161:Countdown to Spring

Gil

by Gil Elliott

chsbrownst2

In just about a month, baseball’s spring training begins. More than the return of the swallows to Capistrano or the first Robin appearing at your feeders, it is the true harbinger of the return of warm weather and the renewal of life in North America. No longer will we have to rely on reports from the far flung reaches of the world to stay abreast of the Braves hopefuls nor need translations from Spanish to English the progress of players in various winter leagues.

Spring ballpark errors.

We will again be able to watch some meaningful baseball with the World Baseball Classic scheduled to make its return this year. We will also hold our collective breaths as we hope and pray none of our players are injured in what is essentially a glorified exhibition series. The WBC is a step above spring training games where there will not be anyone getting in their cardio by running the outfield during the game.

EPSON MFP image

charlie-brown-the-rosterSo, we anxiously await the arrival of pitchers and catchers and shortly thereafter the rest of the more than 200 players who will participate in the Braves organization when they return to Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Most of the this season’s major league roster is already set but there are always question marks. The Braves’ outfield is set other than the fourth outfielder as well as most of the infield but last minute trades or heaven forbid, injuries.

chsbrownpitcher

Second and third base still appear the slots most likely to be the ones targeted for upgrades. The anticipated arrival of yet another Curacao product, Ozzie Albies, is eagerly awaited by the denizens of Braves’ Country who have followed the young phenom for years. The signing of three veteran pitchers to anchor the starting staff signals that the Braves want their bevy of young pitching prospects to develop in a less stressful environment.

chsbrownsnoopyatbatSo, let the games begin. I will concede the floor to football as the NFL winds down and March Madness and the NCAA basketball tourney take center stage. They only mean we are that much closer to our true passion and meaningful baseball returns.

However, we do reserve the right to interrupt the other lesser sports should Coppy & Co make additional moves!

gil2

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337 Responses to “161:Countdown to Spring”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady January 18, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    Super, Gil! I think the Graphics Dept. got hold some giggle-juice from somewhere so I apologize. Ya gotta do the best ya can with what ya got to work with – and sometimes that ain’t much down here on the Carolina Coast!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. 2 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Thank you boss, you always make my bland words sparkle. I will begin work on something a bit more in depth as soon as I can get the feelings of euphoria to pass with the changing of the guard in D.C. But, enough about politics… NOT! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  3. 3 chrisklob January 19, 2017 at 1:12 am

    this is the worst time of the year for me. i couldn’t care less about basketball, hockey or the nfl. in fact, i’ve not yet watched the first play of any nfl game this year. i don’t like politics in my sports! baseball is my one and only and even the hot stove is on a very slow simmer on the back burner. pitchers and catchers report? yes please!

    good stuff as always. nice reminder that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t always an oncoming train!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. 4 chrisklob January 19, 2017 at 1:14 am

    one other quick thought: i saw several of the aforementioned robins today. is winter really over already?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. 5 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I found this on Matt Marksberry’s Twitter page. I truly hope he makes it back. I know I’m rooting for him…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 6 Miss Josie January 19, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Chrisklob, no winter is not over, at least not in Virginia, we have the Feb. and the first weeks of March, at least here in Virginia. We will have at least one more snow storm, maybe even two. Our Robins up here are confused, they never leave, so I see them all year around. They say if you don’t like the weather in Virginia wait a day and it will change, truer words have never been spoken. You can leave the house in a winter jacket in the morning, and be wearing a T-shirt when you come home in the evening. But spring will come to and so will baseball. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. 7 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Welcome home Klubber… Read about your exploits driving home the other day. Glad you are safe.

    Read on FB
    Mother Nature: You cannot have all four seasons in one week.
    Virginia: No problem, I got this…

    Looks like Billy Wagner’s possible induction into the Hall of Fame is gaining steam, the more people look at his stats, the more they realize what he accomplished. It should not always be purely about Ws and Ls.

    Funny how some HOF voters ignore that many of the incredible numbers put up players were chemically enhanced. It’s almost like the improved SOL numbers put up by the Atlanta school system after liberal use of the magic eraser. Still the superintendent kept her bonuses. They never make them give back the bonuses do they?

    I remember DuPont flogging us because we could not deliver an 8% return on investment. #Bernie Madoff… How did that work out for the Mets by the way?

    Liked by 2 people

  8. 8 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Liked by 2 people

  9. 9 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2017 at 11:00 am

    So Fred McGriff falls short of the HOF again… far short again. Needing 75% of the votes to gain entry, he only garnered 21.7%.

    It’s a travesty.

    Let’s just compare Crime Dog to the new inductees…

    Fred McGriff, 19 years, .284/.377/.509, 493 HR, 1,550 RBI, 5 time All-Star, 5 times in MVP voting, 3 Silver Sluggers

    Jeff Bagwell, 15 years, .297/.408/.540, 449 HR, 1,529 RBI, 4 time All-Star, 10 times in MVP voting (1 MVP), 3 Silver Sluggers

    Ivan Rodriguez, 21 years, .296/.334/.464, 311 HR, 1,332 RBI, 14 time All-Star, 13 Gold Gloves, 6 times in MVP voting (1 MVP), 7 Silver Sluggers

    Tim Raines, 23 years, .294/.385/.425, 170 HR, 980 RBI, 808 SB, 7 time All-Star, 7 times in MVP voting, 1 Silver Slugger

    Supposedly, there are a couple of statistical achievements that make a player a lock for the HOF – 500 HR as a hitter and 300 Wins as a pitcher. Is it the fact that Freddy was 7 HR’s shy of the magical 500 number that keeps him out? If he had hung on for 1 more season just to club 7 more HR’s, would that have made the difference? Does it matter that he hit 10 in the post-season that aren’t reflected on the back of his baseball card? All the guy did was lead the majors in home runs for 9 straight seasons from 1988-1996. He led the majors in home runs for 9 straight seasons from 1988-1996!! Do I need to shout it?

    IMO, the 3 new inductees are all worthy of enshrinement. In fact, as to Pudge, it is a no brainer. So this rant is in no way meant to disparage their achievements. But look at the comparison above. Tim Raines? He was a pretty spectacular player in his prime, but he hung around past his prime. His support had to increase over many years. I’m OK with his enshrinement, but it certainly should open the door for other players of his era with equal or better résumés… ahem, Dale Murphy. Jeff Bagwell? Well… there has always been a little suspicion about his using PED’s. He has always denied it, of course. But he sure did have “the look”, and his public comments about PED’s and those who used them have never been condemning. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t. We’ll never know. But if I were forming a team of former players, and I could have anyone I wanted, I’d choose Fred McGriff over Jeff Bagwell for 1B every day of the week.

    I think what made Bagwell so attractive to voters is the fact he played all those seasons alongside Craig Biggio as part of the “Killer B’s” on some very successful Astros teams. And he spent his entire ML career in HOU. That’s awesome. I applaud that.

    Fred played for 6 teams in both leagues. He also played his first 6 seasons in the old Toronto SkyDome and his next 3 in the old Jack Murphy Stadium… neither renowned as hitters’ parks. Bagwell had the benefit of playing his final 6 seasons in “The Juice Box” and its ridiculously short fences, hitting 186 of his career 449 HR’s in those 6 seasons, from ages 32-37. Quite a late season power surge. Was that due to the little league home park? PED’s? Who knows? It’s a nice achievement. I bet Fred McGriff would have liked to have had his final 6 years in that bandbox. I bet he would have hit those 7 additional and important HR’s… per season.

    Again, I’m not arguing against Bagwell’s induction. He had a great career. But if he’s in, Crime Dog should be in. Period.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. 10 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Hmmm.. just read that Bagwell got 86.2% of the vote, Raines 86.0% and Rodriguez 76.0%. Those percentages look reversed to me.

    Who didn’t vote for Pudge? What are they smoking? One has gotta be the same goob that failed to vote for Greg Maddux, and it’s probably the same group of wonks that will not vote for Chipper next year. It only further serves to erode the credibility of a place that should be hallowed ground.

    Looking at the vote totals, it also points to something else. It appears that the voters are now skewing younger and relying more on statistics to make their choices. I also think the fact that Bagwell received 86.2% of the votes points to a softening of the stance toward PED use. After all, Bagwell admitted to being an andro user before it was banned. Legal yes. Clean hardly. He may be the small crack in the door that the new voters need to kick it wide open and grant Barroid Bonds and Roger Clemoid enshrinement.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. 11 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Agree Vee, maybe Berigan can spearhead the drive to enshrine St Louis catcher Ted Simmons. Much better numbers than most. I guess not snaring a gig as a commentator hurt his chances.

    The Crime Dog certainly is a HOF player to me as a Braves fan. It was the night they burned old Dixie down.. Turned the team around big time.

    Yes, he got old and his bat speed diminished. It happens. But his defense was very good too. Why is it always about the offense?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 12 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I hope it’s effective. The traffic around this area is the only downside I can see to the whole project. I’ve been counting on the fact that some people a whole lot smarter than me are working on this obvious and glaring hurdle.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. 13 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    For those not around these parts, the new ballpark is located very near the intersection of 2 of the busiest interstates in Atlanta, especially for the late rush hour. It’s right at the top end of the perimeter I-285 and north corridor I-75, right smack in the middle of the professional and technical haven known as the “golden triangle”. I have no doubt that they will manage traffic in around the immediate area in a very innovative and efficient manner. But what can they do about the interstates?

    I know for my own purposes, I’ll go very early and make a day of it in and around The Battery. The last thing I’ll do is voluntarily place myself on the late afternoon parking lot known as I-285.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 14 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Spooky. It appears that people from all over are checking out the ol’ B&S these days. Josh Brown at Tomahawk Take just published a piece about McGriff missing the HOF, and it looks eerily similar to a post we put up at 11am. Granted, it doesn’t take alot for 2 people of similar likes and views to take the info readily available for public consumption and draw the same conclusion. Still, it’s really similar…

    Liked by 2 people

  15. 15 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Plagiarism, the most sincere form of flattery… 🙂 I expect zero problems, will arrive at the hotel, use the valet parking, will confine my visit to to immediate area.

    Will likely wait until 2018 for my first visit so all the other bars, eateries etc are in place.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. 16 Gil in Mechanicsville January 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    “Oh, Braves fans, how I love your passion for your farm system. And it’s understandable. It’s pretty exciting. After the 2017 Top 10 LHP Prospects list came out, I received many questions about the Braves lefties who didn’t make the list (Kolby Allard and Sean Newcomb did). Most were about Max Fried.

    I get it. Fried still has a tremendous amount of upside. And yes, he had a tremendous second half, punctuated by a great playoff run as part of that very deep Rome rotation that led that team to the South Atlantic League title. Rest assured, Fried will work his way onto that list at some point in 2017. But keep in mind that last year was the first time he had pitched in two years and he’s yet to pitch above A ball. Again, not taking anything away from the former first-rounder. I’m a believer. I think we all just want to see what he does as he moves up.

    As for the other lefties in the Braves system, they’re not quite in this conversation yet. Wentz is just getting started (as is Kyle Muller — let’s not forget about him) as a 2016 draftee. Gohara, recently acquired from the Mariners, has tremendous stuff and showed some signs of steps forward in 2016, but will need to continue to watch his conditioning as he progresses. If it all clicks for all of them, that’s a good problem to have, isn’t it?”
    Jason Stark..

    Oh wait, didn’t I just say that? Kinda, but with a who lot fewer words? Okay, just the part about Fried.. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  17. 17 Vox O'Reason January 19, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    Max Fried will be our version of Cole Hamel. I can’t wait to see him in ATL. Won’t be long…

    Like

  18. 18 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2017 at 5:36 am

    Cole Hamel…. That’s a heck of a comp….

    Do we have another “Great Eight” in the works? Except this time pitchers? Never get tired of winning.

    Like

  19. 19 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Want a real heck of a comp? MLBPipeline likens Fried’s curveball to that of Sandy Koufax.

    Like

  20. 20 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Well… that didn’t work…

    Like

  21. 21 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2017 at 8:08 am

    Let’s see if this one will work…

    Liked by 1 person

  22. 22 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Well… that almost worked. But trust me. It’s much more impressive in real time. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 23 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Well, after I reloaded the page, it looks like it might actually work! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 24 berigan2electricboogaloo January 20, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Waiting on my dad was getting a chemical stress test on his heart and an echocardiogram praying for good news

    Liked by 3 people

  25. 25 berigan2electricboogaloo January 20, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Having cute nurses to talk and flirt with does whatever 85 year old man needs though that has kept his spirits up LOL
    . At least I assume they’re cute this was the first time I’ve been to a doctor or ER where I couldn’t go back for the test.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. 26 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Keith Law has just released his farm system rankings, with our beloved Braves topping all other teams. I’m gonna post his blurb, because it’s “Insider” only, and my non-paid access to it may go away at any moment.

    1. Atlanta Braves

    Atlanta has been hoarding prospects, especially pitching prospects, for two years now, and the result is a system that is primed to produce good young players just as the team moves into its new stadium.

    This torrent of arms has entered the organization from two avenues. General manager John Coppolella has been trading for young pitching at every opportunity, and scouting director Brian Bridges has crushed pitching in his two drafts at the helm. There are players in this system with viable cases to be in the global top 100 but struggle to crack Atlanta’s top 10. They just took Ian Anderson third overall in the draft and he couldn’t even crack their top six. Their High-A rotation in 2017 could include four first-round picks and a major international signing, only one of whom will be 21 on opening day. It’s as if someone told Coppolella the axiom that you can never have too much pitching, and he just said, “hold my beer.”

    They do have position players, primarily guys up the middle, including three high-end shortstop prospects, multiple center fielders, and the best prospect from last year’s July 2 class, Kevin Maitan, who might not stay at shortstop but has earned comparisons at the plate to a young Miguel Cabrera. They do lack power bats in the system, primarily at the upper levels, but there is just so much pitching here that it overwhelms that concern — and if they just have a normal attrition rate among that pitching depth, they’ll have plenty of young arms left over to fill a major-league need via trade.

    Coppolella has stayed opportunistic this winter, adding prospects who had fallen out of favor with their organizations, including two of Seattle’s top six prospects. You can make an argument for the Yankees deserving the top slot; I won’t dispute that they have more position-player talent. My vote is for the deluge of arms and up-the-middle players heading for Atlanta, giving them the best farm system in baseball.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. 27 Vox O'Reason January 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Similarly, MLBPipeline has updated its prospect rankings for each team. The Braves new Top 10 are as follows:

    Dansby Swanson, SS
    Ozzie Albies, 2B/SS
    Sean Newcomb, LHP
    Kolby Allard, LHP
    Ian Anderson, RHP
    Kevin Maitan, SS
    Mike Soroka, RHP
    Joey Wentz, LHP
    Travis Demeritte, 2B
    Touki Toussant, RHP

    My fave Max Fried, LHP, sits just outside at #11. Also, newcomer Luis Gohara, LHP, follows right behind at #12.

    Other items of note…

    The highest ranked catcher in the Top 30 is Lucas Herbert at #23, unless you count #14 Alex Jackson, who is converting back to catcher in the Braves system after being drafted as a catcher and moving to the OF in SEA’s system.

    Phenom Ronald Acuna (#18) is not the highest ranked OF. That distinction belongs to Alex Jackson a 14… except that he is being moved back to catcher.

    8 of our Top 30 are LHP, and 7 are RHP. Then there are 5 OF, 4 SS, 2 C, 2 3B, and 2 2B.

    Like

  28. 28 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    Ber, I am sure it is because they use a radioactive dye in the test.

    Looking forward to continued improvement in their draft. All this pitching might well get them to look towards picking position players but I think the Braves are inclined to look for positon talent in the international market and pitching domestically.

    So many folks loosing their mind over Trump’s “dark speech” I said, America has finally elected a dad…

    Liked by 2 people

  29. 29 Carolina Lady January 20, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I didn’t hear him say anything that wasn’t true.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville January 20, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Yes CL, that is a fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 31 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Rumor has it, Braves sign catcher Kurt Suzuki

    Like

  32. 32 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Funny thing, with the Braves inking Hawaiian catcher Kurt Suzuki to a one year $1.5MM deal, everyone says the Braves are no longer interested in free agent Matt Weiters. I don’t think that is the case, I think the Braves would still sign Weiters, who is a Boris client, if the price tag was a bit more palatable.

    Not like the money being paid to any of the catchers not named Tyler Flowers isn’t an eatable contract money wise if push comes to shove. At this point, it appears Wreck It Ralph is the odd man out in the Braves line up. I thought Anthony had a very good season last year for Los Bravos. Still, not really an everyday catcher.

    To be honest, in today’s game, I don’t think there is such a player left in the majors. At most, a front line guy is good for about 100 games behind the dish. The position is just too tough on a player’s knees. Another reason why great hitting catchers are moved to the outfield (left). They want to keep the bat in the line up.

    The American league makes it easier to keep an offensive catcher in the line up because of the DH.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. 33 Vox O'Reason January 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    Head scratcher to me, but Coppy seems to have a good grasp on The Plan. I’ll trust the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. 34 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Vee, I guess the Braves did not feel Wreck It Ralph was the guy they wanted to go to war with. They have been playing around the edges with this all winter.

    Think about the three positions where we have all seen a the ones where the Braves could stand the most improvement, 2nd, 3rd and catching.

    Pitching is always an area where everything is in flux because the injury bug is so prevalent in today’s game with every young pitcher trying to either throw 100 mph or un godly breaking stuff which is crippling in the long run.

    What would be effective, throwing 97 mph lasers or 93 mph with a wrinkle or with pinpoint control? Josh Collmenter is the forgotten man in the Braves system now but I will bet he has one of the top ERAs in triple A this season and my still spend time in Atlanta.

    Like

  35. 35 Gil in Mechanicsville January 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    DOB posted a tweet comparing Suzuki to Weiters. Nearly identical. Easy to see why the Braves opted for him. Throw in the Scott Boras angle and it becomes a no brainer.

    2016:
    Wieters: .243/.302/.409
    Suzuki: .258/.301/.403

    Liked by 1 person

  36. 36 chrisklob January 22, 2017 at 12:02 am

    vox, i enjoyed your hof bit from a few days ago. i believe next year’s ballot will include chipper as well as andruw. there was a time that i thought andruw was a sure-fire hof’er. he had about 10 great seasons in the ATL before he started a precipitous decline. among his accomplishments: 10x gold glove winner, 5x all star, and 434 career hr’s. he made playing CF look easy. just kind of curious what the rest of you think.

    oh, and not sure how long exactly my avatar has been in place (braves phoenix rising from the ashes) but it seems even more appropriate today than ever.

    Liked by 4 people

  37. 37 Gil in Mechanicsville January 22, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Kris: Andruw hurt himself when he 1) let himself get grossly out of shape 2) thought he only had to show up to be great. Still, for a long while, he was the greatest centerfielder I have ever seen.

    Liked by 3 people

  38. 38 Carolina Lady January 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura and former MLB player Andy Marte were killed in separate car accidents in their native Dominican Republic on Sunday, January 22.

    PHOTOS: Most Shocking Celebrity Deaths of All Time
    ESPN reported that Ventura, 25, died on a highway leading to Juan Adrian, about 40 miles northwest of the capital Santo Domingo, while Marte, 33, crashed his car into a house 95 miles south of Santo Domingo. Both athletes were said to be under the influence, according to ESPN’s Cristian Moreno.

    Like

  39. 40 berigan2electricboogaloo January 23, 2017 at 2:48 am

    CL, so very sad….Ventura was another pitcher with sky’s the limit talent, and we’ll never see what he could do over his career. Of course Marte was a can’t miss prospect in the Braves organization that never quite made it in the big leagues, but I read he had back to back very good years in Korea…

    MLB needs to do something with Latin players…this didn’t use to be a problem, but 3 guys with tremendous futures Ventura, Oscar Tavaras of the Cards and Jose Fernandez (who was basically off to the best start of a career of any pitcher in decades) have died in the last few years…they either need to keep them from going back home, or having them pass a class on how to survive having a ton of money….something….this is crazy….
    and so very sad for their families

    Liked by 2 people

  40. 41 Carolina Lady January 23, 2017 at 2:56 am

    Alcohol was involved in each case. Young men with too much money and who think they are bulletproof. You nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2017 at 8:29 am

    It was with great sadness I learned of the passing of both of these young men. It made me think about a young Rafael Furcal who had to face his own demons with alcohol back in the day. I don’t know if alcohol abuse is more prevalent with latin players or if the roads are just that much worse in the DR. Either way, I think MLB needs to really begin a push to get this problem under control.

    Not like we have not know about the myriad of former stars who had a serious problems with alcohol and drugs. Theirs is a fleeting fame. So few last longer than 5 years even if they make the show. I know many ML teams have included assimilation as part of their curriculum when they have brought young latin players to the US.

    When I read Mariano Rivera’s book, he spoke of the great homesickness he had when he arrived in Miami and how difficult it was passing the many hours away from the field with no support group and no understanding of the language or culture. I know it’s hard to feel sorry for a kid who suddenly is rich beyond his wildest dreams but for all the “stars” there are 100s of others who are lost.

    That said, young athletes and drugs/alcohol/money is a vicious loop that needs the attention of everyone. I don’t think we are so naive as to believe these kids are choir boys but we do need to understand that like any job, they need to live under the expectation of being resposible.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Congratulations in order for all you Falcon fans. To be honest, I have not viewed a whole lot of NFL games this season. The Falcon/Packers game was the first one I have watched in its entirety. I was very surprised at the relative ease in which they dispatched the Pack. I guess all the luck Aaron Rogers had coming was used up. Sooo many dropped balls…

    Anyway, I guess I will watch the Superbowl too, at least parts of it. Good luck to the Falcons, I don’t really have a dog in that fight but more friends in Georgia than in Massachusetts.

    Now, what was I wanted to say??? Oh yeah, both Ozzie and Travis Demeritte list in MLB’s top ten prospects at 2nd base. Albies #2 and Travis at #5… I still look for Demeritte to move to 3rd base. I think Ozzie and Dansby will block everyone else in the Atlanta organization for many years to come. At least until they cost too much.

    Smart thinking for Atlanta to switch Seattle import Alan Jackson back to catching. It is a position from where the Braves have little depth. Sort of makes one a little bit excited when you realize how loaded the farm system has become and looks to get even better with the number five over-all pick in the 2017 draft. I don’t even care who or what they draft. I know it will be a really good prospect either way given what they have done the past two seasons.

    By the way, Ber, I hope the really bad storms by-passed you this week end. We are getting some of the residual rain and we have accrued nearly an inch so far this morning. Directv can be such a fair weather friend so reception has been spotty today.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. 44 Vox O'Reason January 23, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Hello all. Finally recovering somewhat from a nasty bout with the flu. This was no joke. Knocked me flat on my butt for 3 days. At least I was lucid enough to see the Falcons carve up the Packers.

    Great to see you back in the ol’ B&S, Klobber.

    Just 22 days until P&CR.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. 45 berigan2electricboogaloo January 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Gil, we were fortunate enough to get a ton of rain mainly….we did have a very, very loud clasp of thunder, as lightning must have struck within a block…of course it wasn’t even raining at the time which made it a bit eerie …. some squalls came through as well…bet V had some strong storm in his way…

    Like

  45. 46 Vox O'Reason January 23, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Not sure about the storms here. I was pretty out of it. 😛

    Like

  46. 47 berigan2electricboogaloo January 23, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    bet V had some strong storm in his way…
    Wait, which one of us has been so sick they were out of it???? That’s a whole lotta errors in less than 10 words! 😉

    Like

  47. 48 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Okay team… Anyone here that did not get their flu shots? Pneumonia shot? I skipped it last year and paid dearly for it. I figure my exposure comes form not remembering to clean the handles on the grocery carts.

    Not saying I won’t still catch a cold now and then, after all, not in total isolation here and grandkids are carriers…. 🙂

    How did your dad’s test go Ber?

    Liked by 3 people

  48. 49 berigan2electricboogaloo January 23, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    Gil, thanks for asking! I was sweating bullets as he seemed to be getting worse and worse after the test friday, chiefly indigestion and being very nauseous, which as you most likely know , are a few of the symptoms of a heart attack…. but no arm pain, or pain in the jaw, and He felt so bad last night, he went to bed at 8 pm….about 1 1/2 -2 hours earlier than I have ever known him to go to sleep…light headed today, kept calling nurse at the heart clinic, or whatever it’s called and I was ready to take him to the e.r. for the 4th time in 2 months ….1st 2 times was because of B.P. around 200, though he felt fine, but was high in the evening and it stayed up overnight both times, took him in , once in the early A.M. then an afternoon, the next time. of course this happens on a weekend…has to…and I guess since the E.R.’s see 500 pound chain smokers with BP’s higher than that, they wouldn’t be too concerned, even though he’s 85…of course they gave good care, and after 4-6 hours there his BP would finally drop down to a normal range….
    3rd time because he was short of breath from going out to the mail box and back, each time an EKG was run, then heart enzymes to see if he was in heart failure or not. He was not Thank God…but something was wrong. 3rd time doc did more x-rays to see if it was Pneumonia or not, it wasn’t be he thought Dad had bronchitis , so gave him Antibiotics and Steroids…oh right, he has had congestion for months, we don’t know if there is a mold issue in the house(did a kit test that said no, but I too have issues, but less than my Dad) TMI, Dad is beyond awesome at getting stuff out of his orifices and perhaps that has kept it from getting worse, but he could not shake it, and being short of breath can be caused by so many things….what’s weird is that Dad rides a stationary bike most nights, and rarely did he have any issues doing that! But he will just get tired, short of breath seemingly for no reason, so he has a nebulizer, and drinks breathe easy tea, which helps…some…
    Anyway, very long story short I was on pins and needles and we had both been praying for good news, and when the nurse called back , we thought it would just to talk about all the Chems in the chemical stress test were making him so sick, and she said possibly, but the great news was there were no blockages or need for a pacemaker! (I was kinda hoping he needed a pacemaker, just cuz it seems to be a simple thing compared to other heart issues)
    So thank God for the good news!
    Now, does he still have bronchitis after the antibiotics? less coughing, but man, sure has little energy….but those tests can’t be easy on someone 85.
    Gil, you ever have a stress test like this? If you did, Any issues after the fact???

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 50 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Okay Vee, you have my permission to attend the Rome Hot Stove event… hint, hint

    Liked by 1 person

  50. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville January 23, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Ber, I had one of those chemical stress test before my back surgery and yes, I felt like heck for several days. I can hardly imagine how it would make an 85 year old feel. As for his on going problems, it can be so many things, allergies, COPD, congestive heart failure, flu, just being old.

    Still, the test are hard on you, I think a regular stress test is easier to recover from. All that said, I would suspect your dad has an enlarged heart and alone with his age, high blood pressure, diabetes etc, he just isn’t as spry as he once was. Even a simple thing like anemia can have a profound effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. 52 chrisklob January 24, 2017 at 12:49 am

    vox, glad to hear you’re better. ber, glad to hear your dad’s better too!as

    as for the nfl, i haven’t watched a single play of a single game this year. i don’t appreciate that certain players have been allowed to hijack the game for their own political agendas. not that i mind that they have a view different than mine. no, that’s their right and i support that. however, it’s my opinion that the work place is not the appropriate venue to spout one’s political or religious opinions. i know without doubt that if i were to force one of my company’s customers to suffer through my opinions i would be looking for a job almost immediately.

    Liked by 3 people

  52. 53 Vox O'Reason January 24, 2017 at 7:34 am

    Thanks for all the well wishes, folks. I am actually sitting upright and at my desk this morning. It might not last very long, but here I am right now.

    Fever finally broke overnight. So after 3 days flat on my back, with very little energy or appetite, I think I’m bouncing back. And in most cases, I’d be happy to lose 8 pounds… but not in just 3 days. As my mom used to say, I feel “as weak as dishwater”. Gotta shake it. Much to do.

    I hear this flu is going around everywhere, so duck and cover. For the record, I started feeling a little bad on Friday and went to a local clinic for a flu test since Mrs. Vox had just completed her on run with it. I wanted to get in on treating it early. I tested “negative”. Take that for what you will, an early test or a faulty test, but what I had was surely the flu. (By the way, the flu test with the swab up the sinus cavity is one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever done. I swear she poked my eyeballs from behind.)

    OK… I’ve gotta find something to eat and regain some strength or else I won’t be sitting here very long.

    Like

  53. 54 Vox O'Reason January 24, 2017 at 7:43 am

    as for the nfl, i haven’t watched a single play of a single game this year. i don’t appreciate that certain players have been allowed to hijack the game for their own political agendas.

    I agree with you 100% Klobber, but my reaction was a little different. It’s true that I didn’t watch as much in 2016 as I always have. Football is the one sport that I can watch teams for which I have no rooting interest. But I confined my watching this season to my hometeam Falcons. And my reasoning was simply this: YES a few self-important jackasses hijacked the sport for their own purposes, and the league pretty much allowed them to do it. But I decided to not let them take it from me. There is very little I have control of, and that was never more evident than in this recent political cycle, but I can control the things I choose to do. I decided I wasn’t going to let the aforementioned jackasses take that from me too.

    By the way, it’s been a pretty good season to watch the Falcons. 😉

    Like

  54. 55 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Morning all, glad to have you back among the living Vee, just glad to have you back Klubber…

    How much y’all want to bet the Rays have been on the phone asking about Demerritt after trading away their second baseman to the Dodgers.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 56 Vox O'Reason January 24, 2017 at 9:42 am

    How much y’all want to bet the Rays have been on the phone asking about Demerritt after trading away their second baseman to the Dodgers.

    I thought the same thing when I heard about the Forsythe trade…

    Liked by 1 person

  56. 57 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Pretty sure Vee, if we have thought about it, the brain trust with the Braves have thought about it too. Jace Peterson’s would be a trade option too if the Braves wanted to promote Ozzie, I have no idea of what the Rays’ system has to choose from. Could Archer be available in exchange for a couple of pitching prospects and an infielder? Would that be counter to what the Rays were striving for attaining Leon?

    Always fun time of year isn’t it?

    Like

  57. 58 Vox O'Reason January 24, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Could Archer be available in exchange for a couple of pitching prospects and an infielder?

    I kinda see Archer off the block since they traded Drew Smyly to SEA to get Mallex. And even though that thought did hit me immediately when I heard about the Forsythe deal, I think the Braves are pretty high on Demeritte, and I know they’re sky high on Ozzie. I don’t see them trading either unless the offer is too good to refuse. Archer might do it, though. As for Jace… well, he’s gonna be pretty valuable to the 2017 edition of the Braves as utility guy. And more to the point, Jace won’t fetch an ace.

    Like

  58. 59 Vox O'Reason January 24, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Under the radar (courtesy of MLBTR):

    Joining the Braves on a minors pact is outfielder Xavier Avery. The 27-year-old played with the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate in 2016, slashing .248/.332/.363 over 347 plate appearances. He briefly cracked the majors back in 2012 with Baltimore, but hasn’t made his way back since.

    Local kid from a suburban Atlanta HS. 6′ 200lb lefty hitting OF that plays all 3 OF positions, the vast majority being in CF. Not much power, but does get on base a little. He has a career OBP of .333. And he can swipe a base or 2 as well. I imagine X-man will be in the same mix with Boni and MelRo.

    Like

  59. 60 Gil in Mechanicsville January 24, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    I read somewhere that Jeff Francoeur (agent) was in talks with the Braves and the Marlins. If he signs a minor league deal, no problem…

    Like

  60. 61 Vox O'Reason January 24, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    If he signs a minor league deal, no problem

    I imagine he’s negotiating an Opening Day opt out date if he isn’t on a Major League roster.

    Like

  61. 62 Vox O'Reason January 25, 2017 at 10:09 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Like

  62. 63 Vox O'Reason January 25, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Like

  63. 64 Vox O'Reason January 25, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Of the players listed above, I believe those with an actual chance to break camp and head north with the daddy club are relievers A.J. Minter and Blaine Boyer. Boyer has the recent track record, and Minter is simply a special talent.

    Something else notable to me in this announcement is not who IS on it, but who ISN’T. No Mel Rojas, Jr. and no Xavier Avery. The only “4th OF” type listed is Emilio Bonifacio. DPetey is invited to get a good taste of what’s to come, but he’s on track for, and needs, a full season in AAA. Oh sure… he might get a brief callup if Nick or Matt goes down, but he’s not a full timer yet. Other than that, only Boni fills the reserve OF spot.

    That says they are either really confident that SeanRod and/or Chase d’Arnaud can handle CF, or they aren’t done yet.

    Or there’s more to Micah Johnson (on the roster) than we know.

    Like

  64. 65 Gil in Mechanicsville January 25, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Still trades to be made before all is said and done I suspect. Wish I was there… I am really excited to see the progress of the newest additions too. I would not discount Walden either but I view him more as a probable trade chip. When healthy (that is a bis disclaimer) he is a very good pitcher. Failure to stay out of the infirmary has been his biggest challenge throughout his career.

    The one time I saw Boyer pitch last season he was effective. So, what to expect? Rookies will try to make an impression and vets will work on stuff… Can be really hard to judge what is real and what is not.

    Like

  65. 66 Vox O'Reason January 26, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Teams are always looking for relievers (and starters) in the last couple weeks of spring. I’m sure the Braves intend to take advantage of that.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. 67 Vox O'Reason January 26, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Even if the Braves go with an 8 man bullpen, as has been alluded to, they have more than 8 major league caliber pitchers to fill those spots. Not to mention a dark horse rookie or 2, such as AJ Minter or Akeel Morris.

    Any of these guys will or could make the ‘pen:

    On the roster
    JimmyJohn, Closer
    Vizzy, RH, 1 option remaining
    Mauricio Cabrera, RH, 1 option remaining
    Ian Krol, LH, 0 options remaining
    Armando Rivero, RH, Rule 5
    Jose Ramirez, RH, 0 options remaining
    Chaz Roe, RH, 0 options remaining
    Josh Collmenter, RH
    Dan Winkler, RH, Rule 5, will probably open the season on the DL.
    Paco Rodriguez, LH, 2 options remaining, could open the season on the DL
    Jason Hursh, RH, rookie
    Luke Jackson, RH, rookie
    Akeel Morris, RH, rookie

    Non-roster invitees
    Blaine Boyer, RH
    Jordan Walden, RH
    AJ Minter, LH, rookie
    Sam Freeman, LH, 0 options remaining
    Adam Kolarek, LH
    Rhiner Cruz, RH
    Joel de la Cruz, RH

    From those 20 names, there are 5 pretty solid locks: JimmyJohn, Vizzy, Cabrera, Krol, and Armando Rivera. So that leaves 3 openings for the other 15 candidates, 2 of whom are out of options. You can certainly bet the mortgage that there will be movement of relievers between now and April 3.

    Like

  67. 68 Carolina Lady January 26, 2017 at 8:27 am

    V, I think the Braves signed every breathing pitcher available, didn’t they?

    Liked by 2 people

  68. 69 Vox O'Reason January 26, 2017 at 9:24 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  69. 70 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Rumor central has the Mets interested in Arodys Vizcaino in exchange for prospects. Why not? Braves are pretty flush with bull pen arms right now. I expect the Braves would demand a pretty good return for a proven young closer who still has options. Braves are faced with some tough decisions on whom to keep.

    Like

  70. 71 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Of course that would go against the grain for the Braves as they usually prefer to trade a rehab project. Lucas Harrell anyone?

    Think about that for a moment, a pitcher who was picked up from the independent leagues and pitched just well enough to make a couple of starts for a kid who is rated among the top five 2nd base prospects where Ozzie Albies is the only Braves ahead of him.

    Of course Harrell broke down shortly after the trade to the Rangers. Reminds me of all the used cars sold off the lot that had the rear end packed with sawdust and the crankcase filled with STP.

    Got to make one a little leary of Georgians baring gifts….

    Like

  71. 72 Vox O'Reason January 26, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Why is it that every time I see this picture…

    I immediately think of this?

    Liked by 1 person

  72. 73 Vox O'Reason January 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Rumor central has the Mets interested in Arodys Vizcaino in exchange for prospects.

    I fully expect Coppy to trade Viz as soon as he proves himself healthy… heavy emphasis on Viz proving his health.

    My 2 cents… Viz is a wonderfully talented pitcher. I’m not gonna use the old “million dollar arm, 10 cent head” analogy. I don’t think it’s that severe, but I do believe the physical gifts are far ahead of the mental grit. If I were the GM, I’d trade him as soon as he’s fully healthy and take the first solid offer I got. Preferably not within the division, though. Now if the Mets would trade straight up for Chase’s little brother Travis, I’d be much more open to it. 🙂

    Like

  73. 74 Vox O'Reason January 26, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Honestly, the presence of Mauricio Cabrera makes it feasible to trade Viz. Cabrera, Blaine Boyer and Ian Krol would make a pretty solid late inning group to get to JimmyJohn. That doesn’t even take into account Jose Ramirez, who can be dominant at times himself.

    Like

  74. 75 berigan2electricboogaloo January 26, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    interesting….
    Braves Claim Adam Walker

    By Jeff Todd | January 26, 2017 at 1:58pm CDT

    The Braves have claimed outfielder Adam Walker off waivers from the Orioles, Baltimore announced. He’ll take the roster spot just vacated by catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, filling Atlanta’s 40-man.

    Walker has moved around quite a bit already this winter. He started with the Twins, stopped off with the Brewers, and then landed in Baltimore before being designated for assignment.

    A free-swinging slugger, Walker belts plenty of long balls and also whiffs at an equally impressive rate. Over the past two years, he has been retired by strikeout in over one-third of his plate appearances. The 25-year-old ended with a .243/.305/.479 slash and 27 homers at Triple-A in 2016.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/01/braves-claim-adam-walker.html#comments

    Like

  75. 76 Gil in Mechanicsville January 26, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    Why not? Tuffy was not going to see duty with the big club unless a catastrophe occurred. Not sure Walker is going to make the club either but he is approaching the magic age of maturity for baseball outfielders.

    Like

  76. 77 Vox O'Reason January 26, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Walker news is no news. It’ll sell a few more tickets in Gwinnett, but until he stops fanning at a Rob Deer – like pace, he’ll never see Atlanta. In fact, he may not make it to April 3.

    The good news about losing Tuffy is that Recker can now be easily stashed in Gwinnett.

    Like

  77. 78 chrisklob January 27, 2017 at 12:36 am

    @vox, the ministry of silly walks! (and you can only read that in your john cleese voice)!

    Liked by 2 people

  78. 79 chrisklob January 27, 2017 at 12:52 am

    I read somewhere that Jeff Francoeur (agent) was in talks with the Braves and the Marlins. If he signs a minor league deal, no problem…

    i wonder if rocco baldelli is available? 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  79. 80 Vox O'Reason January 27, 2017 at 9:40 am

    Just read back at my response to Berigan about Adam Walker, and on the surface it seems kind of harsh. When I made that reply, I was sitting at a school play during the intermission and hitting up the ol’ B&S because… why not? Anyway, I had a very little time and a very little screen and thumbed a very little blurb.

    Let me expound here. No disrespect meant to Adam Walker. The guy certainly has prodigious power, but his strikeout rate is past alarming. He strikes out more than he gets on base. Think about that.

    True enough, he’s only 25. But plate discipline is not the thing that develops late… power is what develops late. He is what he is, and that’s what he’s going to be… all or nothing, a modern day Steve “Bye-Bye” Balboni.

    He doesn’t in any way shape or form fit what the Braves still need on their Opening Day roster, which is a versatile 4th OF. Walker can capably play the corner OF’s, but that’s it. No CF. With the team going initially with a short bench, that lack of versatility is just not gonna fit.

    What makes it unwieldy is that he has a 40-man roster spot, something that the “better” candidates such as Boni, MelRo, or X-man do not have. And if the Braves are to fill the final bench spot from within, and if any of the above-mentioned 3 amigos wins the job, somebody has to be booted from the 40-man. That somebody is almost surely Walker.

    The caveat, of course, is that the Braves could opt to keep Rio Ruiz or Micah Johnson, both on the 40-man. Rio doesn’t really need another season in AAA, and Micah is another Chase d’Arnaud from the left side of the plate.

    And as Gil likes to say, there is still much time for more roster movement between now and April 3. And that is so true. Coppy never sleeps, and nobody sleeps on Coppy.

    I don’t know if I’ve looked more forward to a Spring Training in many, many years.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. 81 Vox O'Reason January 27, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 82 Vox O'Reason January 27, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Ha. Both Bowman and Jeff Schafer (Tomahawk Take) have now posted pieces on the Braves and their bullpen depth. I’m glad we posted our opine yesterday morning. We like to be on the bleeding edge, ya know. The B&S leads; it does not follow.

    Liked by 2 people

  82. 83 Vox O'Reason January 27, 2017 at 10:22 am

    The way we have added so many veteran relievers to our current wealth of young ones, and have claimed so many AAAA OF’s, it almost makes it look like some more padding is being put in place to absorb sending off some of the “capital” in a trade.

    Just pure speculation here, but follow me for a second with your imagination…

    Why would the Braves sign an very average RH veteran catcher to be the backup to a very average RH veteran catcher? Why would the Braves sign so many OF for AAA, especially when a guy like Dustin Peterson needs to be in that lineup everyday? Why would you hoard so many potential bullpen arms, many of which you can’t stash at AAA, or at least would have to pass (unsuccessfully) through waivers first?

    It really doesn’t make logical sense, unless you are positioning yourself to do something with some of the accumulated depth.

    Could the team take a centerpiece like Viz, add a veteran catcher like TFlow and a prospect or 2 and go get a young and talented starting catcher or 3B?

    I have nothing to base that on. Nothing at all. But the overstocking in certain areas will have to be undone in some way at some point. Can’t keep it all. The rules don’t allow it.

    Oh I suppose there is the philosophy that out of 10 candidates you may get 1 that really works, so why not flush the system. The more potential you have, the better the chances of actually hitting on something. But there’s something that just doesn’t sit well with me. Can’t put my finger on it…

    Liked by 1 person

  83. 84 Vox O'Reason January 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

    I suppose the most likely scenario is that the team will simply pick the players they want to keep, then send off the other ones for fringe prospects as spring winds down.

    Like

  84. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    Steve “Bye-Bye” Balboni How old am I? I saw Balboni play for Richmond in Triple A. He was Adam Dunn before Adam Dunn… Without the walks.. but my oh my, he could hit some majestic moon shots..

    Yep, a lot of these guys are cannon fodder. Maybe someone in the Braves organization has seen something they believe they can fix. It has happened before, just ask anybody who has finally found a doctor who figures out what is wrong with them.

    While it is not his primary role (I don’t think), the Braves has one of the best hitting coaches in the game in their new 3rd base coach, Ron Washington. Just like Charlie Manuel helping Jeff Francoeur. Not that he made Frenchy into a .300 hitter, he made him a respectable .275 hitter and a feared hitter against left handed pitching. Just think what Jeff could have been if Charlie had been able to coach him when he first came up?

    So, yes, there are a lot of retreads, almost good, was good pitchers, relievers and position players (out fielders) who will be in camp. As for Suzuki, he is not a bad backstop, one year contract, he is not blocking anyone nor will Flowers. The only two guys who are absolutes in the Braves line up right now are Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson. Every other player has a price tag hanging off his cap. Some of them have a very high price tag but it is still there. Coppy is fast becoming the guy in the driver’s seat. Not like he has a huge payroll to contend with, no Brandon Phillips or Ryan Howards.

    So, moves will still be made, I think they are getting content with seeing how guys do in March, who shows up in shape and who is loafing it. Matt Kemp should give us an indication as to his commitment to this team when he shows up and puts his foot on the scale. Could tell us volumes right there.

    Liked by 1 person

  85. 86 Vox O'Reason January 27, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    The only two guys who are absolutes in the Braves line up right now are Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson.

    And Ender. Nos. 1-3 in the lineup.

    And what follows 1-3? Well, #4 of course…

    Matt Kemp should give us an indication as to his commitment to this team when he shows up and puts his foot on the scale.

    The remark was made recently that Kemp was truly happy and having fun when he joined the Braves. It showed up at the plate, on the field, and in the clubhouse. Nothing can motivate a guy who is already financially set more than truly enjoying himself once again. I think MattyK will come into camp in better shape, not “best” but “better”, with a little bit of a chip on his shoulder, something to prove, and just a real desire to continue the fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  86. 87 Vox O'Reason January 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    No invite to play with the big boys. Interesting. I suppose he just wants a chance to get his career back on track in a place of familiarity and comfort. Maybe from a mental point of view, he sees coming back to a place where he had success as a positive environment to rebuild his career. Hats off to him, and best wishes and prayers for renewed success.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. 88 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Vee, JS said Meds was behind in his preparation so he would not be ready in time for spring training… Funny, I thought that was what spring training was for but the game has changed hasn’t it? There is no off season, just a break in playing games.

    Still, we all know Medlin knows how to pitch, it is regaining his form after the second Tommy John which he has struggled. It is exactly the kind of low risk, high reward type of signing the Braves have turned to gold in the past.

    He is clearly not needed to begin the season and if he gets it going in the minors… well… woohoo… look out first round draft pick… someone else’s first round pick. Besides, he has a devastating change up, perhaps he can pass that gem of knowledge along to one of the Braves many young phonemes.

    Liked by 2 people

  88. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Chaz Roe, Jose Ramirez and left-hander Ian Krol are all out of options plus Amando Rivero was a rule 5 draftee. I don’t think it is going to be a question of if any of these guys get traded but which ones and when. None of these guys will clear waivers. If I were any of these guys, I would come in wanting to make a very strong impression. There might not be room for all of them on the Braves roster but there is always room in the majors for a solid reliever.

    I will bet one or more will be part of a trade package for a prospect or two. Likely someone or some ones who either will make an immediate impact or someone in the low minors who dose not have to be carried on the 40 man.

    For sure, you don’t want to be the guy who gives up 5 runs in an inning. No wonder the Braves felt they did not have room for Jenkins. And don’t forget, the Braves snatched a rising star out of the Yankee’s organization and gave him a million dollars just to get well. I do love it when a plan comes together.

    I know none of the pundits give the Braves a snowball’s chance at the equator of even having a .500 season in 2017 but I think they will be significantly better, especially if Kemp plays like the all-star he can be.

    I get giddy just thinking about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  89. 90 Gil in Mechanicsville January 27, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    Vox, I think even Ender is available but not at any price 29 other teams would be willing to pay. So, no, he is not untouchable, just out of reach.

    I think my question is if D Peterson makes his debut this year or next.

    Like

  90. 91 berigan2electricboogaloo January 28, 2017 at 2:57 am

    It’s so weird of Ender’s season…in the 56 games he played before the all-star break, he was hitting .227…..in other words, he was untradable… 72 games after, he hit….341!!!!
    he will be 26 this season, and he’s cheap….he’s never played more than 131 games in a season though…..but it would take so very much to move him now I would think…and there has to be some stability in the roster, to build up the fan base in a new park…

    Like

  91. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville January 28, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Okay, a little more information on why Medlin won’t be coming to spring training. According to DOB over at the AJC, Meds had his 2017 option declined by the Royals. Last season he began to experience shoulder problems. Not an uncommon thing among TJ recipients. Yep, seems that altering your arm slot causes wear and tear on body parts never before affected. Maybe they need to learn how to throw underhanded… Anyway, he has been working with a “biomechanics” guru in New Orleans. A fancy name for a physical therapist which allows for them to charge a must higher rate… Okay, cheap shot but it’s saturday.

    That said, I would guess he is still concentrating on building shoulder strength. As long as there is no real structural damage, well, what the heck, It’s a minor league deal. It’s all about potential, right?

    Maybe he should talk to Wags and learn how to throw lefty….

    Liked by 2 people

  92. 93 Vox O'Reason January 28, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  93. 94 Vox O'Reason January 29, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  94. 95 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2017 at 1:28 am

    Sean Rodriguez involved in a car crash in Miami, wife and children hospitalized. He was driving a Chevy Suburban and was T-Bones by a driver of a stolen police cruiser. That driver was killed. The wife is listed in satisfactory condition and his children listed in serious condition. Prayers and well wishes go out from this quarter and hope for a full and speedy recovery.

    Liked by 3 people

  95. 97 Vox O'Reason January 30, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  96. 98 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2017 at 8:17 am

    I know Houston is supposed to be in the driver’s seat for the services of Quintana but I would not be too disappointed for the Braves to make a trade for his services. Okay, maybe he isn’t an ace but he surely is a number 2. Besides Ozzie and one of the platorah of young arms, I don’t know what the White Sox would require. Probably at least 4 players.

    I know, it is all big picture, I have no idea which free agent pitchers might be on the radar for next season nor do I know how effective any of the veteran arms the Braves added this winter will be. Perhaps by June or July, one or more of the young phonemes will be ready to step up.

    I know I have railed on and on about what to expect from rookie pitchers. One good game, two not so good games. It’s your ace(s) that give you a chance to win every time out. Even they will sport an ERA north of 2.00. That is 2 earned runs in 9 innings pitched. Does not account for those pesky unearned runs allowed by a leaky defense.

    So, what can we hope for? To not face but so many aces, score more than 3 runs per game, cut down on free passes and home run balls which last season was a real bane of the young arms who were pressed into service.

    I am encouraged by the thoughts that the Braves will play every game with the same enthusiasm they displayed after the All-star break last season. It was a beautiful thing to behold.

    Liked by 2 people

  97. 99 Vox O'Reason January 30, 2017 at 8:57 am

    MLB has released their much anticipated Top 100 prospects list for 2017. The Braves are represented by 7 players, tied for most in the majors with NYY.

    The 7 are:

    #4 Dansby Swanson, SS
    #11 Ozzie Ablies, 2B
    #32 Kevin Maitan, SS
    #53 Kolby Allard, LHP
    #78 Mike Soroka, RHP
    #80 Sean Newcomb, LHP
    #86 Ian Anderson, RHP

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 100 Vox O'Reason January 30, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Notice the hashtag “armallgood”. I hope the arm is all good. I can’t wait for these guys to get into camp so we can all get some of these questions answered. How is Ozzie’s elbow? How is Dan Winkler’s elbow? How far along is Paco Rodriguez? How rotund is Matt Kemp? How strong is Kakes?

    Things I predict we will see as camp unfolds:

    Bartolo is everything we expect and more.
    Folty is stronger and more focused than ever.
    MattyK will silence his critics.
    Dansby’s hair will be mentioned much more often than necessary.
    Sean Rodriguez will become a fan favorite in a Prado-like way.
    Brian Snitker will look like he’s having fun and not like he needs an antacid.

    Liked by 1 person

  99. 101 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    Brian Snitker will look like he’s having fun and not like he needs an antacid.

    Naw, he’s a major league manager who’s job is more tenuous than an intern for the Apprentice. One 10 game loosing streak and Ron Washington will be moving into the office.

    I guess we will all be scanning the world wide interweb for every tidbit of information about who is performing well and who is failing. Only two weeks to go until we can center on Lake Buena Vista.

    Wheeeee!

    Liked by 1 person

  100. 102 Gil in Mechanicsville January 30, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    What did y’all think of the commissioners ruling on the hacking of the Astros’ e-mail, perpetrator serving 46 months in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Now the Cardinals lose two top draft picks (they already lost their first pick for signing an restricted player and forced to give them to the Stros plus a $2MM payment to Houston… Whew…

    Astros get 5 picks out of the 1st 100 in 2017…. I’d bet they will trade one or two of them as a pot sweetener. If I were them, I’d go hard for Quintana.

    Like

  101. 103 Vox O'Reason January 30, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    … except you can’t trade draft picks.

    Like

  102. 105 Vox O'Reason January 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Or the ol’ “player to be named later”, otherwise known as whomever we draft in that spot.

    Like

  103. 106 Vox O'Reason January 31, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  104. 107 Vox O'Reason January 31, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Or alternately, just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Tough choice today. So I did both. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  105. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville January 31, 2017 at 8:50 am

    Julio Franco is the only player I ever saw who made those old baby blue uniforms look good. The Big Cat just looked good, period. One of the best first baseman ever to play the game in my opinion. Not enough credit given to both his offense and defense if you ask me.

    Liked by 1 person

  106. 109 Gil in Mechanicsville January 31, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Now, more baseball… I am very anxious to see the youngsters pitch this spring, that and how serious Matt Kemp was to his promise to lose 20 pounds during the off season. Hey, I don’t care if he gained weight if he added muscle but muscle bulk and baseball are not two things best uttered in the same sentence. All about agility.

    Like

  107. 110 Vox O'Reason January 31, 2017 at 10:25 am

    If anyone still thinks another Francoeur reunion is inevitable, consider this from Bowman last night:

    As things currently stand, the Braves would not be willing to provide Francoeur anything more than a Minor League deal. While Francoeur’s preference is to return to his hometown team and experience SunTrust Park’s inaugural season, the veteran outfielder is still looking for a big league deal. As of now, no offer has been made.

    I still think another addition has to be made to the bench, but that’s just my own opinion. Coppy’s may be different.

    Let’s consider the makeup of the bench. If we are going with a 4 man bench, then 2 of the 4 spots are already accounted for in BUC Suzuki (who needs a good nickname; I’ll work on that) and the sitting side of the SeanRod/Jace duo (mostly Jace). Then you have another spot taken by either Chase d’Arnaud or Micah Johnson. Now here’s the problem…

    Jace, Chase and Micah are all from the same mold. They are all super-utility types who can play multiple defensive positions well, but aren’t known for their bats.

    Don’t you need at least one real pinch hitter? Do you really want Chase striding to the plate in the 7th inning PH’ing for the pitcher with the tying run on 2B?

    So let’s dip down into what is expected to be in AAA Gwinnett.

    Now you have the triumvirate of Boni, MelRo and Xavier, again all defensively gifted but none offensively threatening. There’s newcomer Adam Walker. He can hit it a country mile, but you have just as good a chance of him striking out as making contact.

    The way I see it, barring any more additions to this roster either on a major or minor league deal, the guy who has the most to gain in this scenario is Rio Ruiz.

    Rio seems to be the forgotten man here. He’s already on the 40-man roster and has worked his way up the ladder. He really has very little left to learn at AAA. If he can prove capable of hitting major league pitchers this spring, he’d be the ideal addition to the bench. First, he’s already on the roster. Second, he could make a very real platoon partner with Adonis at 3B. And third, having either him or Adonis coming off the bench to PH for our pitcher in late innings would be a far cry more optimistic than Chase or Micah.

    As for Rio himself, he needs to make the most of this opportunity. He has a very limited window to secure a job given that Dansby and Ozzie will have the MI locked down, and Travis Demeritte will be pushing for a job in a couple of years, with Austin Riley right on his heals.

    In my perfect world, Rio would actually have a breakout spring and win the 3B job outright, with Adonis going to the bench and being the guy available late in the game when I need him.

    I can dream, right?

    Liked by 2 people

  108. 111 Gil in Mechanicsville January 31, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    The Braves out-righted OF Adam Walker off the roster today. The club’s 40-man roster is now at 39 players.

    I sense another move afoot…

    Liked by 1 person

  109. 112 Vox O'Reason February 1, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Liked by 1 person

  110. 113 Vox O'Reason February 1, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Like

  111. 114 Vox O'Reason February 1, 2017 at 7:50 am

    The Braves out-righted OF Adam Walker off the roster today. The club’s 40-man roster is now at 39 players.

    I sense another move afoot…

    Nah. He’s a guy who has no chance of making the major league roster. He’s been placed/claimed off waivers 3 times in 2 months. IMO, Coppy intended to do this from the time he placed the waiver claim. Simply keeps a small amount of flexibility on the 40-man. Allows you the ability to make another claim as other teams fine tune their own rosters.

    That said, it does also create the ability to sign a guy like Francoeur, who is seeking a major league deal from someone. Same for Kelly Johnson.

    So another move could be afoot, but I don’t think anything is necessarily already in the oven.

    Like

  112. 115 Vox O'Reason February 1, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  113. 116 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Michael Kirkman is another low risk, high reward signing by the Braves, I suspect some type of unreported injury a couple of years ago because he suddenly went from very good to very bad. He is exactly the sort of sinker ball (ground ball) pitcher you need when a double play is needed. We’ll see. Like I said, no risk. I like a guy who has to earn a spot and he knows it.

    Like

  114. 117 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2017 at 9:35 am

    And yeah, someone is on Coppy’s radar. Just can’t see it clearly from here. But it’s there.

    Like

  115. 118 Gil in Mechanicsville February 1, 2017 at 10:03 am

    A very good piece on the effect of being selected in the Rule 5 draft:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/01/players-perspective-rule-5-opportunity.html

    Like

  116. 119 Vox O'Reason February 1, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Remarkable indeed…

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 120 Vox O'Reason February 2, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Like

  118. 121 Vox O'Reason February 2, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Since there is precious little to discuss that’s new – let’s face it, you can only rehash the same bench and bullpen possibilities so many times – I’ve decided to drop back to Gwinnett and look at what could prove to be a quite formidable AAA rotation. Can you imagine being a hopeful youth and realizing you have to face Matt Wisler, Aaron Blair, Sean Newcomb and Lucas Sims in your series?

    Like

  119. 122 Vox O'Reason February 2, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Like

  120. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville February 2, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  121. 124 Gil in Mechanicsville February 2, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    Per twitter, Freddie Freeman saw his shadow today, only two more weeks until spring training.

    Liked by 2 people

  122. 125 Vox O'Reason February 3, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Just…

    … until P&CR.

    Like

  123. 126 Vox O'Reason February 3, 2017 at 7:32 am

    “Days” that is. Just…

    days until P&CR.

    Like

  124. 127 Vox O'Reason February 3, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Ozzie in the cage!!! Elbow remains intact!! That’s a good thing!

    Loading⏳🎬#patientlywaiting #norush SpringTraining where u At?🙏🏼⚾️🌪#2k17

    A post shared by Ozzie Albies (@albiesozzie97) on

    Like

  125. 128 Vox O'Reason February 4, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  126. 129 Gil in Mechanicsville February 4, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Looks to me that Matt Kemp took his pledge to heart.

    Liked by 2 people

  127. 130 Gil in Mechanicsville February 4, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Don’t be surprised if Ozzie never plays a game in an Atlanta uni… Just saying… Would also take at least three other prospects/players/pitchers I would suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

  128. 131 Carolina Lady February 4, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS!! And lots more to come!

    Liked by 3 people

  129. 132 Vox O'Reason February 4, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    For Archer, it’d take Ozzie + Folty + Sean Newcomb + Ronald Acuna. It’d be a haul.

    Like

  130. 133 chrisklob February 4, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    kind of weird…… got a notification that someone named “cutifiedcat” or something similar hit the like button on the lead i posted NINE years ago!

    Liked by 3 people

  131. 134 Gil in Mechanicsville February 5, 2017 at 5:55 am

    Happy birthday Klubber.. 🙂 I guess someone who found the old B&S was reading one of the archived leads and found your opine. The internet is forever after all…

    Yes Vox, and I am not sure the Braves are in a position to give up that much at this point. They will be in the market for two outfielders next year. Still, Acuna is about 3 years away from the majors, Ozzie is expendable only because of Maitan. Folty will likely be among the Braves starting five this spring and Newcomb is as yet untested but has value.

    It is up to both teams to get the best value they can. You can’t keep them all but you just are never sure who will be the next Andruw Jones or John Smoltz. We have been led down the primrose path a time or two before.

    Still carp about Turner trading away Jacoby and Butler to Cleveland for Barker and the Texieria trade worked out a lot better for Texas than it did for Atlanta. Of course there is the haul the Braves have made with Arizona…. They can’t all be gems.

    Like

  132. 135 Vox O'Reason February 5, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Like

  133. 136 Vox O'Reason February 5, 2017 at 7:45 am

    Ozzie is expendable only because of Maitan

    Maitan is still quite far away. But Ozzie might be available because of Travis Demeritte..And as exciting a player as Ozzie is, his elbow now makes him at least a bit of a question mark. There isn’t any history to go on for a player breaking that bone while hitting. No way to know if it could happen again. With ARI’s AJ Pollock, the injury has reoccured, but his were sustained while throwing. There isn’t a precedent for breaking it while hitting. So it might be a case of “get while the gettin’ is good.”

    Like

  134. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville February 5, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Yes, Maitan is at least 4 years away, Demerritt is a more typical 2nd baseman, more power. Sure, not as much as a defensive potential but more mature. Average is what you exchange for power.

    Maybe they will just take Adonis…. I know…. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  135. 138 Carolina Lady February 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Chris, cutifiedcat is one of our great followers!

    Liked by 1 person

  136. 139 Vox O'Reason February 6, 2017 at 7:39 am

    Demerritt is a more typical 2nd baseman, more power. Sure, not as much as a defensive potential but more mature.

    Can’t find where I read it – either DOB or Bowman, or maybe someone else – but the mention was that he is actually an above average defender at 2B, but most (including Demeritte himself) anticipate a move to 3B because of Ozzie. His defense was apparently impressive during the AFL this year.

    Like

  137. 140 Vox O'Reason February 6, 2017 at 7:50 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  138. 141 Vox O'Reason February 6, 2017 at 7:55 am

    Just…

    … late to tell Klobber Happy Birthday.

    Like

  139. 142 Vox O'Reason February 6, 2017 at 7:56 am

    days that is.

    Like

  140. 143 berigan2electricboogaloo February 6, 2017 at 8:44 am

    In 2016, @FreddieFreeman5 led @Braves in R, H, 2B, HR, RBIs, TB, XBH, BB.

    Last Brave to do that? Dale Murphy (1985).

    and yet remember how much of the season it seemed like he was having an off year????

    Like

  141. 144 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2017 at 9:26 am

    Ber, pretty much the first couple of months it seemed. It was blamed on a sore wrist but his wrist got a whole lot better when Matt Kemp showed up and he saw more fast balls.

    I think a lot could be attributed to his lack of patience or trying to do it all in a situation where he was facing some pretty stout pitching the fist six weeks of the season.

    I think a lot of Braves fans lost sight of how prolific the offense was the final month of the season. They were winning in spite of a battered and inexperienced pitching staff. The latter one of the main reasons other teams appeared to run at will. The catchers get most of the credit/blame for stolen bases but the pitchers have a lot to do with it too. Being able to alter the timing of your delivery without losing control of the pitch is a big thing and usually a learned skill.

    That said, I find it odd at how few times a stolen base actually leads to a run.

    Then their is the Greg Maddux approach. He never worried about base runners. He was always focused on the batter.

    Liked by 1 person

  142. 145 Gil in Mechanicsville February 6, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Kind of quite today on the blog, I understand, it has to be pretty sad for all the Falcon fans to endure another heart wrenching defeat. They say losing builds character, if so, there has to be a lot of character built up in Georgia, the big A has been taking it on the chin since 1864…

    Still, it is not participation trophies they are handing out in the NFL. You have to not only be good but you also have to be lucky. Perhaps lost in it all was the incredible run the Falcons had to get to the Super Bowl. Just ask the Packers or the Cowboys or lots of teams who did not even get close. For sure, the law of averages has to work in your favor at some point. Just ask the Cubs…

    Liked by 1 person

  143. 146 Vox O'Reason February 7, 2017 at 7:14 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  144. 148 Vox O'Reason February 7, 2017 at 7:35 am

    Just off the top of my head…

    If they actually intend to call the top of the strike zone the way it was originally designed – at the letters – which is a good bit higher than at the top of the knees, then I’m fer it.

    As for the end of pitching out the intentional walk, I’m aginn it. It takes 4 balls to make a walk. It should take 4 pitches outside the strike zone to make a walk.

    If you want to speed up the game, then end the nonsensical delays while managers decide if the want to challenge a call, limit the number of challenges, and put a time limit on the review. Nothing kills the pace of play more than waiting for some goob in NY to look at a replay out of context from 14 different angles.

    Tell me again why we want to speed it up? Because the patrons are impatient? Because the TV viewers are impatient? Because the networks are impatient?

    Then here’s an even better idea…

    How about speed up the time between innings? What? The networks don’t like that because they lose commercial time?

    So what we’re essentially doing is trading off pieces of our time tested national pastime for commercials. Disgusting.

    Like

  145. 149 Gil in Mechanicsville February 7, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Agee VOX, the game is meant to be played without a clock. Of course nothing speeds up a game like a big strike zone.

    I’ve watched a lot of baseball, I have seen pitchers throw balls to the backstop on a free pass more than once, always results in something bad for the pitcher.

    Maybe they should automatically award a stolen base.

    Biggest reason for long ballgames, the DH…

    Liked by 1 person

  146. 150 Vox O'Reason February 7, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Sweet!

    Liked by 1 person

  147. 151 Vox O'Reason February 8, 2017 at 7:22 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Liked by 1 person

  148. 152 Vox O'Reason February 8, 2017 at 10:57 am

    Ugh. These slow news periods are brutal. That said, the news tidbits will start coming in fast and furious in just a matter of days now.

    What to expect when P&CR? Well, aside from the obvious, pitchers and catchers, let’s see who reports early to begin working on things.

    I expect to see Ozzie early, and I expect that we’ll get a flurry of elbow updates once he does.

    I won’t be surprised to see Dansby early, because he’s that kind of guy.

    I don’t think we’ll see MattyK early, but I won’t be surprised if we do.

    I hope to see Rio early. Here’s a guy who needs to step up and seize a golden opportunity.

    I expect to hear about the handful of NRI bullpen candidates. And I expect to hear about the health of Paco Rodriguez and Dan Winkler, Paco especially.

    I expect a media posse following Big Sexy, and honestly I’m looking forward to that.

    I’m looking forward to seeing SeanRod and discovering what he’s going to being to the club.

    I think the 5 biggest storylines of spring will be:
    1) Ozzie’s elbow
    2) Kemp’s “shape”
    3) Big Sexy
    4) What pitcher(s) will be rumored for trade – Viz maybe?
    5) AJ Minter, the next great closer

    Like

  149. 153 Carolina Lady February 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    V, Clue required: Big Sexy??

    Like

  150. 155 Vox O'Reason February 8, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Since it’s a slow news cycle, it’s about time to post another presumed lineup. Not gonna speculate on the bench as I believe there are moves yet to come. But as we sit today, I think the “go to” lineup to start the season will be:

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

    I like it pretty well, but I do think there is still a bit of a power shortage. It hurts only getting 10-15 HR from 3B and from RF. Quite honestly, we’re getting the power numbers from both combined that we should expect from one. And even though the offense was clicking pretty well at the end of 2017, the lack of power will catch up to us at some point. If each of those guys could ramp up their power production to closer to 20 HR’s, it’d make a world of difference.

    Like

  151. 156 Gil in Mechanicsville February 8, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    On the power equation, as far as Markakis goes, I can deal with it as long as he continues to be the RBI machine he has proven to be. That leave Adonis…. At least there is a spot where a promising young/old vet/rookie can fit into this team’s line up.

    I saw somewhere on twitter where one of the numerous predictive site estimated a 70 win season for the Braves.. That’s okay, they will never see us coming….

    Liked by 1 person

  152. 157 Gil in Mechanicsville February 8, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    My win total prediction for 2017 is 85 by the way. It is now in writing….

    Liked by 1 person

  153. 158 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2017 at 11:25 am

    I’m late checking in today. My internet has been down. Wonderful Windstream… third world solutions for a first world industry.

    Like

  154. 159 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2017 at 11:26 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Like

  155. 160 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Like

  156. 161 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Like

  157. 162 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Like

  158. 163 Vox O'Reason February 9, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Like

  159. 164 Gil in Mechanicsville February 9, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Too bad for Jordan but I guess that shoulder just would not heal properly.

    Like

  160. 165 Vox O'Reason February 10, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Like

  161. 166 Gil in Mechanicsville February 10, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Good morning, little news coming out of Orlando. Normally we are beset with all kinds of stories about who is in camp early, fan fest, etc. You would think with the internet we would know what each and every player, coach, trainer and equipment guy has for breakfast every morning…

    Oh well, still a couple of months before the games count. No pressure on the Braves this season, expectations are so low, not losing 100 games would be considered a big step forward.

    Me, I still think this team will be better than most think.

    Liked by 1 person

  162. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville February 10, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Looking at the before and after photos of Matt Kemp, I cannot help but think it’s like Andruw Jones, in reverse…

    Might even be able to play a bit of right field on occasion.

    Like

  163. 168 Vox O'Reason February 10, 2017 at 10:51 am

    Epic indeed…

    Liked by 1 person

  164. 169 Gil in Mechanicsville February 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    The “Last Five Tool Player”? As in the last five left in the bag? 🙂

    Like

  165. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville February 10, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Completed my federal and state tax returns today, took me only two days. At least I did not have to pay as much as last year. Got to love Quicken and Turbo Tax. I remember when I used to dread the task. After having someone steal my wife’s ss# a couple of years ago, I have leaned to file early.

    Now can concentrate on the really important stuff… Let’s go Braves…

    Liked by 1 person

  166. 171 Gil in Mechanicsville February 11, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Baseball America has 8 Braves listed in their top 100 prospects, one more than the Yankees. I realize that Dansby is hard to be thought of as a prospect but hey, the rules are the rules… So, I’ll take it.

    Ozzie Albies checks in at number 11 on the list. The next three are pitchers, #37 Allard, #48 Soroka and #66 Ian Anderson.

    Andruw Jones Acuna checks in at #67, Kevin Maitan at #77

    Lefty Sean Newcomb appears as #78

    One would have to believe Dansby will make the team out of spring training, Ozzie will show up in June and Newcomb will have every opportunity to play at SunTrust this season. The others will likely be 2 to 3 years away. By that time they will have move up or moved on and other names will be added to the list. After all, Maitan has yet to appear in a professional game and Acuna has not yet advanced beyond A ball.

    The more I read, the more I believe my prediction of an 85 win season is very attainable. That is not quite play-off numbers but it is sit up and take notice numbers. Numbers which will keep some other teams out of the play-offs too.

    Like

  167. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville February 11, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    I tweeted BBA about the percentage of those ball players chosen for their top 100 prospects who actually made it to the show. Looking over the list for the past several years, it appears between 90 and 95 percent of each year’s top 100 become major league ball players.

    I would say that is a pretty impressive track record, that and it bodes well for the Braves’ future.

    Liked by 1 person

  168. 173 Vox O'Reason February 11, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Like

  169. 174 berigan2electricboogaloo February 12, 2017 at 5:56 am

    wow….didn’t see this coming! Also didn’t know that Sean Rodriguez needed shoulder surgery after that idiot crashed into his car and hurt his wife and kids severely…..

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/02/braves-close-to-acquiring-brandon-phillips.html

    Like

  170. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Braves kept that bit of info on SRod pretty quiet. You just never know do you? Well, BP will be a big club house presence. No, he’s not the young kid he once was but I’m sure he “knows stuff”. I’m sure he is no worse than Jace afield and he can still hit a bit. It also speeds up Ozzie’s likely arrival in Atlanta.

    I expect Jace will also share time at third base with Adonis.

    The real shame is Rodriques is having to eat most of the cost for his injuries as the police car that hit him was stolen and that driver was killed.

    I can take a year of BP at second base and as a bench player. I don’t see him walking thru it. Players like Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis will make sure of that.

    Just one of the many twist and turns of a baseball season.

    Liked by 1 person

  171. 176 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2017 at 8:40 am

    So, where do you bat him? I think the fist available opening is the six hole but could be 7th, I don’t envision him batting eight bit somebody has to bat there.

    Something to talk about…

    Like

  172. 177 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2017 at 10:02 am

    BP will draw his full salary, Phillips may not be the player he once was but he is still a good player. Funny how some pundits view and B.A. below 300 as substandard. .220 is sub-standard, 260 is pretty solid. More important is when the hits come, not how many. See Nick Markakis… Phillips will not block Ozzie Albies, therefore, the Braves have done what they need to do, what is more amazing is how well the Braves kept the seriousness of SRod’s injury a secret.

    Liked by 1 person

  173. 178 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Just…

    … days until P&CR.

    Like

  174. 179 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Interesting that I found the Ozzie pic for #2 today, eh?

    Yes, Gil, the Braves did quite a job of keeping the injury to SeanRod quiet. Masterful, even. Then to get Brandon Phillips, who in a “down” year still slashed .291/.320/.416 with 11 HR’s and 64 RBI. And only 64 K’s in 584 PA’s. The dude will put the ball in play.

    As to where he hits in the lineup, it’ll be #6, right behind Kakes. A perfect RH bat to slot right behind the LH’er. You can bet Kakes will see a few more fastballs with BP behind him, too.

    Coppy only gave up 2 non-prospect pitchers who were never going to toe the rubber in SunTrust Park. And if that’s not enough, how about the fact that Cincy is paying all but $1M of his salary? This is a steal for the Braves.

    Coppy, you never cease to amaze me.

    No worries about blocking Ozzie. BP is on the last year of his deal, and Ozzie just turned 20 last month and is coming back from a pretty serious injury. Another year in AAA won’t hurt him.

    I’m happy. And I have to be honest, I find BP’s presence in the lineup a little more of a “sure thing” than SeanRod. I have a little more confidence in the 3 time All-Star and 4 time Gold Glover.

    Man you gotta love the up the middle defense with Dansby/BP and Ender.

    Like

  175. 180 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Gil, you mentioned his clubhouse presence, and you are right on. The Braves have added yet another good mentor for their youngsters. BP is even a hometown kid having gone to high school locally. In fact, he went to Mrs. Vox’s alma mater. (Not at the same time, though.)

    Like

  176. 181 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    This new development only underscores the team’s need to fill the bench with a true 4th OF. SeanRod was to be the main backup to Ender in CF. Now that falls on Jace. And while I like Jace’s versatility and grit, he’s not a CF. He’s also not a SS, so it helps Chase d’Arnaud’s grip on a roster spot as well.

    With the expectation that SeanRod will need surgery and be out 3-5 months, the Braves could place him on the 60-day DL which will keep him from counting against the 40-man roster. But until the season starts and such procedures go into place, the 40-man is still full. So if the Braves add a 4th OF, they’ll have to create a roster spot somehow. Expect one of the many bullpen arms to be moved in a deal if the need arises.

    Like

  177. 182 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    I had a question as to when the 40 man/DL rule took effect. I thought it was at the start of spring training but you indicate it is at the start of the season. Lots of juggling to take place still.

    My advice to the pitchers, don’t show up out of shape, the Braves need your slot…

    Liked by 1 person

  178. 183 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Per Bowman:

    Phillips loses his 10-and-5 rights, but keeps the limited no-trade clause that exists in his contract.

    The Braves will give Phillips a $500K bonus if he’s traded to any of the 12 teams not included within his no-trade list.

    DO’B adds:

    Coppy: Since Schuerholz became GM in ’91 “we have never granted no-trade provisions & we have no intention of changing that policy.”

    Kinda murky, but as I understand it, the no-trade clause remains but can be bought out for the $500K. In other words, it doesn’t prevent him from being traded, just puts a little more dough in his pocket if the trade involves one of the named 12 teams.

    Like

  179. 184 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    It would seem that the no-trade provision was the sticking point in the 2 teams’ earlier trade talks last November. Apparently that’s why BP would not accept the deal then. When the Braves went back Friday to reopen talks, they were willing to sweeten the pot with the $500K bonus to make it happen. Then things moved quickly.

    Like

  180. 185 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    It really works well for BP too. His time in Cincy had wound down and they were wanting to go forward with their youth movement. This is a much more “dignified” way for him to leave Cincinnati than via release. Their fans still love him. Coming “home” is the smoothest transition for him.

    Like

  181. 186 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    That’s how you keep a secret. You don’t find out yourself. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  182. 187 Vox O'Reason February 12, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    This should answer any and all questions about the front office’s desire to win in 2017. They could have easily have stood pat with Jace and just waited out the return of SeanRod. This group is ready to win now.

    Like

  183. 188 berigan2electricboogaloo February 12, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    as much as I despise pain, I must somehow be a masochist ….read the comments on the mlbtr page on the trade…supposed braves fans hating the trade, thinking it was holding Albie back, and about 10 times folks saying hey, Sean Rodriguez should be the 2nd baseman, and being told 10 times how he was injured and would be out 3-5 months, then someone would add, Sean Rodriguez should be the 2nd baseman!!!!
    And of course DatdudeBP is a horrible, beyond bad secondbaseman. cuz…defensive metics say so! Forget those amazing highlights you saw just last year…he’s terrible!!!!!!!!!!!
    then someone talked about his hits and rbi’s over his career…well, of course that really set off a few “experts” as we all know…getting hits and driving in runs really isn’t an important part of a players game…
    ah well, at least I learned to love baseball before the experts had a chance to ruin it for me 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  184. 189 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Ber, those trolls are the same basement dwellers who protest everything but have no idea of why other than someone told them to. I think they are called “useful idiots”

    Anyway, I doubt Coppy shared with the Reds the fact Sean would need surgery. I think the asking price would have been greater.

    Anyway, I am even more convinced the Braves will win 85 games this season. Just enough to get us all excited but not quite in the money. I think it will finally all come down to pitching.

    Liked by 1 person

  185. 190 Gil in Mechanicsville February 12, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Anyway, glad to have BP aboard for the initial season at SunTrust. It’s a contract year so he might well feel his has something to prove. Should be fun to see him interact with Fab5.

    Liked by 2 people

  186. 191 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Just…

    … day until P&CR!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  187. 192 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Now that we have this new development, it tosses out all the other cheesy lineup predictions I’ve posted over the last several weeks. So it’s time for a new cheesy lineup prediction. (NOTE: barring any more unexpected changes)

    Ender, CF (L)
    Dansby, SS (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    Matty, LF (R)
    Kakes, RF (L)
    BP, 2B (R)
    Adonis/Jace, 3B (R/L)
    TFlow, C (R)

    I believe Jace could work in a loose platoon with Adonis at 3B. The guy who now seems to have the most negative affect from the fallout is Rio Ruiz. Jace is a virtual lock as the utility man, and Chase is needed to backup SS. Suzuki is the BUC, leaving just one additional bench spot if Coppy/Snit stick to their 8-man bullpen plan. As we’ve previously mentioned, we have to have somebody that can capably backup CF. Rio is not that. I suppose Chase is now the defacto backup there, but you wouldn’t want to do that or more than a game or 2.

    In all honesty, the team should go back to a more traditional 7-man bullpen and 5-man bench. Given the presence of Big Sexy and RAD, the bullpen ought not be taxed nearly as much as last season. And I’ll even throw in Folty to that equation. he’s a big, strong pitcher that is far enough along in his development that he needs to start going deeper into games. And I believe this is going to be his breakout season.

    Not gonna try to predict too much of the bullpen yet. That appears to be where the most intense competition will come this spring. And I fully expect at least one trade of a reliever… and maybe a couple. #Coppyneversleeps

    Like

  188. 193 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 8:08 am

    What a day indeed.

    Like

  189. 194 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I just read that Cincinnati Enquirer’s Zach Buchanan noted last July BP was dealing with a hairline fracture in his left hand but would play through it. I suppose that resulted in his “down” year of .291/.320/.416? Let’s see how he does with a pain-free knob hand.

    BTW- Not counting Dansby and his 38 game debut, BP’s .291 AVG would place him tied for #2 with Ender for the Braves in 2016. His .320 OPB would place him 6th among regulars, and his .416 SLG would be 4th.

    He’d also have been 3rd in stolen bases behind Ender and the now departed Mallex Smith.

    Liked by 1 person

  190. 195 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I strongly believe that Dansby is the team’s #2 hitter of the future, but one might have to consider that given the way BP still handles the bat (only 68 K’s in 584 PA’s in 2016), and the way he still steals bases, he might not be a better #2 option for the early going at least.

    Like

  191. 196 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Intro to BP:

    Yes… I know he’s 35 going into this season, but the guy who produced theses gems won’t be a liability in 2017.

    Liked by 3 people

  192. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville February 13, 2017 at 8:58 am

    35 is the new 30 isn’t it? As long as he does not show up overweight, he will do fine methinks. Irregardless, he is a step up from the plethora of second sackers the Braves have employed of late.

    Going to be fun seeing all the new handshakes appearing in the Braves dugout.

    Liked by 2 people

  193. 198 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 9:04 am

    The remaining mystery is the extent of the shoulder injury to SeanRod. And because this was a non-baseball related injury, HIPAA prevents anyone – including the Braves – from learning the exact nature of the injury at the moment. I’m pretty sure SeanRod will be completely forthcoming to management at some point, but for now all we can do is speculate. No need to really guess, so we’ll leave it alone for the time being and simply offer prayers for his recovery and for the recoveries of his family members too.

    Liked by 1 person

  194. 199 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Gil, I’ve spent way too much time this morning watching BP’s highlights. If he just brings a fraction of that to ATL, it’ll be a fun season.

    Liked by 2 people

  195. 200 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Just…

    … days until position players report. grinning

    Liked by 1 person

  196. 201 berigan2electricboogaloo February 13, 2017 at 10:08 am

    I would also think with the days off in April, there is usually not much of a need of a 5th starter…so they wouldn’t need an 8 man bullpen, at least for the first month…and we always know there are going to be injuries….
    In fact, if I was to guess, I bet that 5 man rotation won’t even come out of s.t. as we would imagine….

    Liked by 2 people

  197. 202 Gil in Mechanicsville February 13, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Okay, the initial excitement over acquiring BP has abated for me, time to do some serious thinking about the preview blog for spring training. That and upcoming WBC games starting soon. Real baseball in a manner of speaking.

    Liked by 1 person

  198. 203 Vox O'Reason February 13, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Have never been a fan of the WBC, but that’s just because I’m so very partial to my Braves and I’m deathly afraid of a pitching injury from the quick start to competitive throwing.

    Like

  199. 206 Vox O'Reason February 14, 2017 at 11:52 am

    As they should. All of them.

    Like

  200. 207 Vox O'Reason February 14, 2017 at 11:55 am

    This is always one of the things I look at each spring. I wanna know who wants to play ball.

    Liked by 1 person

  201. 208 Vox O'Reason February 14, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Outstanding! He’s one guy that I honestly was not expecting early. Baller.

    Liked by 1 person

  202. 209 Vox O'Reason February 14, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I’m anxiously waiting for somebody to post a pic of Bartolo in his Braves uni. I cannot wait to see that.

    Liked by 2 people

  203. 210 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    DOB or Boman, can’t remember which and too lazy to look for their blurb, reported that Ozzie will be behind in his preparedness this spring due to his continued rehab. That’s okay, no rush, make sure it is healed completely. I think the Braves have the spot covered with the addition of Brandon Phillips… Also affords Demerritte a little more opportunity to impress or not. That is the thing about baseball, you just never know when you will get Wally Pipped…

    Liked by 2 people

  204. 211 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I noticed the Braves have not yet assigned the #1 uniform number. Will be one of their next speedsters I would venture.

    Like

  205. 212 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Can absolutely guarantee, BP will be assigned #4

    Like

  206. 213 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    To me, today (start of spring training) is the real groundhog day.

    Liked by 1 person

  207. 214 Vox O'Reason February 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Can absolutely guarantee, BP will be assigned #4

    Yep. Easy layup.

    I noticed the Braves have not yet assigned the #1 uniform number. Will be one of their next speedsters I would venture.

    Maybe Ozzie? Not sure if he has a preference. I found several from the minors when I was looking at uni numbers for my countdown. But he just looks like he should wear #1.

    Like

  208. 215 Vox O'Reason February 14, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Hmmm… looks like Ozzie will wear 24 for this spring. And BP has indeed been assigned #4.

    Liked by 1 person

  209. 216 Vox O'Reason February 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Oops… make that 74 for Ozzie. Yikes. Kurt Suzuki is wearing 24.

    Like

  210. 217 Vox O'Reason February 14, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Micah Johnson is wearing Dansby’s old #2. I think Micah has a good chance of cracking the roster. For 1, he does play CF to go along with 2B/3B. For another, he’s already on the 40-man roster. And it doesn’t hurt that he bats LH.

    Liked by 1 person

  211. 218 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    Micah Johnson is wearing Dansby’s old #2

    Well, the early betting line would certainly give the edge to Johnson wouldn’t it? I’m sure he feels a lot better than he would if given #77… Of course, just like everything else, nothing is etched in stone. Trades could happen at any time, after all, the Cardinals just got some bad news about their promising rookie pitcher Alex Reyes. Who has major league ready pitching…. Whom….

    Like

  212. 219 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I guess I should have followed that with a question mark but then again, we already know the answers…

    Like

  213. 220 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    One tell to look out for is who gets the early at bats in games. When you are regulated to coming in the game after the seventh inning, likely you are simply being used as cannon fodder.

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 221 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Snitker on Ozzie’s rehab.. “Albies had been doing mostly “light stuff, and a throwing program to build strength. But he looks great, though. My God. He’s short, but he’s a powerful guy. He’s built. Strong kid.”

    That description leads me to think of him as a Jose Altuve clone.

    Liked by 1 person

  215. 222 Gil in Mechanicsville February 14, 2017 at 8:58 pm

    http://www.fanragsports.com/news/cardinals-alex-reyes-mri-elbow/

    Coppy smacks lips and wrings hands in evil anticipation as he awaits a phone call….

    Every young Braves pitcher who thinks he might have to start in Gwinnett should lick his chops…

    It’s an ill wind which does not blow someone good…

    Liked by 3 people

  216. 223 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 7:54 am

    On local radio, Coppy is affectionately known as “the vulture”. He does have a way of picking a carcass clean.

    Liked by 2 people

  217. 224 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 7:58 am

    As for Ozzie being strong and powerful, DO’B said this of him yesterday:

    “Little dude is ripped more than ever, worked out all winter.”

    Liked by 1 person

  218. 225 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 7:59 am

    And on the topic of being in shape, DO’B said this about 10 minutes ago:

    “Getting a better look at Braves Kemp today in street clothes, and he clearly did a lot of offseason work. In good shape.”

    Liked by 2 people

  219. 226 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Still looking for that first pic of Big Sexy in his Braves togs…

    Liked by 1 person

  220. 227 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 8:12 am

    No. Words.

    Liked by 1 person

  221. 228 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Think Sean Newcomb isn’t an important part of the Braves’ future plans? Notice his locker is right next to RAD’s. No coincidence. Soak it in, young man…

    Liked by 1 person

  222. 229 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Liked by 1 person

  223. 230 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Yes sir!

    Like

  224. 231 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Finally!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  225. 232 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Looks like Jace has picked up some ink.

    Like

  226. 233 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 10:39 am

    Icon. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

  227. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Kemp looks as trim as Jason Hayward. Will cover more ground this year. Coppy must be smiling….

    Bartolo like loose fitting uniforms but he looks thinner too. Vets are setting an example.

    Those 85 wins looks more attainable every day….

    Liked by 2 people

  228. 235 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Only 1 pitcher made 30 starts for the Braves last season (Julio, 30) and only 1 pitcher pitched 180+ innings (Julio, 188.0).

    Liked by 1 person

  229. 236 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Braves top 5 pitchers in IP from 2016:

    Julio, 188.0
    Wisler, 156.2
    Folty, 123.1
    Bud Norris, 70.1
    Aaron Blair, 70.0

    The guy who is #6 in IP? Closer Jim Johnson with 64.2.

    Wanna know why Coppy went out and signed 3 starters?

    Liked by 2 people

  230. 237 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    With numbers like that put up by last year’s starters, you would have to harken back to the Rockies experiment with spring training type starting rotation. The had what? 8 starters? or more like a 20 man bullpen. slow and ugly.

    In today’s game, you get a guy up in the pen, he throws 50 or 60 warm up tosses, comes in and throws 8 more warm up throws, then faces one batter, anywhere from one to five pitches and then is done for the night… And they wonder why the games take so long…

    Like

  231. 238 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    The official word…

    Like

  232. 239 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Like

  233. 240 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    It should be noted that the rotator cuff injury was to his non-throwing shoulder. That doesn’t minimize the impact to his hitting, but at least it won’t affect his ability to throw the ball across the diamond.

    Liked by 1 person

  234. 241 Vox O'Reason February 15, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Given what the cars look like, we should all be grateful that the injuries to Sean and his family were not much more tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

  235. 242 Gil in Mechanicsville February 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Good Grief! A testament to air bags and seat belts. Also he will have aliments he never realized in a few years. That said, prayers go out to him and his whole family for a full and speedy recovery.

    Best news is now we will have a steady supply of news coming out of Orlando. Yippee…..

    Liked by 2 people

  236. 243 Vox O'Reason February 16, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Freddie Freeman has been spotted in camp. 😀

    Like

  237. 244 Vox O'Reason February 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

    Like

  238. 245 Vox O'Reason February 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

    This is toooo funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  239. 246 Vox O'Reason February 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Notes from Kemp’s time in the cage today:

    McAlpin: Matt Kemp just hit a ball over the scoreboard onto the roof of the indoor cages.

    McAlpin: Swanson on Kemp’s power display today: “Mind boggling. He’s unreal. He looks great”

    DO’B: Braves Kemp hit some absolute blasts in batting practice, for those into such things. He hit one over the 60-foot scoreboard. Impressive.

    FoxSports: Brian Snitker on Braves OF Matt Kemp in batting practice: “He’s hitting balls where (Andres) Galarraga used to hit ’em.”

    Liked by 1 person

  240. 247 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    Snitker said Kemp has trimmed down to the point where he looks like when he played centerfield for the Dodgers. I’ll take that….

    Striving for 85 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  241. 248 Carolina Lady February 16, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Speaking of Galarraga, I came across an article recently that said he’s doing really well, having beaten several battles of cancer. Still has that smile.

    Like

  242. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville February 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    I am happy to hear the Big Cat is a cancer survivor, he was one of the best 1ST basemen to ever don a Braves jersey. it was a huge blow to lose his services.

    So much positive news about Matt Kemp, the Braves may well surprise a lot of folks this year. For me. it will be 90 wins, for a lot of folks, it would be 80… I’ll stay conservative and say 85 but with the addition of Brandon Phillips, the Braves may well break out this season.

    One more year in Triple A won’t hurt Ozzie in spite of how he might feel about it and at some point he might make an appearance but I don’t feel there will be a pressing need baring injury.

    I think the biggest story is going to be who becomes the primary third baseman.

    Liked by 1 person

  243. 251 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2017 at 7:40 am

    *I think the biggest story is going to be who becomes the primary third baseman.

    Seems at the moment to be the weak spot of the team.

    Like

  244. 252 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Pretty much every other slot is filled. Other than the bullpen of course which is always in a bit of flux. No shortage of guys to choose from, just making everything fall into place.

    Not saying Adonis can’t bring something positive to the table, just won’t ever be mentioned as a potential All-star. I think the soft platoon of Jace and Adonis is the most likely scenario this spring barring a surprise trade or two.

    I don’t think I would sign any long term leases in Atlanta if I were Adonis. Still, the guy is going to amaze us every time he hits one into the seats. I am thinking it is his defensive liability which will hold him back. Something to watch this spring.

    Like

  245. 253 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Of course the Braves two most impactful new hires just might be Ron Washington and Chuck Hernandez.

    Like

  246. 254 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2017 at 10:36 am

    DO’B says Nick Markakis is in camp, with head shaved and sans beard. Barely recognized him.

    Looks like he also is sporting some new ink.

    Like

  247. 255 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2017 at 10:38 am

    I agree that Adonis and Jace will likely share the 3B position, and I’m OK with that. It might just work nicely as far as OBP is concerned, but I’d still prefer to get 25+ HR from the hot corner.

    Like

  248. 256 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Yesss!

    Like

  249. 257 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2017 at 10:41 am

    BP taking BP. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  250. 258 Vox O'Reason February 17, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Better portal to BP taking BP.

    Like

  251. 259 Carolina Lady February 17, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    Who on earth ordered/designed those hideous workout “uniforms”??? I’m speechless! Uber baggy “pants” (they look like skirts!), horrid color placement, complete with lederhosen! :-O

    Liked by 2 people

  252. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville February 17, 2017 at 7:35 pm

    CL, the “free and easy not to mention breezy” style of shorts is just what is in style. You will notice the top is form fitting… In a couple of years, it will be reversed. If you don’t change styles, you could not force millions of fashionistas to spend money they don’t have on new clothes.

    I am currently in the jeans and whatever or sweatpants and whatever phase of my life. I’m pretty happy to still be able to bath….

    Now baseball… Think Matt Kemp and Brandon Phillips could not keep a club house entertained with baseball stories? Look fast, we likely will not see these two in a Braves uni after this season. Should be interesting if the Braves are in contention come trade deadline time.

    Liked by 1 person

  253. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville February 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    Lot’s of positive vibes coming out of spring training early, perhaps that is universal for all of baseball but I get the feeling this is genuine. I feel like a cat being teased by a laser pointer, I just don’t know what to read first. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  254. 262 Gil in Mechanicsville February 19, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Insightful opine by Sean Rodriquez on being thankful to have survived a horrendous accident in December.

    http://m.braves.mlb.com/news/article/216447028/sean-rodriguez-grateful-family-survived/

    Nice to read about all the kids and vets actually showing up in shape this spring. You would think, they are finally getting it. At least they will know if they really have the talent to play in the show. Not being held back by self imposed physical limitations. It is all about discipline.

    Think last season wasn’t a wake up call for Matt Kemp? He is still young as far as baseball players go. Big money still to be made, Maybe not with Atlanta but somewhere.

    Liked by 3 people

  255. 263 Gil in Mechanicsville February 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    From MLB Trade Rumors

    “While Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips claims he didn’t block the Reds’ initial attempt to trade him to Atlanta in November, members of the Cincy organization say otherwise, according to Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. However, those individuals have elected against going on the record to dispute Phillips’ account so as not to create a public rift with the longtime franchise cornerstone.”

    I suspect it was BP’s agent who implied to the Reds that Phillips was not on board for a trade, perhaps to get the parties to sweeten the pot so to speak. You people have no idea of how many people have been POed at me for something I supposedly have said but never did because other people used me as a filter.

    Looking at the short videos provided by Bowman and DOB via twitter, I have to say Nick Markakis looks the most comfortable and polished. Adonis’ swing looks a bit long to me, but, that’s just my untrained non professional opinion….

    Like

  256. 264 Vox O'Reason February 21, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Who on earth ordered/designed those hideous workout “uniforms”??? I’m speechless!

    Actually, those are not their actual uniforms. Guys who are there “early” can wear wear pretty much whatever they want while getting in their early work. Once the actual official workouts start, they’re all in uniform.

    Like

  257. 265 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Good morning Stuffville… A couple of observations…. Position players not already on the big league roster who I have the most interest this spring are: in no particular order, Ozzie Albies, Travis Demeritte, Dustin Peterson, Rio Ruiz.

    Also of interest, Micha Johnson.

    I think the Braves have an idea that Peterson is going to play in the Braves outfield but feel conflicted on bringing him up and not playing everyday and stunting his growth… Come to think about it, as I type this, I realize how stupid that is and will expect he is being given exposure to the “Big League” experience and will start the season at triple A.

    While the Braves seem willing to start the season with Adonis at third, I think he will have a huge bulls eye on his back as being at the position where the most likely improvement can come from. Honestly, can anyone name a spot other than catcher where the line-up card can’t be printed up ahead of time?

    Pitchers development will best be observed from Gwinnett this season. Anyone pitcher who spends serious time on the DL this year will be in jeopardy of losing his spot. Just saying…. I believe the pitching staff in August will be very different from the one breaking camp in April.

    Liked by 1 person

  258. 266 Vox O'Reason February 21, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I believe the pitching staff in August will be very different from the one breaking camp in April.

    Yup.

    Like

  259. 267 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Braves continue to talk with Kelly Johnson, apparent sticking point is KJ’s wanting a guaranteed major league contract. Braves not wanting to give up a spot on the 40 man to make room for him.

    I think Jace will put up better numbers this season as a utility guy as opposed to playing everyday. Remember what former Braves catcher David Ross said about role players? If they plat too much, they become exposed. I think we have seen that with Jace with some prolonged slumps.

    The Braves’ other utility guy, Chase d’Arnaud needs to play more to stay sharp. That is perhaps a manager’s toughest job to make sure everyone gets enough playing time and not wearing out others by playing them too much.

    Could we not write volumes on Bobby Cox’s legendary over use of certain relievers?

    Perhaps basketball is one of the best sports to drive that theory home. Also the idea of where many football games are lost in the fourth quarter because an opposing defense has been worn down. In the NFL, having a quarter step on a defender is akin to being wide open for a receiver.

    Liked by 1 person

  260. 268 Vox O'Reason February 21, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I think Jace will put up better numbers this season as a utility guy as opposed to playing everyday.

    I think he’ll get alot of AB’s vs. RHP’s. He and Adonis may end up in a loose platoon over there.

    Like

  261. 269 Vox O'Reason February 21, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Like

  262. 270 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Also $5MM in deferred payments. Nats have a lot of deferred payments. Leads me to think they are near or at their limit for salary. It’s a good deal for Wieters, he stays close to home (Wash/Balt) and he makes good money. I doubt the Nats will get a full season out of either Ryan Zimmerman or Jason Werth but they do have Braves killer Trea Turner still.

    Should be a fun season. The NL East is doable for everyone. Depends on the quality of the pitching start to finish.

    Liked by 1 person

  263. 271 Vox O'Reason February 21, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Depends on the quality of the pitching start to finish.

    … and the durability of said pitching. cough Mets cough

    Like

  264. 272 Gil in Mechanicsville February 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Exactly

    Like

  265. 273 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Good morning all, and the new day allows me to correct a statement I made a couple of weeks back as I have now gained a new understanding of exactly how the 60-day DL works and the dates surrounding it.

    Gil, you and I had an exchange regarding when the team could use the 60-day DL to open up a 40-man roster spot. What we did have clear is that all players on the 60-day DL are removed from said status once the regular season and post-season are completed. And of course, those players once again count against the team’s 40-man roster… thus the reason for the removal of the protection.

    Where my mistake was found is the date at which the team can begin using the 60-day DL again. I thought that date was the day teams set their active roster prior to Opening Day, but that is incorrect. Teams can once again use the 60-day DL as early as they open camp, or when their offseason is officially over. The Braves have already done such with LHP Jacob Lindgren, whom they signed in December following August TJ surgery. He was placed on the 60-day DL on Feb. 14 (P&CR day).

    That tidbit of information came up in a Twitter exchange I read regarding a possible roster spot for KJ. You cannot find any news of the move anywhere, but I did verify it as it’s listed on the team’s official Transactions page.

    So technically, if the team decides to give KJ the Major League deal he is seeking, there is a roster spot available.

    Like

  266. 274 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Personally I’m not sure we need KJ. He and Jace are somewhat redundant, although KJ has a little more pop and he has experience at 1B. Unless they change gears and go with a traditional 5 man bench, a signing of KJ will cost either Jace or Chase a job. I think you need Chase to backup SS. Would Jace be on the bubble?

    If I have to weigh KJ vs. Jace, I’m not sure I take KJ… unless you intend to trade him off to the Mets in July for a couple more prospects. 😉

    Like

  267. 275 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Speaking of DL, you do know that the 15-day DL has been replaced by the 10-day DL, right? That’s new for this year. It should help teams who don’t want a player with a minor injury lost for 2 weeks decide to go ahead and make the move. It should facilitate a little more movement in the rosters.

    Liked by 1 person

  268. 276 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I hate it. It is window dressing and will not truly speed up the game. And as the Indians’ Jason Kipnis noted:

    Like

  269. 277 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Thankfully, “Balk-a-day” Bob Davidson is gone. I know Chipper is raising a glass to this announcement. Sadly, he didn’t take Angel Hernandez with him.

    And Cowboy Joe West remains.

    Like

  270. 278 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2017 at 8:38 am

    Want to speed up the game? Put a time limit on the amount of time a play can be reviewed by the officials. If you can’t figure it out within 2 minutes then the call on the field should stand, if it’s that close, the ump should get the benefit of the doubt. The long delays is like giving a team a time out. It disrupts the flow of the game, allows a team to reset. Like a coach calling a time out to disrupt an opponent when they are on a run.

    Want to chase off long time fans, keep changing the rules which don’t really improve the game, like NASCAR… They are so busy trying to gain new viewers/patrons, they lose sight of the fact they are chasing off their base.

    Anyway, I agree on KJ. Don’t mind having him around but Jace is a vet now, at some point the bat speed slows down and your value diminishes to the point you become a liability. That and you need to give the kids a chance to play and show what they can do. It is the purpose of camp me thinks.

    It’s fun to read about the rookies and it gives us hope but there are 29 other teams who also have some potential super stars. It is a continuously moving line, no wonder players are paranoid.

    Liked by 1 person

  271. 279 berigan2electricboogaloo February 22, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Should be a fun season. The NL East is doable for everyone. Depends on the quality of the pitching start to finish.

    Gil, I’d agree with that for every team save the Marlins…. Losing the pitcher that arguably had the best start to a career….ever….really hurt them. They have talent, but I just don’t see how they can win the division….or even a W.C. slot….

    too bad Joe West hasn’t retired….surprised to see he’s only 64…he’s looked 64 for 20 years! 😉

    Like

  272. 280 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Want to speed up the game? Put a time limit on the amount of time a play can be reviewed by the officials. If you can’t figure it out within 2 minutes then the call on the field should stand,

    That is the second thing the commissioner is unilaterally imposing, but not sure if it’s for ’17 or ’18. There will be a 30 second limit for a manager to ask for a review, and a 2 minute limit for the review. To me that’s alot bigger than the intentional walk thing.

    I read this morning that the KC Royals as a team had a total of 8 intentional walks for the entire 2016 season. Yep… that’s gonna sure speed up their games, ain’t it?

    But we all know that the real reason for the excessive length of games is the time between innings for TV commercials, especially on national broadcasts. But that golden calf will never be sacrificed.

    Like

  273. 281 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Like

  274. 282 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Amen, Freddie… amen.

    Like

  275. 283 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Like

  276. 284 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Like

  277. 285 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2017 at 12:41 am

    But we all know that the real reason for the excessive length of games is the time between innings for TV commercials, especially on national broadcasts. But that golden calf will never be sacrificed.

    It has been many years since I last attended a professional (NFL)football game. The primary reason was after attend one, I discovered how incredibly slow the game was in person waiting on the TV commercials to be over. Of course all stadiums now have huge LED screens to allow the captive audience to enjoy the many offerings of Madison Ave along with the folks at home.

    I do enjoy attending live baseball games but my tolerance for hot, sticky and closely pack patrons has greatly diminished in proportion to my ability to get up and escape them. I will attend at least one, and likely two games at the new SunTrust Field in 2017 or 2018. Just have to get more ducks to line up in my proverbial row…

    Like

  278. 286 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I will attend at least one, and likely two games at the new SunTrust Field in 2017 or 2018.

    Plan to arrive hours early and take advantage of The Battery area. Also, the Braves have teamed up with the Waze app to provide the best route to your parking lot, of which there are several all around the stadium.

    (If you’ve never used the Waze app, it’s the best for navigating to a location through traffic. I use it often, and I don’t even travel through alot of traffic.)

    Like

  279. 287 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 7:55 am

    If they are truly serious about speeding up the game – and I could argue that it’s a “false narrative” – then limit the number of pitching changes per inning. Jim Powell suggested addressing the multiple pitching changes per inning. In a series of tweets, he said:

    Easiest way to improve pace: dramatic overhaul of the pitching changes. NOBODY likes watching pitching changes w/ repetitive 3-4 min delays.

    Give new P’s 1:45 from the time manager leaves dugout til ump says play ball. Use carts to speed them in from pen. Throw all u want in 1:45.

    Retweeted Only allow 1 pitching change during an inning unless a run scores.

    Regarding the new intentional walk rule: Saves 25 secs, which is less time than it takes for a manager to get to the mound to START one of his four to six 3-4 min pitching changes.

    4856 games played last yr, actually. Contrast 932 IBB w/ 15,307 relief appearances/pitching changes, & there will be more than that in ’17!

    I sense a theme. 😀

    Like

  280. 288 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 7:59 am

    If those last numbers above are correct, then by my math the new intentional walk rule will save on average 2 minutes 10 seconds per game.

    Way to go Commish!

    Like

  281. 289 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Wait… it isn’t even that much. My math is wonky…

    Like

  282. 290 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 8:11 am

    Let’s break this down…

    There are 30 teams in MLB, each playing 162 games. But since it takes 2 teams to play a game, we must multiply 162 by 15, right? That’s 2430 regular season games played.

    932 intentional walks in 2430 games is an average is 1 intentional walk every 3 games.

    Isn’t that right?

    So this measure will save about 25 seconds once every 3 games?

    Like

  283. 291 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 8:13 am

    This is the very definition of a guy in power overplaying his hand.

    Like

  284. 292 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2017 at 8:36 am

    Plan to arrive hours early

    Yes, my plan is to check into an on sight hotel (takes care of parking) and not move or use my vehicle until I leave to return home. I do hope shuttle services, trolly etc is in the plan…. If you are going to create a mini city, you have to take into account not everyone is ambulatory…

    When I attended games at Turner, I always stayed in a local hotel and walked to the park. It was when I discovered the complete lack of eating and or entertainment venues adjacent to the park. I think it was one of Turner’s greatest short comings.

    Like

  285. 293 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    There was nothing near Turner Field except a few crack dealers and some homeless folks. The difference at SunTrust Park will be dramatic.

    Like

  286. 294 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Gil, there will be a hotel in the Battery Park area, but I’m betting it’s gonna be quite pricey.

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/atl/ballpark/suntrust-park/renderings/omni-renderings/

    Like

  287. 295 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Like

  288. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I’m betting it’s gonna be quite pricey.

    Will hope the stock market continues to rise… 🙂 That said, I’m sure the fact parking is included will balance out the total cost. Better yet, will look for some type of package deals but I doubt it will be this season. This is my last year with my camper so that will help.

    Like

  289. 297 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    There are also a multitude of other hotel offerings in the general area. Not sure if any will run a shuttle (they should if they aren’t), but there is a local bus service that will be running routes to the stadium.

    Like

  290. 298 Vox O'Reason February 24, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Well, the Braves made a little bit of news yesterday with the signing of former UGA Bulldog and KC Chief defensive back Sanders Commings to a minor league deal. He was a 37th round MLB draft pick out of high school by the D’backs in 2008 but chose a college football scholarship instead. As it turns out, it wasn’t a bad choice. He had a successful career at UGA and was drafted by the NFL Chiefs in 2013. (As for his NFL career, he only got in 2 games for the Chiefs in 2013, and a broken collarbone early in 2014 cemented the end of his tenure in KC and he was waived before the 2015 season started.) The problem is, Commings hasn’t actually played in a baseball game since 2008. Still, he’s just 26 years old and a superior athlete.

    As Bowman lays it out, Commings is a close friend of longtime MLB’er Jerry Hairston, Jr., who had been working out with Commings and recommended he give baseball a shot. To that end, Hairston has spent the last few months working with Commings at the batting cage at his home and thinks Commings can make it.

    “He’s strong, he’s got pop, he’s just a tremendous athlete — you just don’t find that,” Hairston told MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez earlier this month. “You never know how a guy will react in Double-A or Triple-A. But he is worth the gamble, I can tell you that. He’s still young, and he’s got the tools.” (Bowman)

    As for the Braves, Bowman says they’ll evaluate Commings for a few weeks in minor league camp before before determining which position he might play and deciding where to assign him.

    So why take a chance on a guy who has been away from the game so long? Well…

    “We feel this is a tremendous athlete and an even better person,” Braves general manager John Coppolella said. “Our mantra has always been to leave no stone unturned. What’s the downside here?” (Bowman)

    True enough. No downside. Nothing to lose. I suppose you never know until you try. And I can remember a time when we took a chance on another defensive back named “Sanders” who wanted to played baseball. That turned out OK. 😉

    Like

  291. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Remember back to the days of our misspent youth when there was always a guy who excelled in sports playing for your high school? Back before the days of ultra specialization… They could play anything but went where they thought their best opportunity awaited.

    So why not? The Braves have been pretty lucky at striking gold in the most unlikely spots, I’m surprised they didn’t didn’t have scouts in the California penal league…

    Liked by 1 person

  292. 300 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2017 at 10:33 am

    On that note, VCU has a power forward/center named Mo Alley-Cox, huge, strong man who can play basketball but every pundit says he will most likely end up in the NFL as a tight end. Has never played football… Okay, I can see it.

    Anyway, it’s a good story and I wish the Commings kid the best of luck. At least his UCL and rotator cuff hasn’t been worn out.

    Liked by 1 person

  293. 301 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Not too many 6′-9″ guys catching in the major leagues nor 5′-5″ guys playing in the NBA but it happens.

    Anyway, what is the adage? You can teach a kid control but you can’t teach how to throw a 100mph fastball.

    One wonders how many more wins, strike outs etc Nolay Ryan would have racked up if he had a devastating slider to go with that nasty fastball?

    I thing Arron Blair was a perfect example of finally recognizing you have to have an out pitch. He could get a lot of hitters to two strikes but did not have anything to get opposing hitters off his fastball, they would just foul pitches off until he made a mistake.

    You also have to understand that their are times when a strike out is called for but if you are making a living off of them, you are not going to last past the 5th inning a lot of times and your bull pen is going to be toast by August.

    Anyway, Matt Kemp putting in extra time today practicing throws to second base from left field. I hope the kids are recognizing this, here is a guy who has the team made but he is working to get better. Take note NL East.

    Like

  294. 302 Gil in Mechanicsville February 24, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I also think teams should bring back infield practice before games. Unless you are committing zero errors, getting familiar with the way a field is playing is not a bad thing. It does not have to be a two hour long marathon but taking a dozen ground balls prior to every game is not going to wear you out.

    Like

  295. 303 Vox O'Reason February 24, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    Think he’s serious?

    Like

  296. 304 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Today’s opening lineup has a real feeling of permanence about it. Almost like Snit could have Kinkos run off about 160 copies for the season.

    Like

  297. 305 Gil in Mechanicsville February 25, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    I really need to be careful when I make snide suggestions lest they be taken seriously…

    http://m.mlb.com/cutfour/2017/02/23/216835680/video-andy-greens-idea-to-shorten-games

    Like

  298. 306 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    Well, that was ugly… Braves cruising along at Lakeland and give up eight runs in the bottom of the eight inning… Reminds us all that these are spring training games and do not count except when you are on the bubble as a reliever, not being able to get outs from the scrubs, you increase your chances of facing said scrubs again but at a lower level.

    At least a couple of nice efforts put together by the front line guys. Dicky, Fried, Viz and De La Cruz. Of course having 3 errors turned in behind you does not boost your confidence.

    Oh well, it is still spring training, have to look for the gems where we can spot them.

    Like

  299. 307 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Summary of yesterday:

    Dickey: good
    Suzuki: good
    Swanson: good
    Adonis: good
    Max Fried: very good
    Chaz Roe: not so good

    Like

  300. 308 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Spring training can be all about redemption, one bad outing does not disqualify you but when it becomes a trend, you can find yourself in the minor league camp. Worse, you can find yourself on the waiver wire. Too many young kids are always jockeying for your spot.

    Like

  301. 309 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2017 at 8:35 am

    Holy cow! Wouldn’t you hate to be their groundskeeper?

    Liked by 1 person

  302. 310 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2017 at 8:50 am

    All that dead grass…. What happened? Did the pumps fail?

    The great worm fiasco that happened in Norfolk when they had a similar occurrence and did not roll up the tarp. All those rotted worms really made the place uninhabitable.

    Like

  303. 311 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2017 at 8:55 am

    A similar thing also happened at the Richmond stadium at play-off. Braves had to forfeit as field was unplayable for a week. The bid club spent $500,000 replacing the drainage system. That system is still humming along today by the way.

    Major league parks are a lot more than dirt and grass….

    Liked by 1 person

  304. 312 Gil in Mechanicsville February 28, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Another thing, also reminds me of my mom’s basement… could be a real disaster…

    Like

  305. 313 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Folty ⚡️ on the mound to day. Quite anxious to see what he brings to the table in his first outing.

    Liked by 1 person

  306. 314 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2017 at 9:08 am

    *today

    Like

  307. 315 Carolina Lady February 28, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I followed the links of the San Diego story back to the TV station that posted the story. The article stated that the grounds crew had just removed all the extra dirt from a Monster Truck event that had used the stadium. The original plan was and apparently still is to put down new sod next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  308. 316 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2017 at 11:46 am

    The original plan was and apparently still is to put down new sod next week.

    I strongly recommend that.

    Liked by 1 person

  309. 317 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  310. 318 Carolina Lady February 28, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    That almost looks like a real lineup!
    😀

    Liked by 2 people

  311. 320 Carolina Lady February 28, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    MAKE THAT YESTERDAY’S GAME…..

    Liked by 1 person

  312. 321 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    Can you find this game streaming anywhere without having to pay for it?

    Like

  313. 322 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I read a pre-season prediction of the 2017 NL East earlier this morning from some dude named Matt Meffe from a site called Call To The Pen.

    It is amazing to me how there are writers who get picked up by sites with a national following who make “expert” predictions but who obviously have very little first-hand knowledge of that of which they speak. It is glaringly obvious that he has little knowledge of the Braves.

    First, he predicts then to finish 4th in the division with a 77-85 record. But his reasoning centers on one main reason:

    The bullpen is the biggest issue for the Braves going into the season. The team does not have a set closer, but three potential names (Jim Johnson, Mauricio Cabrera and Jose Ramirez) are being considered viable options. Last year, the bullpen of the Braves was relatively inconsistent, and this year may be no different.

    Let me take exception to this statement one misconception at a time…

    First, the Braves 2016 bullpen was in flux most of the season because of injuries and the lack of established starters. As we’ve noted in previous posts, only Julio Teheran averaged more than 6 IP per start. You could have the best bullpen in baseball and still burn out the arms with that kind of starting pitching. Coppy addressed it with the acquisition of 2 established innings eaters and another solid veteran. The bullpen will not feel the same pressure in 2017.

    Second, Jim Johnson was not full healthy until the second half when he took the mantle of Closer and made it his own. For the second half, JimmyJohn converted 18 saves vs. just 2 losses, with a 2.14 ERA in 34 appearances. Over that stretch, he averaged 11.0 K’s per 9 IP. He IS the Closer going into the season per the manager himself. Where this dude gets the idea that Jose Ramirez is a closer candidate is beyond me. If you follow the team on any consistent basis, which Mr. Meffe obviously does not, you know that the only other closer candidate might be Arodyz Vizcaino (whom Mr. Meffe didn’t even mention), with young AJ Minter possibly forcing himself into the picture at some point. And that is only in the case of injury or trade.

    Third, with the closer firmly established, the team has the aforementioned Cabrera, Ramirez and Viz all nicely nestled into their roles as late inning setup men. Having established roles is important. It’s something the bullpen lacked early last year, but that they found in the second half.

    Fourth, to go along with JJ, Viz, Mauricio, and JoRam, the team has lefties Ian Krol and Paco Rodriguez on tap to handle the southern exposure. And there are a plethora of viable long relief options available, all fighting it out for the 7th bullpen spot. Should the team opt for 8 to open the season, there are more than enough good candidates, including Josh Collmenter, John Danks, hard-throwing Luke Jackson, Rule 5 guy Armando Rivero, and youngsters Akeel Morris and Jason Hursh. That doesn’t take into account NRI veterans Blaine Boyer and EOF.

    In other words, what Mr. Meffe (how do you pronounce that anyway?) considers to be a team weakness will actually be a strength as the season unfolds.

    Seriously, if you want to list out question marks, we can start with 3B and C, talk about the need for an established bat for the bench, and maybe mention the durability of Jaime Garcia. But the bullpen? Mr. Meffe needs to do a little real research and stop reading just the headlines… or the SABRE spreadsheets.

    Liked by 1 person

  314. 323 Carolina Lady March 1, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Selecting such a ‘guest writer’ strongly suggests to me that the admin/host of the site knows little himself. He oughta see what you guys write! Can’t nobody hold a candle to y’all!

    Like

  315. 324 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Like

  316. 325 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    VOX, I think the guy’s numbers are right, just transposed. I am firmly convinced the record will be 85-77… Of course if the pundits are only predicting 90 wins, well, who knows how this season could shake out.

    Like

  317. 326 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2017 at 3:00 am

    I should have finished the above statement. What I was trying to say was if the pundits are only predicting 90 wins for the Nationals this year, then the division is wide open. The Braves bullpen is a strength, not a weakness. I am not sure where these folks are getting their info but I can only go by my own lying eyes so I guess there is that…

    Not a great night against the Yankees in Tampa Wed but it is spring training after all. Learn from it young Matt. The Braves scrubs tried to come back from being 6 runs down and made it respectable but by that time it was the Triple A rosters going at each other.

    I am beginning to wonder at the mental capacity of some of the so called fans who tweet, blog, and otherwise clutter up the internet. You would think they believe players who show up for spring training should be in mid season form, ready to throw perfect games for nine innings.

    I’ll worry beginning around the 20th of March. Then we will have a good grasp of who is ready and who isn’t.

    Like

  318. 327 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2017 at 7:55 am

    You would think they believe players who show up for spring training should be in mid season form, ready to throw perfect games for nine innings.

    That’s exactly what they think. As for the veterans, those guys are “getting their work in”. But the youngsters are working on specific pitches, releases, motions, etc. Getting batters out is second on the list of priorities.

    So how about that young Johan Camargo, huh? He’s always been an elite defender as a middle infielder in the system, but now that his body has filled out he’s rounding into shape as a hitter as well. And suddenly, we have another 3B candidate in our midst. At worst, we have a real backup SS. The poop is that he has really impressed management and has a legit shot to make the club. Chase d’Arnaud needs to be nervous.

    Like

  319. 328 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2017 at 8:09 am

    Rumblings on Camargo:

    Said 1st week of camp Johan Camargo creating buzz among Braves officials/coaches. I expect to see him this year, perhaps sooner than later (DO’B)

    In D.R. Winter League, Braves prospect Johan Camargo slugged team-best .500 for Aguilas, hit .275/.310/.500 w/ 4 triples, 2 HR in 80 AB (DO’B)

    Camargo has added 15 pounds (going from 180 to 195 lbs.) since the start of last season. Added strength was seen with that 3-run HR (Bowman)

    Snit on Camargo: “he’s been fun to watch. His whole game is pretty good. Just a very impressive young man” (McAlpin)

    As a SH IF that can back up both SS and 3B, he could just sneak onto this roster. Most likely he starts the season as the SS at AAA Gwinnett. But it’s a little bit of a comfort to know he’s only 34.6 miles away.

    Like

  320. 329 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2017 at 8:14 am

    The one absolute truth in baseball, no matter who you are, there is always someone who wants your job and if they can, they will take it away from you. There is no such thing as a participation trophy in pro baseball.

    Like

  321. 330 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2017 at 8:19 am

    The blog is taking quite a while to load, I’ll try to come up with something relevant to post. However, no one should feel like they can not contribute if they would like (hint hint) . Just send it to the boss… 🙂

    Like

  322. 331 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2017 at 8:20 am

    That AAA Gwinnett team ought to be really fun to watch this year. First, the rotation will be stout. Their rotation most likely will be Matt Wisler, Aaron Blair, Sean Newcomb, Lucas Sims and either John Danks or Joel de la Cruz. I’d hate to be a youngster looking to make an impression and have to face that rotation in a series.

    Around the diamond, they’ll probably start Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, Rio Ruiz, Dustin Peterson, Micah Johnson, Anthony Recker and a host of other talented players including Connor Lien, Mel Rojas, Jr., Emilio Bonifacio, and Adam Brett Walker.

    And if Christian Walker doesn’t make the big club, he’ll be launching bombs out of Coolray Field too.

    I’ll have to spend a few summer nights down the road watching this club.

    Like

  323. 332 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Ha!

    Like

  324. 333 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    He may have a future in baseball…

    Like

  325. 334 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    John Danks is not doing himself any favors thus far in camp…

    Like

  326. 335 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Neither did Blaine Boyer. Okay, still early spring. It is what spring training is for, an opportunity to get in shape, work on stuff and cull the herd so to speak. Other than Danks, I don’t think any pitcher who has been lit up this spring has had their name inked in for the staff.

    Like

  327. 336 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    Concerning today’s game: Braves relief pitching seems to be lacking. Nice for Paco to have a good showing.

    Like

  328. 337 Carolina Lady March 3, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    GIL’S NEW LEAD IS UP! Thanks, Chief!

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

ChrisKlob: Feb 4

Raisins: Mar 13

Berigan: Mar 15

Gil: Apr 15

Salty: Apr 22

FloridaBravesGirl: Jul 8

Skip Caray: Aug 12

Miss Josie: Aug 18

Carolina Lady: Oct 7

BravesAndStuff: Dec 5, 2007


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