#160: Comers and Goers

Gil Mechanicsville, VA

Gil ‘N Mechanicsville
December 8, 2016

The 2016 Winter meetings have come to a close and the big trades appear to be Chris Sale to the Red Sox and Adam Eaton to the Nationals. Chapman signing with the Yankees and Andrew McCutchen staying in Pittsburg, at least for now. Other moves have taken place too but I will talk about those later, the main thrust of our interest is still the Braves. So, let’s focus on them.

Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon

The Braves had previously signed two free agent pitchers to one year deals. R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon. Both are bonafide members of the Geritol set and with the addition of Jamie Garcia, the Bravos have exponentially increase the age and experience in their starting rotation. Dickey, late of the Toronto Blue Jays signed a one year contract with a one year option for 2018. The knuckleballer should still be able to supply innings and the hope is he won’t wear out Tyler Flowers behind the plate. I am reminded of the line attributed to our old favorite Bob Uecker. When he was asked about how he caught Phil Niekro’s knuckleball he replied, “It’s simple, I just wait for it to stop rolling and pick it up.”

Robert Allen Dickey

Robert Allen Dickey

Dickey is 41 years old but it is not like he has to rely upon a 96 mph fastball to get guys out. His bread and butter has always been his ability to make a baseball do things a baseball is not want to do. Now, a knuckleball is not one which translate well to TV in it’s movement. It is however one where it is anyone’s guess where it will be when it gets to the plate. It is not as if a knuckleball is impossible to hit, it is just tough to hit well. As for a batter being able to time the pitch, he still has a decent fastball to keep opposing hitters honest. Don’t be surprise if a pitcher like Josh Collmenter doesn’t pick Dickey’s brain a tries to learn the pitch. It should be interesting when Dickey meets with Braves legend Phil Niekro this spring.

The second off season signing of note is the ageless Bartolo Colon. Another graybeard, Colon, who has outlasted Turner Field in longevity, can still get batters out with a variety of pitches. His “fastball” tops out around 88 mph but it is everything but straight. Movement and location, the two holy grails of the craft have been mastered by a guy who for all appearances is having more fun than any reasonable person should be expected to have. The impression he gives is a guy who is truly comfortable in his ample skin. For sure, he is entertaining and he has a wealth of experience and knowledge he can pass along to the next generation of pitchers in the Braves stable.

Jamie Garcia

Jamie Garcia

The final piece it the Braves’ new look rotation is Jamie Garcia. The lefty is another veteran. He was acquired from the St Louis Cardinals for rookies Chris Ellis, who I profiled in my previous lead. Also included in the trade package was prospect Luke Dykstra and right handed pitcher John Gant. Gant was acquired from the Mets, along with Rod Whalen for Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson. While Gant had some value, the Braves felt his ceiling was well below much of the talent currently in the pipeline.

Garcia had a bit of a down year in 2016 with the Red Birds but he did pitch over 171 innings last season. John Coppoletta was clearly looking for pitchers who could routinely pitch into the 7th inning as opposed to the 4 and 5 inning efforts put forth by several of the Braves young arms last season. The Braves revolving door should not have to swing quite so frequently in 2017. While fans should not expect the trio of new starters to log many 1 hit shutouts in 2017, they should be expected to deliver many solid quality starts. Perhaps with an improved offense, the Braves pitchers can focus on delivering innings and not worry about who is warming up in the pen and trying to be too fine in their pitches.

For sure, many of the young prospects will have a wide choice of peers from whom to choose as a mentor.



284 Responses to “#160: Comers and Goers”

  1. 1 Carolina Lady December 11, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks a million, Gil! Apologies from the Graphics Dept!


  2. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Thanks CL. Fine work as always. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 4 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Officer Varvaro is to be admired for sure. Tip o’ the cap to you, sir!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 5 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Proof there is life after baseball Vee. These guys are still really young men when the retire. Age is just a number… I feel like number 2 most of the time myself… 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  5. 6 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Proof there is life after baseball

    And proof that not all professional athletes are knucklehead divas.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 7 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Liked by 2 people

  7. 8 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 9:25 am


  8. 9 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2016 at 9:50 am

    For some reason, I find the statement “The Answer to Everything” to very “Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy” like.. Nothing like a little Aussie wit… Another factoid: The Aces are the team Peter Moylan pitches for.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. 10 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Which helps one to understand how a kid from La Guaira, Venezuela can end up 10,000 miles away down under…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. 11 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Ha ha ha…


  11. 12 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I think something to note with regard to Ronald Acuna is that while he’s only 18 (19 next week), his trajectory suggests he could see ATL in as few as 2 years, more like 3 on the safe side. Given that Ender Inciarte is a fixture in CF for the next 2-3 years, does this make Mallex Smith even more expendable? I think it does.

    Yes… I know that there is no such thing as a sure thing with prospects. I do know that. But you can sure count on a certain level from kids with so many tools, and Acuna is a “tools-y” player. The only thing missing now is raw power, but he’s still growing into his 6’0″/180 lb. frame. Most who see him believe he’ll develop more pop as he fills out.

    Wonder if we could pair Mallex and Adonis to CHW for Todd Frazier? They need a CF after dealing away Adam Eaton, and they will need a 3B after dealing Frazier to us. 😀

    Yes… I know that’s wishful thinking. But it is Christmas.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. 13 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Can you imagine the lineup with Frazier in it? We’d have 3 potential 30 HR bats for the first time since… what, 1998? (There were 4 in 1998: Gallaraga, Javy, Chipper & Andruw.) Am I overselling that? When was the last time the Braves had three 30 HR hitters? (Upon further review, it was 2003 with Javy, Sheff and Andruw.)

    I want this lineup:

    Ender, CF (L)
    Dansby, SS (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    MattyK, LF (R)
    Todd Frazier, 3B (R)
    Kakes, RF (L)
    SRod/Jace, 2B (R/L)
    TFlow/Recker, C (R)


  13. 14 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Todd Frazier, just try not to put him in too many DP situations, or maybe so? Would be a defensive upgrade, power verse average? Hasn’t that always been the great conundrum?

    I am not worried about Acuna having the ability to hit for power, that is why his strike outs are up at this point. He is not a Bonifacio punch a judy hitter. He has some pop, he is not an all or nothing hitter either.

    It is always good to have options. Having a player like Acuna allows for you to trade a player like Mallex. No problem with flipping him for a piece we can use now.


  14. 15 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Looks like both Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner are returning to LAD. Nice work keeping their 3 big FA’s in the fold. They’re shelling out alot of dough, though.

    Rich Hill -> 3yrs/$48M
    Justin Turner -> 4yrs/$64M
    Kenley Jansen -> 5 yrs/$80M

    I detect a common theme.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 16 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    The Fish and gNats both swung and missed at all the top closer options. Ouch! Now what will they do?

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 17 Vox O'Reason December 12, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    The Braves have announced their minor league coaching staffs. Old friend Damon Berryhill joins the organization as AAA Gwinnett’s new manager. He was in the LAD system for the past 6 years. The staff’s are as follows:

    AAA Gwinnett Braves:
    Manager – Damon Berryhill
    Pitching Coach – Reid Cornelius
    Hitting Coach – John Moses
    Trainer – Ricky Alcantara

    AA Mississippi Braves:
    Manager – Luis Salazar
    Pitching Coach – Derrick Lewis
    Hitting Coach – Ivan Cruz
    Trainer – Kyle Damschroder

    A+ Florida Fire Frogs:
    Manager – Paul Runge
    Pitching Coach – Dennis Lewallyn
    Hitting Coach – Carlos Mendez
    Trainer – Dave Comeau

    A- Rome Braves:
    Manager – Randy Ingle
    Pitching Coach – Dan Meyer
    Hitting Coach – Bobby Moore
    Trainer – Nick Jensen

    Rookie Danville Braves:
    Manager – Nestor Perez
    Pitching Coach – Kanekoa Texeira
    Hitting Coach – Barbaro Garbey
    Trainer – Vic Scarpone

    Rookie Gulf Coast League Braves:
    Manager – Barrett Kleinknect
    Pitching Coach – Larry McCall
    Hitting Coach – Rick Albert
    Trainer – Drew Garner

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville December 12, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Braves sign lefty John Danks to minor league deal. Okay, another player on whom the Braves are taking a flyer. He has not returned to pre shoulder surgery form. Should be a fun spring training.


  18. 19 Vox O'Reason December 13, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Braves sign lefty John Danks to minor league deal.

    Smacks of Lucas Harrell last year…


  19. 20 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Hey, as long as they are just projects, they are welcome to sign any guy who has ever pitched. The Braves have made the reclamation of tired arm and shoulders into a bit of a cottage industry. The hook has been that these guys have not been really durable.

    The exception might be Jim Johnson but perhaps it is how they are being used by clubs who traded for them.

    True story: (as an example) When I was a teenager, I had a lot of cars, most were of the $50 variety. One was a 1950 Plymouth with a flathead 6 which I bought from an uncle. The one thing he told me was it was a solid car, and it was, but he warned me, it was a 55 mph car. like the Bill Cosby skit where he had one and if you went over 55 the car would say “cut it out”!

    Anyway, he was right, it was a great car but the old flathead would not stand up to being dogged. Old pitchers are like that, they can be pretty steady but if you push them too hard, well, you end up with another player only good for the scrap heap.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. 21 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Pitching coach (also known as The Miracle Worker). I guess we will find out if it was Roger or if it is a system wide philosophy. Kind of like buying a franchise, you are expected to follow a guideline pretty rigidly. Of course you could get carried away with it and become the New McDonalds, which to me is a lot like New Coke… a dud…


  21. 22 Vox O'Reason December 13, 2016 at 8:49 am


  22. 23 Vox O'Reason December 13, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Pitching coach (also known as The Miracle Worker). I guess we will find out if it was Roger or if it is a system wide philosophy.

    While the team is pretty positive about newcomer Chuck Hernandez, it’s the return of Dave Wallace and Dom Chiti to the organization that the suits are really excited about. Those guys are specifically tasked with fine tuning the top pitching prospects. The other guy that the organization is very high on is Dan Meyer, who is the pitching coach at A- Rome. He worked with that amazing young rotation last season that had 5 starting pitchers among the league’s top 15 prospects – Touki Toussaint, Max Fried, Mike Soroka, Kolby Allard, and Patrick Weigel. All of those were 1st round draft picks but Weigel, who end the season as the Organizational Pitcher of the Year. I won’t be surprised at all to see Meyer move up in the ranks over the next few years.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 24 Vox O'Reason December 13, 2016 at 9:36 am

    I get it. It really is kinda dumb. But I will forever remember the 2016 Braves rookies dressed as the ladies’ team from A League of Their Own. (Mallex is particularly disturbing…)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 25 Vox O'Reason December 13, 2016 at 9:37 am

    … and Recker looks like an East German Olympian.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 26 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2016 at 9:52 am

    The East Germans and the Russians were “transgender” long before it was cool… or at least that’s what their testing showed. Roid rage? Yep,

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 28 Vox O'Reason December 13, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    The Naples, FL muckety-mucks rejected the Braves Spring Training site proposal this morning by unanimous vote. Not only did they reject the proposal, the also voted to cease any further negotiations.

    The Braves continue to be in talks with a group in Sarasota about a new site.

    Personally, I think the Sarasota site would be far superior. A Naples location would have put them at the southern tip of the western FL teams, meaning they’d still have some relatively far travel to the Tampa/Clearwater area teams. Sarasota is right in the mid-point of the western FL teams. Seems a much better location to me.

    Here is an old Grapefruit League map. The Nats and Astros will be moving south to share a new complex in West Palm Bach, leaving the Braves fairly isolated in Disney. The only fairly close team will be the Tigers in Lakeland.


  27. 29 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    So, My suggestion is for the Tigers and the Braves to look into a joint venture to move to a site as yet to be determined.

    Municipalities have become smarter in their old age. Building a stadium which has a pretty low return on investment at tax payers expense is a non starter in these times. So, I cannot find fault with the Naples decision.

    Too many cities, towns and counties have been burned by MLB.

    The draw is just not all that great. I am not sure what the annual income is to any ML team as far as spring training is concerned. I do know that the ticket prices for the Braves at Buena Vista is way out of line for the product you receive in return.


  28. 30 Vox O'Reason December 13, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Building a stadium which has a pretty low return on investment at tax payers expense is a non starter in these times.

    Courtesy of Naples Daily News:

    It could cost the county $101 million to build a stadium, buy the land and set up a parking lot, according the county’s feasibility study.

    To pay for it, the county would have to borrow the money and raise its tourist tax, from 4 percent to 5 percent, to help pay down that debt.

    The county estimated the stadium would pump about $25 million a year into the economy, through hotel stays, restaurants, sales tax and short-term rentals from fans who would travel here for spring training, County Manager Leo Ochs said.

    That number comes from reviewing economic impact studies in Lee County, which hosts the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins, and Palm Beach County, home to the St. Louis Cardinals, Miami Marlins and, next year, the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

    “We visited with the Lee County team, and we talked to Palm Beach County, along with our bond council and financial advisers, to look at these studies,” Ochs said. “They all seem to fall in around that $25 million per stadium in annual spending.”

    So that tells me that it is actually a pretty good economic investment. I suspect that the Naples officials rejected it more because Naples is a high cotton retirement community, and are not interested in bringing in alot of outsiders for 6 weeks every spring. Not to mention the new temporary citizens will clog up their golf courses. Those commissioners are likely more concerned with their well heeled constituency than their city’s coffers.

    Again, Sarasota is a better fit… both geographically and demographically.


  29. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville December 13, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I guess Sarasota would have to add motel accommodations house the temporary visitors, It was pretty slim picking as it was when I was there and the Orioles were playing. I’m sure they will figure it out.


  30. 32 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Which helps one to understand how a kid from La Guaira, Venezuela can end up 10,000 miles away down under…
    I think the communist hellhole Venezuela explains it too….I imagine a lot of teams want to get the players (and their families) away from there as much as possible….keep hearing how there isn’t enough food there for people, keep hoping they will throw out Hugo Chavez’s replacement one of these days….


  31. 33 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2016 at 6:29 am

    how up to date can that map be? I see no Vera Beach Dodgers…. . 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  32. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Ber, it’s pretty tough to throw a despot out when they control the military, the congress and the press. They also control the guns… They have learned at the knee of the masters, Castro, Stalin, Mao, just to name a few.

    It is an excellent example of what you can accomplish with class warfare. You dupe the masses into believing it will benefit them and when it’s too late, you leave them holding an empty bag.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. 35 berigan2electricboogaloo December 14, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Vero Beach…good grief. Vera beach, vera nice beach, but I wouldn’t want to live there 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  34. 36 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2016 at 10:27 am


  35. 37 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2016 at 10:30 am

    how up to date can that map be? I see no Vera Beach Dodgers

    Vera… Vero… Glendale…

    The Dodgers have been training in Glendale, AZ since 2009.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville December 14, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Just a little Berigan humor Vee…

    That said, the Aces have a lot up their sleeves. Wondering if Mark Hamburger might be on the Braves plate?

    Liked by 1 person

  37. 39 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2016 at 3:45 pm


  38. 40 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm


  39. 41 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2016 at 3:46 pm


  40. 42 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Chances are Braves open 2017 with TFlow/Recker again.


  41. 43 Vox O'Reason December 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I’m not expecting much more to happen with the Braves besides little things such as today’s minor league signing. Maybe still deal for a 4th OF, but I think they could go with somebody like this Lane Adams dude or even Boni. He isn’t gonna get much time anyway aside from the occasional late inning defensive replacement or pinch running duty. If one of our starting OF’s go down with any kind of injury, Mallex will be on the roster the next day.

    I believe what we have now is pretty close to what we’ll lift the lid with.


  42. 44 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Since there is so little news to discuss right now, let’s do a little speculation, shall we?


  43. 45 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 8:25 am

    As it currently appears, our rotation for Opening Day 2017 looks to be as follows, with 2016 numbers:

    Julio Teheran: 7-10, 3.21 ERA, 188.0 IP, 167 K’s, 1.053 WHIP
    Bartolo Colon: 15-8, 3.43 ERA, 191.2 IP, 128 K’s, 1.210 WHIP
    Jaime Garcia: 10-13, 4.67 ERA, 171.2 IP, 150 K’s, 1.375 WHIP
    RA Dickey: 10-15, 4.46 ERA, 169.2 IP, 126 K’s, 1.367 WHIP
    Mikey Folty: 9-5, 4.31 ERA, 123.1 IP, 111 K’s, 1.297 WHIP

    Obviously these guys will jockey for “position” in spring, but if you line them up in ascending order by ERA, they’d look like this:

    Julio Teheran: 7-10, 3.21 ERA, 188.0 IP, 167 K’s, 1.053 WHIP
    Bartolo Colon: 15-8, 3.43 ERA, 191.2 IP, 128 K’s, 1.210 WHIP
    Mikey Folty: 9-5, 4.31 ERA, 123.1 IP, 111 K’s, 1.297 WHIP
    RA Dickey: 10-15, 4.46 ERA, 169.2 IP, 126 K’s, 1.367 WHIP
    Jaime Garcia: 10-13, 4.67 ERA, 171.2 IP, 150 K’s, 1.375 WHIP

    What I like about this is the fact that they are also in ascending order by WHIP. Coincidence? I think not. If you don’t let ’em on base, they can’t score… right?

    Liked by 1 person

  44. 46 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I’ll look at our currently apparent 2017 lineup in a little while…


  45. 47 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Okay, while the Braves starting pitching is not stacked with front line talent, (on paper), they have a lot of depth. No Lucus Herrells this season I don’t think. Who knows how much difference a healthy outfield will make this year.

    Okay, not a huge number of perfect games forecast for the Bravos in 2017 but Folty and Julio certainly have that potential every time out.

    If the trio of new hires can pitch games without giving up more than 3 runs per outing, the Braves have a good shot at winning more than they lose this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 48 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I am not at all certain the Braves can keep up the pace they set in September this year but when you have an offense routinely scoring 5 runs a game, you are pretty stout.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. 49 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 11:44 am

    OK… I’m back. This time I’ll look at what I expect to be the 2017 OD lineup… excluding the possibility that the “always open for business” Coppy doesn’t pull a fast one on us:

    Ender Inciarte, CF (L) .291/.351/.381, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 16 SB, 85 runs scored
    Dansby Swanson, SS (R) .302 /.361/.442, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 20 runs scored (in 38 G)
    Freddie Freeman, 1B (L) .302/.400/.569, 34 HR, 91 RBI
    Matt Kemp, LF (R) .268/.304/.499, 35 HR, 108 RBI
    Nick Markakis, RF (L) .269/.346/.397, 12 HR, 89 RBI
    Sean Rodriguez, 2B (R) .270/.349/.510, 18 HR, 56 RBI
    Adonis Garcia, 3B (R) .273/.311/.406, 14 HR, 65 RBI
    TFlow, C (R) .270/.357/.420, 8 HR, 41 RBI (in 83 G)
    *Recker, C (R) .278/.394/.433, 2 HR, 15 RBI (in 33 G)

    By the way, MattyK slashed .280/.336/.519 after coming over from LaLaLand.

    And if you extrapolate Dansby’s run production over a 162 game season, it would give him 13 HR and 73 RBI.


  48. 50 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 11:49 am

    MattyK slashed .280/.336/.519 after coming over from LaLaLand

    I was obviously living in the past with that one… kinda like training in Vera’s Beach…

    Of course, MattyK came to us from The Fathers. But hey… all those Left Coast teams look alike to me, so…

    Liked by 2 people

  49. 51 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Coppy on Ozzie:

    We got an update late last week that he will be able to resume baseball activities in early January — ahead of schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. 52 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    More Coppy, when asked about outside catching possibilities:

    Also asked about Wieters by others — we are good with what we have, but if something crazy falls into our lap we would have to consider.


  51. 53 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    More Coppy, when asked “What player in the system do you believe will surprise people this year?”

    I would say Acuna, but cat is out of bag there — maybe Cristian Pache or Bryse Wilson.


  52. 54 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    More Coppy, when asked about Kelly Johnson:

    I’ve stayed in touch with Kelly throughout the off-season & spoke to him earlier this week. Terrific talent, better person, can help us.

    … and very logical pickup for us, too. Experienced LH bench bat w/ moderate pop that has some D versatility.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 55 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    … and we can always use another mid-level prospect or 2 from NYM at the trade deadline. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  54. 56 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    More Coppy, when asked about the rotation come Opening Day:

    Front four will be Teheran, Colon, Garcia, Dickey. Fifth spot will be competition between Danks, Folty, Wisler, Blair. Competition good!

    I believe Folty is the early leader for the #5 spot. Gotta be his job to lose. At least in my mind it is…

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 57 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    I love this question, but Coppy’s answer more…

    “Would you rather have an Albies sized Freddie Freeman or a Freddie Freeman sized Albies?”

    Maybe the best question ever — it’s intriguing to think of what that might even look like — maybe with Snit’s mustache on both of them too

    Liked by 1 person

  56. 58 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    Actually, it’s very encouraging when a kid of Folty’s talent is not a lock, very encouraging. I hope all of the kids come into spring training full of piss and vinegar and making it really tough on the Braves front office on who to keep.

    If any of the kids who don’t make it and go down and mope, well, they will know who to trade won’t they?

    Liked by 2 people

  57. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    I think Jose Altuve has proven that size does not really matter. Talent does. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  58. 60 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    But I would take either… or another of equal talent

    Liked by 2 people

  59. 61 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Coppy on AJ Minter:

    AJ Minter is somebody we speak about often & likely to be a very big part of our 2017 team. Nasty in a good way.

    Future closer.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. 62 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    I am of the opinion that as it stands, the positions which stand to benefit the most from and upgrade are 2nd, 3rd and catching. Now, all three are currently being manned by competent and adequate talent but you can always use and upgrade.

    So, who is likely to be supplanted first. I’d say Adonis and Jace are equally at risk for losing their job. Both are decent players but when Ozzie is ready, he will be the new pivot man on the diamond.

    Adonis still has options, I don’t think the Braves are in any hurry to replace him with a rookie. I don’t think I would buy a house in Atlanta if I were either one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. 63 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Best answer of the day, and the question itself doesn’t even matter:

    Dasnby brings more than raw statistics or counting numbers — he’s a winner who does a number of things that lead to victories.

    I’m starting to get really annoyed with people who cannot get past numbers alone. Numbers are a part of it, but certainly not all of it. Maybe some of these rubes need to actually watch a game now and then… 😡

    Liked by 1 person

  62. 64 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Agree, Gil. But don’t discount SeanRod. I think even though he’s considered a “utility” guy, he’s an everyday bat. Once Ozzie makes the scene, SeanRod will probably supplant Adonis at 3B. It’s exactly why we haven’t heard about Coppy overtly looking for a 3B upgrade.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. 65 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Q: “Is Alex Jackson viewed as a catcher right now?”

    We are going to try it in the spring and see where it goes — if he can stay there and continue w/ power it’s a big upside play

    Liked by 1 person

  64. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Agree, I too believe SRod is more than a utility player. I suppose Jace will actually be the utility guy and Sean will be the primary 2nd baseman, at least until the Braves decide to promote Ozzie.

    Manny Machado of the Orioles is a guy who has those intangible. He is not a numbers guy either but every baseball observer of the game agrees he makes everyone around him better.

    I will not be surprised to see Jace and/or Adonis to start the season in Gwinnett or packages in a trade for someone we have not yet been made privy to.

    Liked by 2 people

  65. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    “We are going to try it in the spring and see where it goes”

    AH HA!

    Liked by 1 person

  66. 68 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Q: “What prospect do you think has the best chance to make the opening day roster?”


    Ahead of schedule in recovery, and the short and simple answer to a direct question. Says alot, IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. 69 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    OK… this inspires me…

    Liked by 2 people

  68. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville December 15, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Q: “What prospect do you think has the best chance to make the opening day roster?”


    Yep, I think everyone is in concurrence with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. 71 Vox O'Reason December 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Given the severity of his elbow injury, and the fact that he missed the end of the 2016 season… and given that he was not even considered for a late season call-up, I have concluded all along that the chances of Ozzie being on the Opening Day roster were mighty slim… in fact, close to zero. So the fact that Coppy answered the question so distinctly, without hedging, and without naming other names was quite surprising to me.

    In most of the discussions I’ve read since last season, the prevailing opinion is that Ozzie isn’t considered until mid-June, after gaining another few months of development (officially), and when the team safely protects the additional year of control (unofficially).

    To project Ozzie onto the Opening Day roster really creates some serious repercussions for the roster as a whole.

    Liked by 2 people

  70. 73 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I have concluded all along that the chances of Ozzie being on the Opening Day roster were mighty slim…

    … and after a night’s sleep (not a good night’s sleep, sadly, but sleep nonetheless), I stand by my assertion. No way Ozzie makes the OD roster. He’ll arrive in June at best, barring injury to SeanRod or Jace.

    Why am I so convinced about that? Well… mid-June has him gaining another few months of development (officially), and safely protects the additional year of control (unofficially). Sounds familiar.

    Is the additional year of control important when the team is pulling out all stops to be a contender in its first year in SunTrust Park?

    I think it is. You don’t want Ozzie’s “clock” and Dansby’s “clock” to run concurrently. You don’t want to have to deal with their raises and/or extensions concurrently, and you sure as heck don’t want them entering their walk years concurrently.

    Oh… and he probably still needs a couple more month’s seasoning. There’s that.


  71. 74 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2016 at 8:04 am

    I think you are on to something Vee, as much as folks are clamoring, they can see him play 15 minutes up the road in Gwinnett.

    More likely he will be brought up after Kelly Johnson is traded to the Mets again.

    The more likely new face to break into the opening day line up will be a pitcher.

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 75 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2016 at 10:14 am

    More likely he will be brought up after Kelly Johnson is traded to the Mets again.



  73. 76 Vox O'Reason December 16, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Here’s an interesting tidbit from Coppy’s Twitter Q&A yesterday that I missed. In fairness, I missed it because he switched over to Spanish for about a half hour then came back to English. I had no idea what he was answering. But this morning I found this is translation, courtesy of Tomahawk Take:

    Q: Greetings from Mexico, John! Will there be any changes to the uniforms in the near future?

    A: I think we’re going to change the uniforms, but I do not know the information & will not say any more now

    Unless that lost something in the translation, it’s definitely news.


  74. 77 Gil in Mechanicsville December 16, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    I think we’re going to change the uniforms, but I do not know the information & will not say any more now

    I thought it had something to do with the deal cut with Underarmor.


  75. 78 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Just an observation… John Danks’ fastball has topped out at 88 mph since his shoulder surgery but if there was anyone who he could learn from pitching with such a reduced velocity it would be Bartolo Colon. I would think Bartolo could help Colmenter too.

    Liked by 2 people

  76. 79 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Latest stats on phenom hitting .375, going 27 for 72 with a .446 OPS. 13 steals in 16 attempts. 5 2B, 1 3B, 2HR 10W & 13Ks. Pretty heady stats for a kid who turned 19 today.

    Liked by 3 people

  77. 80 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    I’d be amazed if he didn’t start in Mississippi this season.


  78. 81 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    Uh.. That would be Ronald Acuna…


  79. 82 Gil in Mechanicsville December 18, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    AKA The answer to everything.. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  80. 84 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Yes, it is Monday… Woohoo… 🙂


  81. 85 Vox O'Reason December 19, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Fastball command is always the last thing to develop.

    Liked by 1 person

  82. 86 Vox O'Reason December 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm

    He should pitch all of 2017 at AAA to hone his control. His stuff is there… just have to fine tune. Right on schedule.

    Liked by 1 person

  83. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Yes Vee, people always want the phenom to be able to strike out 27 and pitch a perfect game as soon as the reach puberty. Always the problem when you have let you staff become depleted. Even the truly great have a pretty short shelf life.

    A lot of weight is riding on Sean’s shoulders. If he does not become a bonafide ace because people will say the trading of Andrelton Simmons was a huge mistake.

    I could live with him still being at short and Dansby playing second. Oh well, it’s pretty tough putting the toothpaste back into the tube.

    Liked by 2 people

  84. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville December 19, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    I look at the Mets as having one of the best staffs ever assembled but young pitchers have not been very durable in modern times. I think it is the combination of always trying to hit triple digits on the radar gun and not pacing themselves by dialing it back a notch or two and throwing about 85%. I guess the real key is understanding how to pitch effectively at reduced velocities.

    I think this will be the biggest influence that Bartolo will have on the youngsters in camp. He can always break out the old videos of him when he could smoke it to show that pitching is not the same as throwing.

    Liked by 3 people

  85. 89 berigan2electricboogaloo December 21, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Do you ever wonder if the folks that write about baseball, or even post comments about baseball that are so stat reliant above everything else, are naturally Democrats? not that Dems are statheads…just the insanity of their viewpoints, that no amount of common sense can correct…
    on a mlbtr story that had a bit about Mallex Smith (basically saying the club would rather have him play every day in AAA than sit on the bench in the majors)

    Democrat …
    Blocking a good young player because of Matt Kemp is such a bad way to “rebuild.”

    Republican (of course fearing being beaten up over thinking RBI’s mean something and staying way from mentioning that stat) It would be if Kemp was just an average player. He hit 35 home runs with a .268/.304/.499 clip. I’ll take that even with the low OBP and mediocre fielding.

    Dem right after that comment… Matt Kemp isn’t even an average player.

    very rare, sensible, rational , and therefore Republican Met fan 😉 ….
    Tell that to Freddie Freeman. If you don’t think a guy who can drop 35 bombs hitting behind doesn’t give a good hitter in front of them better pitches to hit, well, you just haven’t watched enough baseball. Mallex certainly brings a different skill set such as speed and athleticism, but Matt Kemp brings a threat to your lineup which was seriously lacking before his arrival.

    Remember that year that Chipper almost hit .400 towards the end of his career? If you don’t think that having a power threat behind him in a lineup (I.e. Mark Texiera) didn’t give Chipper more fastballs to hit and more pitchers challenging Chipper instead of walking him…?

    Believe me, I’m a Mets fan, I watched a lot of years where David Wright was the only threat in a line-up and watched him get first pitch slider, 3-1 sliders, etc. and watch the Mets’ season end by the beginning of August.

    A guy that can drop a bomb on you behind a good hitter makes all the difference in the world. Just look at what the Braves did after acquiring Kemp (along with get healthier), they were a much better team.

    As a Mets fan, the Braves are scary this coming year. The couple of veterans they added to their rotation, coupled with their position player depth, makes them a decent threat. I don’t like their bullpen so much, but they’ll win games this year.

    I actually see their lineup as good as any in the NL East

    Repub… I have gained respect for some Mets fans out there. It just makes a world of difference when someone actually sees a team play often, even if you are from a division rival. All these people who don’t ever watch games from other teams and only look at WAR or other saber metrics for info will miss these untangibles that really make a difference. Matt Kemp may be bad in the field, but he made our entire lineup much better after his arrival on top of hitting his 35 HR’s. I love Mallex, but I wouldn’t replace Kemp with him. At least not at this stage.

    Dem so far left that they have #donaldtrumpnotmyprez tattooed across his face…
    chicks dig the long ball, and apparently so do Stan and logan, shame they ignore literally every other at bat, base running and fielding.

    Liked by 3 people

  86. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Mallex will be on the Gwinnett to Cobb shuttle. He will play plenty but he is not yet ready for a full time gig unless the Braves upgrade their offense at third. Look for him to be a fixture when the Braves play in American league parks and Kemp is utilized as the DH.

    Of course we won’t know the impact of the off season on Kemp until he arrives in Orlando for ST. If he has slimmed down a bit, well, his defense may yet improve.

    The Braves are hoping Nick Markakis continues to improve too as his value as a trade piece will never be higher than this season. I’m not advocating his leaving, just understanding the culmination of a plan. One thing to get a feel for is how the new park plays.


  87. 91 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2016 at 8:37 am

    😡 Just lost a really long post.

    Can’t replicate. Just know that I agree on Nick. Also you should look up Ray-Patrick Didder. I provided alot of reference. Too disgusted to do it again. 15 minutes of my life that I can’t get back.

    Liked by 3 people

  88. 93 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2016 at 9:23 am

    The kid who will make Markakis expendable.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. 94 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2016 at 9:37 am

    Bowman, on newly acquired pitcher Jaime Garcia…

    It’s concerning how drastically Garcia faded at around the 140-inning mark this past season, but if he gets off to a good start, Atlanta can try to sell high and then fill the rotation vacancy with Wisler, Blair or any of their other rising prospects who might become big league-ready at some point in June or July.

    I think the same concept can be applied to Nick Markakis (Mallex Smith), Matt Kemp (Mallex) and even Jim Johnson (AJ Minter). Really, any veteran on this roster that’s on a short deal will have to be considered expendable at the deadline if the return is right for the Braves. Especially if there are youngsters knocking at the door.

    Liked by 1 person

  90. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2016 at 9:46 am

    Short term vets are a premium for a lot of teams in it to win it at trade deadline time. They are the short sale stocks of MLB.

    On Didder, you just never can have too many good prospects.


  91. 96 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Above especially true of relievers.


  92. 97 berigan2electricboogaloo December 21, 2016 at 10:05 am

    I think this will be the biggest influence that Bartolo will have on the youngsters in camp. He can always break out the old videos of him when he could smoke it to show that pitching is not the same as throwing.

    I sure hope that is the case, but he didn’t seem to get thru to the guys on the Mutts…they all throw 150 MPH it seems, and keep getting hurt….


  93. 98 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2016 at 10:24 am

    they all throw 150 MPH it seems, and keep getting hurt…



  94. 99 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    Hey… we’ll take whatever news we can get right now…


  95. 100 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    I should have re-posted this one first… it might have made somebody drop their coffee. Then again, with this crowd, it might have led to a serious medical failure.

    Liked by 1 person

  96. 101 Vox O'Reason December 21, 2016 at 4:05 pm



  97. 102 Gil in Mechanicsville December 21, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Tyrell should not fret, either he will be claimed off waivers or reassigned to the minors. It is simply making room on their 40 man roster. Hey, I’d take him back. He has a future in the show, just maybe not quite yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 104 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Tyrell should not fret, either he will be claimed off waivers or reassigned to the minors.

    He will be claimed. I’ll be surprised if he isn’t. It isn’t that he’s not a talented pitcher, but he had a long line of “higher ceilings” in front of him in ATL. I must admit I’m a little befuddled by Texas DFA’ing him for an injury risk guy though. Anyway, there are plenty of teams that have no idea who they’ll trot out there for their 5th starter in 2017. The Angels and Padres immediately come to mind. He should get a shot on a major league roster somewhere. I’ll be really surprised if he gets through all 30 teams and has to take a minor league deal or assignment.

    Liked by 3 people

  99. 105 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2016 at 11:11 am

    So… not alot of news to go over… and as much as I should be working, I don’t appear to be.

    Well, it’s been a little while since I posted an anticipated roster (with current players, of course). So why not?

    Julio (R)
    Bartolo (R)
    Jamie Garcia (L)
    RAD (R)
    Folty (R)

    There will be competition, of course, But this is how I anticipate it shaking out. For the record, all of Folty, Wisler and Blair have minor league options remaining. So that should not be a consideration.

    Bullpen: (this is a little more complicated with options, Rule 5, etc.)
    JimmyJohn, Closer, n/a
    Viz, RH, 1 option remaining
    Mauricio Cabrera, RH, 1 option remaining
    Ian Krol, LH, 0 options remaining
    Jose Ramirez, RH, 0 options remaining
    Chaz Roe, RH, 0 options remaining
    Armando Rivero, RH, Rule 5
    Collmenter, RH, long reliever, n/a

    Dan Winkler, RH, Rule 5, will probably open the season on the DL. Paco Rodriguez,LH, although he should be healthy, has a couple options remaining. That will likely land him in Gwinnett until someone goes down or gets traded. Same with Shae Simmons, RH, and Jason Hursh, RH.

    “Go to” lineup:
    Ender, CF (L)
    Dansby, SS (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    MattyK, LF (R)
    Kakes, RF (L)
    SeanRod/Jace, 2B (R/L)
    Adonis, 3B (R)
    TFlow, C (R)

    I think SeanRod will get the majority of the playing time at 2B, so I see that as a “loose” platoon. In fact, I’ll just place Jace on the bench below.

    Recker, BUC (R)
    Jace, IF/OF (L)
    Chase d’Arnaud, IF/OF (R)
    ???, OF

    The one spot on the roster that I think is yet to be filled is the 4th OF spot. The Braves could fill it internally with Mel Rojas, Jr. (S), a non-roster-invitee to spring. Considering the fact that he would be the last guy off the bench, and a defensive replacement at best, I think the Braves could go this route. But it would require a 40-man roster adjustment.

    And let me qualify that statement. I’m not so sure Chase is a lock to make the team. But he is valuable as a utility type. So the team could trade him straight up for a more typical 4th OF type… one with a little more pop to come off the bench. That would hurt MelRo’s chances.

    And my wildcard to scramble the bench picture even more is Rio Ruiz (L). A strong spring by him and he might just make the team in a pseudo-platoon role with Adonis, who historically is weaker against RH pitchers. So it makes a little sense. And in his favor is the fact that he’s already on the 40-man roster. But if Rio makes the bench, we have to have somebody who can back up CF. Currently, only Chase is that guy. Watch out for MelRo though, I think he’s got some game. I’m looking forward to seeing him in spring. This is his best last chance to make a major league roster before he starts appearing “old” and takes on the AAAA-player stigma.

    And of course, all this is predicated with Mallex playing everyday in AAA, which I think is in the best interest of both team and player.

    Liked by 1 person

  100. 106 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2016 at 11:18 am

    The Pirates sign Nova and are taking aim at trying to trade for Jose Quintana. Perhaps they will hang onto McCuthen but I doubt it. Pretty sure they will wait until spring training and see which teams suffer an injury to a front line outfielder. I think he had some issues last season which we are not being made aware. I look for him to bonce back in 2017.


  101. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2016 at 11:28 am

    And of course, all this is predicated with Mallex playing everyday in AAA, which I think is in the best interest of both team and player.

    I hope he recognizes this too, no need for him to mope. He will be in the show before the end of summer.

    I agree on the situation at 2nd base. When Ozzie makes the jump, Jace will become the extra part. Ditto on Chase too, can he play center field? He has taken a turn or two there but I would expect the Braves to have Gwinnett on speed dial in the event Ender was going to miss more than a day or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  102. 108 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2016 at 11:33 am

    BTW- The Braves picked up MelRo from PIT in May 2016, and he’s done nothing but hit everywhere he’s been, including in the Dominican Winter League currently. He slashed .270/.349/.491, w/ 10 HR’s and 34 RBI (and 5 triples) in 64 games in Gwinnett after arriving there. I cannot find any updated DWL stats, at least not in English. 😉


  103. 109 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

    MelRo’s dad was a major league pitcher, and he’s related to Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou, who are all “granduncles”, and Moises Alou, who is a cousin of some variety.


  104. 110 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2016 at 11:45 am

    Chase is a decent CF, and is currently listed as the #2 guy there. It’s true that SeanRod can play it, but I think they’d prefer he didn’t have to. As we’ve mulled over many times, should there be along term injury to Ender, Mallex should certainly get the callup.

    In my mind, though, I know I’d prefer a more prototypical 4th OF that can play all 3 spots capably. It’s nice to have the versatility of guys like Chase, Jace and SeanRod, but all of those guys have positions in which they are strongest. And that makes the team stronger.

    And I still have a gut feeling that Chase is not on the OD roster. He’s SeanRod lite. Now that we have the full fledged SeanRod, Chase’s value is diminished IMO.

    And it wouldn’t surprise me if Coppy doesn’t have one more rabbit to pull out of his hat before P&CR on Valentine’s Day. That’s what… roughly 7 weeks?


  105. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Sounds like a solid candidate Vee. I’m sure he will get a lot of playing time in ST. Let the best 25 make the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  106. 112 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I would not be surprised to see the Braves package Jace and/or Chase along with a couple of prospects for some low level/high ceiling prospects before the end of spring training. Teams are always looking for ways to clear space on their 40 man rosters.

    I would love to add Andrew McCruchen but for the cost. If the Braves had not already added Matt Kemp, I think he would be a target.

    Liked by 2 people

  107. 113 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2016 at 11:54 am

    As a baseball fan, I love parity in the game. No one really likes all the wins to be in one camp except the band wagon riders. Keep it interesting and let the team with the most heart prevail.

    Being cool under fire is what separates the rookies from the vets.

    Liked by 1 person

  108. 114 Vox O'Reason December 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

    I’m looking for the Mets to make a push for Cutch. It’s the kind of splash they crave. And he’s just the type of guy they like to obtain… glorious past, questionable future.


  109. 115 Gil in Mechanicsville December 22, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    I guess the Mets have resolved their money issues.

    With the questionable return to full strength by David Wright, he would fill a need. We have seen how long it takes to recover for cervical disc surgery with Nick Markakis. A couple of years for sure.


  110. 116 Gil in Mechanicsville December 23, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Braves “extend” Ender Inciarte. Appox $30MM for 5 years. Sounds good to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  111. 117 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2016 at 10:01 am

    Merry Christmas to us, huh?


  112. 118 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2016 at 10:02 am


  113. 119 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2016 at 10:03 am



  114. 120 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Given the escalating salaries in baseball today, this is a pretty dang good deal for the Braves.


  115. 121 Vox O'Reason December 23, 2016 at 10:20 am

    We’re excited too, Ender… we’re excited too.

    Liked by 1 person

  116. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville December 23, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    The Reds claim Tyrell Jenkins off waivers from Texas. Did not think he would drift long. Cleveland helped their cause as well as their fan base with the signing of Encarceon to a 3 year deal.

    Liked by 3 people

  117. 123 berigan2electricboogaloo December 24, 2016 at 11:57 am

    MelRo’s dad was a major league pitcher, and he’s related to Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou, who are all “granduncles
    I saw gran duncles , which made me chuckle…which shows the how very sophisticated my wit is 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  118. 125 Vox O'Reason December 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Backatcha CL, and to the rest of the gang too.

    Liked by 1 person

  119. 126 Gil in Mechanicsville December 24, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Merry Christmas gang…. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  120. 127 berigan2electricboogaloo December 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! 🙂
    I was busy before we left to see friends last night, and forgot to check in here….

    Liked by 3 people

  121. 128 Gil in Mechanicsville December 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Timing is everything. Was working on my old Gateway and poof!!!! Just gave up the ghost. Oh well, made the investment of a new lap top for Ms Josie for Christmas a win win for me, I will inherit her older ASUS, too bad for my daughter who wanted the Gateway but I think I still have a new hard drive that will fix the problem… glad everything is backed up.

    Now baseball, Braves sign another back up catcher. I think he will push the issue in spring training.

    Liked by 3 people

  122. 129 Gil in Mechanicsville December 26, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Braves signed David Freitas in November. His lifetime numbers are pretty good. He was signed as a minor league free agent off the Orioles roster. I’ll try to fill in the blanks later. After all, he has been on the Braves minor roster for a month.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 130 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2016 at 1:14 am

    A bit of information on Freitas, he is a career minor league catcher who has always hit well. Better in AAA than AA. He was a 15th round pick of the Nationals in 2010. He is now 28 years old. He has bounced for the Nats to the Athletics and the Cubs to finally the Orioles. His knock has been his inability to throw out runners.

    Tyler Flowers’ percentage on throwing out baserunners is down from career norms last season. At some point, folks have to understand it is not just the catcher who has to be part of the equation on caught stealing. So many young pitchers last season contributed to those declining numbers. Slow to the plate, not being able to hold runners, being too predictable in their motions. Those are all things young pitchers have to learn on their way up the ladder. There is a lot more to pitching than just throwing the ball to the catcher. It’s why so many prospects fail. They have to think so much.

    Anyway, the guy can hit. We shall see, unless the Braves pull a fast one and somehow snags Wieters, I think he will get a decent tryout during spring training. The tip off might just be what number he is assigned next spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  124. 131 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Ronald Acuna’s season has been cut short by Visa issues by his native Venezuela. I guess he has not learned the art of paying the kickbacks and bribes normally necessary when dealing with a South American socialist country.

    Honestly, how hard can it be? Oh, forgot, dictator in charge who see dollar signs for an valuable export. C’mon Braves, send a rep down to help him out.

    Liked by 1 person

  125. 132 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Yep… Ronald Acuna busted onto MLB’s radar, and in the process landed on the radar of the fascist Maduro regime. Let the shakedown commence.


  126. 133 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Freitas is another AAAA catcher, much like Recker. That said, I thought Recker did a pretty good job as a backup in ATL last season. I don’t think I’d want to trot him out there for 82+ games, but for what he did…

    2016: .278/.394/.433

    Pretty solid numbers. However…

    Career: .200/.284/.350

    A bit less inspiring. I see the signings of Gosewisch and Freitas more as hedging the bet on Recker. Should 2016 prove to be an anomaly, and Anthony regress back to his career norm, then there are other options.


  127. 134 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2016 at 9:34 am

    At this point, I’ll be shocked if Coppy brings in Matt Weiters. I think that ship not only sailed long ago, I don’t think it ever really came close to Coppy’s harbor. That seems to be something the media matched up and has continued to try to marry. But from an ATL fan perspective, it doesn’t make much sense.

    All you have to do is look at Weiters’ 2016 offensive numbers to see that it wouldn’t even be much of an upgrade.

    TFlow 2016: .270/.357/.420, 8 HR, 41 RBI

    Solid even if not eye popping.

    Weiters 2016: .243/.302/.409, 17 HR, 66 RBI

    So he hit 9 more HR… This nouveau ATL team is counting on more OBP than pure power. Heck, if power were the key, the version that crushed 222 HR’s in 2006 would have run away with it. Oh wait… that team was the one that missed the playoffs for the first time in 14 years…

    IMO, Coppy might still work a deal for an under the radar guy before spring, but I think we’ll go into 2017 with the tandem of TFlow/Recker and the aforementioned backups waiting in the wings.

    And then in 2018, Jonathan Lucroy hits the FA market. But I’m getting way ahead of myself.


  128. 135 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2016 at 2:41 pm



  129. 136 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    From the above-referenced piece:

    Smith, 23, wanted to continue playing in Puerto Rico, but the Braves brought him home as a precautionary measure after the side-muscle injury flared again. He played in only five games for Mayaguez, posting a .375 on-base percentage and going 5-for-20 with two doubles, three RBIs, four walks, two strikeouts and two stolen bases. All the games were in a six-day stretch Dec. 13-18.


  130. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Side injury = lat… really a pesky thing. I have no idea of how you condition yourself to prevent it. I do know the only treatment is rest.

    Smart for the Braves to pull him to prevent him for being lost for extended periods in 2017.

    On Weiters, I;m okay with it either way. Unfair to put too much stock in the numbers when a player is coming back from an injury. Still, I don’t see the Braves burning a draft pick (compensation pick) and spending a ton of money when they don’t have to.

    Another Scott Boras client who got some bad advice.

    If you are going to spend that kind of money, I’d rather have McCutchen. Then trade Markakis.

    Liked by 1 person

  131. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    And while I really like Mallex, I would not be all that adverse to trading him. Their are some real gems in the pipeline.


  132. 139 Gil in Mechanicsville December 27, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Dang auto correct… THERE…. not THEIR


  133. 140 Vox O'Reason December 27, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Still, I don’t see the Braves burning a draft pick (compensation pick)

    No pick involved. The O’s didn’t extend a QO since Weiters burned them in 2015 by actually accepting it. They weren’t taking any chances this year.

    That said, Weiters is a declining asset with a premium price tag. If he weren’t a catcher, this wouldn’t even be front page news. And you’re right in that Boras isn’t doing him any favors. It’s not hard to sell an iPhone 5, but not a iPhone 7 prices. I think Coppy is content with his Galaxy s4.


  134. 141 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2016 at 8:42 am

    Braves sing another lefty reliever to a minor league deal. Andrew Albers, a 31 year old pitcher who had experienced brief stints with the Twins and the Blue Jays. Look for him to work out of the Gwinnett pen.


  135. 142 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2016 at 8:42 am

    This is what makes baseball such a great game:

    Liked by 1 person

  136. 143 Vox O'Reason December 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has posted 10 prospects ready to surge in 2017. Among them:

    Max Fried, LHP, Braves’ No. 11 prospect: Fried missed nearly two years of competitive baseball following Tommy John surgery, first with the Padres and then finishing the rehab process with the Braves after coming over in the Justin Upton trade. Fried topped 100 IP in 2016, missed a lot of bats and got a lot of ground-ball outs. The gloves could come off for the lefty in ’17, and he could start showing why he was a Top 10 pick back in ’12.

    He’s a top-of-the-rotation type pitcher that I expect to show up in ATL in 2018. He’ll take one of the spots currently occupied by Bartolo and RAD. By 2019, he’ll be in our top 3.

    Liked by 1 person

  137. 144 Gil in Mechanicsville December 28, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    A lot of the fanatics that dominate the boards will forget all about the bad mouthing they laid on the Johns when these kids finally make it to the show. It is tough watching the sausage being made, especially when you see them slaughter the hog. The latter is a sight that is indelibly imprinted on my memory.


  138. 145 berigan2electricboogaloo December 29, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    All you have to do is look at Weiters’ 2016 offensive numbers to see that it wouldn’t even be much of an upgrade.

    TFlow 2016: .270/.357/.420, 8 HR, 41 RBI

    Solid even if not eye popping.

    Weiters 2016: .243/.302/.409, 17 HR, 66 RBI

    and Weiters plays/Played in a tiny bandbox, with everyone and their brother hitting homers in front of him, behind him…. no doubt borass is asking for a 5-6 year contract for this “elite” catcher….


  139. 146 Vox O'Reason December 29, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Funny thing is… the new fad among scouts is the whole “pitch framing” thing. And apparently Weiters ranks in the bottom half of MLB in that category. That’s what’s killing his market.


  140. 147 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Ber, I think it all comes down to price As long as the Braves don’t overpay, I think Weiters is an upgrade. I would not put a lot od stock in last season’s numbers because he was coming off an injury. That said, he was coming off and injury. That in itself is likely why Baltimore passed on signing him to stay in the AL East.

    So, we shall see who blinks first, Weiters, Boras or Coppy?

    I would have rather signed Wellington but the Os stepped into that opening, another reason the Braves need to be mindful of Weiters’ likely contributions going forward.


  141. 148 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Pitch framing = poor recognition of the strike zone by supposedly major league umpires.

    I’m not talking about pitches on the black, I’m talking about pitches clearly in the opposite batter’s box.

    Liked by 1 person

  142. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville December 29, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Curve balls are obviously the toughest pitch for an ump to get a clear read on.


  143. 150 Vox O'Reason December 30, 2016 at 2:57 pm

    Hmmm… seems the Chris Archer rumors are rising up again. This time the names involved are Ozzie, Folty and Ian Anderson. Hefty price, but super talented and young ace in return. If we could get away with just those 3 with maybe another lesser throw-in, I’d lean toward it.


  144. 151 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Funny Vee, Ozzie and Folty are two of the names I threw out there yesterday on a twitter thread. Ozzie is a super talent but not a deal breaker with Kevin Meitia in the pipeline. I’d say the talent mentioned is on a par with what Boston gave up for Sale.

    Of course, every time I see Elvis Andrus I am reminded of what we gave up for Texeria.

    Folty is a good pitcher on the cusp of being a great pitcher but Archer is already a great pitcher, He would make the Braves instantly relavent.

    Of course giving up that much, you wonder what else it would take to get Quintana from the ChiSox?


  145. 152 Vox O'Reason December 30, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Not just Kevin Maitan, but Travis Demeritte as well.


  146. 153 Gil in Mechanicsville December 30, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    So here is the thing, as highly rated as Ozzie is, we don’t know how he will fare against big league pitching.

    If he were traded, he almost certainly would play shortstop for the Rays.

    Liked by 1 person

  147. 154 Gil in Mechanicsville December 31, 2016 at 10:28 am


    Above is a link to an opinion poll on how we think the Braves front office is doing. To be honest, other than the Hector Olivera trade, I cannot really complain. Okay, maybe the Simmons for Sean Newcomb and friends but I think it is still too early to accurately judge that one.

    The same could be said of some of the John Schuerholz trades too. ie the farm for Texiera. Trading away Justice and Jermaine Dye. One was spite, not sure about Dye but Lockhart and Michael Tucker were no where near the talent level of Dye.

    But it is all ancient history now isn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  148. 155 Carolina Lady December 31, 2016 at 8:10 pm


    Liked by 3 people

  149. 156 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2017 at 9:51 am

    SIGH! Another year in the books…

    Okay, seriously, a couple of pretty doggone good showings by Bama and Clemson. Should be another barn burner Monday week.

    On Acuna’s visa troubles… upon further review, what is the snag? Lying about his age? Changing his name? Not paying off the local officials? One has to wonder why this suddenly popped up? He must have gone home for a visit during the Christmas break of the ABL.


  150. 157 Gil in Mechanicsville January 1, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Cruising around the web, I spotted an opine which posed the possibility of the Braves signing free agent Luis Valbuena to play third base, while it was originally pose that he could platoon with Garcia, Valbuena is really an everyday player. With that, I thought the more likely scenario would be that SRod would move to third and Ozzie be brought up if Garcia proved to be unproductive this spring.

    The first two months are always the “feeling out” period for all teams anyway. Ruiz is another good possibility to make the team coming out of spring training. It’s tough balancing out a line up every day for every ML team. After all, only one will take the big trophy at the end.

    And everyone has to make it through the WBC in addition to ST.

    It’s just like a nice car though, in order for it to stay that way, you pretty much have to leave it parked in the garage. Can’t do that with players who give it their all.


  151. 159 Carolina Lady January 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    smh Wonder why I don’t actually THINK before I write something?? sigh


  152. 160 Gil in Mechanicsville January 2, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Normally, I view spring training records with a jaundiced eye but I have noticed a correlation of late with the Braves horrible spring training record and their horrible record period. I still think spring training records should be taken with a grain of salt but I hope they can improve this year.

    Liked by 1 person

  153. 161 Vox O'Reason January 3, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Good morning and Happy New Year. As a friendly public service, allow me to refresh everyone’s memories on the key upcoming dates:

    Arb dates:
    1/10 -> Deadline for eligible players to file for salary arbitration.
    1/13 -> Deadline for teams and players to exchange $$ figures.
    2/1-21 -> Arb hearings.

    [If the sources I read are correct (I sound like Ken Rosenthal), Vizzy and Krol are our only remaining arb eligible players.]

    Spring Training dates:
    2/14 -> P&CR
    2/18 -> 1st full squad workout
    2/25 -> 1st ST game vs. TOR

    2017 regular season:
    4/3 -> Season opener @ NYM
    4/14 -> Home opener vs. SDP


  154. 162 Vox O'Reason January 3, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Fun fact…

    Estimating the 2017 salaries for both Viz and Krol, as well as estimating the salaries for the 4 pre-arb guys on the expected roster, the Braves will open the 2017 season with a payroll in the neighborhood of $119M.

    That’s right… $119M.

    Can no longer accuse Liberty Media of being cheap. $119M for a team that isn’t expected to realistically contend is not cheap.

    Of course, there’s only about $76M committed for 2018. 😉


  155. 163 Vox O'Reason January 3, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Are the Braves done making moves for 2017? And of course, I mean making “big” moves… there will always be tweaks here and there.

    But are they content at catcher? At 3B?

    Are they content with the bench?

    Are they content with the bullpen?

    I think the team will go to ST with Flowers/Recker behind the plate again.
    I think they could still address 3B, but the conditions would have to be just right. I think they probably will still address the bench, but maybe not until closer to ST when unsigned guys are getting antsy.

    The bullpen is a bit of a mystery to me. I think there are alot of candidates for the 7 spots… but I also think there are alot of question marks. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were to acquire an established setup guy to get to JimmyJohn, especially since it was the setup men that proved to be key to the Cubs and Indians during their WS runs. Teams are starting to see that the 7th and 8th innings are just as important as the 9th.

    Currently, the Braves setup men appear to be the extremely inconsistent Arodys Vizcaino, the inexperienced Mauricio Cabrera, and the unproven Jose Ramirez. And while all 3 of them may still prove to be effective, none of them are known assets going into the season.

    So to me, that may be the one area in which the team still makes a move to improve.


  156. 164 Vox O'Reason January 3, 2017 at 11:42 am

    One more thing on the bullpen…

    I should not have so quickly dismissed Ian Krol, who was pretty good in 2016. But he’s the only LH that appears to be a lock for the ‘pen, so he’ll probably be used more situationally. The health of LHRP Paco Rodriguez will obviously impact that status though, if he’s healthy. IMO, Paco will open 2017 on the DL, and immediately begin a rehab tour through the minors to get his feet wet again… and to buy a little time for Coppy to see exactly what he has in the ‘pen.


  157. 165 Gil in Mechanicsville January 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Can’t disagree on the status of the pen at this point. Spring training stats for relievers can be a bit misleading as often lesser prospects are pitted against minor league or fringe talent. Traveling squads are filled with prospects too. I guess that is why ST stats and records can be so misleading.

    Still, it’s baseball which is infinitely better than no baseball.

    Best of all, it’s not politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  158. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville January 3, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Perhaps it’s best to just watch and evaluate the talent as it is presented to us. No one should take their positions for granted.

    Lastly, if they will play with the same intensity they played with the final month of the 2016 season, I think we will all be pleasantly surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

  159. 167 Vox O'Reason January 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Dude is crisscrossing the country…


  160. 168 Vox O'Reason January 3, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Nice piece on some guys we’ve talked about at length, and a few we haven’t yet noticed:

    Swanson, Albies lead rich Braves system | Atlanta stocked with strong arms, but not short on position prospects

    Liked by 1 person

  161. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville January 3, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    Great thing about baseball, every season allows for everyone to hit the reset button.


  162. 170 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Extremely slow news cycle for baseball… like pond water. Nothing to report.

    On a completely random side, I just read that Black Country Communion is reuniting for a new album this year.

    Hey… at least it’s news. 🙄


  163. 171 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Yes, everything is politics, football and basketball…. not in that order.

    Oh well, I guess that is why journalist reporters hacks feel compelled to make up stuff.


  164. 172 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Not sure that this registers as “news”, but it is something to chew on, anyway.

    Paul Lebowitz over at Fan Rag Sports has made predictions for the Top 10 remaining FA hitters, and listed this at #8:

    8. Luis Valbuena

    Valbuena is similar to [Trevor] Plouffe, but is more of a feast-or-famine player. Part of that might have been tactical with his former club, the Houston Astros, disregarding batting average and strikeouts and giving him the green light to look for a pitch in his zone and try to hit it to Mars. He’ll walk and he’ll hit home runs. Plenty of teams can use a versatile, lefty-swinging power bat, but there’s not an obvious spot for him to get semi-regular playing time.

    PREDICTION: Atlanta Braves, One-year, $7 million

    Given the dearth of a LH bench piece – Jace is the only one at the moment, and he’s supposedly a platoon player – it makes a little sense. But The Johns have shown a propensity toward more versatile bench pieces, and Valbuena is not that. But he does have pop.

    I’ll take this prediction with a grain of salt and give it a < 50% chance of happening.


  165. 173 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Slight correction on the above… it is for the Top 10 remaining FA’s… pitchers and hitters.


  166. 174 Vox O'Reason January 4, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Regarding Valbuena… isn’t he just a LH version of Adonis? Unless you just want to set up a strict platoon, then I don’t see the reason. It also minimizes what SeanRod can contribute, especially once Ozzie hits the scene. We just invested fairly generously into SeanRod. I kind of expect him to play.


  167. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    Just chumming the waters Vee, just chumming the waters to see what might float to the surface.

    Saw a picture of Adonis on twitter the other day, the dude looks ripped and ready to play. I would love to see Matt Kemp show up in similar condition.

    I think Adonis keeps reading all the post about how he is the weak link and perhaps he wants to show the brass he is serious about winning the job. While I don’t know that his loss of body fat will translate into a higher BA, it should at least improve his stamina and speed (range).

    Looking forward to spring training.

    Liked by 2 people

  168. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville January 4, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    As for ARod and his utilization. The ball is in his court if you ask me. He can play several positions and will be in the line up against lefties and depending on Jace and how soon the Braves want to bring up Ozzie (not before June I would wager) He will try to be in the line up at least 5 out of every 7 games either at 2nd or 3rd.

    There are 5 players (other than pitchers) who I would say are locks to start nearly every day for the Braves in 2017. 2nd and 3rd are the areas the Braves can make the most impact.

    2018 is a whole ‘nother season. I strongly expect Nick Markakis to be traded mid season and depending on Kemps contributions, I will be surprised to see him in Atlanta in 2018. Let’s see if he dropped 20 or so pounds this winter. Of course, I am not worries about pounds as much as BMI. Tone it up Bro…


  169. 177 Vox O'Reason January 5, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Let’s see if he dropped 20 or so pounds this winter. Of course, I am not worries about pounds as much as BMI. Tone it up Bro…

    You talkin’ to me?


    Liked by 2 people

  170. 178 Vox O'Reason January 5, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Too cool…

    Liked by 2 people

  171. 179 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    Pretty cool, would never get approved the EPA today but that is another saga.

    Liked by 2 people

  172. 180 Gil in Mechanicsville January 5, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Well, at least Coppy tried. I guess we will see if the Braves may have dodged a bullet.


    Liked by 1 person

  173. 181 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2017 at 7:52 am

    the Braves may have dodged a bullet.

    Indeed they did. His numbers have fallen way off. The story only says “in November”. I’d like to know if it was before or after the SeanRod signing. Personally, I think SeanRod makes us a stronger team than BP would have. If BP would have kept us from signing SeanRod, I am sure we dodged a bullet. And having both makes little sense aside from some additional name recognition for 2017.

    At issue was an extension… BP is demanding an extension from any team that acquires him, or he’ll do what he did and use his right to refuse the deal. The Braves only wanted him for the 1 remaining year, and any extension would have been completely counter to the team’s rebuild Plan. So in essence, it isn’t really a story.

    In fact, I love Coppy’s quote on the subject:

    “We explore a myriad of trade opportunities, some which make more progress than others, and some which get more media attention than others. Trades aren’t done until they are done.” (Courtesy of Bowman)

    And I suppose I agree with that attitude. It does kinda make me wonder what deals get close that we never hear about. I bet we’d be quite surprised to know some of them.


  174. 182 Vox O'Reason January 6, 2017 at 7:56 am

    Bowman: According to Rosenthal, the Braves moved on to sign infielder Sean Rodriguez.

    So there ya go. That clarifies the timeline. Thank goodness BP blocked that deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  175. 183 berigan2electricboogaloo January 6, 2017 at 8:58 am

    Weird that BP and Joey Votto refuse to be traded from a team that is in full rebuild mode….I understand folks wanting to just play for 1 team, but….isn’t winning pretty cool too?
    If they played for the Cards, nearly always in the playoff hunt, fans that are often called the best in baseball…that’s different. But Cincy?
    I guess they don’t want to leave that bandbox 😉


  176. 184 Gil in Mechanicsville January 6, 2017 at 10:24 am

    It does kinda make me wonder what deals get close that we never hear about.

    Like the Barry Bonds to Atlanta trade that was nixed by Bonds at the last minute. So Maddux was signed instead.

    I guess it is a lot like me looking at cars, lots of trades I didn’t make…

    Liked by 2 people

  177. 185 Gil in Mechanicsville January 7, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Okie dokie… looks like I won’t be going outside for a while. Snowing to beat the band. BAH!

    Liked by 1 person

  178. 186 Vox O'Reason January 9, 2017 at 7:53 am

    We dodged the snow bullet here in God’s country. We got a slight dusting, but that’s it. Our roads were completely driveable Saturday morning. But a mere half hour up the road the adjacent county got a couple of inches. In fact, their school system is closed today still due to driving conditions. Go figure. When I looked at the weather system tracking across Georgia, my little slice of America was literally right along the bottom edge. And while many of the folks around here complained that we didn’t get any snow, and made the obligatory jokes about the weather forecasters, I was and still am grateful that we didn’t covered by the “white death”.

    Liked by 1 person

  179. 187 Vox O'Reason January 9, 2017 at 8:25 am

    In my job, I work 95% of the time from home. Great setup of which I do not take for granted. And when I do have to make the occasional foray out into the real world, it’s usually not very far.

    Well Friday, with the impending weather system of doom closing in on the terrified South, I had to drive 2 1/2 hours south to middle GA and do about an hour’s worth of research, then turn around and head back the same 2 1/2 hours to the NEGA regional satellite office of my business, a/k/a home. What are the chances? I almost never have to do anything like that, and the one day I must it’s on Winter Storm Warning day. God surely has a sense of humor.

    Since everyone north of Macon (which my target office barely was) was braced for Snowmagedden 2017, I called to make sure that they would even be open. In truth, I called when I was already about an hour into my drive. Part of me wanted them to say, “Stay away”, but the more sensible part of me was well aware that I was facing a rigid deadline and needed to complete my quest. Anyway… they informed me that they were currently open, but couldn’t guarantee anything by the time I got there. I continued on my journey and reached my destination shortly after noon, just as the Winter Storm Warning officially took effect. They were still open, and I was not wasting any time in my task. And sure enough, I was ready to head back about 1:30pm. They rain had just begun there, and was expected to turn to the dreaded “wintry mix” as the temps dropped. Since the mayor of Atlanta, an obvious weather expert, called for everyone to be off the metro area roads by 4pm, the normal traffic patterns were all screwy on the interstates, so I hit the back roads to trek back to God’s country. So there I am boogying across the normally scenic state highways in what at times was a very hard rain. Bleh! I hate driving in rain! According to my calculations, I should have gotten home sometime right after the magical 4pm witching hour. Factoring in a necessary drive-thru diversion, and an even more necessary fuel stop, I finally got back to my safe haven at 4:30pm… and it was still raining, but just raining. And it continued to rain for much of the evening.

    I woke up about 4am and got up to look outside, expecting to see a Winter Wonderland. Instead, I saw “I Wonder where the Winter is” land.

    But the best part is that the family had made preparations to be bunkered in for a couple of days, so we took the whole day Saturday and watched movies in our pajamas. Well, the movies weren’t in our pajamas. Let me restate – we took the whole day, stayed in our pajamas, and watched movies. It was a pretty great day.

    Yes, God does have a sense of humor, but also a great Grace. Thank you Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  180. 188 Vox O'Reason January 9, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Carefully transitioning from stuff to Braves…

    More chatter over the weekend about the Braves looking to improve at 3B. Nothing of substance of course. I think some of the noise makers just need something – anything – to talk about, so they invent scenarios.

    Luis Valbuena’s name continues to be mentioned in connection with ATL, but I think it’s due more to it being a “fit” on paper and less to any actual interest shown between parties.

    Trevor Plouffe has also been named, but he makes zero sense. He’s the equivalent of Adonis but at a higher price. I think there is a national aversion to Adonis. He’s not Longo, but he’s not Jim Pressley either.

    The new name on the national lips is Aaron Hill. He’s a utility IF who is about the equivalent of Chase d’Arnoud, but without the guitar. I’ll just keep Chase, thankyaverymuch.

    And the final mention goes to the Royals, who are reportedly listening on 3B Mike Moustakas. And while I love his nickname, Moose’s numbers aren’t really a great improvement over Adonis either. But he does swing from the LH side of the plate, and that is significant since the Braves have become kind of RH heavy. But he’d be a trade piece that would cost a prospect. Not sure the Braves would give that up when they could just sign Valbuena off the FA pile for just cash.

    IMHO, if the Braves make another addition, it’ll be a true 4th OF. But that’s a horse that I’ve beaten many times over and don’t wish to revisit. Best fit for need = LH bat + good speed + good defense at all 3 OF spots.

    Now watch Coppy make a liar out of me this week and acquire a new 3B…

    Liked by 1 person

  181. 189 Vox O'Reason January 9, 2017 at 9:08 am

    Here’s how I see it all playing out for 2017…

    The Braves begin the new season with pretty much the roster they have right now, plus 1 bench addition.

    The Braves start both Ozzie and Mallex at AAA Gwinnett for 2017, with Mallex getting alot of time in RF.

    SeanRod and Jace share 2B, with SeanRod often spelling Adonis when Jace is in the lineup. SeanRod starts 5-6 games a week at 2B, 3B and the occasional LF here and there.

    Ozzie gets the callup in mid-June, conveniently preserving the additional year of team contractual control and takes over at 2B full-time, batting 8th to ease his entry into the lineup and provide that bottom-of-the-order speed that transitions well to the top-of-the-order speed. Jace becomes the team’s defacto utility IF. SeanRod now makes the lion’s share of starts at 3B with Adonis going to the bench, if he’s not traded at the deadline. Kakes is traded at the deadline, with Mallex making his triumphant return to ATL as our new RF. The lineup now possesses a nice mix of OBP, speed and power:

    Ender, CF (L)
    Dansby, SS (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    MattyK, LF (R)
    SeanRod, 3B (R)
    Mallex, RF (L)
    TFlow/Recker, C (R)
    Ozzie, 2 (S)

    Liked by 2 people

  182. 190 Vox O'Reason January 9, 2017 at 9:19 am

    As for the abovedefined 4th OF, the Braves could do worse than the familiar FA Gregor Blanco.


  183. 191 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Of course the often foretold trade of Markakis only occurs if 1) The Brave are legitimately out of it by the trade deadline or 2)Someone makes the Braves an offer simply too good to pass up.

    As much as we have all talked about Nick’s forthcoming trade, the Braves would be giving up a very reliable RBI producer. I don’t think he has been given enough credit for that part of his game. He was clearly damaged goods when he played his first year after surgery but he appears to be fully recovered now.

    Yep, I really like Gregor, I won’t be surprised to see him signed to a minor league deal with an invite. That pesky 40 man roster keeps getting in the way.

    I think everyone in baseball views the the Braves most glaring needs (or ares of most likely improvement) are 2nd and third base. It’s a given. I view it as a great incentive for both Jace and Adonis. Still, a player can perform only to the level of the talent they possess. Adonis made a huge leap last season, maybe a bit more is in store.

    In the meantime, it gives us something to blog about.

    Liked by 1 person

  184. 192 Vox O'Reason January 9, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    I also believe there may be a good 4th OF candidate already in the fold, even if not on the 40-man. Mel Rojas, Jr. might fit the bill. I think MelRo could compete. It’s the proverbial “$#!+ or get off the pot” year for him, and he does have a spring invitation.

    Liked by 2 people

  185. 193 Vox O'Reason January 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    And DOB adds this today:

    Liked by 2 people

  186. 194 Vox O'Reason January 9, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    P&CR in 36 days (Feb. 14)… not that I’m counting…

    Liked by 3 people

  187. 195 Carolina Lady January 9, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I’m thinking our weather is bipolar. Going from teens to lower 70s in just a couple of days time? Littlejohn is sitting only a few inches from the infrared heater in this room.

    Liked by 1 person

  188. 196 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    I can hardly wait for the warm up. Snow for me equals entrapment. I am hoping the combination of a warm up and rain will allow me to rejoin society.

    And, I think your cat is smart… I have been spending a lot of time hibernating.

    Liked by 2 people

  189. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville January 9, 2017 at 7:05 pm

    The main topic of conversation by the pundits appears to be if the Astros will trade a bunch of their prospects for Quintana. I know if the Braves were in a similar position of being perhaps one front line pitcher away from being a probable WS team, I would be all in. Then again, we saw how well that worked out for the Braves when they cleaned out their farm for Texieria. Sure did help the Rangers become relevant though.

    So, tough call. Savanna Guy is still steamed over the trading of Wainwright to the Cards a bazillion years ago. Oh to be a fly on the wall for that one, but, I digress… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  190. 198 Vox O'Reason January 10, 2017 at 7:38 am

    What most people overlook about the Wainright/JD Drew trade was that Drew was fantastic for the Braves in 2004. And to come in and replace Gary Sheffield (who had bolted for the big Yankee $$) in RF was a formidable task for any player. But all Drew did was slash .305/.436/.569 and pound 31 taters while driving in 93, filling the huge void in the middle of the lineup left by Shef. Oh yeah… and he was 6th in MVP voting that season, his only season in the top 10.

    Had Drew re-signed and stayed here more than just 1 season, that trade would have a whole different tenor to it.

    The miscalculation wasn’t in giving up Wainright, it was in assuming that the kid from Hahira, GA would take a hometown discount to return. John #1 had been given alot of leeway to sign and re-sign whomever he wanted for 14 years, but Time Warner was already in the process of paring down the payroll to sell the team, which they did 3 years later. The Homeboy Upstairs couldn’t match the free-spending Dodgers’ 5-year/$55M deal and Drew was gone to the other side of the continent faster than you could say “cha-ching”.

    The Braves payroll in 2003 was $106,243,667, 3rd in all of MLB. In 2004 it dropped to $88,507,788, 8th highest. And it dropped again in 2005 to $85,148,582… 10th. Had Time Warner just allowed JS to maintain his +/- $100M payroll, JS could have easily matched LAD’s $11M annual check and Drew would have likely remained in the south for a few more seasons.

    I guess my point is simply this… we hear all the time about teams giving up talented prospects for a proven star. The difference in 2017 as opposed to 2004 is that the player’s contract status plays a bigger role in trade negotiation and compensation than ever before. In fact, it was trades like Drew and Tex that woke up GM’s to the fact that they were trading more than just talent… they were trading contracts.

    So I don’t have any gripes about the Wainright/Drew trade. JS was doing what JS had been doing for 14 years, except that suddenly his well financed boat had sprung a leak and Time Warner refused to spring for a cork.

    Now the Teixeira trade is a different story. JS had already been down that road before, and Liberty had already derailed the gravy train. That one surely rests squarely on Homeboy’s shoulders. But hey… nobody bats 1.000. And if they did, the Braves couldn’t afford to keep them. 😉


  191. 199 Vox O'Reason January 10, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Isn’t it interesting that we just casually accept the Braves as a “mid-market” team now when the fact is that Atlanta was an elite market for a long time.

    The difference? TV money. While all the media darling teams were and are exploiting the exploding local TV deal buffets, the Braves are stuck in their dollar menu deal that was a parting gift left by Time Warner. Ironic, ain’t it? The huge media giant crippled the Braves with a nightmare media deal that will continue to choke the team until 2027. As they were moving the last boxes out of their owners’ suite and handing the keys over to Liberty Media, they were also leaving behind an onerous 20 year TV deal that is estimated to pay the team between $10M-$20M annually. By contrast, the Dodgers receive about $240M annually from their deal.

    The deal was done simultaneously with the sale to Liberty Media, and was to Ted Turner’s advantage, tying the Braves to Fox long term fresh off of Fox acquiring Ted’s regional cable channel.

    How was it to Ted’s advantage? Well…

    Ted’s regional cable channel was Turner South and was owned in partnership with none other than Liberty Media between 1990-1996. Isn’t that a coincidence? Seems Ted has many connections with Liberty Media.

    Ted was still on Time Warner’s board of directors through 2006, just before the sale of the Braves to Liberty Media was finalized. 2006 was a big year for Ted.

    It was in 2006 that Time Warner, which had owned 50% of Court TV, purchased the remaining 50% from none other than Liberty Media and began running the channel as part of Turner Broadcasting. And it was in 2006 that Turner Broadcasting sold Turner South to Fox, the beneficiary of the horrific TV deal. Hmmm… isn’t that a coincidence?

    There are many layers to every onion. It was always assumed that Liberty Media had no interest in running a professional sports team, and that the acquisition was for some other financially related reason. In fact, it is apparent that the sale of the Braves was merely a part of a larger chess game in which the Braves were just one of the pawns. Chess games are played over time and ultimately separates the pawns from the royalty. Pawns never win, but kings and queens do. I doubt King Ted has lost a minute of sleep over the Braves crippling TV deal.

    Liked by 3 people

  192. 200 Vox O'Reason January 10, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Also a reality is that until the team started it’s massive rebuild, it was a money maker for Liberty Media. And somewhere along the way, Liberty realized it was to their financial advantage for the team to be competitive in the market place, and ultimately on the field. Somewhere along the way, they saw that the team was more than just an itemized asset on a ledger sheet and is a potential growth asset in need of some attention.

    And why not? Pro sports is huge business. Why else are those massive TV deals even struck?

    Having a media conglomerate as an owner may pay off after all now that Liberty has woken up to the fact that the Braves are actually something worth paying attention to. SunTrust Park is evidence of that. SunTrust Park and all that surrounds it, that is. Bad TV deal aside, they have now given the organization something to work with. It’s not going to be $240M annually, but it does add a whole new revenue stream said to be dedicated to keeping the team healthy in the professional sports marketplace. It might just add that 1 more player here and there that we need to consistently run with the pack. It might just keep us from being the farm system for the Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers.

    I doubt it will push us out of “mid market” status, but it will surely help us climb out of the bargain basement.

    Liked by 2 people

  193. 201 Gil in Mechanicsville January 10, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Very insightful and educational Vee, now I see the rest of the story.

    Goes to show, you should never trust anyone who sleeps with Jane Fonda.

    Liked by 3 people

  194. 202 Carolina Lady January 10, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Superior posts, guys!

    I also want to welcome the newer folks who are now following B&S! Jump on in; the water is great! And safe! We don’t argue, fight, call ugly names, etc. We just enjoy ourselves and hope you do, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  195. 203 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Congrats Chipper!!

    Liked by 2 people

  196. 204 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 7:57 am

    Trevor Plouffe off the table… headed to the A’s. He never really made sense for us anyway.


  197. 205 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 8:09 am

    So the items I have read over the last couple of days makes me think that Coppy is not really looking for a typical 4th OF type. Quotes I’ve read only affirm their philosophy toward versatility, and I think they are quite comfortable with the abilities of both SeanRod and Chase d”Arnaud to play CF, and the corner spots for that matter. But it also appears that what is glaringly missing to us is also glaringly missing to them, and that’s a LH bat for the bench. KJ’s name has been mentioned again for the first time since early in the offseason. He makes his home in Atlanta. Don’t be surprised if Coppy signs him to another 1 year deal.

    IMO, KJ would be a good mentor for Rio Ruiz. In a perfect world, Rio, a LH, would grab the last bench spot and work in a loose platoon with Adonis. I’m just not sure he’s ready. But that’s what Spring Training games are for, right? I suppose if’s he’s ready for The Show, he’ll win the job on the field. And that’s how it should be.

    Frenchy’s name was also mentioned, but he makes zero sense. He only plays the corner OF, and he’s a RH batter. As much as I love him on our bench, there isn’t a spot for him. Well… at least not if Ozzie starts the year in AAA. If Ozzie were to open as our starter, Chase would be the odd man out and Jace would go to the bench. Then there would be a spot for a RH. Hmmm…


  198. 206 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Always fun to speculate on comers and goers, meanwhile, the brass is working behind the scenes for either another second/third baseman or starting pitcher depending on who you are listening to. Maybe both, maybe neither. How much would Julio return given the current market? Not saying it will happen but did not see the Craig Kimbrel trade coming either.

    I don’t thing the Quintana possibility is off the table either, everyone is simply haggling over price right now. Archer? Another far fetched but realist possibility.

    Braves in the market for budding and up coming Cuban superstar Luis Robert who has left Cuba to get under the cap on money for latin players in the new MLBPA. He projects to be a Matt Kemp clone.

    Liked by 1 person

  199. 207 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:02 pm


    Mallex just got traded to Seattle for a couple of minor league pitchers. Well, Mallex and Shae Simmons. Details to follow.

    Well, didn’t see that coming… or did we?

    It really isn’t all that surprising. Once Ender inked that 5 year deal, it kind of predicated something like this. I actually thought it might be in one of the “ace pitcher” deals, or maybe a catcher deal. But you might as well get what you can while you can. I think once he had such a miserable showing in 2 separate winter leagues, you have to start asking some questions.

    As for Shae Simmons, he couldn’t stay healthy or consistent. And honestly, there wasn’t room for him in the big league pen anyway.


  200. 208 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Interesting. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick suggests Seattle could flip Mallex to another team as they already have a crowded OF. In fact, they just dealt for CF Jarrod Dyson last week.


  201. 209 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    “Atlanta acquires two lefties who posted strong debuts in Seattle’s lower ranks. Gohara, who was the Mariners’ fifth-ranked overall prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, went 7-2 with a 1.81 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 69 2/3 combined innings between short-season Everett and Class A Clinton last season. Burrows, who was Seattle’s No. 25-ranked prospect, posted a 2.55 ERA with 37 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings for Everett in ’16, while also recording six saves.”

    Okay, I think this deal precludes the next deal. Why? Because it clears two spots off the Braves 40 man roster.

    You are right about Mallex, not a bad little player but I think the Braves have players in the organization (cough, Acuna) they view has a higher ceiling than Mallex.

    Good luck to our former Brave alumni as they make their way to the big leagues…

    Liked by 1 person

  202. 210 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    So what did we get? We got 2 young LHP’s Luiz Gohara and Thomas Burrows.

    Gohara is the centerpiece of the deal. He was ranked their #3 prospect by Baseball America, #5 by MLB.com. He’s a 20-year-old from Brazil, who pitched in their high-A level in 2016. He pitched 69.2 IP, with a 1.81 ERA and 10.5 K/9 vs. 3.0 BB/9. He is a starter that features a mid-90’s fastball, “promising” slider, and “still-developing” change. As is the case with many youngsters, command is what he needs to work on most. At just 20, I think he still has time to work that out. He’s projected as a #2 starter ceiling if he hones his command.

    Burrows was a college closer at Bama and was SEA’s #25 prospect. He was SEA’s 4th round pick last season who pitched in their low-A level in his pro debut. He could easily move up more quickly in his 2nd pro year. In his debut season, pitched 24.2 IP, with a 2.55 ERA and 13.5 K/9 vs. 4.0 BB/9. His fastball reaches 94, and he also tosses a “quality” slider. His scouting report says he has “good command and ample deception”. He’s considered a “high-floor, reasonable upside” guy, and his draft day pro comps were Paco Rodriguez and Jacob Lindgren, both currently in the ATL organization.


  203. 211 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Still, the Braves will go into spring training looking for someone who can play centerfield as a fourth outfielder. Either from within or from the outside.


  204. 212 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    Okay, I think this deal precludes the next deal. Why? Because it clears two spots off the Braves 40 man roster.

    Yes it does. Keen observation, sir.


  205. 213 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    You are right about Mallex, not a bad little player but I think the Braves have players in the organization (cough, Acuna) they view has a higher ceiling than Mallex.

    The guy that benefits the most from this move is Dustin Peterson. DPetey earned his high esteem past season, and the path is now cleared for him to take over in RF when the Kakes era is over.


  206. 214 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Enders is a budding superstar but he plays with too much reckless abandon to expect him to suit up 162 times a season. The will also want someone who brings good late innings defensive credentials to sub for Kemp.



  207. 215 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Still, the Braves will go into spring training looking for someone who can play centerfield as a fourth outfielder. Either from within or from the outside.

    Honestly, I don’t think the trade of Mallex by itself has a huge impact on the opening day roster. The Johns had already predetermined he was going to start the year and play everyday in AAA.

    But… I think you may be right that there is another move afoot, so let’s just let the other shoe (for that foot) drop, then see where we are.


  208. 216 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Agree 100%!

    Liked by 1 person

  209. 217 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Coppy: “We felt like we were dealing from a position of strength with both players.”


  210. 218 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    I have to agree with Mr. O’B on this reply to a smart@$$ Twitter troll:

    “You can never have too much pitching. You can, however, have too many outfielders.”

    Liked by 1 person

  211. 219 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    It strikes me… when the Braves traded JUp to SD, we got back Max Fried, Jace Peterson, Mallex Smith, and Dustin Peterson.

    We all knew that Fried was the jewel of the trade. We all felt Jace would help us immediately (which he did), and we all got excited about the potential of Mallex. But Dustin Peterson seemed to be an afterthought in the whole thing. Ironic that it’s his ascension in the organization that really makes today’s deal possible.


  212. 220 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Gohara is a little intimidating…


  213. 221 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    And there ya go…

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 222 Vox O'Reason January 11, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    Liked by 2 people

  215. 223 Gil in Mechanicsville January 11, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    At least Mallex does not have to go far to go far…. 🙂


  216. 224 Carolina Lady January 12, 2017 at 1:06 am

    Really interesting article about Seth Maness who underwent a different kind of surgery instead of the Tommy John method. Greatly shortened rehab time and he’s ready to find a new team.
    B&S news

    Liked by 1 person

  217. 225 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 7:32 am

    That’s fascinating, CL. I hope a team takes a flyer on him, and I really hope that this new procedure proves to be an effective alternative to the standard Tommy John reconstruction. So if it does prove to work, will they call it “Seth Maness surgery”?

    Actually, he sounds like an ideal candidate for a minor league deal with the Braves.

    Liked by 1 person

  218. 226 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 8:12 am

    After reading a couple more articles on this new procedure, there were a couple of things that really stood out to me. First, the surgery has already been performed on lower level professional pitchers, and is referred to as Primary Repair surgery. The doc that did Maness’ surgery had already done it about 50 times. Sadly, poor Seth won’t have the procedure named for him after all. Then again, if he’s the first major league pitcher to successfully return from it, why wouldn’t it be nicknamed Maness?

    Also, doctors can’t know if this procedure is even feasible until the surgery has started. They have to physically see the tear and the location, then make the determination. If by observation they determine the damage too severe, or the location not optimal, they commence with the Tommy John. As for location, the tear must be on either end of the ligament near the bone. If it’s in the middle, the only alternative is full replacement. So when Maness went under anesthesia, he didn’t even know what they would do to his arm. That’s kind of weird.

    By the way, Maness was able to long toss just 4 weeks after surgery. That’s amazing to me. And he will throw off a mound this week, just 4 months after the surgery.

    There is also another pitcher to watch: Garret Richards of the Angels. He injured his elbow last May and opted against the TJ surgery. Instead, he underwent stem cell and platelet therapy. The Angels are not only expecting him back this season, they’ve got him penciled in as their #1. Guess who else had the stem cell procedure done? One Bartolo Colon had stem sell therapy on both elbow and shoulder in 2010. It appears to have worked out pretty well for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  219. 227 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 9:04 am

    Weird. I posted a comment, and it didn’t show up. I tried to post it again, and WordPress says it’s a duplicate. But yet, the first one still doesn’t show up.

    I hope it’s not gonna be one of those days…

    Liked by 2 people

  220. 228 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 9:04 am

    I’m gonna try again. I may have to add something to make it not a “duplicate”.


  221. 229 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Wow… it didn’t post that one either, yet it behaved as if it did. I wonder what it is about the format that doesn’t get along with WP?

    The only thing that I can figure is that I had some numbered lists. I’ll try again minus the numbers…


  222. 230 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Strike 3, I’m out.

    Well, it appears WP does not like that post at all, with or without numbers. I suppose I’ll just keep that observation/opinion to myself.


  223. 231 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Sometimes the internet can be a very frustrating thing to deal with. Maybe it doesn’t recognize the drawl… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  224. 232 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Something real to chew on, or maybe not?

    This is an excerpt from Ken Rosensource, er Rosenthal this morning:

    A reported trade that would have sent [Luiz] Gohara and another prospect to the Reds for shortstop Zack Cozart and a minor leaguer last Aug. 1 collapsed after the Reds raised concerns about Gohara’s shoulder, according to major-league sources.

    Braves general manager John Coppolella, when asked about Gohara’s condition on Wednesday night, responded, “Our medical group puts a lot of time, effort and thought into evaluating every potential acquisition. We have had to walk away from two trades this offseason because of failed medicals. We feel good about the health of both players we acquired in the trade.”

    Rosey went on to add, though:

    Gohara followed his breakout 2016 season at Class A by indeed throwing extremely well in the AFL, striking out 19 in 11 2/3 innings. Some scouts project his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame and see a young CC Sabathia.


    “Best pitcher in the Arizona Fall League,” a scout said, adding that he saw Gohara throw 97 to 100 mph in an outing late in the AFL season.

    So is this “alarm” merely click bait? It sure did work on me. I very quickly clicked the link to Rosey’s page on FoxSports.com when I saw it, which seemed alot more ominous than the story itself. If you ask me, it is much ado about nothing. Typical sensationalism found in all areas of the media, now including our scared sports reporting.

    And it probably signals the last time I take Rosensource seriously. He is now a media circus sideshow, and his credibility with me is gone. I must also look sideways at FoxSports, which promoted the story and the link, questioning the trade from Seattle’s standpoint and hinting that they were dumping damaged goods. Again, the story threw out the speculation, but didn’t back it up with substance. I won’t even support it by sharing the link here. I don’t want them to be able to add any “clicks” on my account.

    FoxSports now falls into my ESPN category. I’ll only go there out of absolute necessity as a last resort.


  225. 233 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 9:58 am

    BTW, Gohara entered the Braves Top 30 prospects list at #12 overall, ahead of highly touted pitchers Kyle Muller (13) and Lucas Sims (16).


  226. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2017 at 10:05 am

    Yep, been suckered in by bogus headline a time or two myself.

    On Gohara… Every pitcher, can’t miss prospect, phenom is always one bad swing, one awkward pitch, one dumb decision with a power tool away from being regulated to the “what could have been” pile of history.

    I am encouraged by the reports of Gohara’s upside. In the long run, it will be Tampa’s willingness to take a chance on a young outfielder who has rightly or wrongly been viewed as somewhat fragile. Lat injuries, along with hammock bone fractures can be one of the most debilitating injuries for a hitter.

    I wish young Mallex well in his new home and look forward to the addition of another young hurler who may or may not be the next great thing.

    Has not young Julio taken a while to arrive? It often takes a long time to become an “overnight” success.

    Liked by 2 people

  227. 235 berigan2electricboogaloo January 12, 2017 at 10:06 am

    What most people overlook about the Wainright/JD Drew trade was that Drew was fantastic for the Braves in 2004. And to come in and replace Gary Sheffield (who had bolted for the big Yankee $$) in RF was a formidable task for any player. But all Drew did was slash .305/.436/.569 and pound 31 taters while driving in 93, filling the huge void in the middle of the lineup left by Shef.

    Thing is the colossally overrated JD was NOT a stud when the Braves got him. 5 full seasons with the Cards, and he had never played more than 135 games in a season. His last season with the Cards, he played 100 games, hit 15 Hr’s and and drove in 42. How exciting. Could you imagine if the braves traded Folty for a guy with those numbers? With that history of being unable to play hurt, ever????

    Surely there was someone the braves could have gotten someone with more than 1 year of availability, someone that wasn’t a Borass client, as his guys almost never sign extensions….

    Of course, no one knew how good Wainwright would be,(well, I bet some braves folks thought it was a dumb deal) but Wainwright would have changed the braves playoff futility….he sure has changed the Cards history…

    Liked by 2 people

  228. 236 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 10:09 am

    So to reiterate the Braves current roster status, they now have only 38 on the 40-man roster, and a glaring hole on the bench.

    Another move is certainly afoot. The only question is “when”… or perhaps a bigger question is “how”?

    I put nothing past Coppy. It’s easy to sit here and speculate that he’ll simply sign a 4th OF of the Kelly Johnson, Jeff Francouer or Gregor Blanco type. (My personal endorsement goes to Blanco.) But Coppy could turn right around and make some bigger move involving a number of players. Who the heck knows?

    The only sure bet is that something will happen. We’ll just have to sit back and wait…

    Liked by 1 person

  229. 237 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2017 at 10:19 am

    That top 30 list sure can change over night can’t it? I think the proof is often in the pudding. The difference in being a bonafide major leaguer, not necessarily an all star, and a AAAA player who is not quite good enough to stick but too good to give up on.

    I guess that is the real beauty of the Rule 5 draft. The 6 years as a minor leaguer and then being eligible to opt for free agency might give some organizations pause to draft/sign some kids too early.

    On D. Peterson, I think he will be given a lot of face time this spring with the big club. There are several who will vie for the 4th outfielder spot. I think it is most likely he will remain at triple A until he can play on a semi regular basis in the show.

    I think it is one of the great conundrums for all teams to know when to promote a young prospect verses protecting their investment and allowing them to perfect their craft at a lower level. For every Mike Trout or Bryce Harper, there are dozens of Todd Cunninghams and Joey Terdoslavichs.


  230. 238 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Yep, the old saying is to never judge a team based on the performance displayed in either April or September. So many variables no in evidence during the meat of the season.

    Of course, if the Braves play with the same heart and drive they showed in the 2nd half, I’ll be pretty happy.


  231. 239 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 11:22 am

    DPetey will almost certainly open the year at AAA, and he needs to. I think his chances of opening on the big league team are somewhere right in between “slim” and “none”, and Slim just left town on the noon stage. Of course, this is barring a rash of ill-timed injuries.

    Rather, DPetey is in line for RF once Kakes moves on. If the Braves are well out of things at the deadline, and Kakes is moved at that time, DPetey might get an early chance. But as long as the team feels is has the slightest chance, he’ll continue to develop in AAA.

    I briefly thought that Mel Rojas, Jr. might get a shot at the 4th OF job, but I’m getting the sense that the Braves would prefer to keep him as AAA insurance. Still, he’ll get an opportunity in spring to compete for a job, so it’s all on him. As it should be.

    Current FA possibilities who can play CF and who bat L or S, are Coco Crisp, Gregor Blanco, Michael Bourn, Nick Buss, Alejandro de Aza, and Sam Fuld.


    There is not 1 really good candidate in the bunch, but I wouldn’t mind taking a shot with Blanco on a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.

    My earlier opinion, as documented above, was that the Braves could roll with SeanRod or ChaseD in CF for the short term in the event Ender had some minor injury. And that they would call up Mallex if there were some (God forbid) longer term health issue that requires a DL stay. Now that guy would be Rojas or Emilio Bonifacio. I think I’d rather roll the dice on Gregor Blanco.


  232. 240 berigan2electricboogaloo January 12, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Hard to attempt to get work done, and read up on baseball…something I know V knows all about! 😉
    I didn’t even know about Mallex being traded til I went to MLBTR for the first time in gosh, a whole 48 hours, only see he had been traded…a 2nd time…I’m out of the loop apparently 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  233. 241 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 11:56 am

    I heard the “breaking news” announcement on the radio right as I was leaving the doc’s office yesterday, a good 20-30 minutes from home/office. The first thing that went through my mind was that it would no longer be “breaking” by the time I gained access to the ol’ B&S. How’s that for priorities?

    Liked by 3 people

  234. 242 berigan2electricboogaloo January 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    That story on Seth Maness is very interesting, in spite of the horrible, horrible writing style. Perhaps they are trying out software , have robots write stories?????

    Michael Seth Maness is a U.S. professional baseball pitcher and he is regarded as one of the top players of the game(REALLY?????) For instance, with 169 2/3 innings pitched in 2012, he allowed only ten walks. Maness suffered a serious elbow injury on August 16, 2016. The injury effectively ended his career.(REALLY????????????? writer said earlier it flat out ended his career) . On August 18, Maness underwent novel surgery when a surgeon undertook to fix his ulnar collateral ligament in his damaged elbow I am normally not a grammer Nazi,(I couldn’t diagram a sentence to save my life) but man, that last line is all kinds of messed up….

    Then there is a picture of Yu Darvish, who apparently is a leftie now…

    St. Louis Toady was one of my favorite papers to read when I lived in St. Louis

    Speaking with St. Louis Toady, Seth Maness, aged 28, said

    to be fair, that was 6 full paragraphs…..

    Liked by 1 person

  235. 243 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Then there is a picture of Yu Darvish, who apparently is a leftie now

    It limits the wear and tear on his newly repaired right elbow.

    Liked by 2 people

  236. 244 Carolina Lady January 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    When I read it, I wondered if English was perhaps the writer’s 3rd or 4th language……

    Also, V, now you can appreciate the hair-pulling done by the B&S Graphics Dept. when trying to do their thang with a new lead. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  237. 245 Gil in Mechanicsville January 12, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Also, V, now you can appreciate the hair-pulling done by the B&S Graphics Dept. when trying to do their thang with a new lead. 😀

    Speaking of which, maybe someone else would like to pen a new lead? There might be some new info someone would like to share. Comers and Goers part DUX…

    Anyway, took the boss out for a little R&R shopping today. A little reward for putting up with me. First time out of the house for me since last Wednesday.

    Hey, if it keeps her happy…

    Now other stuff… Uh, uh, uh… okay, enough with the Obama imitation….

    Liked by 1 person

  238. 246 Vox O'Reason January 12, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Now other stuff… Uh, uh, uh… okay, enough with the Obama imitation

    You didn’t say “I” or “Me” enough for it to be a believable imitation…

    Liked by 1 person

  239. 248 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2017 at 9:00 am

    Braves are a “file and trial” team. No negotiations in between. They either get it done today, or they go to arb hearings. I’m betting they both get something done today.


  240. 249 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Bowman sums up our bench options pretty well in his latest piece. You can get to it from the handy dandy link below. He’s obviously been reading the ol’ B&S again…

    Liked by 1 person

  241. 250 Gil in Mechanicsville January 13, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Here is the truth as I see it. I don’t see the Braves being a contender with Jace Peterson as the everyday 2nd baseman and Chase D’Arnaud as the bench player. Sorry, I like both guys but they are not 10 ten or even top 20 material. I’m okay with Jace as a role player but being an everyday player exposes his weaknesses.

    Liked by 1 person

  242. 251 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  243. 252 Carolina Lady January 13, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Like me, I sorta think that y’all aren’t followers of the Sailing Competition world, but I thought this article of what a 16-yr-old local kid is accomplishing. As we’d say here, he walking in tall cotton!

    Anyhow if you’re interested in Olympic and world stuff:

    Liked by 2 people

  244. 253 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2017 at 3:12 pm


  245. 255 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    So what do we make of the Braves acquiring a 2B who will likely start the season in AAA?

    And what do we make of this just 2 days after acquiring 2 more minor league pitchers a/k/a “currency”?

    Methinks something else is afoot…


  246. 256 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm


  247. 257 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    2B is the one position that the team seems to be stacked in…

    Sean Rodriguez, Jace Peterson, Ozzie Albies, Travis Demeritte, etc. make up a pretty good string of 2B’s for now and well into the future.

    This has to be a precursor to something else, right?


  248. 258 Vox O'Reason January 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    … especially considering he takes up a coveted 40-man roster spot even if he’s targeted for AAA.


  249. 259 Gil in Mechanicsville January 13, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    Of course once Spring training starts, there are some players who can be put on the 60 day diabled list. Still, there will be more movement to come. stay tuned.


  250. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2017 at 10:30 am

    Good Sunday morning, not a lot of new news on the Braves front. I guess that means there are folks deep in the bowels of where ever the current offices are located folks are scheming and planning to acquire a third baseman, fourth outfielder or a young catcher.

    We are often feed the rose colored view of the current talent in the pipeline (ahem, Christian Bethancourt) verses reality (cough, Bethancourt). How many years were we fed the notion that Wilson Betemit was the heir apparent to Chipper Jones?

    What the Braves have to be cautious of is getting a player who’s best years are behind them instead of ahead of them. The pundits often play up the past and not the reality of the present or the future. No one really knows how much money the Braves have available or they are willing to spend in order to put a finished product on the field.

    How much of the revenue generated by the new complex will be available to the Braves or will a lot be skimmed off the top by Liberty Media? I am not even sure Coppy knows. What he does know is what they tell him is his cap. Is it a soft cap or hard cap? It is the tight rope we all must walk isn’t it?


  251. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Question… Do y’all think that SRod will be employed as the Braves regular third baseman when Ozzie is promoted? I believe the Braves would love to break in the rookie as the lone new comer as oppose to having a line up of rookies all at once. Teams made up of predominantly young players tend to fade badly the final two months of the season.

    Liked by 1 person

  252. 262 Carolina Lady January 15, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    That reminds me of the year of the ‘Baby Braves’. Wow, those ‘babies’ are about retirement age now. WHERE has the time gone???

    Liked by 1 person

  253. 263 Gil in Mechanicsville January 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    CL. My mom use to say time speeded up as you got older. I am getting to the point where I am afraid to step of the train… It’s going pretty fast now.

    Liked by 2 people

  254. 264 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 9:28 am

    P&CR just 4 weeks from today!!!


  255. 265 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 5:17 pm


  256. 266 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 5:18 pm


  257. 267 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 5:21 pm


  258. 268 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 8:42 pm


  259. 269 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Gregor Blanco off the market…


  260. 270 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    Blanco agrees to minor league deal with the D’backs. A minor league deal. Why not a minor league deal here?


  261. 271 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Speaking of reunions on minor league deals, old friend Blaine Boyer signed a minor league deal with the hometown Bravos today, with an invitation to spring.

    Bowman: Boyer has compiled a 3.31 ERA over the 171.1 IP with 3 teams. From my perspective, he has a good chance of making the bullpen if he continues the same path into 2017.


  262. 272 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    More perspective on the proposed new Spring Training home of Los Barves:


  263. 273 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Correction to the above map: The Astros have left Kissimmee, shooting across the state (Astros… shooting across… see what I did there?) to new facilities in West Palm Beach. That underscores the need for ATL to move. Only the Tigers remain nearby. Their proposed new location will be ideally situated right in the middle of all the teams on the Gulf Coast.


  264. 274 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Another correction to the above map: The Nationals have also left the vicinity, marching south to the same brand new West Palm Beach locale as the ‘Stros, with whom they will share facilities. Further demonstrates the suckiness of remaining in Orlando for a couple more years.


  265. 275 Vox O'Reason January 17, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    Final thoughts…

    DO’B: With Astros and Nats gone. Braves have one opponent within an hour. One.

    More DO’B: This spring they’ll take 7 bus rides of 2 1/2 or more hours each way. That’s not good. Bad use of players’ time.

    Liked by 1 person

  266. 276 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2017 at 12:08 am

    Also decreases the likelihood of seeing front line talent at any away game. The vets like Kemp, Markakis, Freeman etc will not be riding 2 1/2 hours anywhere unless they are in a golf cart playing 18. Same is true of teams coming into Disney. Don’t look for the visitors to bring their aces.

    Another reason why I think $35 for a rightfield bleacher seat is ridiculous.

    Richmond discovered that the money they threw at the Redskins was a fool’s errand just to have them come to Richmond for pre season camp. Redskins fan quickly discovered they were getting an inferior product and spectators stopped coming and that is with no admission fees.

    Anyway, I will put a visit to Sun Trust on my to do wish list but likely after they have the hotels finished. Will come and park my car and not move it until I leave.

    Liked by 1 person

  267. 277 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2017 at 12:14 am

    On Blaine Boyer, he looked pretty good against the Braves last season. His best claim to being back is the lack of solid contact made against him by opposing batters. Average exit speed on balls hit against him was 70 mph. Something is shaking and baking. Off speed? Movement? Something is fooling them.

    On Blanco. maybe he is comfortable in an are where English is a second language. He’s a west coast guy now. I think the Braves have all the AAAA players they want for the outfield already.

    Liked by 1 person

  268. 278 Vox O'Reason January 18, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I think the Braves have all the AAAA players they want for the outfield already.

    They have a few. I just don’t necessarily feel comfortable with Emilio Bonifacio and Mel Rojas, JR. as the first line of defense in the event of a (God forbid) lengthy injury to Ender. Publicly they say that the acquisition of Micah Johnson addresses their bench needs, but he has never played CF.

    I suppose they are banking more on Chase d’Arnaud and Sean Rodriguez to fill in the blanks.

    Then again, there are still 70+ days until the Braves begin the season in NY on April 3… #coppyneversleeps

    Liked by 2 people

  269. 279 Vox O'Reason January 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    Another view of the rendering of the proposed new Braves Spring Training site on the Gulf Coast. One question immediately comes to mind…

    Who’s the lazy bum that’s cutting the field on the far right?

    Liked by 1 person

  270. 280 Vox O'Reason January 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    MLB Pipeline has begun releasing their Top 10 prospects by position. They just released the LHP list, and the Braves check in at #’s 4 & 9 with Kolby Allard and Sean Newcomb respectively. Neither is a surprise, but I did expect Max Fried to be on there somewhere. He’s gotta be just on the outside. Still, not too shabby to be represented twice on the list of the best 10 among all 30 teams.

    Liked by 1 person

  271. 281 Gil in Mechanicsville January 18, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Fried will have a chance to reemerge if he can show he is fully healthy this season but just as well he is not on the list. No Pressure! Nothing tougher than having to live up to high expectations.

    A lot of these list are compiled by folks who read other people’s list and take their word for it. Far too much laziness in reporting these days. Everyone is more interested in getting clicks…

    Sadly, I am no longer in a position to evaluate young talent in the braves organization. I do have folks who I follow that I trust because their opines have been on the mark fairly consistently but the cheer leaders I have become very leery of.

    I think one of the ten commandments of baseball should be Thou shalt not covet another team’s players Of course that does not stop us from looking does it? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  272. 282 Carolina Lady January 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    Fox News:
    The ranks of baseball immortals grew by three Wednesday when Tim Raines, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez were voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

    Liked by 2 people

  273. 283 Carolina Lady January 18, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    V, the poor guy in the bottom right field is the one stuck with the Dear John tractor to (try) to work with.

    Liked by 2 people

  274. 284 Carolina Lady January 18, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    NEW LEAD IS UP!! With apologies to Gil. The Graphics Dept got a little out of hand this time.

    Liked by 1 person

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