. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville March 3, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Sometimes the hardest thing for folks to remember is “it’s only spring training”. That said, the young guys like to make a positive impression. Old guys want to “work on stuff”.. It’s why I question how teams are able to justify the outrages prices they charge to watch what is essentially a scrimmage.

    Still, fielding is an area which can be telling, much more than hitting unless a player is flailing away. That is telling too. Still, players like to hit. I know coaches look for hard hit balls, hustle down the line etc.

    Think the Orioles aren’t worried about Ubaldi? Bodes ill for him to not escape the first inning. Coaches are always watching, scoring and grading. Even off the clock…

    Saw out old friend Todd Cunningham yesterday playing for the Angles. Wish him well. The kid can field, it t’was his bat that held him back with the Braves.

    Would like to have been able to see Sean Newcome pitch today. Oh well, televised games will begin soon. I think tomorrow’s game against the Phillies is going to be shown at 6AM as a delayed telecast on the MLB network.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. 66 Vox O'Reason March 3, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Not good.

    Like

  66. 67 Vox O'Reason March 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    BTW- McKirahan is a TJ veteran. He had the injury and surgery in 2012.

    Complicating things for McK is that he was picked up off waivers from MIA last spring after MIA had claimed him in the 2014 Rule 5 draft from the Cubs. Then he was suspended in April for 80 games for PED use. Unless the Braves have to DL him, he must spend the first 2 months of the season on the 25-man roster or be offered back to the Cubs for $25,000. If he is disabled, then the calendar is put on hold.

    Fellow bullpen hopeful Dan Winkler is in the same boat. He was in a similar situation last season, being a Rule 5 draftee from the Rockies. He spent most of 2015 recovering from TJ but was able to return late in the season to the Braves bullpen. He also has to spend the first couple of months on the active roster or be offered back to COL.

    And then there’s young lefty Evan Rutckyj, whom the Braves chose in this past December’s Rule 5 draft. He is probably the best raw pitcher of the 3, but is only 21 and has pitched only 18 innings of high-A ball. If the Braves don’t keep him on the active roster for the entire season, they have to offer him back to the Yankees. Why would Coppy take a kid so young in the R5D? He must have seen enough to think the kid has a legitimate shot. And Ruty did have a good debut outing yesterday.

    With the plethora (FOB?) of potential bullpen options in camp, it’ll be a tough battle for all of them. I only see 3 real “locks”, those being Grilli, Vizcaino and Withrow. (Jim Johnson has to prove himself again after a dismal half season in LA.)

    Which circles me back to McKirahan. If he faces another long DL stint, it would serve to delay his roster calendar. But as we’ve seen too often lately, recovering from a 2nd TJ procedure is dicey. No winner in either scenario. We can only hope for him that it’s nothing serious and that he can resume his 2016 campaign.

    Like

  67. 68 Vox O'Reason March 3, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Jim Bowden, ESPN (former GM):

    My Baseball Tonight colleague Alex Cora, who is also the GM of the Los Criollos de Caguas in the Puerto Rican winter league, has been raving about [Hector] Olivera, even comparing him to Edwin Encarnacion offensively. Cora told me that Olivera is a hard worker who is willing to make the adjustments the Braves have asked him to do with his swing. Olivera’s outfield defense has improved, primarily his jumps, Cora said — and the 30-year-old Cuban is getting back into better shape. I trust Cora’s evaluation on players.

    Lofty comparison. I’ll be ecstatic to get 20/80.

    Like

  68. 69 Gil in Mechanicsville March 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    Rough first inning for Newcomb. Freeman got back half with a dinger but Wooten gives up a sac fly to Cabrera in the second…. Walks can kill you but it’s early. It’s all about the learning experience methinks…

    High praise on Olivera by Cora. I guess it is why the Braves were so high on him. The secret to good scouting is all about seeing the potential. Like Michael Angelo said. The statues were already there, he just need to chip away the marble to get to them.

    Like

  69. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville March 3, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    As for McKirahan, I would be surprised if he did not pass thru weivers. Still, injuring an already suspect elbow is a bummer for him. I wish him the best.

    Like

  70. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville March 3, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Even tougher day for Volstad. Taking his lumps…

    Like

  71. 72 Vox O'Reason March 3, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Newcomb was admittedly nervous making his first start. The kid is just a kid. He’ll be OK, and should probably much better in his next outing. Volstad, on the other hand, is lucky to be in a big league camp. Not because of his age (29), but because he’s just not all that. He has pitched 2.0 innings in the majors since 2013, Not very inspiring.

    Like

  72. 75 Vox O'Reason March 4, 2016 at 8:01 am

    Like

  73. 76 Vox O'Reason March 4, 2016 at 10:40 am

    2day’s lineup vs. the Phils in Clearwater:

    1- Ender Inciarte, CF
    2- Erick Aybar, SS
    3- Nick Swisher, 1B
    4- Adonis Garcia, 3B
    5- Hector Olivera, LF
    6- Matt Tuiasosopo, RF
    7- Jace Peterson, 2B
    8- Reid Brignac, DH
    9- Braeden Schlehuber, C
    RHP- Lucas Sims.

    Also scheduled to pitch: Arodys Vizcaino, Matt Marksberry, Casey Kelly, and Jose Ramirez.

    Like

  74. 77 berigan2electricboogaloo March 4, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Don’t understand why the braves (or the other 28 teams besides the Padres) didn’t sign him sooner…I don’t care if he’s 39….
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/03/padres-to-sign-matt-thornton.html

    Like

  75. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    So, one has to wonder if the Braves’ spring training plan is to give all the young pitchers an opportunity to stink up the joint or allow for all the Braves fielders to experience chasing down fly balls and line drives. If the latter, they are doing a really good job. Maybe it’s the “rope a dope” strategy, get the other team tired out from running the bases and scoring runs….

    If anyone cares, todays game will be shown as a delayed telecast on MLB network at 6AM Saturday morning.

    Okay, I’m not being really fair, after all. It is spring training and no one ever told Lucas Simms he has a tell.

    Like

  76. 79 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    Ber, Thorton does not fit into the Braves profile of YOUNG pitchers to go with their OLD hitters.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. 80 Vox O'Reason March 4, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    I’ve been reading alot of chatter lately on Ozzie Albies. Most people think that the Braves will eventually shift Ozzie to 2B and allow Dansby to remain at SS. I’m in the minority here. In my opinion, they viewd Ozzie as the heir to Andrelton when Andy was traded, and they still do. No question that Dansby has the tools to play SS at a high level. Nomar Garciaparra was Dansby’s favorite player as a kid, and he’s patterned his game likewise. In fact, Nomar is a pretty good comparison for Dansby considering his tools. But rather than Dansby becoming our version of Nomar, maybe he can become our version of Chase Utley (minus the punk qualities) because Ozzie is special. I don’t know what’s in the water down in Curacao, but those cats are smoother than Crisco in a non-stick pan. Ozzie is the kind of SS that doesn’t come along very often, unless you’re the Atlanta Braves who seem to have a knack in that department.

    All that said, the 19-year-old wunderkind will have to wait a little while longer before mesmerizing the Atlanta fans, but maybe not as long as some think. I seriously think there’s a good chance that the Ozzie and Dansby show could be playing in Cobb County in 2017.

    Like

  78. 81 Vox O'Reason March 4, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Lucas Sims will be OK. Much like Sean Newcomb will be OK. I don’t worry so much about how a young pitcher fares in his first outing in big league camp. After all, they are human like the rest of us, only with alot more bonus money in the bank. Now 2nd and 3rd starts? That’s a different story. At some point you have to pull your big boy stirrups up and get over the butterflies.

    Like

  79. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I would like to actually see both play before saying yea or nay on either player. However, Albies has to remind one of Houston’s Jose Altuve in both stature and pop in his bat. We will have to wait and see where the Braves play one or both of these players but don’t be surprised if one isn’t traded somewhere down the line. Not say it will happen, just saying everyone is available for the right price as far as the Braves are concerned.

    I was a little unfair in my comments about Lucas Simms earlier. I still remember Steve Avery getting roughed up pretty good when he made the jump from triple A to the bigs. It is all about finding your comfort zone and realizing major league hitters are such for a reason.

    Like

  80. 83 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    VOX, sadly, the major league model has changed. No longer does a great glove get you a spot on a big league club, it has all become just about offense. While I understand the rational behind trading Simmons for two pitchers, I don’t think it was a good trade. His glove more than made up for any deficiencies he had on offense.

    Like

  81. 84 Vox O'Reason March 4, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    No longer does a great glove get you a spot on a big league club, it has all become just about offense.

    Ozzie is way more than a glove. In 80 games this past season, he hit .331/.387/.426; 25 SB at single-A Rome. This is an excerpt from his prospect profile: “Ozzie has a very advanced approach from both sides of the plate and combines that with a feel for the bat head that is almost uncanny. He makes solid contact from both sides of the plate with a smooth, short swing and will hit the ball to any part of the field.” On the scouting grade of 20-80, he grades an overall 70 on offense.

    While I understand the rational behind trading Simmons for two pitchers, I don’t think it was a good trade.

    I understand your feelings on that, Gil. I really do. But I think that there is another dynamic in play as well.

    In my opinion, given his youth, years of contractual control, etc., Andrelton was probably at his peak of value for a trade. And given that the Braves would not be contending for another couple of years at best, there was no reason to delay a trade. Not with Ozzie Albies slotted to emerge about the time the team becomes relevant again. Yes, you never know where a prospect will peak and fizzle. Totally agree on that. But that’s the risk you take as a GM.

    So given the fact that the team wasn’t going to contend in the short term, and that you could obtain 2 very good arms for the long term (plus a replacement SS for the short term, as well as mid-season trade chip), while clearing the path for the top prospect in the organization (at the time, anyway), it really was a no-brainer.

    For 2016, and maybe even 2017, it’s a step backward. No argument there. But for the long term well-being of the franchise, it was step forward.

    Like

  82. 85 Vox O'Reason March 4, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    On an entirely different note, I caught a discussion today that definitely made me go “hmmm”. It was on the topic of Nick Markakis and whether or not the recent trade rumors have any substance.

    The discussion began with Guy #1 not understanding why the Braves would just dismiss the Orioles’ interest in bringing Nick back when they clearly need an OF spot for Mallex to play by mid-season.

    Here’s where it got interesting…

    Guy #2 says the Braves are holding out for O’s catching prospect Chance Sisco. The 20-year-old is their #8 prospect, and a LH hitter that has good on base skills with moderate power. He’s also a solid defender.

    Now… I have nothing to back any of that up. That’s pure unsubstantiated rumor. And it would take more than just Nick to pry a guy like Sisco away even if BAL was willing to part with him. (That’s why we have a stockpile of young arms.) But maybe it’s a name to remember anyway. Coppy is on record as saying they will be looking to take a college catcher in the draft, so Sisco fits the profile of what tops the Braves wish list.

    Like

  83. 86 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    On the Simba trade, I understand your view point completely but I still did not like it. But, it is done so I’ll move on, no use whining about something I have no control over.

    On Markakis, I have thought all along it is just a matter of return on investment. I don’t expect him to play all four years of his contract in Atlanta but I don’t see the Braves giving him away. They already have Swisher and Bourne to fill that role. That is, contracts to be eaten….

    Markakis is a good player and not over priced as far as that goes. When compared to the current market price, he is a bargain. No, the Braves will want more than someone to just take on his contract. I am certain the Braves will be scouring the minors for catching talent. I understand the Phillies have a surplus of talent at the back stop position. We’ll just have to wait and see who wants to dance.

    Like

  84. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Good morning friends, watching the recording of yesterday’s game… %th inning and boy, does Visciano look good. Strikes out the side. A couple of pitches clocked at 100mph and an absolutely nasty breaking pitch. Hey, you take what you can get out of spring training…

    Like

  85. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2016 at 11:32 am

    5th inning

    Like

  86. 89 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2016 at 6:35 pm

    Cool All Star Fanfest countdown clock!!

    Liked by 1 person

  87. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2016 at 10:49 am

    McKirahan to have Tommy John surgery again… I sold him short the other day when I said he only made 4 pitches, it was actually 5. Any hoo. I suspect we will not see him again in a Braves uniform. If the Marlins want him back for the $25,000 it would take to reclaim him next year, I suspect the Braves will be glad to turn him over.

    Sad though for any player to have to go through the pain of the rehab with no real guarantees. Oh well, I pretty much knew when my playing days were over when I needed a cane. Didn’t really think it would get worse but alas, shows you how little I really knew…

    On the good news front, Markakis hit a 400 foot dinger yesterday. Hey, not like he hit it off Verlander but still, nice to know his power is returning. He may yet be the best $44MM bargain the Braves ever struck. Not to say he is in the same class as Jason Heyward but he sure is a ton cheaper. Like 60% cheaper.

    Perhaps the best bargain the Braves have discovered in the recent past is still Evan Gattis. Too bad the National League will adopt the DH to late for it to pay off for the Braves but Folty may yet prove his worth and Rios might yet still play third base in the big leagues for the Braves. Depends on how well the Braves draft and develop talent this year and next.

    Oh well, VCU managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory last night. At this point in my life, I am beginning to understand why so many folks are eager to jump on whatever band wagon is leading the parade. Losing is depressing and don’t we already have enough stuff in our lives to knock us down now without looking for more?

    At least I don’t need Tommy John surgery….

    Liked by 2 people

  88. 91 berigan2electricboogaloo March 6, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    a bit of a hit piece, shockingly…from a NY paper…or not….Even I would be more positive about the prospects down the road…
    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/03/05/sports/baseball/ap-bbn-braves-rotation.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

    Like

  89. 92 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Not too surprising, Ber. For one, it is a NY publication. For another, even most in ATL have little faith in the youngsters the Braves have accumulated because they only see a misleading and baiting headline or what’s captured in 140 characters. They don’t get any details unless they make the effort to find them for themselves. So they get frustrated over what they see on the surface, and the media does little to alleviate it. Why? Because frustration is an easy emotion to feed off of, and the media is using it to the fullest. Gotta get those page views. Gotta sell those ads.

    But I digress…

    It’s in vogue to take a dim view of the Braves now. It’s the proverbial “low hanging fruit” to be able to do a piece on “how far the vaunted Braves have fallen”, so that’s what they do. It’s really lazy journalism. It takes a little more effort to really analyze the process and understand what the front office is working toward. But that’s too boring and doesn’t generate any web hits, so they go with the easy click-bait and just run with the negative headline.

    And that’s no different than any topic of news these days. Journalism used to be intellectual, but now it’s emotional. You can’t manipulate anyone’s intellect, but you can sure twist their emotions. TV media learned that years ago. That’s why an apartment fire will take up 20 minutes of a 30 minute newscast. You know the old adage… “If it bleeds, it leads.” This is the state of the media in the current instant information age… alot of emotion and very little real information.

    Again, I digress…

    The author could have mentioned the second half turnaround of Julio’s 2015 season, but he didn’t. He could have taken the totality of Bud Norris’ career into context instead of offering only 1 year, but he didn’t. He could have noted that Chacin and Kendrick are in camp on minor league deals with no expectations other than a no risk tryout, but he didn’t. That doesn’t fit the new narrative. At least he did call Wisler promising.

    Nobody has high expectations for 2016… not even me. I just hate to see the media make it fun and trendy to disrespect the Braves. And that’s what it feels like to me. Funny… it they were in a public school, it’d be called “bullying”. There’s another trendy play on people’s emotions.

    But again, I digress…

    Liked by 1 person

  90. 93 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Love this picture!!!

    Albies in the zone. #Braves #BravesST

    A post shared by Kevin McAlpin (@kevinmcalpin) on

    Like

  91. 94 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Had an opportunity to see part of yesterday’s game against the Mets this morning. Some highs and lows as far as Braves’ pitching. I was surprised the Braves released David Carpenter. I thought he was effective the other day when he came on in relief of McKirahan. One thing that is obvious this spring, a lot of these young Braves pitchers are having a tough time finding the strike zone. Far too many walks being given up.

    I don’t know if the zone has shrunk or opposing teams are more patient. Or the young pitchers are just wild out of the zone. Maybe a combination of all three.

    Like

  92. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Oh yea, on the “lazy Journalism”… amen to that. Did anyone else catch the big bruhaha over a knife supposedly found 18 years ago on OJ
    s property? A huge non story because even if it was “the knife” there is a little thing known as double jeopardy. Media circus is right.

    An as for the “debates” Why don’t they just get Marty Polvich and Jerry Springer to moderate and be done with it? I turned it off last week when they started the name calling.

    Maybe the Iranians have a point.

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 96 berigan2electricboogaloo March 7, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Man, just don’t get that release of Carpenter…Gil, did you see any speed gun reading on his fastball? I mean, unless he’s at 90-91 (and it was the very first game he was in) don’t get releasing him this early.
    Better for his chances catching on with another team, but really, why even bring him to camp if he wasn’t going to be given a chance?
    What if 2 more arms go down in a week or two?

    Did go to DOB’s twitter page, nice to see what the young folks look like in the cage via instagram video…
    And 30 something H.O. 😉
    V, your pic above isn’t showing up, at least right now…

    Like

  94. 99 berigan2electricboogaloo March 7, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    I should get a twitter account, and post old 2nd hand stories like this one! 😉
    Nice though about FG and H.O. if anyone missed it…
    http://espn.go.com/blog/jayson-stark/post/_/id/1562/the-connection-between-braves-hector-olivera-and-his-manager

    Liked by 1 person

  95. 100 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Berigan, you are going to come around and be a Hector fan yet!

    Liked by 1 person

  96. 101 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Naturally, with Ozzie Albies having a terrific camp, there is much clamoring for the Braves to rush him to The Show. And today we learn of Jhonny Peralta’s thumb injury that will keep him out of commission for up to 3 months. I’ve already heard the first rumor that STL has come knocking about Erick Aybar.

    Now, first… it’s just pure rumor. But I’ll say this about that: I’m willing to hear what they’re offering. Why not? Aybar isn’t a long term piece anyway. And no, I don’t want to rush Ozzie. I want to play Daniel Castro. And I want to pluck somebody from the Cards’ farm. Why not?

    Like

  97. 102 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    I don’t know if I can get all exited about Castro but Aybar being traded, just depends on what you get in return, like, okay, we’ll trade you Aybar but you also have to take on Swisher or Bourne. Just saying….

    Albies is one of those players with the “it” factor. It will be exciting to see him and Smith when they arrive.

    Maybe David backed over Fredie’s cat or something. Pretty sure he will get a tryout with someone. Maybe they released the wrong David Carpenter….

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    Hey, been telling ya’ll all along the prices at the Disney park were outrages. The Nats charge $10 for the upper level reserve. About the same as minor league prices.

    He did not mention that prices for Red Sox and Yankee games are more. It’s not that nice a park.

    It was one of the factors in my decision to skip spring training this season.

    Like

  99. 104 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 7:28 am

    we’ll trade you Aybar but you also have to take on Swisher or Bourn

    Exactly.

    Like

  100. 105 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2016 at 8:26 am

    The Cardinals are going to be in a dog fight this season whit the still hungry Pirates and the up and coming Cubbies. They could actually use Swisher somewhere but they absolutely need a shortstop. They can afford it but then, who knows? The Braves could not expect anything else above a single A prospect however. It would be a salary dump plain and simple..

    Like

  101. 106 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 8:45 am

    2day’s lineup vs. the Mets at Disney.

    1- Inciarte, CF
    2- Aybar, SS
    3- Freeman, 1B
    4- Markakis, RF
    5- Adonis, 3B
    6- AJP, C
    7- Swish, DH
    8- Daniel Castro, 2B
    9- Mallex Smith, LF
    RHP- Matt Wisler.

    Also scheduled to pitch: Viz, Jim Johnson, Chris Withrow, Sean “Nuke” Newcomb and Matt Marksberry.

    Like

  102. 107 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 8:49 am

    A couple of notes on a couple of pitchers, via Bowman:

    Folty threw a live BP yesterday, so it’s still possible that he could get in some live game action before the team breaks camp and heads north.

    ManBan threw a simulated game yesterday and is scheduled to make his live game debut some time next week. Bowman also notes that the Braves won’t need a 5th starter until April 12, so ManBan would still be on schedule to make that start if he earns the last rotation spot.

    Like

  103. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2016 at 8:55 am

    At this point, one has to believe the Braves are trying to showcase Swisher. Problem is, he is not helping himself. Maybe he’ll hit two home runs today….

    Yea, that would do it… 🙂

    No Olivera? He must be on the travel squad…

    Like

  104. 109 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 8:56 am

    Speaking of pitching, the buzz today is over Aaron Blair, who apparently impressed in his 2 innings yesterday. He is squarely in the mix to make the rotation for ATL.

    As for my personal preference, I’d love to see him earn the last spot (or 4th spot, considering ManBan needs the extra few days.) But an early rotation of Julio, Wisler, Bud Norris, Blair and ManBan would not hurt my feelings at all.

    I will qualify that only by saying that if Kendrick or Chacin has a good spring to earn the job, I’m OK to allow Blair some more time at AAA. But if the competition should definitely determine the winner, not the service time. And if you believe what Coppy says, service time will not be a determining factor. (Maybe a tipping point if the competition is too close to call otherwise.)

    Like

  105. 110 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Chacin made a decent appearance last week, Kendrick has pitched twice. The first one was awful, the second not so bad. I think it is still too early to really get a feel for the rotation other than Teheran, Norris and Wisler. I expect the Braves to load up the bullpen early. Maybe let Manbam start a game in Triple A then bring him up. Lots of things are still unsettled in camp right now.

    One has to wonder what the Braves were looking for out of Carpenter.

    Coppy might not take service time into account but I’ll bet his boss does. Why throw away a year of control if you don’t have to. Not like the Braves are going to make the World Series this season, at least not without a ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

  106. 111 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Like

  107. 112 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I think it is still too early to really get a feel for the rotation other than Teheran, Norris and Wisler.

    Agree 100%.

    Coppy might not take service time into account but I’ll bet his boss does. Why throw away a year of control if you don’t have to. Not like the Braves are going to make the World Series this season

    No, but…

    I have to agree with DOB on this point. The Braves have to start winning in 2016 and building momentum toward 2017 in a new park. That’s why it’s not likely that they would trade away Aybar this early, and it’s why they’ll likely take the best 5 starting pitchers and best 7 relievers regardless of service time. If Kendrick and/or Chacin pitch the best over the next 4 weeks, then by all means they should make the squad. But the same goes for Blair and ManBan.

    I think the period of trading off pieces for “the future” has passed. I believe they are in the “building” phase of the process, and that means pushing forward with what has been acquired.

    As for service time on the pitchers, it’s not like they are going to run out. They have amassed a pretty full pipeline that will continue to produce quality for several years. So if they lose 1 year of service time on one guy, they’ll either deem him important enough to extend anyway, or replace him with the next in line. That’s the business.

    Examples?

    Julio Teheran, Matt Wisler, Williams Perez, Manny Banuelos, Mike Foltyblahblah, Casey Kelly, Tyrell Jenkins, Ryan Weber, and John Gant. Those guys are already on the team’s 40-man roster.

    Then there’s the Top 10 prospects Aaron Blair (#4), Sean Newcomb (#2), Lucas Sims (#10), Max Fried (#9), Touki Toussaint (#5), Kolby Allard (#6), and Michael Soroka (#7).

    That doesn’t even take into account the other top prospects outside the Top 10: Chris Ellis (#11), Wes Parsons (#28), Zack Bird (#16), Rob Whalen (#26), Ricardo Sanchez (#14), Chad Sobotka (#30), and Alex Grosser (#23).

    No, they won’t all pan out. And there is probably a guy like Max Povse or Steve Janas that might surprise some folks, too. But the point is that there are alot of young arms, and some of those young arms will need to emerge at some point. Coppy has done a good job of spreading them out throughout the levels so that there isn’t a discernible gap.

    These are exciting times. I can’t wait to see who among the masses steps forward first and stands out. Will it be Tyrell Jenkins? Sean Newcomb? Maybe Wisler or ManBan? Like I said, exciting to watch them all blossom.

    Like

  108. 113 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Speaking of Wisler. he just pitched a nice clean 1-2-3 1st inning against the traveling Mets.

    Like

  109. 114 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Wisler faced the minimum over 2, giving up 1 hit (single) that was erased with a DP. Good work for the Braves “veteran”. 😀

    Like

  110. 115 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    CL?

    Liked by 1 person

  111. 117 Carolina Lady March 8, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    I’ll be all over that game if I can get tickets! It’s only 900 – 100 miles away. YAHOO!!!

    Like

  112. 120 Carolina Lady March 8, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Well, bad news for CL: tickets are not being sold to the general public apparently. Not available anywhere. The stadium only seats 12,500 and people at Bragg can fill it up easily because it is so big. Bragg is the most populous Army base in the world. sigh At least it will be on ESPN!

    Liked by 1 person

  113. 121 Carolina Lady March 8, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    A really good video of a coach’s marvelous instruction to his players. I think you’ll appreciate as much as I do.
    http://roseynews.com/national-anthem-disrespect/

    Liked by 1 person

  114. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Nuke did not look very stellar today. Braves had lots of base runners today but only one crooked number. Fortunately, that came in the bottom of the ninth.

    Casey Kelly was released outright along with David Carpenter.

    I am not worried about pitchers being called upon early, it is the position players. Specifically Mallex Smith or Albies.

    ManBam has already pitched in the bigs, a none issue.

    Yes, it is often the guys we have never heard of that surprise us all.

    Like

  115. 124 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Casey Kelly was released outright along with David Carpenter.

    That was Ryan Kelly.

    Casey Kelly came back from SD in the Bethancourt deal. He’s a 26-year-old former 1st round pick (BOS) that came to SD in the Adrian Gonzalez trade. He made his ML debut with SD in 2012 before… you guessed it… he suffered an elbow injury that required TJ surgery. Since the injury he has struggled with repeating his delivery and locating his pitches. Given that his biggest strength pre-TJ was pitch location, this has been problematic. He throws in the low 90’s with a big ol’ curve, but the curve has been inconsistent as he’s made his way back. He did return to make 3 appearances (2 starts) for SD last year before being traded in the offseason.

    Hopefully he’s the kind of pitcher that Roger can fix. He has the stuff; his fast ball is back to pre-TJ velocity and his curve is breaking well. It’s just repeating mechanics right now. And typically that’s the kinda guy Roger works well with. At best he’s a 4th or 5th starter. At worst he’s a swingman for the bullpen. And we need that, so…

    Like

  116. 125 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2016 at 8:16 am

    More on Casey Kelly from a January article in the Sarasota (where Kelly is from, and where the Braves could be training in a couple of years) Herald-Tribune:

    [Kelly’s] surgery was performed in April 2013, forcing Kelly to miss the rest of that season. He made four minor-league starts in 2014 and 17 last season, before being summoned by the Padres in September.

    In three games, two starts, Kelly allowed 10 runs in 11.1 innings. In one of the starts, against Arizona, Kelly retired 11 consecutive batters after a rough beginning.

    “I know I still have it,” he said. “I saw glimpses of it last year and I fully believe everything will come together like it was before and I’ll be the pitcher I was before the surgery.”

    The Braves told Kelly to be ready from Day 1 of spring training. He said he feels as good physically as he did before the surgery. Following Tommy John, feel and location of pitches often are the final two components to return.

    “I talked to a lot of guys (who said) that second full season back is when you’ll be back to 100 percent,” he said. “I’m really trusting that my elbow is good, that I put in all the work I needed to do to make sure that it came back just as strong or even stronger than it was before.

    “I’m still only 26, don’t have a lot of innings under my belt, so I feel like I’m pretty fresh and just really excited to show people what I can do.”

    While likely not a candidate for the rotation, he could become a big part of the rebuilt bullpen. To me he profiles very well for the long relief/swingman role. He’s the kind of guy that could come in for an ineffective starter and eat a few innings while limiting damage. That’s something that no pitcher was able to do last year.

    Like

  117. 126 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2016 at 8:23 am

    One more thing on Kelly, as I just caught an old 2013 MLB profile video on him. (Ironically he was mowing down the 2012 Braves lineup.) His #1 pitch is a low 90’s fastball with sink that induces a ton of ground balls. His curve is a compliment pitch.

    He sounds exactly like a young Roger McDowell, who made hay as a reliever using those same tools.

    Like

  118. 127 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Okay, I stand corrected. it is why you are such a valuable part of the team here.

    Like

  119. 128 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I think I obsess over the lesser details, probably to negative effect. In fact, I know I spend too much of my day researching stuff like I did on Casey Kelly. Why did I do that? I don’t know. It just happens. I may need an intervention.

    Liked by 1 person

  120. 129 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Horse’s mouth?

    Like

  121. 130 berigan2electricboogaloo March 9, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Yeah, and this time he means it! Unless of course, the Cards mention trading an arm in return, those words make Coppy melt like butter in a frying pan 😆

    Like

  122. 131 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I still predict Aybar will not complete the season as a Brave, nor will Kelly Johnson.

    Like

  123. 132 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    A bit of good news, bad news… The good news, It is really tough to get a solid grasp of how a team’s early spring training performance translate to the regular season. The bad news, It’s really tough to get a solid grasp on how a team’s early spring training performance translates to the regular season….

    On the positive side, the Braves seem to be getting their hits, on the negative side, they sure have been struggling to prevent opposing teams from scoring. I know, trying to give all the pitchers in camp an opportunity will have that effect. I just wish they would let the take that opportunity on the back fields.

    Like

  124. 133 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I still predict Aybar will not complete the season as a Brave, nor will Kelly Johnson.

    Maybe not on Aybar, but any deals as such likely will not, and should not, happen until mid-season.

    With pitchers, you cannot judge their on field performance too harshly in spring because many of them are working on specific pitches. Example: In his last start, Wisler said he threw a majority of fastballs, but would throw alot more changeups in his next start. So if he gets his teeth kicked in, don’t panic. After all, he’s already announced that they’re coming.

    But with position players, like Mallex Smith, Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies, you can get a good idea of how far along they are in their development. And based on what I have read and heard (I’ve only seen highlights), Mallex is close now, Dansby isn’t far behind, and Ozzie may not need more than another year either.

    I say that to reach this point…

    If Dansby is ready to make the jump at mid-season, Aybar is dealt. Period. He is the designated placeholder. If Mallex is ready, then a rejuvenated Nick Markakis could be the guy. But maybe not. He could be the kind of veteran we need on the team for 3 more years to usher in the wave of youngsters. (Those are the kind of problems the braintrust wants to have…) Let the offers roll in.

    As to Kelly Johnson, the team is still butthurt over what happened after he and Uribe were dealt last season. They may keep him all year just to prevent a repeat of bad mojo. Heck, that might even be why they brought him back. (For the record, the two pitchers we got back from NYM – John Gant and Rob Whalen – both look like very good prospects, especially Gant. But I digress… and obsess. Seriously though, we could see Gant make his ML debut this year.)

    Like

  125. 134 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Oh.. you can go ahead and judge pitcher Chris Volstad. He’s terrible. Period.

    Like

  126. 135 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2016 at 7:48 am

    Speaking of “prospects”, Hector is batting .474 (9-for-19) with just 1 K and has a hit in all 6 games he’s played in this spring. It appears that his new swing is working somewhat. Now if the power will just follow, we’ll be all happy and stuff.

    Like

  127. 136 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I do not predict the departure of Kelly Johnson with glee, I like the guy, it’s just he is expendable and the Braves got a pretty decent return for him from the Mets.

    While I would like to see Mallex Smith in Atlanta, it would retard his growth for him not to get at bats everyday in Gwinnette. I will look for him if there is an injury or in September.

    I think the power will come but right now he wants to prove he is learning. Take what they give you and run into one every so often. Perhaps the best part is the low number of Ks. Speaking of which, it’s nice to see Fab Five swing free again. I predict a lot of walks this season for him until Markakis shows some punch. Opposing teams will make it SOP not to let Freeman beat them.

    Like

  128. 137 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2016 at 11:58 am

    MLBTR: Prior to Jason Heyward’s trade to the Cardinals last offseason, the Yankees and Braves discussed a blockbuster framework that would’ve sent Heyward, Andrelton Simmons, David Carpenter, Melvin Upton and Chris Johnson to New York in exchange for Luis Severino, Aaron Judge, Manny Banuelos, Gary Sanchez and Ian Clarkin, according to a report from Jon Heyman. Per Heyman, New York ultimately wouldn’t pull the trigger on the deal.

    Holy moley!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  129. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Let me clarify, The last part of my previous post was referring to Olivera pertaining to the power coming. Good piece on him by DOB.

    That would indeed have been a block buster.

    Like

  130. 139 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    So, in that trade, the Yankees would take on all the bad contracts and the Braves would get younger. I don’t know, I think it has worked out for the Braves. Goes to show that the Braves considered a couple of stalwarts expendable for a while now.

    The Braves still acquired Banuelos. Would love to have Aaron Judge though.

    We are just going to have to slog thru it until the kids mature I’m afraid.

    Like

  131. 140 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I think it has worked out for the Braves

    Well… yes. Those Braves players involved eventually brought us a boatload of talent from STL, ARI, SDP, NYY and LAA (and the bad contract swap with CLE).

    Like

  132. 141 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Watching yesterday’s game against the Astros and have to say Volstead did not pitch that badly. His defense deserted him a bit. Not saying he was great, just not really that bad. I expect the Braves will run him out again next week. They won’t give up on him just yet.

    Also following todays game with the Marlins. Olivera with a double and Frenchy hit a dinger. Three solid inning turned in by Bud Norris.

    It is really hard to evaluate a player on TV or radio. You really need to see them play in person. At least to gauge speed. Will we ever see 3D holograms of games in our lifetime? I know it will come someday. Camera lens really do distort distance.

    And Lucas Simms makes an appearance in the game.

    Liked by 1 person

  133. 142 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Okay, Braves WIN… 5-2

    Liked by 1 person

  134. 144 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2016 at 9:19 am

    uh- oh indeed Ber…

    Like

  135. 145 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Okay, watching the recorded game of yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals. Chacin looked solid in his three innings. 3 hits, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts but he looked comfortable. Was not wild. Not (name any first line starter) but solid. Chris Ellis looked like what is is, a young pitcher. Control problems, not really fooling anyone. He will start in AA Mississippi methinks.

    Aybar looks good, both in the field and at the plate.

    Jace Peterson made some really nice plays at third. I see him playing a lot with the Braves even after being supplanted as the everyday second baseman.

    Albies looks better at short than second base and Swanson better at second than short… but what do I know, I’m just a stupid blogger?

    Weber pitched a nice 2 innings but to be fair, he was pitching against a bunch of AA hitters. See, that is the thing about spring training games, you really have to be subjective when evaluating outings. Early innings are more telling as you are facing more front line guys.

    Tyrell Jenkins blew it… Oh well…..

    Liked by 1 person

  136. 146 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    First of all HAPPY BIRTHDAY KENNY…..

    Liked by 2 people

  137. 147 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Six months after surgery to remove several bone chips from his pitching elbow, Banuelos gave up six hits and four runs in two innings of an 11-1 loss to the Washington Nationals against a lineup of mostly backups and prospects. He threw 27 strikes in 47 pitches and had one strikeout and one walk.

    “I was pretty excited because I made it back,” said Banuelos, 24, coming back from his second elbow surgery in three years. “It was pretty fun to be out there again. Arm feels healthy, arm feels great. It was a little weird with my pitches; that’s how it is the first time out. Especially when you come from surgery.

    “But other than that it feels good. I’m positive. Just keep working hard and get ready for my next start.”

    So… Other than that, how did you like the play Mrs Lincoln?

    Liked by 1 person

  138. 148 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Braves announced the unconditional release of veteran pitchers Kyle Kendrick and Chris Volstad yesterday. No surprises there…

    Like

  139. 149 scottmccloughanfan March 13, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Yo GIL thanx for the great read. Just saw your e-mail on my lady’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  140. 150 scottmccloughanfan March 13, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    McKIRAHAN’s toast already. So what else is new? He may be done for good. This was his second blow-out wasn’t it?

    Like

  141. 151 scottmccloughanfan March 13, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    This is G.B. LAWRENCE, your earstwhile partner in crime.

    Like

  142. 152 scottmccloughanfan March 13, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    VOLSTED
    KENDRICK – never thought him all that good anyway.

    First of many arm casualties I imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  143. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Welcome RichBrave to our little corner of fandom….

    I am anxiously awaiting the Braves to show us what they are really going to look like. Pitching does appear very spotty…

    Liked by 2 people

  144. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    I am thinking the Braves might have found a bargain in Chacin

    Like

  145. 155 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    By the way G, sorry about Richmond getting bounced out of the A10, On that note, it looks like UVA has the easiest path to the final four.

    Like

  146. 156 berigan2electricboogaloo March 13, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Kendrick just seemed to pitch well against the braves…..

    Like

  147. 157 Carolina Lady March 14, 2016 at 12:09 am

    Happy birthday, V!!

    Welcome, RichBrave! Glad to have you!

    Liked by 1 person

  148. 158 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I am anxiously awaiting the Braves to show us what they are really going to look like. Pitching does appear very spotty…

    Hard to really assess pitching yet. Pitchers are often working on very specific pitches. Case in point: Wisler threw 0 changeups in his first start, and a ton of changeups in his 2nd. The good thing is, he told everyone in the western hemisphere that he would be working on his changeup, threw a ton of them, and was still pretty effective. Reminds me of vintage Kris Medlen. His was so good, hitters could know it was coming and still not hit it. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that HOF Tom Glavine is helping Wisler to refine his.

    Like

  149. 159 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Then again, it wasn’t too hard to assess Kendrick and Volstad. You do want to miss a few bats here and there when you’re trying to win a roster spot.

    Like

  150. 160 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Jhoulys Chacin, courtesy of Bowman: “When I signed, my mindset was just to come to Spring Training as strong as I could be and to just pitch the only way I know how to pitch. I just want to go through all of this year and the rest of my career with my shoulder strong.”

    It is amazing what being healthy can do for an athlete, eh? This is a dude that was a top pitching prospect for COL at one point before shoulder woes threw an anchor out. Hmmm… “top pitching prospect for COL”. That’s a little like being a top suicide bomber prospect for ISIS.

    Liked by 1 person

  151. 161 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Oh… and WELCOME RichBrave!

    Like

  152. 162 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 8:10 am

    Kevin McAlpin says there looks to be more cuts today. Only 3 weeks to Opening Day. Lemme say that again. Only 3 weeks to Opening Day.

    Ah… music to my ears…

    Like

  153. 164 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Freddie, after a pain free day yesterday:

    Like

  154. 165 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 8:28 am

    2day’s lineup vs. the Rays at Disney:

    1- Bourn, CF
    2- Beckham, SS
    3- Freddie, 1B
    4- Markakis, RF
    5- AJP, C
    6- Hector, LF
    7- KJ, 2B
    8- Jace, 3B
    9- Julio, RHP

    Notice… no DH. Back to “real” baseball. 😉

    Like

  155. 166 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Big surprise. Almost everyone had him in the Opening Day bullpen, myself included.

    Here’s something to keep in mind as some of these guys are reassigned. Do they have options remaining? Withrow has, and it’s being utilized. Guys like Krol and Torres do not. And they’ve pitched well enough to warrant further evaluation.

    And as these games progress, and the starters add innings, there are less pitching opportunities. Somebody has to be reassigned to the minor league camp so that they can all remain on schedule. Well, reassigned or released.

    Coppy has been adamant that the Braves will not be caught thin on bullpen options again. He’ll keep as many arms as he can, and if that means some ready arms have to wait at AAA, then that’s the way it’ll be.

    5 things are certain in life: death, taxes, uniformed voters, more taxes and pitching injuries. Withrow will be up at some point during the season.

    Like

  156. 167 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 8:45 am

    Matt Marksperry has also been optioned. He’s not been bad, but again he has options. There are a handful of decent LHRP’s in camp.

    Not only has Ian Krol and Alex Torres been decent, but the youngster Evan Rutckyj has also been impressive. The problem here is that Rutckyj (pronounced RUT-ski) has never pitched above A-ball, and he’s a Rule 5 guy, meaning the Braves either keep him on the 25-man roster or have to offer him back to NYY.

    That will be a tough call given that the aforementioned Krol and ATorres give the Braves real ML experience at LHRP.

    Still… if you are aiming for the future…

    Perhaps that’s why Withrow has been sent down so early. Perhaps the Braves will allow Krol and ATorres opportunities to continue to show their effectiveness because teams are always looking for LHRP, right? Maybe Withrow’s roster spot could open back up as teams recognize that they have few good LHRP options and come to Coppy seeking.

    Just a thought…

    Like

  157. 168 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Like

  158. 169 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 9:13 am

    For those keeping count, the Braves have 46 players remaining in the ML camp. That’s down from a Grapefruit League high 70 just a couple weeks ago.

    And for those who like such technical stuff, Withrow was optioned to AAA Gwinnett, Marksberry was optioned to AA Mississippi, and Cervenka was “reassigned to Minor League camp”, which basically means he still has to earn a job and they’ll decide what to do with him sometime in the next 3 weeks.

    As for Withrow, local radio dude and Braves guru Grant McAuley opines that it could be about giving him more innings to work his way completely back from both Tommy John and back surgery. I suppose that is plausible. Most believe he could pitch now if necessary, but that he is not 100%. Why not let him get to 100%? No compelling reason not to.

    Like

  159. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2016 at 9:18 am

    taxes, uniformed voters, more taxes

    You notice the correlation there don’t you? Most politicians never met a tax they didn’t like. When the housing bubble burst, most had heart attacks because it meant lowering the local tax base, only, they didn’t…. I cannot remember if it was Nixon or Reagan who said “we can never hope to outlive a temporary tax” much like a fuel surcharge….

    Now baseball… I have noticed Jace is getting a lot of playing time at third base. Good for him, while he has made an error or two, he has also made some very nice plays. I like the kid, I hope he can find a place to play 5 times a week.

    Yes, I thought Withrow had earned a spot but like you said, he has options left and some other guys don’t.

    When Chacin was signed by the Braves, I looked at his history. Was pretty effective until his shoulder blew out. Sometimes you just have to be patient. Not saying he will be the next Cy Young but he can be a pretty good number four. The Braves have stockpiles some good young arms, they just need to learn their craft now.

    That kid Gant whom the Braves got from the Mets as part of the Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe deal looks pretty good. You never know when a guy who has been toiling in the bushes will find their way into the light.

    I am thinking the Braves are hoping someone will step up between now an Opening day to grasp the 5th started’s spot.

    Like

  160. 171 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Ah, the rule 5 draft delima…. Well, there are three weeks left before they have to make that decision. Looks like too good a pitcher to let go for $25,000. Lots of other cannon fodder to go through first. I don’t think Jim Johnson a nailed down a spot quite yet….

    Liked by 1 person

  161. 172 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 10:40 am

    No changes in Freddie’s plans. Still on schedule.

    Like

  162. 173 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 10:42 am

    That kid Gant whom the Braves got from the Mets as part of the Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe deal looks pretty good.

    He might make a very swingman/spot starter for he bullpen…

    Like

  163. 174 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I don’t think Jim Johnson a nailed down a spot quite yet…

    The early betting line says he’s on the outside looking in, especially with both Krol and ATorres looking strong. Either could potentially be the 2016 version of Eric O’Flaherty with the other (or Rutckyj) being the designated lefty specialist.

    Like

  164. 175 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Looks like too good a pitcher to let go for $25,000.

    It’s not even about the $25K. That’s nothing in the overall scheme of these teams’ expenditures. Even the A’s can afford to waste $25K. But can the Braves afford the roster spot to keep him? That’s the question. He’s very green, but has looked pretty good. Maybe the better question is can a team aiming for the future afford not to keep him?

    Like

  165. 176 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 11:49 am

    The opinion of Mark Bowman: It does not appear that Atlanta will opt to carry Rule 5 Draft selection Evan Rutckyj, another left-handed reliever who needs to gain more consistency with his curveball. But there’s still a chance the Braves could choose to carry right-handed reliever Daniel Winkler.

    For what it’s worth, Scout.com’s Bill Shanks is very high on Winkler.

    Like

  166. 177 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    BTW- Among Braves regulars, Ber’s favorites Hector Olivera and Erick Aybar lead the team in AVG (.433 & .417 respectively) and Hits (13 & 10 respectively). Of course, none of us really think they will lead in those categories throughout the regular season. But I think we can expect them to contribute at the plate.

    Liked by 1 person

  167. 178 scottmccloughanfan March 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    The Rule 5 draftee looks pretty shaky right now. But I would be surprised if they didn’t keep WINKLER. Prolly not possible to retain BOTH Rule 5 pitchers.

    Even one making the club would be lightning in a bottle……ERIC O’FLAHERTY anyone?

    Liked by 2 people

  168. 180 scottmccloughanfan March 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    RUTCKYI needs to smooth some rough edges out. Maybe if the BRAVES clear out another handful of pitching hopefuls, his angst will simmer down, and he can pitch effectively.

    Like

  169. 181 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Of course there is always the chance the Yankees will opt to spend $25,000 on a beer pong party and the Braves will keep Rutckyi and assign him to Gwennette. We’ll just have to wait and see. The open mike night of spring training is about to shut down and we will get a better idea of who will stay and who will go. Pretty much what is happening now is teams who have set rosters are playing Double and Triple A guys to allow the regulars to not get hurt. Hey, Spring Training games are becoming another revenue stream…

    Teams like the Braves, Phillies etc are actually giving guys tryouts for a wide open roster.

    So, I think I will begin a new blog post posing who I think will actually make the team by position.

    Like

  170. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    By the way, the Braves game will be shown live on MLB tomorrow at 1PM.

    Like

  171. 183 berigan2electricboogaloo March 14, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for the heads up Gil…and greetings RichBrave!

    Like

  172. 184 berigan2electricboogaloo March 14, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    It’s so warm right now…3 more weeks? But I want actual games NOW! 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  173. 185 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    That didn’t help any.

    Liked by 1 person

  174. 186 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Opening Day pitcher.

    Like

  175. 187 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Interesting. I’ve never though tof this, but Julio was so good today that he didn’t throw enough pitches in his 4 innings. He had to leave the game so that the other scheduled pitchers could get in. So he tossed 2 more innings in a simulated game on a back field. Awesome. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  176. 188 Carolina Lady March 14, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    V: “For what it’s worth, Scout.com’s Bill Shanks is very high on Winkler.”

    Henry??

    Liked by 2 people

  177. 189 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    At last, a little good news in what has otherwise been a pretty dismal spring. It’s is the last two weeks when we can get a bit clearer picture of what to expect. Fewer players with 70s and above on their jerseys on the field.

    Like

  178. 190 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    No CL… The Fonz! Although I doubt the youngsters will get the hook…

    Liked by 1 person

  179. 191 scottmccloughanfan March 14, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    GIL:

    If you can list the 49 remaining bodies it would be great. The blizzard of moving parts this spring has my head a-twirl.

    Thanx to CAROLINA LADY and BERIGAN2ELECTRICBOOGALOO for the welcome. Right back ‘atcha.

    As you can tell by my current handle, I’ve been following the REDSKINS and WIZARDS. McCLOUGHAN is the current GM of the ‘Skins.

    But i will never go over to the dark side and become a gNATS fan. I’d rather blow lunch than follow them.

    Liked by 1 person

  180. 192 scottmccloughanfan March 14, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    Also going back to my roots a bit.

    Identifying fossils for a local children’s club called, “Minnie Miner’s.”

    I minored in Geology as an undergrad, but haven’t enjoyed it since a falling out with my friend of 30 years in 1993.

    Kind of exciting planning field trips and locating sites where the kids can do a little excavation and discovery.

    Liked by 3 people

  181. 193 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 7:36 am

    a pretty dismal spring

    Oh I don”t know if I’d characterize it as dismal. We’ve had very good performances from some guys with question marks, like Hector and Aybar. We’ve seen what it’s like to have a real leadoff man in Inciarte, who comes as advertised. We’ve seen Jace Peterson show the ability to play all over the field, which is certainly a necessity for him, and a boon for a team that’s been looking for a Martin Prado type guy since the departure of Martin Prado. We’ve seen Freddie Freeman looking back to form and feeling back to form. We’ve seen Nick Markakis strong and healthy. We’ve seen the future in Ozzie and Dan, and it looks mighty bright. We’ve seen good signs from some youngsters who are still youngsters, but got a taste of what it’s like to be in a big league camp.

    Honestly, I could care less what the record is. For the first week we played so many kids in games that you had to have a program to know the players and still didn’t know the players. But they got a taste, and that was the purpose. There was a greater chance of Hillary pleading guilty than for Braxton Davidson to make the team, but he got valuable professional experience that will carry over into his continued development. Same with many of the pitchers that looked too raw to be out there. Well, that’s because they are too raw to be out there. But you can’t out a price tag on the experience.

    Quick story — my son began wrestling in 3rd grade after we moved to this city, which is a hotbed of wrestling in Georgia. He had never even been exposed to it before, but wanted to try it. As odd as it sounds, he was so far behind developmentally (old as a 3rd grader) that he couldn’t compete. But his coaches insisted that he wrestle in meets after even the first week of practice. He got waxed repeatedly. But they continued to insist that you cannot replicate the experience that comes with actual time on the mat. He looked awful for the first year, and even the following year. But as time went on, he began to be the type of wrestler that this community spawns. (By the way, the high school just won it’s 16th consecutive State championship in Traditional Wrestling, and 15th consecutive State championship in Duals Wrestling… a category that has only existed for 15 years.)

    My point is this, these young hurlers might be getting knocked around a little at this point in these meaningless games, but it will aid them, and will aid the team, down the road when it’s their turn to step up.

    Overall, I think it’s been a pretty successful spring for the organization.

    Liked by 1 person

  182. 194 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Thanx to CAROLINA LADY and BERIGAN2ELECTRICBOOGALOO for the welcome.

    I gave you a welcome too, bro. It was probably embedded in one of my long bloviations and easy to miss. So in case you did miss it, welcome to our little corner of the digiverse. It’s a small community with a town square and a soda shop. You might even see folks playing checkers outside the barber shop. But the main feature is a place to gather and chew the fat, mostly on the Braves, but also on the other “stuff” creeps into our daily lives. Beware of the doghouse. CL holds the keys and keeps us on the straight and narrow. It’s a throwback to a time when people could have differing opinions and still be friends and respect each other. Sadly, that is something fading away from the landscape in most places in this “enlightened” age. At any rate, we are glad you’re here. Pop open a Diet Coke and pull up a chair. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  183. 195 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 7:58 am

    Braves travel to Lakeland to take on the Tiggers today. If I’m not mistaken, Justin Verlander takes the bump for them. And I believe Bud Norris hurls for us. There’s another positive we’ve gotten out of this spring. Norris looks more like the 2014 model than the 2015 model. That’s a very good thing.

    Like

  184. 196 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 8:07 am

    And speaking of traveling, if you’re wondering why the Braves would leave Disney and go elsewhere to train when their deal is up after 2017, this map might explain why.

    (I hope that embeds correctly.)

    Anyway, notice also that only the Astros are really nearby. Those same Astros won’t be there next year, and neither will the Nats who are just a short distance down the Atlantic coast. They are both moving south into a brand new facility in West Palm for 2017.

    And now you know why the Braves are looking at Sarasota for 2018 and beyond.

    Like

  185. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Happy birthday Conrad… Hope you have a great one.

    RB… I have had a difficult time rooting for the Skins since the club was sold to Napoleon. My kids are die hard fans but they only remember me as such back in the day. Not saying I can’t and don’t, just not rabid about them. I stopped being a Pro basketball fan when the ABA folded. Love collage ball however because it actually requires a level of strategy, not just offense.

    VOX, your point is well taken, I guess it is all about perspective. It’s tough watching sausage being made, especially the part when they are slaughtering the hogs…

    Nice to see Teheran have a good day. Remembering who they were playing is a little tougher. most of the Rays in the game will be starting in triple A this season. I think it is why the pitching staff emphasises throwing strikes. If you can’t find the strike zone at any level, you are not going to be employed by MLB baseball unless you become a grounds keeper or food vendor.

    CL, not sure I can name all the player left in camp, just have a fair idea of which position players will make the team and where. There are some guys definitely on the bubble. (COUGH, Swisher)

    Liked by 2 people

  186. 198 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2016 at 8:34 am

    The Nats are about the same distance as most of the clubs on the gulf coast. Lakeland would be the next closest and the Tigers just re upped their deal at Joker Merchant Stadium.

    Sarasota makes since but I think the bloom fell off the rose with Disney when the Braves did not become the Yankees. The Braves want a little more personal control over their training facilities. The Orioles have renovated the old Reds training facility to look like Camden Yards south. I think it cost $6 to see a game there compared to $33 at Disney. It isn’t that great a park. Just a lot of faux Spanish mission architecture.

    Like

  187. 199 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 8:34 am

    A couple of more observations before I turn my attention to the vocation that actually pays the bills around here…

    Most of the questions surrounding the everyday lineup have been lifted, and it becomes a little clearer everyday. For the most part, I think you’ll see this as the go-to:

    1- Ender Inciarte, CF
    2- Erick Aybar, SS
    3- Freddie Freeman, 1B
    4- Nick Markakis, RF
    5- Adonis Garcia, 3B
    6- AJP, C
    7- Hector Olivera, LF
    8- Jace Peterson, 2B

    You’ll see a fair sprinkling of Kelly Johnson at 3B and Tyler Flowers at C, and the lower half of the order might shuffle a little when they’re in, and also shuffle a little depending on who’s hot.

    The biggest questions still surround the rotation and the bullpen. But there’s still a couple of weeks for guys to step up and seize their opportunities.

    As for the rotation, Julio is the Opening Say starter, and Matt Wisler and Bud Norris have pretty much locked up the next 2 spots. Spots 4-5 are still wide open, but Williams Perez and Jhoulys Chacin are the current leaders in the clubhouse. Don’t discount Aaron Blair, though, who could still take a leap forward in his next spring starts. I don’t believe Manny Banuelos is 100% following last fall’s elbow cleanout. And given that he has a minor league option available, I think the team will give him all the time he needs to get back to form. Same goes for Mike Folty.

    In the bullpen, things are even less settled. We still have a big ? in Jason Grilli, who looks fine physically, but isn’t personally satisfied with his mechanics. He also has yet to appear in games. But he will this week, and that should be enough for a veteran reliever as long as things come together for him. Arodys Vizcaino is a lock, and that’s about it. Ian Krol and Alex Torres have looked very good as LH, and Carlos Torres has looked good as a RH. Speaking of RH Alexi Ogando looks healthy and strong; Jose Ramirez has looked good in spots, but continues to experience the control issues he’s had for his entire career. One guy I’ve not heard good or bad about is Jim Johnson. Maybe that’s a good thing for him, I don’t know. And I doubt the team will keep 2 Rule 5’ers, and that probably bodes worse for Evan Rutckyj than for Dan Winkler. My dark horse candidate is John Gant. He’s had a very good spring and has certainly gained the attention of management. If he doesn’t make the cut, he won’t be far behind.

    Like

  188. 200 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 8:47 am

    The Braves want a little more personal control over their training facilities… I think it cost $6 to see a game there [Orioles] compared to $33 at Disney.

    Exactly. You’d think with the geographical challenges pushing the Braves away that Disney might want make things a little easier on them, who take the heat for the inflated prices found in “The Most Magical Place On Earth”. But that’s Disney, The Most Expensive Place On Earth. The Braves are just occupying the grounds.

    It made sense for a while when ESPN was involved and the novelty of being around Disney was still there. But all the other teams have moved or are moving out to the coast, and the sheen and ESPN have long since left as well. Time to follow. Actually, it’s past time. The Braves will be the only team remaining in Central FL in 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  189. 201 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2016 at 8:55 am

    AND>>>> My job is done, thanks VOX… 🙂 Only spots needed to fill in are Beckham, K Johnson, Tyler Flowers, and Berardino and Francoeur. I’m leaning towards Frenchy being insurance and stashed in Gwinnett. I think Castro sticks as the back up shortstop. Bourne is going to be packaged with Swisher in some form. Kelly Johnson can back up Freddie at first base.

    I think it comes down to 30 players with a chance to fill 25 slots.

    It is going to be a rough 2 months for the Braves. They are facing top tier teams for the first third of the season. Being anywhere close to .500 ball by June 1st will be seen as a major victory for the Bravos, in my opinion.

    Liked by 2 people

  190. 202 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2016 at 9:06 am

    And all the while, the Arizona chamber of commerce is lobbying to steal as many clubs as possible to move their spring training camps west.

    Like

  191. 203 scottmccloughanfan March 15, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Agree on the rough first half GIL.

    Been saying all along they’re a better second half team. And for more reasons than the schedule.

    We haven’t yet begun to shake out these new moving parts, and remove the pretenders.

    Like

  192. 204 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Being anywhere close to .500 ball by June 1st will be seen as a major victory for the Bravos, in my opinion.

    Being anywhere close to .500 ball at any point in the season will be seen as a major victory, and I’ll take it. I do think they are closer to a 81 game winner than the 64 game winner that I’ve seen in more than one publication. Much will be determined by injury and opportunity. But I think they are better than most will give them credit for.

    Like

  193. 205 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    2day’s lineup vs. El Tigres in Lakeland:

    1- Inciarte, DH
    2- Aybar, SS
    3- Swish, 1B
    4- Garcia, 3B
    5- Flowers, C
    6- Bourn, LF
    7- Frenchy, RF
    8- Beckham, 2B
    9- Boni, CF

    RHP- Norris

    Pitchers also scheduled: ATorres, Sims, Vizcaino, Ramirez

    Like

  194. 206 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Ha ha ha ha…

    Like

  195. 207 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I have been misinformed by my other half, she misread the schedule ant the Braves will not be shown until the 22nd. Stuck with the Astros and Nats today… To think I awoke from my nap for that…. 😦

    Like

  196. 208 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    Dang, Gil. You don’t have them on Fox Sports South? It’s on here in NEGA. Not a great start, though. 1st pitch double, missed pickoff throw (nobody covering, runner to 3B), passed ball (run scoring), and a walk. Hopefully it’ll pick up from here.

    Like

  197. 209 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Well, Verlander is owning the traveling club thus far. Yawn.

    Like

  198. 210 berigan2electricboogaloo March 15, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    V, the games are on Sports south??? Why you no tell me? Why you no tell me??? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  199. 211 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    I was thinking that it had already been mentioned. Uh, maybe… maybe not? I’m not sure now… :-/

    Liked by 2 people

  200. 212 Carolina Lady March 15, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ber!!

    Liked by 1 person

  201. 213 scottmccloughanfan March 15, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Props and apologies to you VON O’REASON.

    Are you an expay from DOB as well?

    Liked by 1 person

  202. 215 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Are you an expay from DOB as well?

    Yep. The old Voice of Reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  203. 216 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2016 at 7:30 am

    Happy day after your Birthday, Ber. I figured I’d wait out the rest of the crowd and follow up today, extending the celebration. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  204. 217 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2016 at 11:32 am

    2day’s lineup vs. the Cardinals:

    1- Boni, RF
    2- Albies, 2B
    3- Freddie, 1B
    4- Francoeur, CF
    5- Hector, LF
    6- Beckham, 3B
    7- Peterson, SS
    8- Lavarnway, C
    9- Chacin, RHP

    Like

  205. 219 berigan2electricboogaloo March 17, 2016 at 3:59 am

    RB, we are all former AJC folks (I wouldn’t say Ex DOB, as I think we all like and read his stuff) but that site…so hard to keep up and so many willfully ignorant baseball “fans” … :/

    Liked by 1 person

  206. 220 Vox O'Reason March 17, 2016 at 7:08 am

    willfully ignorant

    Well said…

    Liked by 1 person

  207. 221 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2016 at 11:31 am

    A victory of sorts yesterday. Lots of runs scored but not off the main guys. Hostly minor league players on the travel squads so who knows. Beginning to look more and more everyday Swisher will be outrighted somewhere. An independent league or maybe Japan…. One thing for sure, his option won’t vest.

    Bourne might stick, might not. He is a part time player at best now. I would just as soon keep Frenchy for that role. Like the man said, the money is spent, Just someone else is getting the check.

    Like

  208. 222 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2016 at 11:59 am

    Interesting decision by LaRoche to retire from baseball over the bruhaha with the White Sox because they did not want him bringing his son to the field everyday at spring training. This is the place where guys are running in the outfield during games.

    Now, I know I could not take my kids to work everyday but that was because what I did was not exactly human friendly, much less safe for kids. I see the White Sox point but perhaps Adam has seen too many of his team mates break up with their families because of the time spent away from home. Maybe the Braves could give the Soxs Swisher and Bourne for old Roachy…

    Liked by 1 person

  209. 223 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Two dingers for Freeman today, nobody is going to pitch to him this year….. Better put his walking shoes on because teams will say, “Don’t let Freeman beat you”

    I’d bet Chipper would take on his old hunting buddy in a New York minute. Just would have to rethink their entire line up…

    Liked by 2 people

  210. 224 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Spring training games are a lot like playing the video games. Maybe major league baseball should take a page out of the NFL and NHL playbook and let game which are tied after 9 inning be decided by a round of home run derby. No more boring 15 inning 1-1 games. Makes as much sense as many of the other zany ideas they come up with.

    Liked by 2 people

  211. 225 Vox O'Reason March 18, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Trimming it down…

    Like

  212. 226 Vox O'Reason March 18, 2016 at 9:38 am

    Yep.

    Like

  213. 227 Vox O'Reason March 18, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    And I’m certain that will happen. If they start hot in AAA/AA, they’ll be back before year’s end. Mallex will be for sure.

    Like

  214. 228 Vox O'Reason March 18, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Jeff Fletcher, Orange County Register: Andrelton Simmons still slowed by arm issue. Simmons was not in the lineup at shortstop for a fourth consecutive day on Thursday, as the Angels continue to let him rest his arm.

    Ruh roh.

    Like

  215. 229 Vox O'Reason March 18, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    And then there were 40.

    Like

  216. 230 Carolina Lady March 18, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Does this look good or what?!

    Like

  217. 231 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Lots of good things said about the terrific trio… Gant, who is pitching today has been a nice surprise.

    I would not be surprise to see Rutckyj in the majors in a couple of years. Just no room for him yet. I’m sure he is disappointed and the Braves would have liked to keep him but not on the big club.

    Like

  218. 232 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    VOX, you will have to give us some real “eye test” evaluations on Alvies and Swanson this season while they tone up at Gwinnett.

    Same goes for the pitchers…. Nothing tops seeing those guys in person. I still remember seeing Brett Butler playing for Richmond and thinking he looked like a real major leaguer.

    Like

  219. 233 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Oh my, a couple of “bracket busters” in the making this afternoon….

    Like

  220. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    So, 41 players still in the big league camp… 5 are catchers methinks…

    Like

  221. 235 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I will try to figure a few things out but a couple of guys are playing like they want to get cut (ahem) Swisher, Bonifacio. Swisher could join Jonny Gomes in Japan. Not like he won’t get paid… Uh, White Sox are looking for a first baseman.. 🙂

    Like

  222. 236 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Okay, truthfully, how many had Middle Tennessee over Michigan State?

    Liked by 1 person

  223. 237 scottmccloughanfan March 18, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I thought BRETT BUTLER looked like Mandrake the Magician.

    Earl Weaver

    Liked by 1 person

  224. 238 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    Not sure how many basket ball fans grace our little slice of the blogoasphere but had to say there were some pretty exciting games on last night. I do not care for pro ball but love the college game. Always think it’s great when a mid major upsets one of the big boys… Like being an anti Yankee fan for pretty much the same reason.

    Liked by 1 person

  225. 239 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2016 at 8:13 am

    VOX, you will have to give us some real “eye test” evaluations on Alvies and Swanson this season while they tone up at Gwinnett.

    According to Coppy, they won’t both be at Gwinnett. His plan is to have them each continue to play SS every day at different levels. If I had to guess, just based on age alone, Swanson will play a level up from Albies.

    Now.. all that said…

    I think each of them surprised a few folks this spring and might have altered their plans a bit. At the very least, I think they probably accelerated plans a little bit.

    From everything I had read, the early plan was to have Swanson open the season in AA with an eye toward moving up at mid-season; same with Albies at high-A. I have a hard time believing they’ll keep Albies down at A ball, though.

    The other thing to keep an eye on is that each has the potential to be a top shelf shortstop, albeit with a different style. Albies is the classic Latin slick fielder with great quickness and good bat control. Swanson is more of a Brandon Crawford type, with a solid if not flashy glove, and occasional power that will slot into the middle of the order nicely (think eventual #3 batter).

    My initial opinion was that Albies would probably shift over to 2B, based mostly on his physical stature. I guess I kinda envisioned him as our version of Jose Altuve. But after seeing the results of their time in ML camp this spring, and after seeing the highlights of Mr. Albies, my opinion has changed. As I said, either could handle the position capably on a ML team, but I think Albies has truly opened some eyes. And I think instead of comparing Swanson to Brandon Crawford, perhaps we should think more of Chase Utley. And that is not a bad thing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  226. 240 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Yessssssss!

    Liked by 1 person

  227. 241 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2016 at 11:04 am

    2day’s lineup vs. the Pirates in Bradenton:

    1- Boni, CF
    2- Aybar, SS
    3- Adonis, 3B
    4- Swisher, 1B
    5- Francoeur, RF
    6- Hector, LF
    7- TFlow, C
    8- Jace, 2B
    9- Chacin, RHP

    Jhoulys Chacin continues his bid for 1 of the 2 remaining rotation spots. With 2 weeks still remaining before the team breaks camp and heads north, there are at least 3, and really 4, viable candidates for those spots. Williams Perez, Manny Banuelos (the only LH candidate) and Chacin have all made strong bids. Chacin has at times looked great, and at times been all over the place. A strong start today would go a long way toward giving him an inside track on spot #4. WillyP has started this campaign like he spent most of last year’s… get into and out of trouble. But he is getting out of trouble. ManBan looks stronger with each outing. Given that the Braves won’t need a 5th starter for the first 2 turns through the rotation, he has plenty of time to get to 100%. But that fact also lets Folty into the mix. He’s looked very strong coming back from his blood clot surgery and is still gaining strength. He too will benefit from the extended time to get to starter #5.

    I am just glad we have good candidates trying to win the job rather than trying to find a warm body to trot out every 5 days, much like we did at the end of 2015.

    Another good competition to keep an eye on is the last bench spot. When camp began, Emilio Bonifacio seemed to be a lock to make the team. But Frenchy has turned that certainty into its own competition, and by my own estimation, Frenchy has pulled ahead. Both are in today’s lineup, so the fight continues.

    Like

  228. 242 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2016 at 11:04 am

    And has anybody else thought that perhaps now that Adam LaRoche has retired from the ChiSox that they might could use a good DH/1B like Nick Swisher? I have. I bet Coppy has, too.

    Like

  229. 243 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I will try to figure a few things out but a couple of guys are playing like they want to get cut (ahem) Swisher, Bonifacio. Swisher could join Jonny Gomes in Japan. Not like he won’t get paid… Uh, White Sox are looking for a first baseman..

    Yep, I noticed… Could be had cheap too methinks…

    Liked by 1 person

  230. 244 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2016 at 11:32 am

    OK… I might as well, with just 2 weeks remaining in ST2016, go ahead and post my early prediction for the Opening Day lineup.

    1- Inciarte, CF (L)
    2- Aybar, SS (S)
    3- Freddie, 1B (L)
    4- Markakis, RF (L)
    5- Hector, LF (R)
    6- Adonis, 3B (R)
    7- AJP, C (L) vs. RHP, TFlow (R) vs. LHP
    8- Jace, 2B (L) vs. RHP, Beckham (R) vs. LHP

    My bench:
    TFlow, C
    Beckham, IF
    KJ, IF/OF (L)
    Bourn, OF (L)
    Fenchy, OF (R)

    Rotation: Julio, Wisler, Norris, Williams Perez

    I believe WillyP wins the 4th starter job over Chacin if all things remain even. The reasoning is simple. He’s already on the 40 man roster, and Chacin is already on a minor league deal. And with no 5th starter needed until April 12, they’ll carry an extra arm in the bullpen. But the last rotation spot will continue to be contested between ManBan and Folty in some extended ST work.

    As for the aforesaid bullpen, it looks to be shaking itself out now. The biggest question I see is who will close. Viz has had a fantastic spring. Even though Grilli looks very good, I think Viz should win the closer job. Still, Fredi will probably give both their chances.

    Pen: Viz (R), Grilli (R), JJohnson (R), ATorres (L), Winkler (R)

    Those 5 for sure.

    They remaining 2 (+1 for a couple of weeks) will be: Jose Ramirez (R), Ian Krol (L), John Gant (R)

    I’m more shaky on my bullpen predictions than anything, mainly because I think Krol began strong, but has had a couple of rough outings. And Alexi Ogando (R) has looked good at times. I see him mainly competing with JRam because they are similar pitchers. What could hurt Ogando’s bid is that he isn’t on the 40 man, and JRam is out of minor league options. All things being equal, they’ll probably keep them both by stashing Ogando in AAA. I’ll give at least a cursory mention to Carlos Torres (R), who is in the same boat as Ogando. But I see him in Gwinnett as well.

    So there ya go. I’ll revisit in a couple of weeks when the OD roster is set and see how far off I am.

    Like

  231. 245 berigan2electricboogaloo March 21, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Even though Grilli looks very good, I think Viz should win the closer job. Still, Fredi will probably give both their chances.
    Makes sense, but one thing to consider is that Grilli has been a closer for several years now, and may not be very good without that high pressure/Adrenalin rush thing going on. He seems like someone that wants/thrives on that kind of scenario

    Like

  232. 246 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    The hard thing to tell about pitchers is we don’t know if they are working on stuff or trying to get folks out? It’s like the kid who fattens up his spring training OPS on Single A pitchers and guys who are throwing fastballs. Sometimes you just have to go with how secure a guy is in the job and if he is improving or sliding.

    Gant has been impressive but still has options. Chacin is coming off surgery/injury and has been impressive. At least more so than Norris but then we don’t know if he is working on stuff or not. I’m pretty sure he has been guaranteed a spot.

    You are right, who has options, who gets traded in the final week (something that often happens when clubs are faced with the no options left situation? Who has opt out contracts if they don’t make the club. It’s all over the place. This is some uncharted territory for folks who don’t remember the Braves of the 70s and 80s when they would have maybe one or two real stars and a slew of retreads.

    It will be June before the Braves have a decent handle on this club and by then they can be 15 games out of first. They have one of the toughest schedules early as anyone in the National League and to be honest, they just do not have the pitching to compete everyday.

    I fear it will be a tough April and May but nothing to do but savor every victory as some special and know the cavalry is on the way, just they won’t be able to save this wagon train in time, only the next one.

    Liked by 1 person

  233. 247 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    And yeah, I think Viz is the closer this season, just might not really be official until after the All-star break. I will not be at all surprised to see Jim Johnson DFA before the start of the season, If the Braves are willing to eat Swisher’s contract, what’s another 2 million?

    Bit hey, the Braves could surprise us. It just tough watching when they are blown out early. Even Shelby Miller had a terrible record last season and he was an All-star.

    Like

  234. 248 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    Oh, and my VCU Rams went down to defeat last night at the hands of OU but at least they did not embarrass themselves. The lower seeded teams pretty much rose to the top Saturday and Sunday. Middle Tennessee and Hawaii pretty much busted everyone’s brackets early. It was fun for a while though.

    Like

  235. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Flipped over to Gameday to follow the game, looks like Fredi is now into prepping for inseason pitching moves. Had Chacin pitching into the fourth, brought in Krol to face a lefty then Carlos Torres to face McCutchen with two out and runners on 2nd and 3rd.

    Swisher trying to impress today.

    Like

  236. 250 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Swisher trying to impress today.

    And all of Braves Nation prays that he does…

    Like

  237. 251 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Amen and Amen….

    Like

  238. 253 chrisklob March 21, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    howdy folks, ran across this article about tommy hanson that some of you may enjoy reading: http://thelab.bleacherreport.com/shattered-dream/

    Liked by 3 people

  239. 254 Carolina Lady March 21, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    Powerful article, Chris. Many thanks for posting it!

    Liked by 1 person

  240. 255 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I really would like to be thinking about baseball this week, since it is getting so close to the regular season starting. But my heart, soul, mind and strength are all firmly fixed on this Holy Week and all that is means. That owns me even more than Hector Olivera’s offensive progress. To that end, here is some “stuff” for your enjoyment.

    WARNING: It will make you smile and tear up all at the same time.

    Liked by 3 people

  241. 256 Gil in Mechanicsville March 22, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Kubber, thanks for posting that. Really moving and a reminder that all our heros are still human beings with real feelings.

    Liked by 2 people

  242. 257 Gil in Mechanicsville March 22, 2016 at 9:22 am

    VOX, it helps us keep things in perspective doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  243. 259 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Thanks Klobber. I have to say that is one of the most balanced pieces I have read of the team’s offseason makeover. Most national publications haven’t taken the effort to look beyond the easy pickings of internet headlines and emotional social media reactions. And if they do take a “closer look”, it’s usually from a Sabremetrics point of view that only looks at cold numbers and doesn’t take into account what is actually required to actually build a team with both a current and forward vision. Fantasy baseball is NOT reality baseball, no matter how hard they try to equate the two.

    Jeff Todd seems to have done his homework with his rebuild review. I can’t think of anything I read in it that I would contest… even his minor criticisms.

    And I think he hit it on the head when he said “There’s an expectation of more TV money to come down the line, to say nothing of added financial opportunities in Cobb County, and that — along with a collection of young talent widely seen as one of the best in the game — ought to make last year’s 67-win season a low-water point.” So many people have missed that both Hart and Coppy have been adamant that the strip down ended with the Simmons deal and that every move made going forward will be to improve the team on the field. And if you objectively look at the everyday 8, you have to conclude that the 2016 offense will be an improvement over the anemic 2015 offering. The bench and bullpen will be stronger as well.

    Now the rotation, while not anything to hang your collective hat on, still won’t be as bad as we finished the 2015 campaign with, when we were pulling guys up from all sorts of places to make starts when injury and inability blew gaping holes in the back end. We had 10 different pitchers make starts in 2015. So even though this year’s rotation will leave something to be desired, it still won’t be as bad as last year’s. And I can say that even with the knowledge that injuries can have an impact, because the depth that will be behind the ATL club at AAA will afford you man options to fill a small or large gap.

    Will this year’s bunch finish at .500? While I wouldn’t bet my house on it, I won’t say “no” either. I think as currently assembled, this bunch could make a 10 game stride though, which would equate to 77-85.

    All that said, I cant wait for April 4 and hope we are sitting pretty at 1-0 when the day comes to a close.

    One game at a time, folks, one game at a time…

    Liked by 3 people

  244. 260 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2016 at 10:37 am

    man options

    many options… 😛

    Like

  245. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville March 22, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Good news bad news from Kissmmee FLA. The Good, Foltynewicz 3 2/3 innings 2 hits, 1 BB 1 ER and 5 Ks. The Bad, Manny Banuelos 5 runs, all earned on 5 hits, 2 BB, 2Ks one Homer…. We won’t talk about the ugly but know it by its name… relief pitching… More guys working their way down the ladder.

    Liked by 1 person

  246. 262 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    Folty enhancing his bid for the #5 slot, ManBan not helping his. One has to think that the Johns are scouring the waiver wire and making a call or 2 looking for a cheap veteran lefty.

    Liked by 1 person

  247. 263 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    And it wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all to give up a young arm (judiciously chosen, of course) for a back-end-of-the-rotation veteran lefty innings eater. Just sayin’…

    Like

  248. 264 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  249. 265 chrisklob March 22, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    Raisins, bearing in mind that i know you are the eternal optimist. Based on your post of 4.49 pm today it sounds like you think los bravos have a chance at competing this year. is that your thought?

    Liked by 1 person

  250. 266 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Klobber, I am admittedly an optimist, but not a blind loyalist. I suppose the answer to your question depends on your definition of the word “competing”. I certainly don’t see them as the same team that barely crawled across the finish line.

    But neither do I see them contending for anything other than 4th place in the NL East. And I do think they have a chance to finish ahead of the similarly rebuilding Phillies.

    At some point, I intend to do a comparison between this team and the 1990 Braves. That has been on my backburner, just haven’t had the time to flesh it out. But I’ll foreshadow a bit and say this: both the 1990 Braves and the 2016 Braves have a few “band-aids” in the lineup to bridge the gap to the next generation version. But where the 1990 team had retreads like Jim Presley and Odibe McDowell, this team has taken a chance on unknowns like Adonis Garcia and Hector Olivera. Presley and McDowell had a ceiling, and it wasn’t very high. We really don’t know what we’ll get out of the 2 Cuban ex-patriots over the course of a whole season. And to a certain degree, how their respective seasons go will bear out greatly on how the team fares.

    I say that because you have some steadiness in the other positions on the field. In the OF, both Inciarte and Markakis are proven effective veterans. Around the infield, Freddie is Freddie, and Aybar has a proven track record as well. 2B? Well… there’s another bridge, but at least it’s the guy who will bat 8th in the order. And I will never speak poorly of AJP. Not after last year.

    My point is simply that if you can get some steady if not breakout offense from LF and 3B, I think you have a lineup capable of scoring some runs this year.

    But pitching… well, that’s a horse of a different color…

    Liked by 1 person

  251. 267 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Like

  252. 268 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Good morning folks, I guess the “day off” really means no official unofficial games to be played. Pretty sure most of the players will be in camp doing something. Or they might just take their kids to Disney World. There are no real off days when you are striving to make the team. Pretty sure they did not put a lock on the door.

    I have to say the article linked by Klubber re: Tommy Hanson was one of the best I have ever read. The guy really did his homework and it would be nice if a national publication reprinted it for even wider distribution. It was well written and deserves wide spread publication.

    Liked by 1 person

  253. 269 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I have to admit that I am more than a little concerned with the pitching rotation, mainly because the only LH option we have is Manny Banuelos, who has not looked very good this spring. That’s not to say he won’t at some point, but he doesn’t right now. And last time I checked, they aren’t gonna delay the start of the season until he gets it together.

    I’m also concerned about Bud Norris, who has looked at times like the 2014 edition and at times like the 2015 edition.

    The way I see it, we only have 2 guys that inspire any real confidence, and that’s Julio and Matt Wisler. I believe that Folty will be ready by April 12 and claim the #5 spot, and I think he may just begin to reach that potential that everyone sees. I think it’s possible that Jhoulys Chacin is finally healthy and might pitch close to what he did as a promising rookie before shoulder woes said “whoa”. But as has been said here on the ol’ B&S many times, shoulders are not to be trifled with. (OK, maybe that hasn’t been said exactly like that, but something like that.) So rolling the dice with Chacin is no sure thing.

    I think we need to seek out a crafty veteran lefty from somewhere to give us something from the left side, and to chew up some innings and help give the bullpen the occasional rest. I don’t know who that will be, but I do know that the last 2 weeks of camp are when teams are looking to fill holes and finalize rosters. C’mon, Johns… this is what you get paid the big bucks for. Go find a match.

    Like

  254. 270 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Something else to keep in mind as we march toward April 4…

    There are a handful of pitchers in other camps on minor league deals with opt-out clauses that can potentially make them available if they aren’t placed on their team’s Opening Day roster.

    This can potentially effect the market in a couple of ways: 1) There may be some pitchers come available directly as they aren’t added and opt-outs are exercised. 2) There may be some pitchers hit the waiver wire as the members of the aforementioned group are added and placed on 40-man rosters.

    Personally I’d prefer the Johns find a veteran starter through trade, not one off the bargain table. But then again, Bud Norris. Why does he evoke memories of Eric Stults? Where is that bargain table again?

    Seriously though, he has had some good outings, but some bad innings. Hmmm… never noticed that contrast before. Outings, innings. Weird.

    Like

  255. 271 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Bowman: As he recorded five strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings against the Astros’ normal lineup on Tuesday, Foltynewicz displayed a sense of confidence and composure that was not seen last year. If Foltynewicz remains healthy, there is certainly reason to believe he will make his regular-season debut against the Nationals on April 12 — the first day the Braves will need a fifth starter. He would have time to make three more starts to prepare before that date.

    Like

  256. 272 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Today, at the bowling ally where there are a surprising number of Braves fans (Braves roots run deep here in the Richmond area) especially us codgers… Anyhoo, the consensus is, while the Braves may be better this season, they just don’t have the pitching as yet to challange to run with the big dogs. Just a simple fact. An 80 win season would be a real feather in the Braves caps given the previous fact concerning pitching.

    The consensus was that it is still the Nationals division to lose. The Mets are strong but given the talent possessed by the gNats, the Mets are a wild card team at best.

    As we all know, they don’t play ’em on paper and anything can happen. A broken finger or turf toe, a frayed tendon or two can turn any division upside down.

    Who knows, ManBan might actually remember how to pitch without being afraid he will blow his arm out…. At this point, the lack of a lefty is not as important as actually having a guy who can generate outs by the opposing hitters. Help is on the way but it just might be too late to save this wagon train.

    Like

  257. 273 Carolina Lady March 23, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    V, that horse just cracked me up!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  258. 274 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2016 at 8:23 am

    that horse just cracked me up!!

    Liked by 2 people

  259. 275 Gil in Mechanicsville March 24, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Gee, sounds eerily like Hillary, only I’ve never viewed her from a frontal perspective….

    Liked by 2 people

  260. 276 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2016 at 10:40 am

    ALERT:

    Liked by 1 person

  261. 277 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2016 at 10:43 am

    BTW- speaking of Fox, Dish Network and Fox have finally settled their differences and I will have access to all of the Braves games this season. For the last 3 seasons, I had nuthin’ on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I don’t know about y’all, but around here that’s the weekend and prime Braves time.

    Like

  262. 278 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Here’s a nice article on Braves 3B prospect Austin Riley. Who is Austin Riley? Well… read the article. Let’s just say that it won’t be long until you have a very potent infield that includes Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley. Oh, and some old guy named Freddie Freeman. 🙂

    http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20160308&content_id=166633846&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&sid=milb

    Liked by 1 person

  263. 279 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports: Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy thought he was almost traded a month ago. The Brewers were engaged in talks involving the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros in a three-way deal that failed to materialize.

    Well… isn’t that interesting?

    Like

  264. 280 berigan2electricboogaloo March 24, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Perhaps it was being a kid in the 70’s, but I always liked Joe Garagiola (remember how people used to butcher his name?) sometimes it seems people…live too long…to be remembered properly. Of course I don’t mean in real life, great that he made it to 90…it’s that he had been off the air for so long (still did Diamondback games til 2005 I read) that the 20 and 30 somethings on tv don’t even know who he was. Even Baseball tonight opened with, and gave 10 minutes to open a lame show to talk about ARod retiring…after …..2017. Then they had Tim K talk about him, but no clip of him was even played…sigh…
    Love that goofy photo of Joe G, Jack Buck, and Harry Carey down the page… http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/joe-garagiola-dies-at-st-louisan-was-cardinals-catcher-hall/article_c02582ea-9547-5599-aabf-60ee4c866f3d.html

    Liked by 1 person

  265. 281 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Like

  266. 282 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Sigh, you wait all spring a boom… rain….

    Like

  267. 283 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Indeed…

    Like

  268. 285 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Yes, and today I weep at the thought of the agony our saviour went through for us.

    Liked by 2 people

  269. 286 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    Telling sign…

    Liked by 1 person

  270. 287 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Bowman: Manny is out of the mix for the 5th spot and long relief role.

    All indications are that Folty has taken the lead and will assume the #5 spot as long as he’s “stretched out” by April 12. If he’s not, John Gant will be. Sounds like ManBan will open in AAA Gwinnett…

    Like

  271. 288 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Did anyone hear John Hart in the booth in the rained out game yesterday? He was asked directly about the team’s plans for Dansby and Ozzie as it relates to their respective defensive positions. Hart said that is one of the most discussed subjects around the offices. He also said that even though the plan had been to have them each play the season at SS at different levels, that plan may now be amended after each had a strong early spring in ML camp. He mentioned that there has been some talk of having them play together – to gel as a tandem – and that possibly they could go a week straight at each position, then swap. Hey… makes sense to me. Do it at AA or AAA and not at the ML level, Then they are both ready for either position. I can see the merits. I think it would also give the evaluators a good idea as to which combination may be the strongest in real life and not just on paper.

    Liked by 2 people

  272. 289 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Welcome to the new Braves. Get used to the speed.

    Liked by 1 person

  273. 290 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  274. 291 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  275. 292 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Oops… looks like I posted the previous one too soon!!

    Like

  276. 293 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2016 at 9:13 am

    Good morning and Happy Easter to all. He has risen….

    Now baseball news: I thought I would check on a few ex Braves this morning. Looks like Mike Minor was placed on the 60 day DL by the Royals on March 15th. Labrum surgeries are tough to get over…

    Evan Gattis will start the season on the DL for the Astros. He is recovering from a hernia surgery.

    Speaking of which. One has to wonder what is going on with Nick Markakis this spring? Is he hitting into bad luck or over swinging? He is batting something like .156 this spring.

    Liked by 2 people

  277. 294 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Happy Easter to all as well! he has risen indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  278. 295 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    hmmm, interesting… hopefully he can just get halfway back to what he used to be! http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2016/03/braves-acquire-eric-oflaherty-from-pirates.html

    Liked by 1 person

  279. 296 Carolina Lady March 27, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY!!! What a glorious day!

    Heyward swarmed:

    Liked by 2 people

  280. 297 Carolina Lady March 27, 2016 at 7:25 pm

    …by bees (I forgot to add)

    Liked by 1 person

  281. 298 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Welcome home easy O…

    Liked by 2 people

  282. 299 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

    Like

  283. 301 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Swish GONE. Released.

    Like

  284. 302 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Like

  285. 303 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Swisher’s release is completely expected. Nothing left to be said there.

    Alex Torres’ reassignment is only slightly surprising given that as of last week he appeared to be a lock. But his current week of work has been uninspiring and the braintrust decided not to trust. The acquisition of EOF is only the beginning. I cannot believe for a minute that Coppy will go into the season with EOF as the only LHRP in the pen. It simply cannot happen. There is another deal in the works or they would not have already reassigned ATor to the minors.

    Like

  286. 304 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Yep.

    Like

  287. 305 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    And the Braves clubhouse noise level has reduce about 20 dbs with the release of Swisher. I’m sure someone will pick up Swish for major league minimum. Not an unusual spot for the Braves to be in. It’s spent money, just going to a guy who is no longer around.

    I don’t think the Braves were all that worried about it. I’m pretty sure they would have like to have seen Steve play himself into being somewhat attractive option for someone. In my opinion, I think it would do him a world of good to play in Japan for a season. Not like he won’t be able to afford it. Might even catch up with Jonny Gomes while he’s there.

    Not saying yesterday’s game was the straw that broke the camel’s back but, well, you know…..

    Like

  288. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    And what did Fredie say about pitchers? His number one pet peeve are walks….. Impossible to defend against them afield. Okay, some exceptions but intentional walks are a strategy.

    Like

  289. 307 berigan2electricboogaloo March 28, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Lefties always seem to walk more guys than righties….
    Gil, you are V talk about spent money, but isn’t it more like money still being spent, and will be all season long?
    shoulda just released Chris Johnson, or….just kept playing him…

    Like

  290. 308 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Can’t argue about Chris Johnson but obviously Chris must have backed over Freddie’s motorcycle or something for the Braves to give up on him so quickly. Funny thing how quickly players who are at the center of a trade of bad contracts are jettisoned by the receiving teams. Sort of reminds me of bidding on a “box lot” at an auction just to get the one item you really want.

    You folks in the Atlanta area can watch the Braves on Sports South tonight. I have to wait until tomorrow and watch it on delayed telecast at 6 AM. Thank goodness for DVRs.

    35 players left in big league camp. I know there are three outfielders vying for two sports. I would bet the Braves are trying to work a deal for Bonnie or Bourne this week.Pretty sure they want to keep Frenchy. I think all three have value.

    I would think Coppy will have Garcia will be on speed dial in case Aybar goes down. I don’t think Peterson or Johnson can really play short for more than an inning or two. Think Brooks Conrad….

    Like

  291. 309 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    By the way, tonight’s line up for the Braves has the look of the Braves opening day line up.

    Like

  292. 310 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Duh… Make that Castro on speed dial… Of course if Aybar keeps making errors it might be sooner than later.

    Like

  293. 311 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 7:15 am

    shoulda just released Chris Johnson

    His contract commitment ran through 2018. That trade was all about clearing the decks after 2017.

    Like

  294. 312 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 7:33 am

    I know there are three outfielders vying for two spots. I would bet the Braves are trying to work a deal for Boni or Bourn this week. Pretty sure they want to keep Frenchy.

    Francoeur made the most of his opportunity last night with 3 hits after coming in midgame. It was timely, and I think sealed the deal for him. Bourn is a lock to backup Hector (the hitting machine) in LF. Boni is the odd man out here. He’s on a $1.25M deal that will be easier to trade… or just release.

    And that decision will have to be made today. Frenchy’s contract does not have an opt out, per se, but his status as a ML player with 6+ years of experience earns him a deadline of today to either be placed on the 25 man-roster, or payed a $100,000 retention bonus to accept a minor league assignment. Frenchy said from day 1 that he would not accept the minor league assignment, so it’s either make the braves or hook on with another team. And that team would be the Phillies, who have said all along that they want him back for 2017. (I wonder, though, if that changed when they signed Will Venable yesterday?)

    Anyway…

    Gordon Beckham is the current backup to Aybar at SS. Peterson can play it, but he’ll only do so in emergency situations. For that matter, if Aybar were to get hurt and have to be out for more than a couple of games, you can almost bet the farm they’d bring up Swanson.

    I think the everyday roster and bench are 99% settled. I look for that to be:

    Inciarte, CF
    Aybar, SS
    Freeman, 1B
    Markakis, RF
    Olivera, LF
    Garcia, 3B
    Pierzynski, C
    Peterson, 2B

    Bench:
    Flowers, C
    Beckham, IF
    KJ, IF/OF
    Bourn, OF
    Fenchy, OF

    Now the pitching?

    Like

  295. 313 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 7:51 am

    The rotation is still somewhat a mystery. And even after giving up 4 solo HR’s last night, I still think Folty is in line to make the 5th starters 1st assignment on April 12.

    As for last night’s performance, we need to remember that Folty is behind all the other pitchers in camp. Where the others need to be displaying their season readiness a this point, Folty is still stretching his arm out. And he expressed as much in the mid-game interview. He said his curve and change are still not ready for the season yet, and that last night was mostly fastballs. He also said his arm feels great, which is all he was looking for in the start. Sounds good anyway.

    Now the same can’t be said for Williams Perez, who came in and gave up the cycle to the 1st 4 batters he faced. It was ugly and probably took him out of the race.

    I think it looks like this:
    1- Teheran
    2- Norris
    3- Wisler
    4- ???
    5- Folty

    As for the bullpen, it’s even more a mystery. Jose Ramirez may have earned his ticket out of Atlanta by hitting 1 batter and walking another while giving up 3 hits and 3 runs in his 1 inning of work. He also earned the Loss, not that that really matters. It is somewhat symbolic, though, as he may have also lost his bullpen spot in the process.

    Meanwhile, Coppy has his second phone in his other ear trying to find another lefty reliever. Alex Torres’ flameout and EOF’s injury history means another must be found somewhere. The only viable in house candidate is youngster Hunter Cervenka. And the fact that you just went Who? illustrates how much a longshot that is.

    Bullpen race:
    Vizcaino
    Grilli
    O’Flaherty
    ???
    ???
    ???
    ???

    Isn’t that reassuring?

    Like

  296. 314 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I honestly believe the 2016 offense will be better than the 2015 offense, and probably by alot. But I am officially worried about the pitching. They don’t appear to be in any hurry to rush any of the youngsters into service, and that leaves us with a cobbled together rotation that could be one of the worst we’ve seen in a while. I haven’t soured on Teheran, and I think Wisler has the potential to be a very good ML pitcher. But that’s only 2, and until Folty does it on the field consistently, I can’t rest very easily on him. Last I heard, you need at least 5 pitchers to make a solid rotation. Julio and Wisler don’t make 5.

    Like

  297. 315 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 7:58 am

    shoulda just released Chris Johnson

    His contract commitment ran through 2018. That trade was all about clearing the decks after 2017.

    Correction

    I got ahead of myself. I should have said:

    His contract commitment ran through 2017, with a team option for 2018 that contains a $1M buyout. That trade was all about clearing the decks after 2016, going into 2017. (Both Swisher’s and Bourn’s deals are up after this season.)

    Like

  298. 316 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Two LHRP to keep an eye on:

    The D’backs released Wesley Wright yesterday after determining he would not make their ML roster. He’s coming off an injury marred 2015, but his spring numbers are not too shabby. He has allowed only 2 ER, notching 8 K’s against 3 BB’s in 8 1/3 innings. Sounds almost like another EOF.

    Also, the Brewers let Franklin Morales go yesterday. He is a guy like Frenchy who faced the same roster deadline today. (Technically, they were considered “Article XX(B) free agents”, but who’s keeping up with such things?) He also has had a decent spring, and is typically effective against lefty batters. In 2015, they hit just .194/.250/.320 against him. The Brewers released him ahead of placing Chris Capuano on their roster. Capuano had the ever popular opt-out in his deal, thus forcing MIL’s hand.

    Like

  299. 317 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

    BTW- the deadline on Frenchy is noon…

    Like

  300. 318 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Another loogy possibility:

    Article XX(B) free agent Randy Choate was just let go by TOR. He pitched in 71 games for the Cards last season. He is the quintessential lefty specialist.

    Like

  301. 319 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 11:09 am

    With about 55 minutes to go, I might just as well wait before opining about Frenchy but as for the 1.25 mil committed to Bonifacio, one has to think of it as mere chump change because if Bonni were picked up by another major league club, the Braves would only be responsible for about half of that amount.

    Like

  302. 320 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Personally, Gil, I don’t think they are even considering Boni’s $1.25M at all. And I am sure he’d get picked up somewhere, so you are correct that it would have an even lesser overall effect.

    I think they want to put the best 25 that they can this year. Frenchy makes more sense than Boni in that he offers a good RH bat to a LH dominant roster. He proved last season how valuable he can be on a ML bench. Also, the fact that he’s slashing .326/.392/.435 to Boni’s .277/.320/.426 doesn’t hurt anything either.

    Like

  303. 321 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Like

  304. 322 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Another lefty reliever, Manny Parra, just became available.

    Like

  305. 323 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Like

  306. 325 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Aw… it didn’t embed. 😡

    Like

  307. 326 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  308. 327 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  309. 328 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Well, funny but it’s getting to be like old home week…

    A lot of folks will be able to dust off their Francoeur jerseys.

    Yep, lots of guys to pick from on the late waiver wire.

    Like

  310. 329 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Maybe now that he’s made the team, he and Gordon Beckham can work out a fair price for his old #7. 🙂

    Like

  311. 330 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    I suppose there is always the outside chance they could trade Bourn and his big contract…

    Liked by 3 people

  312. 331 berigan2electricboogaloo March 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I feel Like someone listened to the homeboy upstairs who said a bullpen will just be good with a excellent pitching coach I know I probably said this months ago I’m just tooting my horn a bit toot toot LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  313. 332 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Ber, here’s the thing. This year’s bullpen has to be better than last year’s bullpen, which was the MLB version of The Walking Dead.

    My best guess as to whom will flesh out the bullpen is as follows, with spring stats to boot:

    Viz- 6.0 IP, 0.00 ERA
    Grilli- 3.0 IP, 9.00 ERA
    EOF- 9.1 IP, 2.89 ERA (with PIT)
    Ogando- 5.2 IP, 1.59 ERA
    Winkler- 9.0 IP, 3.00 ERA
    Gant- 8.1 IP, 1.08 ERA

    1 additional LHP yet to be obtained

    I don’t think Jim Johnson makes it. His velocity is down and his ERA is up. Alexi Ogando has had a nice spring and looks alot like the pitcher that was an All-Star with TEX. Jose Ramirez just can’t control his stuff. He’s not Fredi’s kind of guy, and that will cost him a spot in this bullpen.

    I think Gant makes it as the long man, and he should. he’s earned it.

    One more guy to mention is Jason Hursh, who started spring shaky but has really looked pretty good over the last couple of weeks. I expect him to open the season in AAA but be one of the first guys called on if necessary.

    Oh yeah… Shae Simmons will probably join the team around June, and Chris Withrow is probably about that close as well.

    So while I threw up a big ol’ ??? when guessing earlier, it’s not because there aren’t decent options. Simply because there are several guys still in play to make the roster.

    So in case I am still vague, lemme clear it up by saying that I believe the bullpen to be vastly improved over last year’s sad version.

    It’s the rotation that has me concerned because I just don’t see alot past Teheran and Wisler. Not yet anyway.

    Like

  314. 333 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    It always comes down to pitching, some really great pitchers had to take their lumps (along with their teams) before they became great. It is all about learning your craft. It is why teams draft kids who can throw a baseball 98mph and sign kids as undrafted free agents who throw 90.

    These promising young arms have to learn a lot of stuff like game management, holding runners on base, understanding they are not facing a 17 year old high school kid who can’t hit an 80mph fastball or who has never really seen a curve ball.

    No, the Braves have all the raw material needed to build a great ball club but like green lumber, it is not yet ready to be used. I have accepted it, I understand it and while I don’t really like it, it is what it is. We as Braves fans are going to have to bite the bullet and look for positives where ever we can find them.

    Expectations? With the Braves tough schedule for April and May, we are likely to see some pretty ugly numbers for our local (figure of speech for me) heroes in the loss column. On the bright side, tickets should be readily available for all the Mets and Cubs fans who attend away games because they can’t afford tickets in their home parks. Oh well, the light at the end of the tunnel will look a little less like an on coming freight train and more like an opening by the time we get to August.

    By that time, I expect the reinforcements to begin trickling in from the farm. Eric Aybar will provide a decent return before all is said and done. Perhaps Kelly Johnson will yield another decent pitching prospect or two also. Just saying.

    Liked by 2 people

  315. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I am being blessed with the Orioles vs Braves in real time tonight. Washington feed. Yeah me! Anyway, was just wondering, which is worse, having a team you know has no shot or having one like Washington which continues to underachieve…?

    And as I type, Wisler gives up a gopher to the first batter…

    Like

  316. 335 berigan2electricboogaloo March 29, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Gil, sadly no braves game on DirectTV that I see…drat….

    So in case I am still vague, lemme clear it up by saying that I believe the bullpen to be vastly improved over last year’s sad version.

    V, I hope you are right, but man…just doesn’t look like some shutdown pen, and it really needs to be good with so many question marks in the rotation.
    Coppy seems to have forgotten from way back in 2015 that NOTHING defeats and Deflates a team, and a fan base than watching a team keep it close, or have a lead in the 6,7, 8th inning, only to see it evaporate.

    It’s weird. Season is so close, yet I have never known less about the braves or the other teams than this year. MLBTV usually has games of teams I don’t care about on…and I miss the talking heads. Baseball tonight, has only in the last week started to have that show on (and wasted the first few in Cuba, and no joke 1st show 10 minutes had Edwardo (SP) Perez talking to the Cuban manager…in Spanish. He was trying to translate, but listening to a guy speak spanish for 5 minutes straight is….fast forward time.
    so maybe 2 game highlights in 2 shows, and they wasted the rest of the time talking about the 2 teams playing that night (oh, and A-Rod Retiring 2 seasons from now, that’s important 😦 )

    Like

  317. 336 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    Ber, sometimes you have to hunt for Braves games which normally come on at 6 AM on the MLB network. I do not get Sports South but I do get most of the televised Nats and Orioles games on DirecTV.

    Wisler has not pitched poorly so far. Two looonnnggg home runs ceded but other than that, decent effort. Braves have their travel team on the field tonight.

    Like

  318. 337 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    Must admit, there is an evident lack of power present on the Braves club.

    Liked by 1 person

  319. 338 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    A comment about Tyler Moore, the young first baseman the Braves picked up from the Nats. He is a good looking young player, I have seen him play for the Nats on several occasions. I think it was a good trade for the Braves. Better fielder than Friedman.

    Liked by 1 person

  320. 339 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Machado is a one man Braves killer tonight, robbing a base hit from Moore and turning it into a DP.

    Like

  321. 340 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    If Wisler loses this game, it will be a shame, he has pitched well.

    Like

  322. 341 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    Okay, the subs are making their way into the game. Subs for subs…..

    Like

  323. 342 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Listening to the Orioles announcers, it appears the Braves are not the only team looking for left handed pitching.

    Meanwhile the Braves take the lead in the top of the 6th.

    Liked by 1 person

  324. 343 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    Lots of guys with 80s and 90s on the back of their uniforms appearing in the game now.

    Like

  325. 344 berigan2electricboogaloo March 29, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    pt 2
    I did hear them talk about the Cubs and Astros (for the upcoming game) and man, are those 2 teams loaded for bear with players!
    Astros have given away several guys that most teams would kill for (J. D. Martinez for one, forget someone else that’s pretty darned good) and have the best overall Shortstop in baseball, Correa, they’ve got George Springer, Carlos Gomez, Jose Altuve, Gattis…who they apparently don’t even need…I heard they have not 1, but 2 potential rookie of the year guys…forget their names…
    and we know the Cubs have all these great young hitters…and no place to play them…
    Why bring it up?
    Astros and Cubs are a bit top heavy with hitters…the braves are….WAY too top heavy with starters…
    But, I guess until the braves young starters prove themselves, no one will trade for them I guess…odd…

    Liked by 1 person

  326. 345 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Okay, Fredi makes a pitching change in the bottom of the 6th after a lead off double by Adams Jones. Good move, Wisler can only win or no decision, can’t lose.

    Liked by 1 person

  327. 347 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Haven’t heard of this kid before. He’s a home grown product. Must be doing something right. For Fredi, that means he throws strikes.

    Like

  328. 348 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Factoids about Kinman, courtesy of Bowman:

    The 25-year-old hasn’t pitched above Double-A and wasn’t invited to major league spring training, but Kinman impressed again Tuesday against the Orioles in his third Grapefruit League appearance when brought over from minor league camp. He’s allowed one hit and no walks with two strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings, and the lone hit was questionable.

    Kinman was a 25th-round pick in the June 2014 draft out of Bellevue University in his native Nebraska, and has a 2.21 ERA and 108 strikeouts with 32 walks in 81 1/3 innings over parts of two minor league seasons.

    In his first full season of pro ball in 2015, Kinman posted a 2.09 ERA with 18 saves in 44 appearances at three levels, totaling 65 strikeouts with 26 walks in 51 2/3 innings.That included 15 appearances for Double-A Mississippi, where he had a a 3.14 ERA, six saves and 19 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.

    Like

  329. 349 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Oops!!! 😳

    I should have credited O’Brien with the above factoids, not Bowman. Got my beat writers mixed up. 🙄

    Like

  330. 350 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 9:17 am

    What has happened to the WordPress emojis?

    Like

  331. 351 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2016 at 9:53 am

    I was impressed with Kinman last night, I kept trying to figure out who he was? I did not hear the announcers mention his name and it was tough to read his name on the back of his jersey. I was wondering if the Braves had signed someone off the wire. The one hit was an at’em ball to a third stringer that hit the top of the third baseman’s glove. Was a shame because it should have been an out.

    Wisler looked good, especially in the 4th and 5th innings. The Braves have to work a lot harder to score runs than the opposition, lack of power does that. Still, they strung enough at bats together to get a lead. I doubt the young lefty the Os brought in and gave up 3 runs will make the cut.

    Like

  332. 352 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Folty was optioned to AAA Gwinnett earlier today. Said he knew he would not be ready by April 12 when the anticipated #5 rotation spot first rolls around.

    Based on what I watched Monday night, he’s definitely behind the other pitchers in camp. He has no command over his secondary pitches yet, and is really just getting his arm in shape. Given his offseason health issues, this is a surprise to no one.

    Hopefully he can get his work in and be ready for a callup sooner than later. He’s gonna be a good one. It’s good to see him healthy. No reason to rush him now.

    Like

  333. 353 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Like

  334. 354 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 11:58 am

    Catchers Ryan Lavarnway and Brett Lalli were also optioned. I believe that trims the roster down to 32. They technically don’t have to set their 25-man roster until their Opening Day, prior to the game. But historically they know when they break camp. They play their final spring game on Saturday April 2, so I would expect to hear on Sunday April 3.

    Now that Folty has taken himself out of the running for the 5th starting spot, it leaves 3 pitchers vying for 4 & 5, those being Jhoulys Chacin, Williams Perez and John Gant. I could see all 3 of them making the OD roster with the odd man out of the rotation serving as the long man in the bullpen. And actually, since the 5th spot won’t be needed for the first couple of weeks, 2 of them could work out of the bullpen initially.

    Like

  335. 355 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    At this point, I see Chacin making the rotation. I don’t think he’s ever pitched in relief. But I think he’ll claim the #4 spot.

    Still not hearing much about Jim Johnson, and the silence is deafening. If he’s down in velocity, that usually means an injury of some sort. There’s just not much being said good or bad about him.

    Grilli did fine last night and is on track to open in the bullpen, but Viz has been outstanding. Fredi keeps saying he could spread the Save opportunities around, but I think Viz has to be the clear closer on this team.

    Viz is in. Grilli is in. Ogando, EOF and Winkler are in. Will the youngster Kinman make it? I say young, but he’s 25. If he’s got the stuff, he can handle the rigors. And as I said earlier, Gant or WillyP should be in line for the long role. I don’t see a place for JJohnson unless they let Winkler go back to the Rockies. I don’t think they’ll do that.

    Perhaps JJohnson opens on the DL. 😉

    Like

  336. 356 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Jose Ramirez is out of options, so he’ll have to pass through waivers. He still possesses a great arm, but continues to be haunted by control issues that have plagued his career. Still, someone will want to try to tame the beast. I can see him being dealt in a late camp trade, either straight out or while in DFA limbo.

    Like

  337. 357 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Julio makes his final spring appearance today, likely to be a short one, and is to be followed by EOF, JJohnson, Ogando and Viz.

    Like

  338. 358 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    2day’s lineup vs. the Yanks at Disney:

    1- Bourn, CF
    2- Markakis, RF
    3- Freddie, 1B
    4- AJP, C
    5- Tyler Moore, LF
    6- KJ, 2B
    7- Rio Ruiz, 3B
    8- Jace, SS

    Interesting to me that Bourn is getting a start in CF. I suppose that if Boni is to be let go, they better know that between Frenchy and Bourn that CF is adequately backed up.

    Like

  339. 359 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    I can see it. Makes alot of sense.

    Like

  340. 360 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Like

  341. 361 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Yikes!

    Like

  342. 362 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Answering question about Jim Johnson…

    Liked by 1 person

  343. 363 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    So, the Yankee scrub team beats the Braves in Orlando. So little really at stake except for individual players. Since I could not see it, I cannot give any evaluation other than it is good Teheran seems ready. I hope he has a good agent who can argue he cannot be held responsible for wins and loses for a bad team.

    As long as the Braves can lose with dignity, I guess that is progress.

    Like

  344. 364 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Like

  345. 365 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2016 at 8:42 am

    In case you missed it, the Braves sigbned OF Drew Stubbs to a minor league deal late yesterday, with an invitation to the final 3 days of ML camp. He was just released by TEX. He’s a RH that can capably play CF. One has to think that the team is not really happy with Michael Bourn. And as we said earlier, the team is quite LH heavy. Carrying an old LH Michael Bourn doesn’t help much, especially one who doesn’t play CF very well anymore. Stubbs is a true CF. The team proved with the release of Swisher that they fully understand the concept of money already spent. And Bourn’s money is already spent.

    We’ll see over the next 3 days if it means he’s out of a job as well.

    Like

  346. 366 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2016 at 9:09 am

    There is much activity going on in Orlando as they get ready to head north in a couple of days. Still many questions to be answered. The addition of Stubbs adds some intrigue, but let’s be honest… it’s only a bench role. Ans maybe the last bench role. Not really a high impact position.

    No, the biggest questions right now are in the bullpen. (I think the rotation has cleared itself up. It’s not great, but we have a pretty good idea who it will be.)

    To me, the biggest question remaining is where the 2nd LHRP will come from. Will it be the relatively unknown Kyle Kinman? What about Hunter Cervenka? Or will they still try and bring in someone from the outside?

    3 days of camp left. 3 days…

    Like

  347. 367 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Sooooo.. Drew Stubbs, while no offensive powerhouse, he grades out as a better defensive option in centerfield for the Braves. The guy is 6-3 about 210 so he is head and shoulders above Bonnie and Bourn. Okay, bad joke there but to be honest, neither Bonifacio nor Bourne have had a bad spring, just not all that great.

    I was thinking outloud to Miss Josie that I thought Bonnie was kind of loafing it on a ball hit over his head in Sarasota the other night. Just not a great effort on what wound up as a double by Adam Jones to lead off the 6th against Wisler.

    I think Stubbs may be more of a National League kind of guy. Has good speed if he can get on base. Has some power, not big power but it would not be noticed with this Atlanta team. Lots of station to station baseball to be played by the Braves this year.

    Something to be said of Stubbs better offensive numbers playing for the Rockies in that big park but Turner Field is a big park too. You need a guy who has some wheels to cover center and left center while Olivera covers the left field line.

    As for eating more contract with respect to Bourn… I am beginning to believe it is all about accounting. After all, the Braves are a corporate owned entity and they have some funny book keeping practices. We should be grateful they are not outsources to China but I have to believe MLB is no different from every other company when they see a potential market of over a billion people.

    Liked by 2 people

  348. 368 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    VOX, everybody is looking for left handed relief pitching. Just not that many really good ones.

    And speaking of eating and contracts… See where the Panda will not be in the starting line up for the Red Sox? Loses his job to 25 year old Travis Shaw. Big kid in a different way. 6-4 230. hey, the Soxs can afford to make a mistake or two in the accounting department.

    Liked by 1 person

  349. 369 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    And, while I cannot stand Christopher Russo… Just another loudmouth yankee… Listening to his prediction on the NL East. Says it the Mets over Washington. I think it is going to come down to which one wins the season series between the Mets and the Nats. Both play the same number of games against the Braves, Marlins and Phillies so that is a wash….

    Like

  350. 370 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    For the record, I’ll take the Mets. I love Harper (really, I do), but the Mets have the pitching. Man do they ever…

    Like

  351. 371 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    RHRP Carlos Torres opts out of his minor league deal and becomes a FA.

    In related news:

    Liked by 1 person

  352. 372 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    And there ya go.

    Like

  353. 373 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I think Gant is in the pen. I think WillyP is the 5th starter… for now.

    Like

  354. 374 Vox O'Reason April 1, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Spring is grinding to a quick halt. Rays today, Tiggers tomorrow.

    2day’s lineup vs. the Rays:

    1- Stubby, CF
    2- Aybar, SS
    3- Freddie, 1B
    4- Adonis, 3B
    5- Nicky, RF
    6- Francois, LF
    7- TFlow, C
    8- Beckham, 2B
    9- Chacin, RHP

    2 games for Stubbs to impress enough to make the team. No pressure, huh? 😉

    Like

  355. 375 Vox O'Reason April 1, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Is it just me, or is Drew Stubbs just Todd Cunningham with a cooler name?

    Speaking of Cunningham, he’s slashing .321/.406/.464 this spring for the Angels. Still, he’s listed as #3 on their depth chart at all 3 OF spots… essentially what Drew Stubbs is auditioning for here in ATL.

    Yep… much in common they have (… he said, sounding alot like Yoda).

    Liked by 2 people

  356. 376 Vox O'Reason April 1, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Reading some comments yesterday, I get the feeling that John Gant success against LH batters may be the biggest factor that wins him a spot in the OD bullpen. In fact, he’s been successful enough that it could very well ease both the external and internal search for another LHRP. It may also allow Jose Ramirez (out of options) to remain in the bullpen too.

    From my view, the leaders as of today for the OD pen:

    Vizzy
    Grilli
    JJohnson
    EOF
    Alexi Ogando
    Dan Winkler
    John Gant
    Jose Ramirez

    Wait… that’s 8. Dadgummit…

    Like

  357. 377 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Good morning all, April has arrived, why do I feel like it’s still winter?

    Good point on Stubbs/Cunningham… Must remember, batting averages are relative in spring training. Depends on the caliber of the pitching being faced and as a rule, Arizona lends itself to higher BAs. Thin, high air and low humidity…

    Still, their was something about Todd (cough, Frank Wren) that the current administration did not like.

    Yep, only 4 more days until the National Leagues version of the Bataan Death March begins for Atlanta…

    Liked by 1 person

  358. 378 Vox O'Reason April 1, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Like

  359. 379 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Time to start the new season with a new blog lead. Watch this space…. Should be up by Sunday. The staff…..

    Liked by 1 person

  360. 380 Vox O'Reason April 2, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Boni and Bourn DFA’d. Seems almost inevitable. Why else would they have brought in Stubbs with just 3 days left in camp? (And for that matter, why else would he have signed if he didn’t have some pretty strong assurance?)

    Liked by 1 person

  361. 381 Vox O'Reason April 2, 2016 at 10:14 am

    And that settles the position portion of the final roster. It looks like:

    Inciarte, CF
    Aybar, SS
    Freeman, 1B
    Garcia, 3B
    Markakis, RF
    Olivera, LF
    Pierzynski, C
    Peterson, 2B

    Bench:
    Flowers, C
    Beckham, IF
    KJ, IF/OF
    Frenchy, OF
    Stubbs, OF

    I think the rotation has made itself pretty evident as well:

    Teheran
    Norris
    Wisler
    Chacin
    WPerez

    That leaves the only uncertainties in the bullpen. The team “selected the contract” of Ogando this morning, so that includes him for sure. The locks are:

    Vizcaino
    Grilli
    JJohnson
    O’Flaherty
    Ogando

    That leaves 2 spots to be occupied by 2 of Gant, Winkler, and Ramirez. And that, of course, assumes that they don’t add another lefty from inside or outside the organization.

    I suppose we’ll know later today, huh?

    Like

  362. 382 Vox O'Reason April 2, 2016 at 10:30 am

    At the end of the day, the Braves are a better team because of it. Not great still, but better. It’s important to have strong defense behind young pitching and Bourn didn’t have that anymore. Stubbs will probably serve as a late inning defensive replacement for Olivera… much like Todd Cunningham used to do, except Stubbs might be better. If I recall correctly, he was one of the top defensive CF in the game during his time in CIN, wasn’t he?

    Like

  363. 383 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2016 at 11:23 am

    While it might have been tough for Fredi to tell Michael Bourn he was DFAed, Bourn can take solace he has one heck of a golden parachute in the $14MM he will receive regardless. I expect he will find employment at some level this season. Someone always likes a veteran 4th outfielder who is cheap as they would only have to pay major league minimum.

    I know it is all about tax breaks etc. when it came to the Swisher, Bourne for Johnson trade. No team would deal for Swisher or Bourn knowing they could be had for free if they just wait the Braves out.

    As for Stubbs, he still has wheels, it has been his bat which has failed him. Maybe Kevin Seitzer can convince him to use his speed rather than being doomed to failure with warning track power at Turner Field. Guys with wheels sometimes need to be reminded they are more Willie Mays Hayes than they realize.

    Look for the owners to push for non guaranteed long term contracts this winter. The players will counter with more major league roster spots and shorter seasons. We could all be watching Triple A games next spring.

    Revenue sharing, PEDs and salary caps will all be on the table.

    Liked by 2 people

  364. 384 Vox O'Reason April 2, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    It has been noted that although Chacin seems to have locked up a rotation spot, his contract was not “selected” this morning along with Ogando’s and Stubbs’. In other words, his minor league deal was not picked up as a major league deal (and he was not added to the 40-man roster) yet.

    Does this mean he didn’t make the cut? Nope. Not at all. What it means is that Williams Perez, who is already on the roster, will most likely be the 4th starter, with Chacin not making his first start (or being added to the roster) until April 12, the first date the 5th starter is needed.

    This will allow the team to carry an extra bullpen arm until then, and allow them an extra 10 days to sort out the Gant/Winkler/Ramirez puzzle.

    Does 10 days really make a difference? It sure does. It’s just practical to give yourself additional flexibility, not to mention the fact that an injury can happen at any time. No reason to burn a 40-man roster spot until you have to.

    Liked by 1 person

  365. 385 Dulce Lawrence April 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Well, we’re off for better or worse. I think worse now, better as the season wears on.

    I assume we’re eating all the pay both SWISHER and BOURNE were due under contract?

    Liked by 2 people

  366. 386 Dulce Lawrence April 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Had to come in under my wife’s facebook account, sorry……….. RICHBRAVE

    Liked by 1 person

  367. 387 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Yes RB, the Bourn/Swisher/Johnson trade has been discussed at length. I think it is all about accounting and book keeping as related to the IRS as much as anything else.

    Remember, the Braves paid Uggla’s salary last season as well as Carlos Quintin and Bronson Arroyo last season. It reminds me of buying a new car and having them roll in the unpaid portion of the used car you are trading in. Trust me, you get the shaft twice on that scam….

    Anyway, by 2017, the Braves should be free of all their big contract commitments other than Freddie Freeman so this is really about having the ability to sign free agents in 2017 is that is what the Braves want to do.

    I think we all know it is going to be a tough slog for the Braves this season. Nothing to do but grin and bear it. Look for positives where we can.

    I think our old pal Chris Johnson is playing for the Marlins this season, Dan Uggla signed a minor league deal with the Nats.

    Like

  368. 388 Vox O'Reason April 2, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  369. 389 Vox O'Reason April 2, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    As we expected, there are only 4 starters among the pitchers. Chacin was not added (yet) allowing the Braves to keep all 3 of Gant, Winkler and Ramirez. That will change on April 12.

    Like

  370. 390 berigan2electricboogaloo April 2, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Stubbs will probably serve as a late inning defensive replacement for Olivera… much like Todd Cunningham used to do, except Stubbs might be better. If I recall correctly, he was one of the top defensive CF in the game during his time in CIN, wasn’t he?
    V, I can’t recall his defense for some reason, I just seem to recall, like Gil said, amazing wheels…and had pop in the bat…but except for a few years, never been able to harness it…

    Liked by 1 person

  371. 391 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    Ber, playing in that band box in Cincy will increase most anyone’s home run numbers. I don’t think he was ever a Gold Glover but unless you hit over .300, for some reason you are never part of the conversation. Go figure? Anyway. I’m thinking it is exactly as stated by VOX, He will be used somewhere in the outfield if the Braves are close in games.

    I;m sure the Braves would like to have ManBan perform at a major league level but come to think of it, just performing at all seems to be a contentious goal….

    Liked by 1 person

  372. 392 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    The Braves do have a lot of 1st round draft picks on their roster this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  373. 393 Gil in Mechanicsville April 2, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    Okay, quickle quiz. How many of those on the opening day roster will still be with the team at the end of the season? (Note: major league roster)

    Like

  374. 394 berigan2electricboogaloo April 3, 2016 at 3:36 am

    3? 😛

    Like

  375. 395 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Ber, maybe I should define that question, what I meant was September, Not October when they start over…. 🙂

    Like

  376. 396 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Okay, the new lead is in the hands of the editor so hopefully the boss will put her final stamp of approval and release it to the masses.

    On the final cuts, still time for Chacin to lose his spot as well as Folty and ManBam to trade places. Of course there are still guys out there with their agents phoning into Braves central offering their services.

    Look for the Gwinnett to Atlanta shuttle to be used early and often. Heck, we don’t know when or where the next really odd and crazy injury will happen that could completely shuffle the expectations of the upcoming season for many teams.

    Teams can be one lat or tendon from going first to last is short order. One failed drug test away from going to contender to pretender. So, let the games begin. Good game expected at 1:05 between the Cards and Pirates.

    Of course, I’ll be watching the NASCAR race but hey, can’t see it all… We all have to prioritize don’t we?

    Like

  377. 397 Vox O'Reason April 3, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Well, currently ManBan is on the 15-day DL dealing with soreness in his surgically repaired left elbow. He hasn’t thrown in a couple of weeks. When he does get back to action, he’ll essentially be starting all over again. I wouldn’t count on any contribution from him at the ML lever for quite a while.

    Like

  378. 398 Vox O'Reason April 3, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    ML lever? Is that something you pull to get promoted? Perhaps ML level would be the correct terminology.

    Liked by 3 people

  379. 399 berigan2electricboogaloo April 3, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Want a really, really tough baseball quiz that will make you think you know nothing about your favorite sport? Boy, are you in luck! 😛
    Answers at the link below…
    (P.S. It’s long, I wrote down my answers, so I knew how many I missed)

    By George Will

    Pitcher Jim Bouton said: “Baseball players are smarter than football players. How often do you see a baseball team penalized for too many men on the field?” To show how smart you are, identify:

     (1) The team that won a record 26 consecutive games (but finished fourth).
     (2) Among those with 3,000 hits, the player with the fewest home runs.
     (3) The player who led both leagues in homers and triples (not in the same season).
     (4) Who hit the only game seven World Series walk-off home run.
     (5) The four players who hit World Series homers in three different decades.
     (6) The first manager to lead three teams to pennants.
     (7) The manager who, after Connie Mack and John McGraw, had the most consecutive     years managing one team.    
     (8) The first player to hit 30 home runs, score 125 runs and steal 45 bases in a season.
     (9) The four hitters who, since World War II, had five or more seasons batting .350 or better.
     (10) The five hitters ranked in the top 25 in career singles, doubles and triples.
     (11) The player whose 44 hits in his first month is second to Joe DiMaggio's 48.
     (12) The four Hall of Fame pitchers DiMaggio faced during his 56-game hitting streak.
     (13) The youngest player to lead the National League in hits.      (14) The three players to get two extra-base hits in an All-Star Game before age 23.
     (15) The player with seven straight seasons with a .300 average, 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 walks.
     (16) The Hall of Famer who played most of his games as DH.
     (17) The second player, after Ty Cobb, to have at least 221 hits, 46 doubles and 54 steals in a season.
     (18) The team that had five consecutive Rookie of the Year winners.
     (19) The player who slugged .826 in a six-game World Series, with a record 10 RBIs, but whose team lost.
     (20) The player who had the most consecutive World Series hits (7).
     (21) The record number of games in a season in which a team homered.
     (22) The player who had the most career RBIs (1,903) without ever leading the league.
     (23) The player who reached a base in a record 84 consecutive games.
     (24) The most recent former Rookie of the Year elected to the Hall of Fame.
     (25) The two pitchers who pitched 27 World Series innings without yielding an earned run.
     (26) The only player in the last 100 years who twice in a season scored four runs in a game without a hit.
     (27) The pitcher who won 107 games before age 23.
     (28) The first pitcher to have two 300-strikeout seasons.
     (29) The four pitchers to win at least two Cy Young awards, to win at least two World Series rings, and pitch a no-hitter.
     (30) The three pitchers who started five All-Star Games.
     (31) The team that had the highest American League season winning percentage.
     (32) The team with the most wins in an AL season.
     (33) The NL team with the best single-season winning percentage since 1900.
     (34) Which team that existed in 1900 took the longest to win a World Series.   
     (35) The youngest unanimous MVP.
     (36) The three pitchers to strike out at least 150 in each of their first nine seasons.
     (37) First infielder (other than first basemen) to hit 500 home runs.
     (38) The manager of the AL team with a season-record 116 wins.
     (39) Who won a home run title with a batting average lower than that year's Cy Young winner, Steve Carlton (.218).
    

    Latest News Update
    Get Newsmax TV At Home »

     (40) The pitcher who retired 46 consecutive batters.
    

    Special:
    Bonus question: Who said, “All of the Mets’ road wins against the Dodgers this year occurred at Dodger Stadium.”

    Breaking News at Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/GeorgeWill/Baseball-ney-york-giants/2016/04/03/id/722030/#ixzz44nQHB0Q2

    Like

  380. 400 berigan2electricboogaloo April 3, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Hmmm….
    let’s see if it works better after putting them in notepad…
    (1) The team that won a record 26 consecutive games (but finished fourth).
    (2) Among those with 3,000 hits, the player with the fewest home runs.
    (3) The player who led both leagues in homers and triples (not in the same season).
    (4) Who hit the only game seven World Series walk-off home run.
    (5) The four players who hit World Series homers in three different decades.
    (6) The first manager to lead three teams to pennants.
    (7) The manager who, after Connie Mack and John McGraw, had the most consecutive years managing one team.
    (8) The first player to hit 30 home runs, score 125 runs and steal 45 bases in a season.
    (9) The four hitters who, since World War II, had five or more seasons batting .350 or better.
    (10) The five hitters ranked in the top 25 in career singles, doubles and triples.
    (11) The player whose 44 hits in his first month is second to Joe DiMaggio’s 48.
    (12) The four Hall of Fame pitchers DiMaggio faced during his 56-game hitting streak.
    (13) The youngest player to lead the National League in hits.
    (14) The three players to get two extra-base hits in an All-Star Game before age 23.
    (15) The player with seven straight seasons with a .300 average, 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 100 walks.
    (16) The Hall of Famer who played most of his games as DH.
    (17) The second player, after Ty Cobb, to have at least 221 hits, 46 doubles and 54 steals in a season.
    (18) The team that had five consecutive Rookie of the Year winners.
    (19) The player who slugged .826 in a six-game World Series, with a record 10 RBIs, but whose team lost.
    (20) The player who had the most consecutive World Series hits (7).
    (21) The record number of games in a season in which a team homered.
    (22) The player who had the most career RBIs (1,903) without ever leading the league.
    (23) The player who reached a base in a record 84 consecutive games.
    (24) The most recent former Rookie of the Year elected to the Hall of Fame.
    (25) The two pitchers who pitched 27 World Series innings without yielding an earned run.
    (26) The only player in the last 100 years who twice in a season scored four runs in a game without a hit.
    (27) The pitcher who won 107 games before age 23.
    (28) The first pitcher to have two 300-strikeout seasons.
    (29) The four pitchers to win at least two Cy Young awards, to win at least two World Series rings, and pitch a no-hitter.
    (30) The three pitchers who started five All-Star Games.
    (31) The team that had the highest American League season winning percentage.
    (32) The team with the most wins in an AL season.
    (33) The NL team with the best single-season winning percentage since 1900.
    (34) Which team that existed in 1900 took the longest to win a World Series.
    (35) The youngest unanimous MVP.
    (36) The three pitchers to strike out at least 150 in each of their first nine seasons.
    (37) First infielder (other than first basemen) to hit 500 home runs.
    (38) The manager of the AL team with a season-record 116 wins.
    (39) Who won a home run title with a batting average lower than that year’s Cy Young winner, Steve Carlton (.218).
    (40) The pitcher who retired 46 consecutive batters.

    Like

  381. 401 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Name the person who only got two answers right? Hint, he lives in Mechanicsville…..

    Liked by 1 person

  382. 402 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Methinks (with a tip o’ the cap to the late Journalist Bob) the aforementioned quiz is why they have the Elias Sports Bureau and the book that goes with it..

    Like

  383. 403 Carolina Lady April 3, 2016 at 5:50 pm

    GIL’S NEW POST IS UP!

    Like

  384. 404 Gil in Mechanicsville April 3, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    Looking over the opening day roster and musing about John Gant, I have to wonder which scout, minor league manager etc. had the foresight to ask for John as part of the package for the services of Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe for two months?

    I think Juan signed with Cleveland late this spring. We know Kelly came home, for how long depends on who needs help this fall and how far out of first the Braves are in August.

    Like


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