#174: Words of wisdom

Vox O’Reason

$50M sounds like so much money to you and me, but it won’t even pay for 2 All-Stars for 1 year, much less over the long term deals they want. And any owner that “takes their $50M windfall and spends it all in one place” isn’t being fiscally responsible.

As to the Braves, I would love for them to have taken $50M and bought a pitcher and a hitter. Truth is, though, that it wouldn’t have paid for both Yu Darvish and JD Martinez. The cost of a player goes way beyond just straight salary. There’s stipends, food, hotels, travel, and very costly insurance just to name a short few. I cannot imagine the total yearly budget for operating a baseball franchise. It’s staggering to think about. So $50M in the total perspective isn’t as much a windfall as we might imagine.

As we all have hashed over time and time again, the Braves’ horrendous TV contract already puts them behind other teams… hence the genesis of The Battery, a very innovative concept that all 29 other teams are paying close attention to. That will help make up some of the difference, but it doesn’t just begin spitting cash on arrival. It has to be planned, built, occupied and operated. All that costs money and takes time. It’s already paying some dividends, but it’s just in its infancy.

Am I defending the tight-walleted Braves ownership, or ownership in general? Well, here’s the uncomfortable truth. They own the team; they can do with it as they please. We shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking baseball owners – whether it be private or corporate – are in it just to build winning teams. They’re in it to make money. That’s how they are, and that’s how they can afford a baseball franchise to begin with. Obviously building a winning team helps bolster the bottom line, but it isn’t the #1 priority. And it doesn’t come quickly, easily or cheaply.

Overall, baseball owners are learning that the days of George Steinbrenner are long gone. There are so many examples of teams spending themselves into oblivion and still losing. And even “going all in” by overspending and trading away your farm doesn’t guarantee anything. Anyone remember Mark Teixeira? No, the new wave of team executives have earned their stripes by taking the long approach… by building the farm system and reaping slow long range benefits. It’s the Dayton Moore approach and its proven. And it’s not just in KC. Chicago did it; Houston did it; Minnesota is doing it. It works.

So that transitions to other major parts of the slow free agent market equation…

Let’s say we did buy Mike Moustakas on a short term cost-friendly 1-year pillow contract. The signing still would cost us a high draft pick. So even if the budget hit is positive, the impact on the farm system is negative. Team execs are beginning to place a much higher value on those draft picks and aren’t willing to just give them up easily.

Now, tack on the luxury tax and you really have a disincentive. Paying 150% on every $ you spend is bad business, period. It’s why the Dodgers took Matt Kemp’s albatross contract… to spread out their commitment over 2 years instead of 1 and avoid being hit with the penalty. The Braves could afford to absorb the cost in 2018 alone. (And the by-product is that it all comes off the books for 2019.)

All that adds up to a basic philosophy: unless your team is ready to win this year, it isn’t worth the negative effect on the future to buy high $ players. Who bought the big names? The Cubs, the Red Sox, the Angels… teams expecting to contend and win now.

I want the Braves to win this year. I really do. But I want them to win over the next 10 years too. Blowing a big wad in 2018 won’t give our young pitchers the experience they need, and it won’t guarantee us even a division title this year. But it will slow down the final lap of the long rebuild.

The smart executive will allow Nick Markakis to play out his deal this year and take what you get from him in RF. He will keep Ronald Acuna in AAA for April before starting his ML clock. He will allow his young pitchers to learn in the fire and take the hits this year. He’ll watch the team struggle again in 2018.

But in 2019, he’ll have young stud pitchers with real ML experience. He’ll have a budding star in the OF to go along with an established gold-glover. And he’ll have an opening, but he’ll also have means to fill out his young and talented roster with a that one complimentary player that will make the difference.

We somehow let Coppy and Hart sell us on the idea of retool, not rebuild, and “2 parallel paths*. But that was crap. It was a lie and it was false. There is only one way to rebuild, and it takes time. It takes 4 years of losing before you begin to emerge in the 5th. KC did it; Chicago did it; Houston did it; Minnesota is doing it. And the Braves will be doing it next year.

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461 Responses to “#174: Words of wisdom”


  1. 1 Carolina Lady February 22, 2018 at 10:19 am

    Apologies, V, but your post was too good to not be featured. Hope it is OK, kind person! (I tried to click the “Like” button above but it wouldn’t let me. No idea why because I obviously like your ruminations a great deal!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. 2 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Thanks CL!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 3 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Always informative, even the second time around…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 5 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Alan Carpenter at Tomahawk Take provides a pretty nice overview of the new world of analytics. It actually mirrors my own personal feelings fairly closely. Key concept for me is “balance”. But then, that is a key concept in many, many facets of life… but I digress. I am trying very hard to be open-minded. But as I read somewhere, “Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.”

    https://tomahawktake.com/2018/02/20/atlanta-braves-new-world-let-us-embrace-new-overlords/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 6 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I think this is a great move for Rio, and I hope he can handle it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. 7 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    You can mark Dickerson off the list of possibilities (however faint those possibilities may be).

    Like

  7. 8 berigan2electricboogaloo February 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Excellent opinie v! Why I don’t agree with every single aspect that was very well thought out

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 9 berigan2electricboogaloo February 22, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Oh brother well I’m verbalizing my thoughts while waiting for a doctor so you’re just going to have some grammar Visions what I was trying to say is while I didn’t agree with every single thought you had it was very well thought out

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 10 berigan2electricboogaloo February 22, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Has anyone seen anyone talked about teams all hitting 50 million dollars? I mean I don’t even know how I heard about it then teams like the Pirates and the Rays and all these others are paying their roster down to nothing and of course the Marlins just as if they didn’t get it $1 more

    Like

  10. 11 Vox O'Reason February 22, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Thjis regarding Disney’s purchase of BAMtech, MLB’s direct-to-consumer streaming technology and marketing services.

    https://thewaltdisneycompany.com/walt-disney-company-acquire-majority-ownership-bamtech/

    This is about the direct payment to clubs:

    So it sounds like perhaps the teams may not have received said payment yet, if they are to. It’s documented that MLB received $1.58B in the deal, but it doesn’t specify that it would be divvied up among the teams per se. Not saying it won’t, but there isn’t an official statement regarding it that I’ve found anywhere. I imagine they aren’t wanting it broadcast too loudly… not that it will matter. The MLBPA will know. That’s what matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 12 Gil in Mechanicsville February 22, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Cory Dickerson to the Pirates for pitcher Daniel Hudson, minor league infielder Tristan Gray and cash considerations.

    Like

  12. 13 berigan2electricboogaloo February 22, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    ahh, back on my ol’ desktop…can’t for the life of me see why folks would rather crank their chin down to their chest, and squint at a tiny phone screen, while you either type or verbalize crazy errors…
    reason #348 I dislike millennials 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  13. 14 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 7:51 am

    Game day!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. 15 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Liked by 3 people

  15. 16 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Like

  16. 17 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 7:56 am

    This is pretty cool…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. 18 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 8:08 am

    A few interesting notes from Jon Heyman’s latest column:

    The Braves have talked about Mike Moustakas, but so far there’s no common ground.

    The Braves took a brief look at Lorenzo Cain before he went to the Brewers.

    The Orioles have signed Colby Rasmus and Alex Presley as outfield possibilities but still may consider another outfielder. [Nick Markakis maybe?]

    The Brewers upgraded their outfield, which didn’t look like it needed upgrading. But their rotation still looks short – way short compared to their rival Cubs. [C’mon, Thoppy. Find some common ground here. You have capital.]

    Anthony Recker is at the free agent camp at Bradenton that writers and team executives aren’t allowed to see (a Royals exec was escorted away on Day 1). So is Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

    Brandon Phillips, who once complained about his $85 million deal with the Reds, may have to accept a minor-league deal if he wants to keep playing.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 19 Carolina Lady February 23, 2018 at 8:19 am

    To me, only a blithering idiot would complain about being paid $85 MILLION dollars. No respect from me, dude. Pride goes before a fall, I’ve heard. Coming true?

    Liked by 2 people

  19. 20 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Think it’s tough enduring our rebuild? I’d hate to be a Rays fan right now. First, they suddenly trade off all their veteran talent, then they get this news:

    Courtesy of MLBTR: Rays top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Tommy John surgery has been recommended for the promising 22-year-old. Honeywell reportedly threw roughly 10 pitches in a batting practice session before loudly shouting after his final pitch and eventually walking off the mound with a trainer.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. 21 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    LF for the time being; RF of the future…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. 22 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Then again, I hope he’s not planing on doing that all at the same time. 😯

    Like

  22. 23 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Reportedly worked on lowering hands and getting more loft this offseason while working out with LAD’s Justin Turner. Can’t think of many better workout partners. Hope it pays off for him… and in turn for the Braves.

    Liked by 3 people

  23. 24 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    Such a sweet and easy swing. Man we’re gonna see a budding star this year.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. 25 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    It’s a travesty to me that Hart is allowed to be back in baseball in any form. If Coppy is banned for life, Hart should be alongside him. Equal responsibility in my eyes.

    At the very least, he shouldn’t be on MLB Network enjoying the perks of network visibility. Makes me rethink my patronage of that network. I may just stick to Braves home FoxSports and the radio… and Twitter.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. 26 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Really bummed… I though I could get the game on radio today. Not. 😦

    Like

  26. 27 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Rio is playing 1B for the Braves today. Snit says he’s going to get some time in LF also. If he plays well enough defensively in LF, he should have the edge over Preston Tucker for the last bench spot. Tucker is strictly OF only, and really LF only. Rio’s versatility could play better with the team’s multi-position philosophy.

    This, of course, assumes Rio and Tucker are similar at the plate.

    Like

  27. 28 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Sack-o-who?

    Liked by 2 people

  28. 29 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Sack-O-pack yo bags sucka… Both guys will get more opportunities to secure a spot on the Striper’s roster. I’m am cot too worried about scores right now, especially away games. Late innings are minor leaguers vs minor leaguers. Besides, Lindgren needs a spot, I want to see him pitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. 30 Gil in Mechanicsville February 23, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    Vee, I am not concerned about Hart, he did no worse than Jim Bowden who was caught taking kickbacks from latin player’s agents…. Can you say “Play-o-la”? I think Coppy’s biggest sin in the eyes of MLB was lying after the fact, I’ll call it the modified Pete Rose Rule.

    Like

  30. 31 Vox O'Reason February 23, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    John Hart is like a slimy politician. Teflon.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. 32 Vox O'Reason February 26, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Happy Birthday to my better half…. WAY better half. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  32. 33 Vox O'Reason February 26, 2018 at 10:37 am

    Wrapup after week 1 of games:

    Pitchers are still working on control. Not concerned… yet.
    Luiz Gohara is a week behind the others with a groin strain. Not concerned… yet.
    Dansby made some adjustments to his swing late last season that he has carried over the offseason and into spring. Looks to be paying off. His swing looks tighter and quicker.
    Scott Kazmir has a pulse.
    We still haven’t seen our “regular” starting lineup, per se. Hey… it’s just Feb. 26. Much can change in the next 31 days.
    I still believe we could add another bat to our lineup before March 29.

    Like

  33. 34 Vox O'Reason February 26, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Might want to get used to this one…

    Liked by 1 person

  34. 35 Vox O'Reason February 26, 2018 at 11:23 am

    … minus the DH, of course.

    Like

  35. 36 Gil in Mechanicsville February 26, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Afternoon all, tough game to follow today, very little information on twitter.

    One of the best lines I have heard so far about spring training records: They do not hold parades for the winners of the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues at the end of spring training.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. 37 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 10:55 am

    MESN has listed the Top 14 Free Agents remaining. They are, in their order:

    SP Jake Arrieta
    RP Greg Holland
    SP Lance Lynn
    3B Mike Moustakas
    C Jonathan Lucroy
    SP Alex Cobb
    OF/1B Jose Bautista
    OF Carlos Gonzalez
    IF Yunel Escobar
    OF Jon Jay
    OF Melky Cabrera
    SP Clay Bucholz
    1B Lucas Duda
    2B Neil Walker

    And here is how I think hey relate to the current Braves roster:

    SP Jake Arrieta – The Braves want to give their youngsters the shot. CAn’t relly blame them, although an established “ace” is a known commodity.
    RP Greg Holland – Our bullpen is a big question mark. I wish we’d give him a look. Seriously doubt that’s a remotely on the radar. Not with our budget constraints and other holes.
    SP Lance Lynn – See above regarding SP.
    3B Mike Moustakas – The Braves appear to be content with Johan/Rio for 2018 while awaiting wunderkind Austin Riley.
    C Jonathan Lucroy – Flowzuki was the 3rd most productive catcher in the NL last year. Wonder what they plan on for 2019? AJax won’t be ready by then.
    SP Alex Cobb – See above regarding SP.
    OF/1B Jose Bautista – If only we needed a power hitting OF. Oh wait…
    OF Carlos Gonzalez – I actually wish we could bring him in to play LF until Acuna arrives. Then… who knows? Strong clubhouse leader even if declining.
    IF Yunel Escobar – Our IF is full… overflowing even with in-house depth.
    OF Jon Jay – Fleet defensive wiz. No power. No thanks.
    OF Melky Cabrera – Not going there again.
    SP Clay Bucholz – See above regarding SP.
    1B Lucas Duda – The last thing this team needs is a 1B.
    2B Neil Walker – See above regarding IF.

    Like

  37. 38 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    Yes Vee, but I believe Arrieta will end up with the Brewers for a multitude of reasons. Lance Lynn, maybe if he is still around in mid march. Again, most clubs want to see what/who they have. As a matter of fact, unless someone falls in their lap, I don’t see the Braves making a big move until 2019.

    Like

  38. 39 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    There are just too many holes in the Braves current line up for them to spend heavy for a free agent.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. 40 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    There are just too many holes in the Braves current line up for them to spend heavy for a free agent.

    True, but…

    First, they won’t spend heavy on anyone. But that’s no reason to spend nothing on nobody. And I don’t think the Braves are going to spend on multiple players because they don’t have enough money leftover to do so. But there is money. I believe there is money. I’ve crunched the numbers. Whether they want to spend any of it or not is a different question.

    Let’s remember, they really don’t expect to contend for anything this season (even though they continue to tell us they do). But they should expect to at least entertain. Our current lineup isn’t all that entertaining. And if they don’t have some reasonable facsimile of a power hitter to hit behind Freddie, it’ll be almost boring. “Another intentional walk… Yawn” It’ll also be infuriating seeing all these table setters getting on base with no one to drive them in.

    They have money. I don’t believe they are completely tapped out. I think Thoppy is playing poor to position himself to make a 1-year offer to someone. And it has to be a hitter. OF is the best spot to plant one IMO.

    You can almost certainly get either CarGo or Joey Bats on a 1 year deal. You won’t have an All-Star, but you will have something to tune in for in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. 41 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    I agree on the money, I have said that for years, it is not that the can’t, just they don’t want to spend.

    Yes, unless Freddie has some protection, it will be a long season for him.

    As much as I am a huge fan of Acuna, I can wait. Not like he is going to make that much of a difference.

    Like

  41. 42 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    SIGH… Appears Folty is overthrowing. 2 walks to the first two hitters in the 2nd inning.

    Like

  42. 43 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    And he wiggles out of his own mess with a DP ball and a ground out.

    Like

  43. 44 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    So the Braves are still looking at OF. Just seems natural that they should.

    Like

  44. 45 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    As much as I am a huge fan of Acuna, I can wait. Not like he is going to make that much of a difference.

    Agree completely. I can wait until mid-season when they trade Nick to a contender looking for an additional OF bat.

    Like

  45. 46 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    If we play this patiently and correctly, we sign an OF with power to play LF and let Ron play everyday at Gwinnett with no pressure. We don’t rush him the way we rushed Dansby. And one would think the show they learned something since they didn’t rush Ozzie. In fact, they acquired veteran Brandon Phillips to hold the spot, then traded him to make room when Ozzie was ready. Seems a logical recipe to me.

    The best course IMO is to not rush Ronald, let him have plenty of time to ripen, and then play it out in July and August when teams have needs.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. 47 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    And if the Braves were considering Ben Revere, then they could be considering Jon Jay, who is a much better player IMO. No power, though, poking only 2 HR’s last season. He did slash a pretty respectable .296/.374/.375 though. Still, he doesn’t supply any protection for Freddie. But neither would’ve Revere.

    Like

  47. 48 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Jose Bautista reportedly would like to sign with his hometown Tampa Rays. That tells me a couple of things… first, he doesn’t mind a gig on a young rebuilding team. Second, he won’t cost much coin. The Rays are more cash strapped than the Braves.

    Like

  48. 49 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Tell me you wouldn’t mind seeing this 30 times or so in Atlanta…

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 50 Vox O'Reason February 27, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    How does this lineup look to you?

    Ender Enciarte, CF (L)
    Ozzie Albies, 2B (S)
    Freddie Freeman, 1B (L)
    Joey Bats, LF (R)
    Nick Markakis, RF (L)
    Kurtler Flowzuki, C (R)
    Johan Gohara, 3B (S)
    Dansby Swanson, SS (R)

    It all lines up just right.

    Like

  50. 51 Gil in Mechanicsville February 27, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    Hey, works for me, and Atlanta is not really that far from Tampa, by air…

    Liked by 1 person

  51. 52 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Pretty dang good for this early.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. 53 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I could like this guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. 54 Vox O'Reason February 28, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    A little news, even if it’s very minor and almost boring. Still, it’s news:

    http://news.sportslogos.net/2018/02/28/atlanta-braves-change-colours-for-2018-season/

    Like

  54. 55 berigan2electricboogaloo February 28, 2018 at 5:52 pm

    reason #496 I really disLIKE the stoopid analytics of today….(Not all of it, but when very obvious common sense is tossed out the window…you have to think Demmycrats are somehow involved)
    It seems, then, that the veteran Duda will function as the replacement for the departing Eric Hosmer. The 32-year-old Duda is significantly older, and wasn’t as productive as Hosmer in 2017, but has actually been a better offensive performer over the two players’ respective careers.

    Duda;s BA since 2011 (first kinda-sorta full season) .290,239, 223, 253,244, 229, 217
    RBI highs in descending order…92, 73, 64, 57, then 50…. but, he hits some homers, and walks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! one season above 135 games, in an 8 year career (doesn’t being on the field count at all? Or could some guy that had a .400 OBP in 100 AB’s claim to be better than both of them?)

    Hosmer’s BA since 2011… 293, 232, 302, 270, 297, 266, 318
    RBI Highs 104, 94, 93, 79, 78…oh thats right, RBI’s mean nothing….
    2 seasons playing fewer than 152 games in 7 years….
    sigh….

    Liked by 1 person

  55. 56 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2018 at 8:56 am

    While I agree it’s a stretch to say that Duda was a “better offensive performer”, it has to be taken into consideration that Hosmer played with a very talented KC team over that period while Duda played for an offensively challenged Mets team before going to the perpetually rebuilding Rays. You have to have runners on base in order to drive them in.

    Analytics places a fairly high value on OBP because that is a relatively independent stat, meaning it’s not in any way dependent upon runners, fielders,or other hitters. It’s 100% about what the batter does during his plate appearances. I agree with that to a certain degree… in that you can find underrated players who are not flashy but show a propensity to have productive AB’s. But that is only valuable if you can string together several of those same type players in a lineup. It “keeps the line moving”, so to speak. (See the A’s teams of the late 90’s… that’s how they constructed those teams.) But if you only have a handful dispersed randomly through your lineup, it becomes wasted and you have alot of runners left on base.

    But I digress…

    Anyway, for their respective careers, Duda and Hosmer have career OBP’s of .340 & .342. Almost the same. It should also be noted that during their respective careers, Duda has outslugged Hosmer .457 to .439. Not a huge difference, but likely part of the basis for the MLBTR author’s stance.

    All that said, Duda is not superior to Hosmer in any fashion. He’s just not. It’s why Hosmer just signed a 8 yrs/$144M deal while Duda got 1 yr/$7.5M.

    Still, it wasn’t a terrible signing for KC considering the bang for buck cost savings. This should allow them to bring Moose back into the fold. I’ll be surprised if that doesn’t happen now.

    Like

  56. 57 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Fansided’s Joe Green:

    Dayton Moore knows (perhaps better than any other GM in a small market) how important it is to have a stream of players from your own system ready to take the field, but more importantly, that they take the field together. [Eric] Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and [Salvador] Perez all came up around the same time. We all know how well that worked out. Those flags will fly forever.

    Signing [Alcides] Escobar and [Lucas] Duda gives the Royals the opportunity to try the same thing again. It’s important for the Royals that the next wave of starting players is just that: a wave. It allows players like [Adalberto] Mondesi, Nicky Lopez, [Nick] Pratto and Hunter Dozier the chance to come up at roughly the same time, which maximizes their time together in Kansas City.

    In two years, the Royals infield might look like this: Hunter Dozier at third base, Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop, Nicky Lopez at second base, and Nick Pratto at first base. If they play to their potential, that’s a good-to-very-good infield.

    The key is letting them play as long as possible together in Kansas City, rather than watching one guy leave just as another is ready to contribute.

    Great insight into what these GM’s are thinking. It’s how the Astros and Cubs built their World Series teams as well. It’s also the plan being executed in Atlanta with Dans, Ozzie, Acuna, and Riley… not to mention the pitchers.

    It’s a proven method, having produced the last 3 world champions.

    Like

  57. 58 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Analytics places a fairly high value on OBP because that is a relatively independent stat, meaning it’s not in any way dependent upon runners, fielders,or other hitters. It’s 100% about what the batter does during his plate appearances. I agree with that to a certain degree…

    Yes but… Does it really take into account the number of times a batter is walked or pitched around in order to get to the next couple of guys in the order? There is a lot to be said about 1. Having protection and 2. having power.

    Like

  58. 59 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Now, the most important question. Will organist in opposing ballparks play Camptown Races whenever Duda comes up to bat???

    Liked by 1 person

  59. 60 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Yes but… Does it really take into account the number of times a batter is walked or pitched around in order to get to the next couple of guys in the order? There is a lot to be said about 1. Having protection and 2. having power.

    I agree. In fact, I alluded to that regarding Hosmer and Duda. Hosmer was blessed to have some very good batters around him in the lineup, no less than Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain for a couple.

    Who did Duda have around him in NYY? Yoenis Cespedis, when he wasn’t on the DL. Who else?

    Again, that is not to try to equate Duda and Hosmer. But it certainly helps to have talent surrounding you in the lineup.

    Makes you appreciate Freddie Freeman alot more, doesn’t it? It also underscores the glaring need for another potent bat in the lineup this year.

    Like

  60. 61 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2018 at 11:53 am

    If only batting practice counted for anything…

    This from young Gabe Burns:

    Dustin Peterson and Ronald Acuña each destroyed a baseball in BP. Acuña’s went slightly farther, if you must know.

    Ozzie beat them both. Then Acuña hit another that almost cleared the stadium. So there’s that.

    Like

  61. 62 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    So Ozzie leads off the game with a hit, again. This time a double, which he promptly follows with a steal of 3B. I want Ozzie leading off full time, with Ender batting #2. This is not based on a handful of spring games, it’s based on skill set. Ozzie is a prototypical leadoff hitter. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. 63 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Like

  63. 64 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    The problem with my decision to NOT follow DO’B on Twitter anymore is that he sometimes provided a backdoor behind the paywall to ajc articles. And I refuse to pay money for them.

    There is one written today by Gabe Burns about Dustin Peterson’s drive to return to top prospect form. But I can’t read it without paying for it.

    Not gonna do it.

    Still, no regrets. I get most of the same info from Burns, Mark Bowman and Kevin McAlpin anyway… without the snarkiness. Whatever tidbits he might provide aren’t worth sifting through the attitude.

    Liked by 2 people

  64. 65 Vox O'Reason March 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    File this under the category of goofy spring stats…

    Bullpen candidate Luke Jackson should be thanking his lucky stars that he at least got 1 out this spring. That’s all he’s gotten, but at least he did get one. His line this spring looks like this: 0.1 IP, 108.00 ERA, 3 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 0 K

    Can you imagine if he had not gotten that 1 out? His ERA would be ∞ .

    Liked by 1 person

  65. 66 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2018 at 7:35 pm

    I have to take the good with the bad, some good performances, some not so good. Guys like Wright getting lit up today but Acuna heating up and Riely hitting a mammo oppo… Newk giving up two homers but Matt Wisler putting in three strong innings against the Nat’s B team. It is spring training. I did watch the Phillies vs the Yanks this afternoon. The ‘fightens have a pretty nice looking pair of players at short and second.

    Like

  66. 67 Gil in Mechanicsville March 1, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    I was reading on line about Gurriel’s plan to return after 6 weeks recovery for the hamock bone injury (Sororka hit him with a pitch) I’m calling BS on that one… No one every returns in just 6 weeks after a hamock bone injury.

    Nice to see Dustin Peterson’s power returning.

    Like

  67. 68 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Like

  68. 69 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Continuing a thought we touched on yesterday…

    The Royals, Cubs, and Astros have all built rosters where their young talent was assembled together to be strong en masse and so that they could experience their peak years simultaneously. It’s a sound and proven strategy.

    The Braves are doing that not only with their lineup, but with their pitching. It excites me for the future.

    But…

    There are some glaring holes in that process, most notably in the OF. We don’t need to worry about 1B and the veteran Freddie Freeman. He’s the veteran exception. And our catching is still likely a couple years away (if we don’t address it from outside the organization, which is a reasonable possibility), yet it’s there.

    But the OF…

    Ender is young enough to be a part. RA is coming this year. But what about the other OF spot? We don’t have a clear candidate to replace the short-timer Kakes in 2019.

    This is where Thoppy, AA, the A Train, has to use some of that capital to bring in “the guy”. The only question is; when?

    Like

  69. 70 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Actually that’s not the only question. There’s also: who?

    Like

  70. 71 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 9:56 am

    My wish list starts with NYY’s Clint Frazier. It also includes MIL’s Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana. Santana is more projectable, but Broxton may have the higher ceiling.

    Like

  71. 72 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 10:05 am

    SDPs Hunter Renfoe has alot of power potential, but he also has some swing-and-miss. Isn’t that part of being a classic bopper, though? In 2017, he slashed .231/.284./.467, but slugged 26 HR’s. And he’s young and improving. His RH bat would play well behind Freddie Freeman too, whom I have batting 4th in 2019.

    I want Ozzie, Ender and Acuna at the top, followed by Freddie, “unknown bopper” and Austin Riley at 4-6. “Unknown catcher” and Dansby follow at 7-8. That has legs, folks, if those unknowns can be strong additions.

    C’mon A Train. Let’s get ‘er done.

    Like

  72. 73 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Good morning Stuffville, yes Vee, the outfield has a couple of help wanted sings posted. I look for a trade to be made to fill the need. There are some promising young kids in the system but no one who really jumps out as “the one”. Christian Yelich would have gone a long way to filling that need but for whatever reason, CY will now ply his trade in Milwaukee. The Brew crew is making a push in a tough division. They still need pitching (doesn’t everybody?) and the Braves appear to have an excess, maybe not major league ready excess but close.

    Liked by 1 person

  73. 74 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Yup, and while CY would have been nice, OF’s are alot easier to acquire than catchers… such as JT Realmuto. And I think Thoppy just might gear up to get into that chase. Maybe. Unless it simply gets ridiculous.

    STL also has a nice catcher ready to ascend to The Show, but no place to put him.

    And wouldn’t it be a hoot if CY’s landing in MIL resulted in Keon Broxton or Domingo Santana ending up in ATL at alot cheaper cost?

    Like

  74. 75 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 11:28 am

    I think the likelihood is that Kakes stays here at least through the July trade deadline, and probably to the end of the year and to the end of his deal. But I’d sure like to see the next era begin in RF sooner if we could.

    Like

  75. 76 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Kind of a bummer for Nick to be here throughout the dark days of the rebuild and then depart as the team begins to emerge into contention again.

    Oh well… that’s business. And he got paid well for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  76. 77 Carolina Lady March 2, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    I think that part of the mysterious charm and beckoning of baseball is the slow rebuilding and construction of a championship team. ALL the possibilities, maybe, could bes and coulda beens. The human mind has almost unlimited possibilities to play with, and human hope never seems to die. Baseball. Ya gotta love it!

    Liked by 2 people

  77. 78 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Liked by 3 people

  78. 79 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Our kids are putting on a show against the Yanks today…

    Acuna, Jr. is 3-4 with a rocket HR, Riley, AJax and Camargo have all doubled. And Fried is making a strong case for the #5 spot with that nasty knee-buckling hook.

    Like

  79. 80 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    It is my impression that Austin Riley has opened alot of eyes thus far. Kid looks like he wants to get here sooner than later.

    Like

  80. 81 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    That is insane…

    Liked by 1 person

  81. 82 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    … and he just got strike 3, out 3 with a big league changeup.

    Liked by 2 people

  82. 83 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Like

  83. 84 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Rio adds his own double…

    Like

  84. 85 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    So, Scott Kazmir may be the epitome of the genre of “crafty lefty”… Throws in the Jamie Moyer mold of 85-87 mph fast ball, 72 mph change up. Gives credence to the idea of it’s not how fast you throw, it’s all about location and changing speeds and movement.

    I think today’s player is more adept to hitting a pitch coning in at 95 than they are at 80. All about timing me thinks.

    Like

  85. 86 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    All about timing me thinks.

    HOF’er Greg Maddux would agree.

    Like

  86. 87 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    LOL… I know it’s not funny to Kade Scivicque but getting hit by pitch in his first at bat this spring, I guess he has been paying attention to his mentor Tyler Flowers…

    Liked by 1 person

  87. 88 Vox O'Reason March 2, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Changing speeds was a constant mantra under Leo Mazzone and Bobby Cox. Bobby once said, “A Major League hitter can time a jet if they need too.”

    Like

  88. 89 Gil in Mechanicsville March 2, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    And a few words about Lindgren, comes up with soreness after a bullpen session and the Braves shutting him down. You need to make roster space somewhere and a stint on the 60 day DL might just be in his future. I don’t think Lindgren figured into the Braves short term plans for the bullpen anyway and making sure his arm is strong and ready for the perils and pitfalls of pitching out of the pen is a good thing.

    We have seen the results of rushing players back too soon from TJ. Without the benefit of steroids, recovery takes it’s own sweet time.

    Like

  89. 90 Conrad Hailparn March 2, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    And wouldn’t it be a hoot if CY’s landing in MIL resulted in Keon Broxton or Domingo Santana ending up in ATL at alot cheaper cost?

    Well, a quick look at their stats… on Keon…no, no NO!!!!
    I do recall him looking pretty good at times, but…he will be 28 in May…last year, .220 ba, .299 OBP . in 414 AB’s, 175 strikeouts!!!! Can you imagine watching that night after night???? 20 HR’s 49 RBI’s 21 steals…ok…just, ok. There are tons of guys who can hit at least 20 HR’s these days….

    Domingo Santana on the other hand…he won’t turn 26 til August. Funny, I seem to be “aware” of Keon a lot more than Santana, but clearly Santana is a much better player. (though 178 strikeouts, yikes!!) 29 doubles, 30 Hr’s, 85 RBIs .278 BA, .371 OBP…..even I know a .371 OBP is a good thing 😛
    Think is, just one year really…but he seems to be a guy you could have for a few years…

    Like

  90. 91 Conrad Hailparn March 2, 2018 at 7:09 pm

    thing is….sigh…

    Like

  91. 92 Gil in Mechanicsville March 3, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Ber, somehow both remind me of being similar to a rookie Danny Santana. He had great numbers when he arrived on the scene but cooled off when opposing made adjustments and he didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  92. 93 Gil in Mechanicsville March 3, 2018 at 9:16 am

    I was reading that Vee’s favorite Yankee outfield prospect is suffering the after affects of running into an outfield wall this week lingering dizziness. Can you say… Dan Uggla?

    Like

  93. 94 Vox O'Reason March 3, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Just

    until Opening Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  94. 95 Conrad Hailparn March 4, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    The owners/GM’s really don’t want to stir up this hornet’s nest again, do they? I mean, it is hard to root for millionaires against billionaires, but….it doesn’t matter really, what we think, does it? I was reading via mlbtr the other day how players like Kris Bryant are going to be much more involved with labor issues because of what has happened this offseason (and if I was him, I’d be bitter about the way the Cubs acted get one more year of control, acting like a dude that eventually drove in 99 RBI’s his first year, just wasn’t ready, had to work on fielding, which he magically improved upon in a few weeks in the minors) this is NOT all about stats…I perfectly understand trying to cut down on contract lengths, and how shorter deals with perhaps bigger money is worth fighting for…but, guys like Mark Reynolds, and Neil Walker are still waiting for offers it sounds like of any kind….and check this out….from mlbtr Newly-signed Yankees first baseman Adam Lind was one of the many veterans caught up in the offseason free agent freeze, as he tells NJ.com’s Randy Miller that his only two offers of the entire winter (both minor league offers) came within the last week. A big asking price didn’t seem to be an issue (“I was just looking for a J-O-B,” Lind said) but the veteran was clearly frustrated at the lack of interest given his strong .303/.362/.512 slash line over 301 plate appearances with the Nationals last season. “I talked to my wife about it. I told her, ’What’s the point of doing well?’ What if I hit .280 this year? I probably won’t even get a big-league invite next year,” Lind said. “You think you’re a good player and then to have no one value you….it’s tough.”

    when you are rolling in money as most if not all the owners are, is this the hill you want to die on? You guys really want a strike? When a lot of young people already aren’t crazy about this sport?

    Liked by 2 people

  95. 96 Conrad Hailparn March 4, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    perhaps I am an incurable baseball junkie but…I have gotten off the baseball sauce twice…in 1981, I lost all interest, and after the 1994 strike, that bled into 1995, I quit watching…yep, that’s right, the year the braves won it all, I wasn’t even following them…I was busy working 3 to midnight at a bookstore, as I really didn’t care what happened that year…I can’t even tell you when I started to follow the game closely again….
    a 3rd strike, and I might be out…of the game completely. I have tons of movies to watch, cds to listen to, books to read….

    Like

  96. 97 Gil in Mechanicsville March 4, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Ber, you have a very valid point. Strike or lock out, either one could be a death blow to the sport as we know it. I have no sympathy for a guy making several million dollars whining about how tough time are.

    Now, that doesn’t mean I am rooting for the owners either. Suppressing the market value does not endear me to their cause.

    And agent like Scott Boris who squeezes every nickle out of an owner and it leaves the not so great playing for less than minimum wage in the minors.

    It’s my belief that the majority of baseball fans over age 35 feel that fair is fair and everything should not be about money.

    Of course it will only take one bit of documented collusion by the owners for the entire house of cards to collapse. Also, the players union gives the concept of unions a bad name. They don’t respect anyone other than themselves and a select few at that.

    Maybe they need to have a dose of reality when every major league player had to work during the off season just to survive.

    Liked by 2 people

  97. 98 Carolina Lady March 4, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Remember one of our pitchers some years back who worked at Home Depot or somewhere in the off season? And all the players of old worked when not playing. If memory serves me (lol), their salary was only a few thousand dollars a year, if that. I’ll never favor a griping millionaire.

    Liked by 1 person

  98. 99 Conrad Hailparn March 4, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    from mlbtr..Though the Braves enjoyed a 47 percent increase in revenues from 2016 to 2017 thanks to the opening of SunTrust Park, the team projects to have a smaller payroll next season than it did in 2017, Tim Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. The Braves had long intended to time the opening of their new stadium to coincide with the end of their rebuilding plan, though this offseason been a very quiet one for the team, save for a big payroll-shuffling trade with the Dodgers. Of course, Atlanta’s plans were entirely upended by the shocking departures of both former GM John Coppolella and former president of baseball operations John Hart, so perhaps it isn’t surprising that the franchise held back on any aggressive moves. New general manager Alex Anthopoulos even stated in December that he would likely take “a more cautious approach” in his first year running the front office.

    and the AJC article, amazing how they “lost” money
    https://www.myajc.com/sports/braves-percent-revenue-increase-called-astounding/m52KDKdL5qU80CHQxRYhjI/

    Like

  99. 100 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 8:27 am

    I’ll say 2 things about the money and then get off of it.

    First, the press is really playing up the whole “greedy billionaire owners” narrative with regard to the curb in spending. But they don’t call is a curb in spending. They play it up as the players being mistreated and deprived. When did the players become entitled? Why should people, regardless of how much money they earn or have, be compelled to spend it if they don’t want to? I don’t have much myself, but I don’t want anyone telling me when or how to spend it. And if it has ramifications, then I alone am responsible for it. But I don’t want any governing body or media arm pressuring me on how to spend my money. The press is enjoying being the propaganda arm of the left, and have done a masterful job of driving the class warfare going on in this country. Don’t think for a second that they aren’t using the sports segment for the same reason. After all, we are talking about millionaire players themselves. Jake Arrieta would have a deal for $20+M per season now if he (and by he, I mean Scott Boras) wasn’t insistent on a guarantee of more than 3 years. History has proven over and over again that it’s a bad bet to give that much guaranteed money to a pitcher over the age of 30 for more than 3 years. It has proven out over and over again. But it’s the evil owners who are the bad guys? And if Jake Arrieta will still be “worth” $20+M in 4 years, then he can go out and get another deal for it. But chances are he won’t be worth it… yet the owners are being vilified for not wanting to take that risk. Yes they can afford it, but they don’t get to that position by making bad deals with known risks.

    Are the owners making a ton of money? Yes. Why? Because they front the money and take all the risks. The players don’t have risks. They’ve negotiated collectively to have all their money guaranteed. Are the owners getting paid from mega TV deals? Yes. Did the players negotiate and secure those deals? No. The owners did. These major sports are the only place in life where a group can agree to something collectively, negotiated in good faith, sign off on it, then make individual demands and complain when they can’t get more for themselves.

    Second, I am on record that I want the Braves to spend more money this offseason. And while I could simply defer to my first point, Terry McGuirk stood at 2 different press conferences and promised a payroll increase for 2018. So while I fully support an owner’s right to spend or not spend as he (or they) see fit, a promise and a statement should be honored. That said, I am not convinced that the Braves are done spending yet. I think a deal is still going to happen before opening day, and that Thoppy is biding his time, showcasing some capital, and assessing other teams’ needs. My gut just says there is something left to happen. But then again, I did have gut surgery just a few months ago, so there’s that…

    Also, don’t confuse the term “revenues” with “net profit”. Those are 2 entirely different things. Revenues are simply what you bring in, but don’t take into account what has to go out to generate said revenues. I wish I could keep and spend all the revenues my business generates. I’d have a new car and a cabin in the mountains. But instead, I have a good late model used car and a mortgage on my meager home that I pay month to month. Again, it’s a favorite tactic of the media propaganda arm to pick and choose how they want to frame a narrative. By choosing to publish the revenues and not the net profits, the inflate the monetary gains of the Braves ownership. There’s no question that the Braves have opened a new revenue stream that will help the team going forward. But nobody is sitting on a mound of cash, tossing it in the air and lighting cigars off burning bills.

    Liked by 2 people

  100. 101 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 9:15 am

    It’s pretty evident that they are giving Rio every opportunity to make this roster. That said, it’s pretty evident Rio has worked hard over the offseason to make this roster.

    Liked by 1 person

  101. 102 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2018 at 9:18 am

    “Just working on fastball location, I think that’s a big thing going into this year, getting first-pitch strikes with it and also just moving it in, out, up, down,” said Foltynewicz, who retired the last seven batters he faced including four on ground-outs. “I think we did a pretty good job with (fastball location) today, me and Kurt (Suzuki), even though that last inning I kind of fell behind a few batters.

    Quote to DOB of the AJC by Foltynewisz

    Do you think that Leo Mazzoni is shaking his head in wonderment that it has taken this long to get back to the mantra he preached for 15 years as the Braves pitching coach? A prophet is never recognized in his own town to paraphrase the Word.

    Liked by 3 people

  102. 103 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Yes Rio is working hard towards making the team. I was watching the Astros/Cardinals tilt yesterday and they mentioned that Evan Gattis would be a free agent next season, I thought about how Folty and Rio had finally started to come into their own to make that trade pay off for the Braves. That is about right me thinks when trading for a prospect, three to four years for the prospect to come to fruition.

    Liked by 1 person

  103. 104 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Like

  104. 105 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Is it just me, or has Kyle Wright kind of flown under the radar. yet he is the Braves top pitching prospect (#2 overall behind The Answer To Everything) in a group that is gushing talent. When I think of this elite group, the names Allard, Soroka, Wentz, Gohara come to mind first. But Wright is the guy that is beginning to make the headlines with the impression he is making this spring.

    He’s still likely a year away, but man what a group we’re gonna have sooner than later.

    Like

  105. 106 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 11:04 am

    From DO’B, courtesy of Alan Carpenter at Tomahawk Take:

    …perhaps nothing better exemplifies Nick Markakis and what he stands for than the veteran right fielder’s reaction upon hearing what [Ex-pres and current slimeball John] Hart said to Snitker (after a particularly egregious Jim Johnson meltdown game in August), who appeared almost ashen and uncharacteristically sullen minutes later when reporters entered the office, and really was never quite himself again the rest of the season.

    Markakis made it known, had the message sent up the chain, that if Hart ever treated the manager that way again that Markakis would, in so many words, kick his ass.

    And that’s why he’s still on this team… as a pro’s pro and mentor for the youngsters. There is truly value to some players that cannot be measured or quantified, and cannot even be witnessed on the playing field.

    Liked by 2 people

  106. 107 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2018 at 11:23 am

    I was reading this AM that Markakis is on a mission to ring up 200 hits. Hey, works for me… If you are not trying to hit home runs, you can put up some decent OBP numbers. Nick is past the bopper stage at this point in his life. As long as you still have some power in your line up, having a bunch of singles hitters sprinkled throughout the order is okay. Let him bat 6th or 7th and be done with it.

    Like

  107. 108 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2018 at 11:24 am

    One more thing, DOB alluded to the incident last season but never identified all the parties involved before.

    Liked by 3 people

  108. 109 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Let him bat 6th or 7th and be done with it.

    Exactly.

    Like

  109. 110 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 11:30 am

    The thing with these high OBP guys is simply if you can string together a bunch of ’em, you will score runs simply by keeping the line moving. And if you can sprinkle a couple of power bats in the mix, and occasionally knock one or two out, you’ll score a bunch of runs.

    Liked by 2 people

  110. 111 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Another 3B candidate. Struck out 70 times in 197 PA’s last season, but still hit 14 HR’s.

    Why?

    Liked by 3 people

  111. 112 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    To be fair, he had been DFA’d by the Rays, so it’s not like Thoppy went out seeking him. He just brought him in. I suppose there’s no risk… and he can provide some organizational depth. AAA needs some IF help, I suppose.

    Like

  112. 113 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Still, 34 HR and 76 RBI in just 142 MLB games split between 2016-2017… why not take a flyer? There is no risk here.

    Like

  113. 114 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    34 HR / 76 RBI and .194 BA with 70 SO. That is the epitome of all or nothing, strike outs don’t matter philosophy. In other words, they just picked up Dan Uggla without the big price tag.

    Liked by 1 person

  114. 115 Vox O'Reason March 5, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    This time of year, these guys come and go very quickly. I wont be surprised to see him DFA’d in another week when we need the roster spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  115. 116 Conrad Hailparn March 5, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    V, another excellent post above…as usual, I disagree with a few points (shocking, I know 😛 ) but still well put…

    Are the owners making a ton of money? Yes. Why? Because they front the money and take all the risks. The players don’t have risks.

    Well, they have some, short careers, most have fairly short periods to earn the crazy moola, yada, yada, yada . Plus, no one goes to games to see the owners, right? 😉

    there isn’t really any good guy in this discussion, but ….I hear folks talk about players being overpaid, sure they are, but they didn’t put guns to the heads of any owners, did they? Most owners were probably overpaid in their real world work, but, that’s their right to make a ton of money. Making a fortune seems to bother a lot of liberals (I have had arguements with some that NO ONE should make a Billion, or even a Million dollars) so that makes me want to defend at least to a certain degree, what players make.

    As I said before, I have no issue with owners trying to putting the brakes on crazy stupid long term contracts that agents like Borass somehow get for players (often from teams bidding only against themselves) it’s the other stuff, the Lance Lynns of the world, Adam Lind…those guys, and others that will bring the MLB Union back to life, so to speak, that’s stupid…and pointless.

    Like

  116. 117 Gil in Mechanicsville March 5, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    Ber, from what I have read is the real push back has not been over money per se but the length of a contract. By the time a player turns 32, it appears that his longevity is a crap shoot. Baseball is the only pro sport where a contract is guaranteed the life of said contract.

    Liked by 1 person

  117. 118 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Well, they have some, short careers, most have fairly short periods to earn the crazy moola

    I agree. And if they are worthy, they do earn crazy amounts of moola. I do not begrudge them them that. But I’m not going to cry for them either when they cant’t squeeze out a few more million. It’s the entitlement attitude I don’t care for. They don’t have a right to any more than someone is willing to pay. That’s the free market. It has worked for over 200 years..

    The players have a particular gift set that is unique and special. It’s also for a finite period of time. They all know that going in… and have addressed it through collective bargaining. They have a pension program, which is more than many other workers in many walks of life. They also have the opportunity to invest in their own private retirement accounts rather than 14 sets of 2 carat diamond earrings or 10 Bentleys. If any man cannot take $60M and live comfortably for the rest of his life after retiring in his 30’s or early 40’s, then I’m not losing sleep over it.

    Like

  118. 119 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 8:59 am

    And here’s a question no one ever asks…

    If the owners are so terrible and oppressive, why don’t the players just form their own league and play for all the money? They’re already organized through the MLBPA, so what’s the hangup? If they don’t need the evil ownership, cut them out altogether. Go for it.

    Like

  119. 120 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 9:02 am

    Now that I think about it, I’d really love to see the players try to come to agreement on how much each one of them is to earn. That would be really fun.

    Pass the popcorn, I’m gonna settle back and watch that one.

    Like

  120. 121 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2018 at 9:05 am

    “why don’t the players just form their own league and play for all the money?”

    Because it would cut out the agents… 🙂 Oh the gnashing of teeth and the wearing of sack cloth and wallowing in ashes….

    Like

  121. 122 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Yes, it’s funny how my kids come to me for money when I am on a fixed income and make less than half what they bring home… I thought I taught them better but keeping up with the Jones can be expensive…

    Like

  122. 123 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2018 at 9:09 am

    I am reminded of the Brother Dave Gardner bromide,

    The difference between happiness and success: “Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get”…

    Liked by 1 person

  123. 124 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 9:36 am

    MLBTR’s Steve Adams onnewcomer Ryan Schimpf:

    Schimpf, 29, is perhaps the current poster boy for three-true-outcomes hitters, as 52.7 percent of his 527 career plate appearances have ended in either a home run (34), walk (69) or strikeout (175). Remarkably, his 34 career home runs are more than the 28 singles he’s amassed in the Majors. In all, he’s walked at a 13.1 percent clip in the big leagues and struck out in 33.2 percent of his trips to the plate. He’s a .195/.317/.492 hitter in those 527 PAs.

    Fangraphs:

    He’s like Adam Dunn but more extreme.

    Ha ha ha…

    Liked by 1 person

  124. 125 Gil in Mechanicsville March 6, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Well, will wonders never cease, Rio Ruiz has hit a home run. Must be feeling the pressure from the Schimpf acquisition,

    Like

  125. 126 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Rio went on a continued mission this offseason, much like he did last offseason. He is in even better shape, reportedly having put on even more muscle. Last year when he reported he had a more athletic body having shed the flab that was holding him back previously. Overall, he’s more than 30 pounds lighter than when he reported 2 years ago. He truly is in the BSOML.

    Perhaps more importantly, though, was the workouts he did with Justin Turner’s “hitting guru” Doug Latta who remade the All-Star 3B’s power swing a few years ago. Rio said he worked on a new swing path which “provides more plate coverage and loft on the ball.”

    Whatever…

    I just hope it all comes together to make a good ball player.

    Like

  126. 127 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Like

  127. 128 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    Like

  128. 129 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    Young Gabe Burns, on Mike Soroka:

    Like

  129. 130 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 3:07 pm

    Youngsters seem to be coming along nicely. 🙂

    Like

  130. 131 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    Like

  131. 132 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    Like

  132. 133 Vox O'Reason March 6, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  133. 134 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 7:43 am

    And that makes for a good morning!

    Liked by 2 people

  134. 135 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Okay, the Braves continue to improve their spring training record which to me is a good thing. I know, wins and losses in spring training are meaningless but the mood is better when a team scores more runs than your opponent and your pitching staff doesn’t leak runs like a sieve.

    Danny Santana’s time in the Caribbean appears to be paying off for him. No, he’s not on the 40 man roster but that is a simple thing to rectify.

    Liked by 1 person

  135. 136 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Danny Santana’s time in the Caribbean appears to be paying off for him. No, he’s not on the 40 man roster but that is a simple thing to rectify.

    Short stay for Shemp?

    Like

  136. 137 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Does anyone really think he wouldn’t clear waivers?

    Liked by 1 person

  137. 138 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Anyone???

    Like

  138. 139 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Spring training games are such a farce in that everyone says the games are meaningless and the stats don’t count but they also say (out of the other side of their mouth) how they perform is being watched closely on how they perform and every pitch and every at bat is critical… DUH!

    So, what does it really all mean?

    I am reminded of the line from Lyle Alzado in North Dallas Forty: How come every time I call it a game, you call it a business and every time I call it a business, you call it a game?

    Liked by 2 people

  139. 140 Gil in Mechanicsville March 7, 2018 at 9:25 am

    And Scott Boras is saying Mike Moustakas might just sit out the season if he does not get his asking price… Okay, so how exactly does this help your 401K? I’ll just give up $20MM plus and take the year off… ???

    As the participant and victim of a couple of strikes, holding out for a few dollars more doesn’t really work out for anyone…

    Liked by 1 person

  140. 141 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Scott Boras is saying Mike Moustakas might just sit out the season if he does not get his asking price

    Posturing…

    The Scott Boras method is no longer as effective as it once was. Owners have learned that if they call his bluff, he’ll actually blink. The bully no longer has the sway he once had.

    Liked by 2 people

  141. 142 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Since when does it make sense to say, “If you don’t give me $100M, I’ll just go away and take $0”?

    Liked by 1 person

  142. 144 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Wait… what happened?

    Like

  143. 145 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Ah. I just learned something new about HTML…

    Liked by 1 person

  144. 146 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  145. 147 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    OK… shifting gears here…

    I wonder if the Braves could think outside the box a little here and look at a guy that might be the most puzzling of the unsigned FA’s.

    Neil Walker is a guy that put up pretty decent numbers last season .265/.362/.439 w/ 17 HR’s… pretty close to his 9 year career slash line of .272/.341/.437 w/ 20 HR’s. He’s 32 years old and is a switch hitter whose splits are a little better as a LH, but not much.

    Given that Walker hasn’t received a major league offer as of yet, he could probably be lured on a 1 year deal in the neighborhood of $3M. At 1 year, he’s simply the placeholder for Austin Riley, who is living up to the hype thus far in spring.

    Here’s the thing… he does have major league time at 3B, but the vast majority of his playing time has been at 2B. Is it worth playing him somewhat out of position for his bat? Because I think his bat easily plays every day in our lineup. Plus, unlike the retreating Mike Moustakas, he doesn’t cost you a draft pick.

    Or do you think you can get close to that from Johan Camargo? As I look into my crystal ball, I see a similar slash line for Johan, but with about half the HR’s. So in my book, I look very hard at Neil Walker.

    Liked by 1 person

  146. 148 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    … and I just read that Neil Walker played more than 3000 minor league innings at 3B. He’s not a novice there.

    Liked by 1 person

  147. 149 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Here’s something else to chew on…

    Johan Camargo is a SH, but hits better as a LH vs. RH pitching.
    Neil Walker is also a SH, but hits better as a RH vs. LH pitching.

    Hmmm… platoon maybe?

    I just keep looking at the 20 HR career average, and think Walker could approach that again in the friendly confines of SunTrust Park.

    Liked by 1 person

  148. 150 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    OK… shifting gears yet again…

    Ronald Acuña is slashing an otherwordly .423/.500/.538, even after going 0-11 to start things out. He’s making it very difficult for Braves management to justify stashing him at AAA for the first 2-3 weeks of the season even though it makes perfect business sense to do so. Has Acuña done enough to force them to rethink their stance?

    Liked by 2 people

  149. 151 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 3:41 pm

    Highlights from a new piece by Bowman:

    It seems wise to project [Ronald] Acuna’s big league debut to come either [the magic date of April 13] at Wrigley Field or possibly on April 16, when Atlanta begins a seven-game homestand.

    One American League scout said [Mike Soroka] “is ready now” and would likely immediately be considered one of the top three starters in Atlanta’s rotation.

    [Austin] Riley seems to have physically matured as much as any Braves prospects over the past year. The 20-year-old third baseman replaced some lingering baby fat with man muscles. He’s homered in two of his first 19 at-bats and has shown enhanced mobility, which has reduced concerns about his defensive potential at the hot corner. There’s a chance the Braves could introduce Riley to the Majors during the latter half of the upcoming season.

    That last statement is the most surprising to me. But not really. Riley has moved his own timetable up with his play this spring as well as this past AFL. The news on Soroka is also not surprising. We’ve noted for months now that the kid has “ace” makeup and would be the first of the major wave of talent to make his way to The Show. He’ll open in AAA, but he’s the first man up… and maybe not ever go back. Acuna is Acuna.

    Liked by 3 people

  150. 152 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    On this off day from the regular routine in Orlando, let’s just take a quick glance at where the team stands as of March 7.

    If the season started tomorrow, my Opening Day roster would be: (NOTE: given the smattering of off days the first week of the season, I’m carrying an extra reliever instead of Luiz Gohara’s #5 rotation spot.)

    Lineup:
    Ender Enciarte, CF
    Ozzie Albies, 2B
    Freddie Freeman, 1B
    Tyler Flowers, C
    Nick Markakis, RF
    Danny Santana, LF
    Johan Camargo, 3B
    Dansby Swanson, SS

    Bench:
    Kurt Suzuki, C
    Charlie Culberson, Util
    Rio Ruiz, 3B/1B
    Lane Adams, OF

    Rotation:
    Julio Teheran, R
    Mike Folty, R
    Sean Newcomb, L
    Brandon McCarthy, R

    Bullpen:
    Arodys Vizcaino, R
    AJ Minter, L
    Jose Ramirez, R
    Dan Winkler, R
    Sam Freeman, L
    Anyelo Gomez, R
    Peter Moylan, R
    Chase Whitley, R
    Aaron Blair, R

    Danny Santana makes the team, so OF Preston Tucker, with a minor league option, opens the year in AAA. If NRI Christian Colon continues to outhit the rest of his teammates, he could force the team to either find a place for him (Rio has minor league options remaining) or trade him. My guess says they trade him.

    All that said, there’s still 3 weeks to go and alot of baseball to be played. Alot can and will happen.

    Stay tuned…

    Like

  151. 153 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    And for purely entertainment purposes, what number will Ronald Acuña wear when he makes his ATL debut? It won’t be his spring number 82.

    Like

  152. 154 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    He has been wearing #34 in the minors, which is available. Last notable player to wear 34 was Eric O’Flaherty. Was he notable? Might be a good one for RA to establish in ATL.

    Like

  153. 155 Conrad Hailparn March 7, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Last notable player to wear 34 was Eric O’Flaherty. Was he notable?
    well, lets see… 0.98 ERA in 78 games in 2011 (ballooned to 1.73 in 2012, but extreme overuse ruined his career) so yeah, for a few years he was arguably the best reliever in baseball…but no, they won’t retire his number 😉

    Like

  154. 156 Conrad Hailparn March 7, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    V, Neil Walker is a very good player, and IF the braves were going to make real run at the division, sure…but, what really is there to gain by picking up a 32 YO 2nd baseman? First off, everyone over 30 is pretty much useless, analytics tell us this fact. Like global warming, don’t doubt it…you may have heard how Nick M showed some real testicular fortitude talking back to the team president last year after yelling at the manager. but, he’s over 30, so it doesn’t really matter what he said or did…

    Like

  155. 159 Conrad Hailparn March 7, 2018 at 4:49 pm

    oh sure, I could look up how to post images, but youtube stuff works better for someone lazy like me

    Liked by 1 person

  156. 160 Vox O'Reason March 7, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    I’m actually OK with going into battle with what we have… IF we are just conceding 2018 as the last step in the process. I don’t think it’s a contending lineup. That said, if Ronald Acuna has a ROY year, if Ender continues to establish himself as an All-Star, if Freddie stays healthy, if Newcomb tames his control, if Gohara has a breakout year, if good Julio outnumbers bad Julio, if Dansby bounces back, if Ozzie doesn’t have a sophomore slump, if if if if… if the stars lineup just right, a Wild Card run is not out of the question.

    It just will require alot to go right…

    Like

  157. 161 Conrad Hailparn March 7, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    and…lets say all the stars Aline, other good teams stink, and 84-78 gets you into a 1 game playoff, is it worth retarding someone’s chance to prove themselves?
    I was of course like everyone else wanting to send Nick M packing, but you know…you need some vets, especially in this day and age to show a team full of millennials how the game should be played, and when to have some guts, which we now know he does, in spades…

    Liked by 2 people

  158. 162 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2018 at 7:26 am

    Let’s see, Markakis is in his final year of a 4 year $44MM contract. I tinnks Kakes really tries to put up good numbers because he won’t see another payday north of $2MM. Not with the current market is structured. Gee, I hope he can get by on such a meager amount.

    As we mere mortals struggle to get by, a million bucks would seem to set us up pretty well one would think. Let’s face it, we are all destine to be confined to one room any way. Think about that, I’m fixing up my room really posh… 🙂

    Like

  159. 163 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2018 at 8:18 am

    My heart has wanted the Braves to be more aggressive in putting this year’s team together. But my head understands why there are where they are and what they are.

    3B? They do need to know what they have in Johan, and the only way to know if he can contribute every day is to allow him to play every day. I get it. Still, that position is Austin Riley’s to lose. His timeline has shifted up recently, and we could see him later this season if he eats up AAA pitching.

    LF? Keeping Acuna in AAA until April 13 preserves his team rights for an additional year. It doesn’t cost him any money, as he’ll be a Super 2 and gain an additional year of arb and start it the same year as if he opens the season on the big league team. But the team controls him 1 year longer. If he truly is The Answer To Everything, the Braves will lock him up to a long term deal earlier anyway and the whole thing is moot. But 15 days at AAA makes too much practical sense not to do it. That said, the 2010 Braves kept rookie Jason Heyward on their Opening Day roster, and he provided the walk off win in Game 1. The Braves made the Wild Card by 1 game that year. It mattered. And with him chewing up opposing pitchers the way he is, the team may not have a choice but to keep him. He really is as good as advertised.

    Pitching? Rather than spend money or prospects on an “ace”, we’re letting our kids earn roles. And we have some enticing talent. Again, you really have to let them get out there to know what they can do. The mere fact that there is debate as to which rookie – Gohara, Newcomb, Fried, Soroka – or a seemingly healthy veteran Scott Kazmir will claim the #5 rotation spot lets you know that spending dollars or prospects on pitching was not a wise use of resources.

    RF? As Ber said, we probably need Nick Markakis on this team. He doesn’t exhibit his leadership out in the open, but no one disputes his importance to the team off the field. And I am 100% convinced the Braves are going to address their 2019 OF opening via Free Agency after the season… and with a big name to boot. There will be plenty available, and the Braves will have plenty of cash to spend. By my count, they’ll have +/- $70M coming off the books at season’s end. Crikey that’s alot of cabbage.

    And don’t forget we only have our catchers locked up for this season. We are gonna need one next year. Don’t think for a minute that Thoppy isn’t talking to MIA about JT Realmuto. He’s gonna cost a mint in prospects, but the Braves are one of the few teams that will be able to afford the cost. If we go the FA route, there’s a hopefully healthy Wilson Ramos or a non-inspiring Yasmani Grandal. That’s one market that will not be robust. The team almost certainly has to address it via trade.

    Liked by 2 people

  160. 164 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Zooming right past 2018, a glance at the 2019 team could look something like this:

    Lineup:
    Ozzie Albies, 2B
    Ender Enciarte, CF
    Freddie Freeman, 1B
    Ronald Acuna, RF
    Austin Riley, 3B
    Charlie Blackmon, LF
    JT Realmuto, C
    Dansby Swanson, SS

    Bench:
    Brian McCann, C/1B
    Johan Camargo, Util
    Charlie Culberson, Util
    Dustin Peterson, OF

    Rotation:
    Julio Teheran, R
    Mike Folty, R
    Sean Newcomb, L
    Mike Soroka, R
    Max Fried, L

    Bullpen:
    AJ Minter, L
    Arodys Vizcaino, R
    Andrew Miller, L
    Dan Winkler, R
    Anyelo Gomez, R
    Chase Whitley, R
    Jacob Lindgren, L
    Lucas Sims, R

    Projecting the bullpen is kind of a crap shoot at this point because of trade possibilities. JT Realmuto will probably cost you one or more of your young relievers to go along with SP’s Kolby Allard and Touki Toussaint along with C Alex Jackson. I figure he’ll cost 2 top pitching prospects, at least 1 young reliever plus AJax. I hate giving up Allard, but Soroka and Kyle Wright are off limits to me. If I can keep Allard and give up Newcomb, I’ll do it.

    Like

  161. 165 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2018 at 11:35 am

    And that projected line up does not include the surprise/mystery player who burst onto the scene. Be it pitcher or position player who “breaks out” in 2018. There is always one in the organization.

    Liked by 1 person

  162. 166 Carolina Lady March 8, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    V, my dear friend, I rarely disagree with you but on this one (non-baseball) point I do. No, we are not destined to wind up confined to one room. God is good ALL the time. He never intended for us to be in such conditions. So, my confession is that I am fully healed and restored. At age 100, Abraham’s sight wasn’t even dimmed. He was a fully active, fit, vigorous person. That’s my goal. Jesus has already provided everything we need to reach and maintain that status. But you know this. Love you, dear friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  163. 167 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Okay, two rooms… 🙂

    Like

  164. 168 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    V, my dear friend, I rarely disagree with you but on this one (non-baseball) point I do. No, we are not destined to wind up confined to one room.

    Huh? What did I say?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 169 Carolina Lady March 8, 2018 at 3:29 pm

      Let’s face it, we are all destine to be confined to one room any way. Think about that, I’m fixing up my room really posh… 🙂

      Did I misunderstand? If I did, I very sincerely apologize. I was thinking either one room in a house or nursing home. Wrong, I hope?

      Like

  165. 170 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    I love it when folks get into an argument with the wrong person… LOL.. Margie, Vee is innocent, it was me who opined my observation of how we all eventually revert back to one room, if we are lucky, we won’t have to share it with a stranger. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  166. 171 Carolina Lady March 8, 2018 at 6:37 pm

    LOL LOL Poor V! No wonder he was confused! Ok, I’m going back into the (deep) shadows now. Carry on!

    Liked by 3 people

  167. 172 Gil in Mechanicsville March 8, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    Now, more baseball… Dan Winkler blew a hold today giving up 2 runs in the ninth to the Astros B team. Ho hum, more concerning is the hoe runs given up by Scott Kazmir. Well, best these things be worked on now. To be honest, I would rather have a pitcher give up a couple of solo homers than walk the ball park and having to always work out of trouble.

    Like

  168. 173 Vox O'Reason March 8, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Prophet star due…

    I knew when they filled 1B on the cheap they’d circle back to Moose. No-brainer.

    Liked by 1 person

  169. 174 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Methinks some ball players get mesmerized by their agent whispering sweet nothings in their ear. They lose sight of the harsh reality of life. I will always remember the advice given to me that no one is irreplaceable.

    He use the example of JFK being assassinated, pointed out that within 30 minutes of him being pronounced dead, the country had a new president. I know that is a bit extreme and I know the replacement is not always an improvement or even equal to the original but the point is, the world continues to turn, the sun still comes up in the morning and life goes on.

    Now politics: just a little… Funny how the MSM has been bashing Trump for his harsh rhetoric towards NOKO and they fanned the fears of a war. Now that he has agreed to actually sit down and talk with Little Rocket Man, they are all a thither that he is making a mistake… Okay, which is it?

    Now, back to baseball… Playing the Yankees today at Lake Buena Vista. Question? Do the Braves increase prices for the Yankee games like everyone else? They already charge more than most everyone else to watch the minor leaguers play. Just saying..

    Liked by 1 person

  170. 175 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Schimpf working to improve consistency

    Headline of story on the latest Braves acquisition. Well, to me Schimpf is already very consistent. Need a strike out? He’s your guy…

    Liked by 3 people

  171. 176 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 8:16 am

    They already charge more than most everyone else to watch the minor leaguers play. Just saying..

    Can’t blame that one on the Braves. It’s a Disney thing. And perfectly consistent with the way they overcharge for everything.

    Like

  172. 177 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Jeff Sullivan at Fangraphs suggests that Scott Boras is at least partly to blame for Mike Moustakas’ market not fully forming. It’s an interesting read, so I’m providing the link here. WARNING: There is a little bit of analytics talk in there also. If you shun such type stuff, don’t read the last portion.

    https://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/why-mike-moustakas-market-didnt-develop/

    Liked by 1 person

  173. 178 Gil in Mechanicsville March 9, 2018 at 10:19 am

    I made the comment on one thread this morning asking if Moustakas could sue Scott Boras for the difference in salary. Moose signed for $6.5MM after turning down a qualifying offer from the Royals for over $17MM. I know I would be looking for a new agent. It was clearly a case of Boras looking out for Scott Boras.

    Like

  174. 179 berigan2electricboogaloo March 9, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    well, Borass is no doubt PO’ed by this(And ONLY Cares about his cut of big paydays)….players are going to be PO’ed by this too…and the owners CANNOT claim times are tough with record tv deals, record attendance, 50 Mil falling from the sky this year, etc, etc, etc…
    I get it, we all have issues with what players make. most of us don’t ever go to braves games (I have made it to 1 game each year of late, whoopee) I don’t own any braves merchandise (I occasionally wear a cubs cap I got at Wrigley field in 86) most likely don’t use the products advertised on sports south (do you?) so it’s not really our money the players take from the owners…

    My biggest beef is talk of 40 Mil deals for Harper, or that doofus 3rd baseman of the Orioles…but, again…it’s not my money…

    all I really care about is…..baseball. Even for millions and millions of dollars, most of the guys run hard, often to their detriment (re-pulling hammys, running into immovable objects, etc) I recall several guys back in the 70s and 80s not playing hard….George Foster was a terrible outfielder chiefly because he though if he was forever diving, sliding, crashing into walls, he was taking his bat out of the lineup, which was more important to the team…

    and as I said before, the players are riled up, and the owners/gms are trying to contain their laughter…ok I get it, owners do NOT have to give crazy long contracts to players, but….Moustakas was expected to get 5 years, 85 mil, and has to come home for 6.5 Mil. there was NO TEAM willing to offer him 15 Mil? I know, a between 1st and 2nd round sandwich pic or whatever it is now was in play….but a lot of top prosects never pan out, losing teams lose even less….Pads? no one ?

    I know, a lot of money to us…it doesn’t matter what we think on the subject…

    all I care about is baseball…being able to watch it on tv…listen to it on the radio…take that away because the Owners decide to be more greedy now, and you get a work stoppage….over this stupidity???

    no one will care but me, but I will be done with baseball….
    I have a ton other things I can do with my time…, the offseason will just last forever then…

    Like

  175. 180 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    I think the biggest issues with Mike Moustakas, which Boras clearly underestimated, were the draft pick and the measurable decline in defense from the knee injury.

    First, the injury concern. We saw with the hangup in JD Martinez’ contract with BOS that owners are wary of investing in players with questionable medical issues. It caused JDM and Boston to re-work the language in his contract to accommodate their injury concerns and to get it done. I get it. I don’t blame them for wanting to protect their investment. And JDM was wise enough to work with them. He’ll still get his coin if he stays healthy. Win/win.

    Second, teams are giving alot more value to their own picks now than ever more because of soaring contracts of veteran FA’s. It’s their only line of defense against the escalating scope of the elite deals. Ber, you said it yourself… $40M per season seems unfathomable. It’s why teams are now placing more importance in scouting and drafting than ever before.

    It has changed the way free agents are looked and and valued. Gone are the days when every team wanted to bid on the best players and “buy” a team. Some simply can’t afford it anymore. But KC and CHI and HOU have all proven that the best way to build a consistently winning roster is to build through you own system, then ice it with a FA at an area of need. Build from inside and supplement from outside. Pro sports teams have always been consistent about copying what makes other teams successful. This is the current wave of how it’s being done in MLB.

    All that added up to limit the number of teams that saw Moose as a fit. And it was far fewer than Scott Boras estimated. Moose’s limited market dried up when he reportedly wouldn’t budge from wanting a 5-year guarantee. That’s a classic Boras tactic: give no quarter and wait for owners to blink. Problem is, owners have grown accustomed to his schemes and simply wait him out.

    You know, it’s kind of paralleled by the ability to hit a baseball. You have it all working for you, then pitchers adjust and have your number for a while. Then you make your own adjustments or you fade away. Boras will either adjust to the new landscape or he’ll fade away. It’s 2018. He’s no longer in his comfort zone.

    I, for one, do not feel sorry for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  176. 181 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    take that away because the Owners decide to be more greedy now, and you get a work stoppage….over this stupidity???

    Ber, I love you bro. And I respect your views. So understand, I’m not trying to argue, just respectfully dialogue.

    How are the owners being more greedy when it’s the players (and their agents) who continue to demand higher salaries? Did you know in 2017, Clayton Kershaw himself made $33M. Meanwhile, down the road, the Padres entire Opening Day payroll was just $34.6M, including 6 players on the DL. If you added up just the 25 guys in the active roster, it was only $29.6M… less than Kershaw by himself.

    Was Clayton Kershaw worth more than the entire roster in SD?

    The whole salary structure is out of whack. Both owners and players are to blame for that because players wouldn’t make ridiculous salaries if owner’s wouldn’t offer it. Obviously something has to change because it’s simply not sustainable as it is. But why is that the owners are always to blame when they try to make a sensible adjustment?

    Salaries will still be higher on average again in 2018, same as they have been every year since Free Agency began. At some point, the whole house of cards will fall in on itself. Somebody has to do something at some point, wouldn’t you agree? So who will it be? Owners or players?

    I’ve said it before, and I stand behind it. If the players don’t need the owners, they should just start their own league and keep all the revenue. Cut out the middle man. But they do need each other. At some point they will have to realize that and cooperate rather than try to demonize each other. I hope it’s before it’s too late.

    Like

  177. 182 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    Maybe rather than start their own league, the MLBPA could petition MLB to expand by 2 more teams, something that’s been kicked around anyway. Players can pool their money and buy those 2 two teams, then trade for themselves or sign themselves as they see fit. Why not? You’d get no argument from me on it.

    Liked by 2 people

  178. 183 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    And just so that we’re clear, I have no beef with any player taking any amount that is offered to him. That is pure capitalism, something I support 100%. But the other side of the coin (see what I did there?) is that no owner should be compelled to offer anything he doesn’t want to or feel a need to. Any artificial manipulation creates a financial bubble that will eventually pop. Remember the housing market last decade?

    Liked by 2 people

  179. 184 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 1:37 pm

    Now to things at hand. The Braves made their normal cut downs today, optioning or reassigning 10 players to minor league camp – mostly pitchers and catchers. No surprises. Nothing to see here.

    Like

  180. 185 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Details.

    Like

  181. 186 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Aaaagggghhhh!!!!

    Like

  182. 187 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    And with that the door has been kicked wide open for someone. Maybe a sliveer of hope for Scott Kazmir. Maybe max Fried can step up.

    Dark horse candidate? How about Matt Wisler, who has pitched the most innings of any pitcher thus far (7.0) and has a 0.00 ERA to show for it.

    Like

  183. 188 Vox O'Reason March 9, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    A sliveer? That’s even smaller than a sliver.

    Liked by 3 people

  184. 189 Gil in Mechanicsville March 10, 2018 at 7:07 am

    Gohara’s appears to be made of glass…

    Like

  185. 190 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Glass ankles are dangerous. Glass groins are… uh, never mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  186. 191 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Sam Mellinger, KC Star:

    Baseball is impossible to predict, so five months after Moustakas turned down $17.4 million, and three months after he turned down approximately $45 million, he signed for a reported $6.5 million guaranteed. Depending on the incentives, he could be taking a paycut from last year.

    Even before it’s official, the deal sent shockwaves through the industry. Boras, the most successful and famous baseball agent in history, lost a standoff.

    3 years, $45M. Boras blew this one big time.

    Liked by 1 person

  187. 192 Carolina Lady March 10, 2018 at 11:47 am

    (Creeping out of the dark shadows for a quick moment….)
    I’d think that Boras was now down by one client. Maybe others will follow the lead. If they’re smart. Greed never pays off. Just sayin’

    Liked by 1 person

  188. 193 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Like

  189. 194 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    Richard Justice, MLB.com,

    Let’s look at five teams most likely to surprise:

    1. Braves
    This is what happens when you load up your farm system with talent. Winning is pretty much inevitable. For the Braves, it’s now about the timing. Given how good Ronald Acuna Jr., Danny Santana and Ozzie Albies have looked this spring, given that the retooled starting rotation has a 1.60 ERA, given that there’s lots more talent on the way and a tremendous baseball man in charge (Alex Anthopoulos), it’s easy to envision this being a fun baseball summer in Atlanta.

    Liked by 1 person

  190. 195 Vox O'Reason March 10, 2018 at 12:50 pm

    The abovementioned Danny Santana just might steal an OF spot from Lane Adams or Preston Tucker. Lane has had a rough spring, while Tucker has been pretty good. But Tucker also has an option remaining, something Santana and Adams do not, thus could be a victim of numbers… at least in the early going. Then again, given the numbers, Lane could simply become a casualty… a victim of his own poor performance. And his DFA would provide the roster opening for DanTana. (Although can Shemp and his rotating fan motion stick much longer?)

    Liked by 1 person

  191. 196 Vox O'Reason March 12, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  192. 197 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Well, well, well, looks as if the third piece of the trio acquired from the fathers 4 years ago might just break onto the scene with his rediscovered power. Dustin Peterson hit another long home run yesterday causing Snitker and company to take notice. The thing is, he’s no slouch with a glove either.

    Folks, it cannot be understated how badly a hand or wrist injury can derail a player’s career. Like Tommy John to a pitcher, wrist injuries can be to a hitter, especially a slugger.

    I imagine their are several teams ruing the fact they did not pick up DP in the rule 5 when they had the chance in November.

    Okay, Matt Wisler returned to reality yesterday. The real test is how he responds his next turn out to see if there are any lingering affects to confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  193. 198 Vox O'Reason March 12, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    So the Phillies snatch up Jake Arrieta for 3 yrs/$75M. Arrieta entered the offseason with false hope (thanks again, Scott Boras) of getting twice that guarantee at 6 yrs/$150. Who in their right mind would ink a 32-year-old pitcher, whose numbers have already begun to regress, to a 6 year guarantee?

    It’s a good deal for Phillie, who does not have alot of young pitching on the way. If their young hitters pan out, they should have a decent team. The jury is still out on some those youngsters, though. In an effort to accelerate their rebuild efforts, they’ve spent $175M on veterans, ($65M+ on this year’s payroll) on 1 veteran starter, 1 veteran hitter, and 2 veteran relievers. Does that really count as a rebuild, or did they punt and go shopping for a team?

    It’s also a good deal for Arrieta. $25M per year is nothing to sneeze at. A 3 year guarantee is about standard for most pitchers not considered elite. Arrieta is still really good, but not elite.

    The Phils will almost certainly finish ahead of the Braves in 2018, but I don’t think they’ve done themselves any favors over the long haul. In fact, I think they will be outpaced by our boys in another year once our pitching comes online. The problem with buying a veteran team is they they are trending in the wrong direction. And having not forfeited at least 2 draft picks for Arrieta and Carlos Santana, their future plight is also slowed somewhat.

    I guess when your fanbase is so vile they boo Santa Claus, you have to do whatever you can to placate them. Oh well, I’ll still take our team and our trajectory.

    Liked by 1 person

  194. 199 Vox O'Reason March 12, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    And the Yanks pick up IF Neil Walker on a 1 year / $5M deal. I opined that he might be had for $3M on a 1 year deal, which NYY obviously proved wrong. But the way I look at it, I was only $2M off. If this were a 1 year, $25M deal, and I predicted $23M, I’d feel pretty good, so… 😉

    Seriously, though, Walker is a perfect fit in NYY, where they had toyed with their top prospect Gleyber Torres starting the season at 2B in the Bronx, but are now thinking better of it and choosing to let him get more seasoning (and more healing coming off TJ surgery last March) at AAA.

    They will certainly be a fun team to watch this year. Add Walker’s +/- 15 HR to the already powerful lineup featuring Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Brett Gardner… and wowser. If youngster Greg Bird’s comparatively weak bat can mature and gain a little more pop, they’ll be downright scary.

    Like

  195. 200 Vox O'Reason March 12, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Dustin Peterson hit another long home run yesterday causing Snitker and company to take notice.

    One thing that plays against him making the cut for Opening Day is that he has all of his minor league options remaining. But then again, Preston Tucker has options remaining too. The other thing, though, is the more difficult to overcome: he’s not on the 40-man roster. Is that a big deal considering Shemp is not exactly making anyone forget about CJones… or Adonis Garcia for that matter? Well… the team also has to come up with a roster spot for Ronald Acuna by mid-April, so those are a little more valuable than at first appearance. The fact that DPetey can simply be reassigned to AAA with zero roster implications makes it quite likely he will be.

    The same goes for the surging Danny Santana. Don’t forget, Thoppy told us a few weeks ago that they may not break camp with the best 25 because they would take those roster implications into account, at least for the early part of the season.

    It does make sense in the context of the rebuild. You should want to keep as many of your future options available to you as you can. But at some point, we have to start thinking about the present. I wonder when that time will be?

    Like

  196. 201 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    But at some point, we have to start thinking about the present

    I think that is where the Phillies are, they were much younger than the Braves last season so I guess bringing in vets should be expected. They appear to have more money to spend than the Braves for some reason? In fact, it looks as if everyone has more money to spend than the Braves except maybe for the Rays, the Athletics and the Marlins but that is just me.

    I have opined before that the Braves will make their move in the market next season and strangely, their needs may be less than we think at this point. We know Kakes will be gone as well as one or both catchers.

    So, things will be in flux for a while. If only the Bravos can prevent the other team from putting 5 or 6 runs on the board every game, that might have a chance.

    As for Schimpf, I will be stunned if he breaks camp on the major league roster, he will take his big all or nothing swing across town to Gwinnett if he remains in the organization. No doubt he has power but did not Dan Uggla and even Andrew Jones fall from grace with the Braves faithful when the strike outs piled up verses embracing some situational hitting which would have been much more productive in the long run.

    Like

  197. 202 Vox O'Reason March 12, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Can we please stop with this waste of time… and swings? He’s exhausting the umpires already.

    Liked by 1 person

  198. 203 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    It would actually be amusing if it were not so sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  199. 204 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2018 at 9:48 pm

    This is what happens when you have the guys in the analytical dept making recommendations based on strike outs don’t matter.

    Like

  200. 205 Gil in Mechanicsville March 12, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    On a positive note, he is not hitting into any double plays… I wonder if he has considered pitching?

    Like

  201. 206 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 8:01 am

    On a positive note, he is not hitting into any double plays… I wonder if he has considered pitching?

    I wonder if he has considered politics? He’s quite experienced at exerting alot of energy to accomplish nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  202. 207 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 8:03 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Like

  203. 208 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 8:19 am

    This is what’s meant by the phrase “coming to fruition”. If he can continue to control the count early with his fastball he’s gonna be very hard to hit.

    Like

  204. 209 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Seemingly random thought…

    With Luiz Gohara basically having to start from scratch once he comes out of the boot, it obviously opens up the competition a rotation spot we all expected Gohara to seize. Matt Wisler showed in his last start that he’s still Matt Wisler. Max Fried was rushed last season and could really stand more time seasoning before coming on up. Lucas Sims hasn’t thrilled anyone thus far in spring training and will in all likelihood end up as a reliever. Scott Kazmir has the stuff, but does he have the hip?

    Might the Braves explore outside help? Lance Lynn just signed with Minnie for 1 year at $12M. Alex Cobb should get a comparable deal. IMO, adding Cobb might give us a shot at the last Wild Card. Last season he won 12 games for a mediocre Tampa team while giving them 179.1 innings. We’ve been wondering who would step up and replace the innings RA Dickey gave us last season. Maybe Cobb could be that guy? His 12 wins would have led our staff last year, as would his 3.66 ERA. None of our starters last season had an ERA under 4.00. I do expect that to change this season, but Alex Cobb would be a nice kickstart toward that goal.

    Like

  205. 210 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Of course, I don’t expect anything like that to happen. I honestly think that Gohara’s injury opens the spot up for Kazmir. He’s been pretty decent this spring, but not eye popping. And I don’t know that I trust he can stay healthy.

    At this point, I’d say that the first 4 spots in the rotation are set with Julio, Folty, McCarthy and Newk. Thanks to the built in early off days, #5 won’t roll around until April 11, so there’s time for it to shake out.

    The bullpen is also beginning to flesh itself out. I think 7 of the 8 spots are fairly nailed down. Viz, AJ Minter, Sam Freeman, Peter Moylan, JoRam, Dan Winkler, and Anyelo Gomez seem to have all cemented their spots. At worst, none of them have done anything to hurt their chances. Gomez has even been a pleasant surprise. So who gets that last long man spot? Kazmir? Wisler? Sims? How about Aaron Blair, Chase Whitley or Shane Carle?

    There is the chance that the team could even carry a 9th reliever until the 5th starter is needed, so a couple of those guys might get a shot.

    My crystal ball says Blair and Wisler will go back to AAA and stay stretched out. Same might be said for Sims.

    it will probably come down to who has minor league options remaining. Shane Carle does; Chase Whitley does not. And of course, Scott Kazmir has been around too long for that to apply.

    Prediction: Whitley takes the long relief role; Kazmir remains in the bullpen as a swing man and slides into the #5 rotation spot when it rolls around. Gohara will have to work himself back into shape (round is a shape, right?) and probably won’t be a factor until mid-May. At that point, we can assess who’s winning and who’s struggling. And of course, the old axiom always comes true: you can never have too much starting pitching. Something will happen. It always does.

    Like

  206. 211 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 9:09 am

    BTW- Petey Moylan will require a 40-man roster spot. There’s a little over 2 weeks to figure that out (or let it work itself out), but the early leader in the clubhouse to be DFA’d is Shemp. I hope.

    Like

  207. 212 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Jeff Passan offers a very lengthy explanation of why the FA market cratered this year. It’s very detailed and explains it well. An excerpt is here:

    How is $1 million actually worth $5 million?

    What sounds like a riddle actually helps explain how this happened – how the players unwittingly put some of their best players in a position to be hosed in free agency. The qualifying offer, a mechanism put in place to compensate teams losing frontline free agents, also includes a salary dampener: it penalizes the teams that sign the players. In the previous CBA, the penalty was a first-round pick. This time around, as the parties were negotiating, they settled on something that may be even worse.

    Teams that pay revenue sharing – the richest half – give up second- and fifth-round draft picks if they sign a player with a qualifying offer attached. Multiple GMs pegged the value of a second-round pick between $6 million and $8 million. Additionally, $1 million of their international bonus-pool money is taken away. Teams value that million bucks at more like $5 million because the value of young players from Latin America is so much higher than what teams are allowed to spend. The Red Sox lavished $63 million on Yoan Moncada when he came from Cuba. The Yankees and Padres and plenty of others spent wildly before the latest CBA stopped them from doing so.

    And had the MLBPA simply agreed to an international draft instead of this capped system that restricts spending on amateurs, what, multiple sources say, could have been negotiated? An end to the qualifying offer.

    Like

  208. 213 Gil in Mechanicsville March 13, 2018 at 10:21 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Vee….

    Liked by 3 people

  209. 214 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Hey thanks!!

    Like

  210. 215 Vox O'Reason March 13, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Making his case…

    Liked by 1 person

  211. 216 Carolina Lady March 13, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Hey, it’s V-DAY!! Happy birthday, my friend! There are many more to come and may each be more blessed than the last!!

    Liked by 3 people

  212. 217 berigan2electricboogaloo March 13, 2018 at 8:48 pm

    Happy Birthday V! Hope it’s been a good one! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  213. 218 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Thank you all. I had a great birthday… had dinner with my family at a fantastic BBQ restaurant, ate too much, and am still paying for that. But it was totally worth it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  214. 219 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Like

  215. 220 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 8:43 am

    The Braves did ink another OF yesterday on a minor league deal. Former Blue Jay (see the connection?) Ezequiel Carrera (age 30) was DFA’d on March 1, gone unclaimed on waivers and outrighted to AAA. Then the Jays gave him his release this past weekend so that he could explore other opportunities. His connection to Thoppy made a match here pretty simple. According to MLBTR, Thoppy brought him to Toronto during his tenure there and obviously likes something about him.

    The poop: He’s a veteran LH hitter who slashed .282/.356/.408 last season with 8 HR’s and 10 SB’s in 325 PA’s spread out over 132 games. He’s an average defender but is capable of playing all 3 OF positions.

    It is my belief that he was signed because Lane Adams is having an awful spring, batting just .182 and striking out in 14 of his 33 AB’s. Lane had a chance at regular playing time for a couple weeks at least, but instead is playing himself right off the roster. The problem with bringing Carrera in to push him is that Carrera is a LH like Preston Tucker, so the idea of a platoon is out the window.

    Speaking of Tucker, the former top prospect from HOU is having a bit of a bounce back in his new environment. Unlike Adams, Tucker is batting .345 and getting on base at a .425 clip. His power hasn’t shown up yet, but he does have 3 doubles.

    All that said, Carrera is likely competing for the last bench spot with Danny Santana, neither of which is on a major league deal or on the 40-man roster. There is also the chance that Snit could opt to carry an extra bench player until he needs his 5th starter too. If you count the roster spots that will need to come available, you start with Ronald Acuna and then add in either Carrera or Santana. IF Christian Colon is having a torrid spring but is unlikely to unseat Charlie Culberson, so it’s not likely he’ll need a spot right away. And there is the even longer shot that they could carry an extra catcher in Chris Stewart. I say all that to say that the team will need to open at least one sopt, probably 2, and possibly 3.

    So where do the most urgent 2 roster spots come from? One is obvious…

    https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BMTk2NDU2NDU4Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzc2MjI2.V1_UY317_CR24,0,214,317_AL.jpg

    The next would come if Lane Adams fails to make the team. He doesn’t have any minor league options remaining, so he’d need to be DFA’d and thus removed from the roster. The 3rd could come from placing someone on the 60-day DL… maybe Jacob Lindgren? Seems likely anyway. In other words, coming up with the necessary roster spots would not be Chinese math.

    Expect to see a good dose of Carrera over the next week so that Thoppy and Snit can make a sufficient assessment of his roster candidacy.

    Like

  216. 221 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Aw. My link didn’t work right. I am having alot of fun with

    Like

  217. 222 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Lining him up to be the Opening Day starter. He’s earned it with a very good spring that will hopefully carry over into the regular season. Looking for a big bounce back from him in 2018.

    Like

  218. 223 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Braves official announcement on Ezequiel Carrera:

    The Braves have agreed to terms with OF Ezequiel Carrera on a minor-league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. He will wear uniform No. 62 with Atlanta.

    Carrera set career highs in games (131), hits (81), doubles (10), home runs (eight), batting average (.282) and on-base percentage (.356) with the Blue Jays last season.

    A veteran of seven major league seasons, he is a career .262 hitter over 508 career games and has made at least 125 appearances at each of the three outfield positions, including 229 games in left.

    Like

  219. 224 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Of all the outfield candidates run out there by Snit, who would be the best defender aside from Acuna?

    On Schemph: Some players (notice I didn’t say hitter because obvious that term does not apply) are said to have a hole in their swing, Schempf appears to have a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon. I know, I know, a bit of piling on but at what point do the Braves say okay, maybe this guy is a bust?

    On the positive side, at least he is not into the Braves pocket for a ton of money ala Melvin Upton.

    Like

  220. 225 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Of all the outfield candidates run out there by Snit, who would be the best defender aside from Acuna?

    Easily Lane Adams. But he’s striking out at an alarming rate, unless you compare him to Shemp. DPetey is a better fielder than he’s given credit for. And don’t forget he was drafted and played his early pro ball as a 3B. The Braves converted him to OF after they acquired him. Santana is a good defender, but not a CF. The only CF in the whole bunch aside from Adams is newcomer Carerra.

    Like

  221. 226 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    All that said, we’re talking about a 2 week stint. Once Ronald Acuna comes up, the OF roles are better defined. Only looking for a bench bat at that point.

    Like

  222. 227 Vox O'Reason March 14, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Maybe a classic case of “change of scenery”? Happy for us, that’s for sure. Tuck is still relatively young at 27, and bats LH. And remember, he hit 13 HR for HOU in 2015 in just 98 games.

    Liked by 1 person

  223. 228 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    still relatively young at 27

    27 was once the magic age for outfielders to reach their peak and then slowly diminish for the next 5 years. That was before steroids and HGHs…
    So, for Tucker to suddenly find himself is a plus.

    I know the Braves would like to add a right handed power bat but that will happen when the Answer to Everything makes the scene.

    I think the Braves will carry and extra bench player until the 5th starter is added.

    Teheran went 5 innings today giving up 2 earned runs, one homer. The thing about facing a division rival is you don’t really want to show all your pitches in spring training. You will face these guys enough in the regular season for them to get into your kitchen on a regular basis.

    Like

  224. 229 Gil in Mechanicsville March 14, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    And of course we should not be surprised that Acuna will not be part of the team until at least mid April, after all, Thoppy has already made it clear that the best 25 may not be on the roster when the Braves break camp and often times players who had a very good spring are sent down because the team can do so without fear of impunity.

    Options are just that. In addition, near the end of camp, good players are often shuffled around and traded because clubs know those players will not clear waivers and they have no options left.

    There is two weeks left for the Braves to finish their evaluations and there is also the specter of the injury bug striking at any time.

    So, we will continue to follow along and guess along with everyone else as to who will make the team and who won’t.

    So, just who is a lock at this point and who is on the bubble?

    Position players who are locks barring injuries: Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, Kurt Suzuki, Tyler Flowers, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis. Also Johan Carmargo (either 3rd base or super utility) Charlie Culberson (utility, Swanson body double)

    On the bubble are Preston Tucker, Lane Adams, Danny Santana and new comer Ezequiel Carrera.

    Likely to get cut, traded or sent down are Chris Steward, Rio Ruiz, Christian Colon, Dustin Peterson and Schempf.

    I did not list Acuna but I just don’t see him making the team until mid April due to financial considerations. Everyone knows he will be in Atlanta sooner than later but money is money and I don’t see the Braves front office throwing away a year of control over two weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  225. 230 Carolina Lady March 15, 2018 at 8:08 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BER!!! Or is it ‘Happy Berday?’

    Liked by 1 person

  226. 231 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Happy Berday indeed!

    Liked by 2 people

  227. 232 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  228. 233 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2018 at 8:30 am

    Yes indeed, a Berry Happy Birthday Conrad…

    Liked by 2 people

  229. 234 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2018 at 10:48 am

    Always informative…

    Liked by 3 people

  230. 235 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    ANFSCD, via Matt Kelly at MLB.com:

    Minor League Baseball announced a series of rule changes relating to pace of play Wednesday that will be applied to all levels below the Majors in 2018. Chief among the changes, which were created in partnership with Major League Baseball, are rules intended to reduce the number of pitchers used in extra innings…

    All Minor League innings past the requisite nine frames this season will begin with a runner on second base, in a manner similar to what was used in last year’s World Baseball Classic. The runner will be the player previous to a team’s leadoff hitter for that inning in the batting order. Teams may substitute a player with a pinch-runner, but the player removed will not be allowed to return to the lineup.

    I hate this. It’s stupid and contrived. It completely changes the dynamics of the game. Here’s a question I want answered… if the free runner scores, does it count against the pitcher’s ERA? And does said pitcher get the “L”? I hope not.

    If you want to shake things up without making such a radical alteration to the spirit of the game, just let the manager reset his lineup after the 9th inning. It doesn’t change the play on the field, but it does allow for the manager to employ a “short term” strategy and rewards viewers with the seeing best hitters more times.

    “Leading off the 10th for the Braves: Freddie Freeman.”

    Liked by 1 person

  231. 236 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    One more comment on the above idiocy…

    It the intent is to “reduce the number of pitchers used in extra innings”, I actually get that. So just let the games end in a tie. If it’s just in the minors, which is supposed to be for development, then call it a day and come back tomorrow. It’s not my preference, but I can live with that a whole lot easier than I can live with artificially creating offense.

    Liked by 1 person

  232. 237 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    In an offseason completely devoid of any substantive rumors, this is at least interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  233. 238 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    How about this…

    Sign Greg Holland to a 1 year deal, trade Viz to a team (like STL) in need of a young affordable closer, and allow AJ Minter a year under a veteran’s tutelage before assuming the mantle of “closer”.

    If you sweeten the deal to STL with starting pitching, you might net top catching prospect Carson Kelly, who will waste away as Yadier Molina’s backup. Carson is blocked in STL, and is ready for an everyday role in the bigs.

    Like

  234. 239 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    Ugh,,,

    Like

  235. 240 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Ronald Acuña is impressive.

    Liked by 2 people

  236. 241 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    He could be a big key to our season, IMO. Hoping this is his breakout year.

    Like

  237. 242 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    If Folty can give us 190 IP with an ERA < 3.50, we’ll be in business.

    Liked by 3 people

  238. 243 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    If Folty can give us 200 IP with an ERA < 3.25, we’ll surprise some teams.

    Liked by 2 people

  239. 244 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Speaking of young catchers, what about Braves draftee Victor Caratini up in Chi-town? He’s blocked by Wilson Contreras. He’s not the same caliber as Carson Kelly, but his pricetag wouldn’t be as high, either.

    Like

  240. 245 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    We’re gonna have to do something with C Chris Stewart over the next 2 weeks, too. He’s a roster guy with 0 minor league options remaining. This team can’t carry 3 catchers. A trade has to be in the offing.

    Like

  241. 246 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm

    I think he wants a job.

    Liked by 1 person

  242. 247 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    As the roster now stands, I’m not opposed to starting Preston Tucker for the first 2 weeks of the season, with Zuk, Culberson, Danny Santana and Christian Colon on my bench, and Lane Adams hanging on for late inning defensive purposes.

    Lane is probably a goner when Ronald Acuña has percolated at AAA long enough.

    DPetey has options remaining, so he’s an unfortunate casualty of numbers. Both Santana and Colon have played very well and have earned jobs IMO. Each would need a 40-man roster spot. Ryan Schimpf, Chris Stewart, and Rio Ruiz all are in peril of losing their’s. Poor Rio just hasn’t gotten over the AAAA hump.

    Liked by 1 person

  243. 248 Vox O'Reason March 15, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    I need to amend that…

    Lane Adams would be a goner a few days earlier when the 5th starter is activated.

    Acuña’s arrival will probably cost Christian Colon. I would not be surprised to see Colon traded. He’s been good but does not have an obvious fit here. There are teams in real need of a versatile utility IF, though. Falls into the Chris Stewart category. Somebody will need him.

    Like

  244. 249 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2018 at 6:09 pm

    Yes, impressive outing for Folty today, good for him. One has to think maybe he grew up a bit over the winter. It is a beautiful thing when a live arm is coupled with a functioning brain. Perhaps he also discovered what was causing him to tip his pitches.

    Liked by 1 person

  245. 250 Gil in Mechanicsville March 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    The “Answer to Everything” continues to be… Pretty impressive spring. Same for Dantana. Now if Dansby can just get it all working, we’ll be in business.

    Liked by 1 person

  246. 251 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2018 at 8:39 am

    One has to wonder if getting married and having a kid has helped Folty to mature as much as anything…

    Like

  247. 252 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Like

  248. 253 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2018 at 9:11 am

    One has to wonder if getting married and having a kid has helped Folty to mature as much as anything

    Life changing event like that do have a tendency to make one change their perspective about things.

    Like

  249. 254 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2018 at 9:13 am

    Should we be concerned with Johan Camargo’s back? Is it the dreaded oblique? Braves are being vague, calling it only stiffness, but say he’ll be out until at least Wednesday.

    Does it give Christian Colon more opportunities? Maybe a “showcase” opportunity? He has more career appearances at SS than 3B, but he has more career appearances at 3B than Charlie Culberson.

    Does the door open a little for Rio to redeem himself? Gotta say… I’m not hopeful. His .205/.222/.318 slash line this spring is not very inspiring, nor are his 17 K’s in 45 plate appearances. For those who care about such things, that’s a .377 K rate. When your K rate is higher than you OBP, you have major issues.

    I’m not even going to mention Shemp. Wait… I just did.

    Maybe Johan’s back is just “stiff”, but we all know how a strained oblique can persist and persist. If that’s the problem, then we are back to square 1 at 3B. Or then again, we’re back to “hole 1”.

    Like

  250. 255 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2018 at 10:50 am

    If one believes that teams are serious or worried about their records in spring training, they need only look at the collection of misfits assembled to face the Pirates this afternoon.

    Camargo’s “stiffness” could well portend badly for him. I’m sure the brass is combing the baseball world for a “cheap” replacement. You never want to let the other side how desperate you are for help.

    All the pick ups that have been made recently point to the fact the Braves would still like to have a long term solution of the problem.

    Like

  251. 256 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Braves sign Anibel Sanchez to a minor league contract and invites to spring training… Okay.. why not? Not a huge risk and you just never know what tweek will fix a pitcher. That and pretty easy to flip/DFA. Almost like hiring day labor.

    Liked by 1 person

  252. 257 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    Braves sign Anibel Sanchez to a minor league contract and invites to spring training… Okay.. why not? Not a huge risk and you just never know what tweek will fix a pitcher. That and pretty easy to flip/DFA.

    Agree completely. Nothing to lose.

    Like

  253. 258 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    I noticed that Rio Ruiz and Shemp are batting back-to-back at #’s 4-5 in the lineup today. That ought to be quite the whiff fest.

    Like

  254. 259 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Those 2 together should provide a nice breeze in Bradenton this afternoon…

    Like

  255. 260 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2018 at 12:27 pm

    The game is on MLB network today at 1PM. I would have liked for MLB to have shown a game with a few more of the Braves regulars but no problem. Should be interesting to see if and how much Aaron Blair has improved, or not.

    HAHAHAHA.. if Ruiz and Shempf play all nine, it could be the first time we have ever seen two players on the same team both wear the “Golden Sombrero” in one game. Won’t happen however as the C team will get a few hacks after 5 innings.

    Liked by 1 person

  256. 261 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Watching Aaron Blair pitch, he is noticeably slimmer in the hips, the ball appears to be coming out free and easy.

    Liked by 1 person

  257. 262 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    And Shemp K’s again…

    Like

  258. 263 Vox O'Reason March 16, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Pitching has been a disaster thus far in this game, but Ozzie just lit one up over the fence. We’ll take what we can get.

    Like

  259. 264 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    For sure, the Braves front office will be the stooges if Schimpf stays on the roster much longer.

    He does resemble Ryan Klesko but that is all, a physical resemblance.

    Liked by 1 person

  260. 265 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    There you go… never give up on a play…

    Like

  261. 266 Gil in Mechanicsville March 16, 2018 at 4:02 pm

    Okay, a couple of positives on the day, those being Ozzie Albies doing his impression of Jose Altuve’. Hits a solo homer from each side of the plate… Whoop, whoop…

    Liked by 2 people

  262. 267 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Braves lose a pair of split squad games today but Acuna continues to impress and Newk put in 5 solid inning against the Cardinals.

    And I know, it is a bit like piling on but Schimpf continues to strike out with such frequency that it is become somewhat of a joke.

    Like

  263. 268 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Now, to be fair, he only struck out once today but he managed a rare trifecta today by committing three errors. One each throwing, catching, and fielding. That in itself might get him into the hall of shame. Sad…

    Like

  264. 269 Gil in Mechanicsville March 17, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    The Brooks Conrad Trophy… Just saying…

    Like

  265. 271 Gil in Mechanicsville March 18, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Why you just cannot rely upon other people to always act in your best interest…

    Good game by the Braves today, Sanchez decent outing, Acuna continues to impress.

    Like

  266. 272 Vox O'Reason March 19, 2018 at 4:27 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 2 people

  267. 273 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Solid outing by Anibal Sanchez yesterday. We shall see if he can follow it up the next couple of turns through the schedule.

    Acuna continued his good work and the Astro announcers have had a terrible time distinguishing between Dansby Swanson and Culbertson.

    Liked by 2 people

  268. 274 Vox O'Reason March 19, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  269. 276 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    “Johan Camargo (oblique) not certain for opening day”

    Okay Vee, looks like to sniffed another one out….

    Liked by 2 people

  270. 277 Vox O'Reason March 19, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Snit layed out his rotation plans today…

    The rotation to begin the season will be Julio, Folty, McCarthy, Newk… and #5, possibly as late as April 10 with all the early built in off days. The #5 will come down to Gohara and Sanchez, assuming Gohara is at full health.

    Like

  271. 278 Vox O'Reason March 19, 2018 at 4:47 pm

    The oblique strain is one of those things that takes a long time to fully heal. They had better let that thing rest now or it will affect his entire season. I once again feel we need to address the position from outside.

    Like

  272. 279 Gil in Mechanicsville March 19, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    As predicted and expected, Acuna reassigned to the minor league camp today. Thoppy said the club is doing what is best for the player and they want him to continue to develop. I am surprised he could say that with a straight face. Everyone knows it is all about squeezing an extra year out of the phenom.

    Better go see him at Gwinnett, Vee while it is still cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

  273. 280 Vox O'Reason March 19, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Like

  274. 281 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2018 at 7:55 am

    If I were Lane Adams, I don’t think I would sign any long term leases just yet.

    If the Braves were all that concerned about retaining Acuna for an extra year, go ahead and sign him to a 10 year deal for $100MM. They are already getting a heck of a bargain.

    Like

  275. 282 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 8:21 am

    If the Braves were all that concerned about retaining Acuna for an extra year, go ahead and sign him to a 10 year deal for $100MM. They are already getting a heck of a bargain.

    We have said many times that they will likely try to sign him long term before he gets far into arb anyway… but the key word in there is “try”. It requires that both sides come to agreement, Can’t nail down who his agent is, but you know as well as I do that some agents (cough, cough, BORAS) prefer their clients not sign early. The Braves are only protecting their interests, and for that I cannot blame them. That said, I am 100% in agreement with the above-retweeted Buck Belue. Don’t insult us by saying RA needs further development. He is already one of the best players on this squad, and maybe in all of baseball. That’s pretty plain to see.

    And you can bet I will make every effort to see him play in a Stripers uniform. If I play my cards right, I will plan it on one of Max Fried’s starts and see the AFL team, minus Alex Jackson, back together again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  276. 283 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Gil, that last bench spot is a very interesting one to watch for. Danny Santana has certainly played well enough to earn it. Lane has come on in the last couple of weeks to show why he was considered a potential starter to keep LF warm for 2 weeks. And Christian Colon has played well. Colon’s name comes into play because of the questions around Johan’s back.

    And then there is the curious case of Rio Ruiz. He had a spot in the lineup waiting for him if he could hang onto it, and then he was outplayed all spring by others fighting for jobs (although he has hit better over the last week). But if he doesn’t make the top 25, then what do you do with him? He’s obviously been passed by Austin Riley as a prospect, and by Johan as a placeholder. So what is his value to the Braves beyond depth?

    He’s also in the balky spot of sitting on a precious 40 man roster spot, something Ronald Acuna will need, Danny Santana should need, and Christian Colon could need. And even if he can keep it, then what does he do at AAA, where he’s been for a couple of years? Does he take time and AB’s away from Riley? I hope not.

    The best thing Rio can do for himself is have a couple of really impressive games this week and put his own name back in the hunt for the last bench spot. Johan’s back has opened the door slightly. Rio needs to kick it open.

    Like

  277. 284 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Like

  278. 285 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Rio might just need the proverbial change of scenery to advance to the next level. I worry every time I hear a player is striving to change his swing to improve his launch angle. I worked hard at leveling my swing to improve my batting average. Sigh… The more things change, the more they stay the same…

    Like

  279. 286 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2018 at 8:45 am

    As for Acuna’s agent, I can assure you Scott Boras will put on the full court press to sign him away from whoever has his rights at this point. It is just how things are done. Don’t think for a second that Acuna is taking everything in and will look to get it all back at some point in his career.

    Like

  280. 287 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 8:51 am

    And with just 9 days remaining, we have greater clarity on what the Opening Day roster will look like.

    We know the early 4 man rotation is: Julio, Folty, McCarthy, Newk

    We know the starting 8 is: Ender, Ozzie, Freddie, TFlow, Kakes, Tucker, Johan, Dansby

    We can draw some assumptions as to the bullpen. We pretty well know 7 of the 8 will be: Viz, AJ Minter, JoseRam, Petey Moylan, Sam Freeman, Dan Winkler, Anyelo Gomez

    The last spot is wide open. Could be Scott Kazmir, Chase Whitley, Aaron Blair, Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims…

    We can assume the bench will have 5 to open the season, and 2 of those will surely be: Zuk, Culberson… but the last spots are still being fought over. Could be any combination of the following: DanTana, Lane Adams, Rio, Christian Colon, Dustin Peterson, Ezequiel Carrera…

    And let’s not forget, this last week or so of Spring Training is when GM’s know where the holes are, and begin looking to fill them. I will not be surprised in the least if there is not a trade to be made before we break camp and head north. We have a pitcher or 2 we could spare. We really need a 3B.

    Like

  281. 288 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Teammates want to open with the best team possible. I love the fight already in them. Don’t forget, the 2010 Braves defied conventional logic and broke camp with Jason Heyward as starter in RF. He promptly won the season’s first game with a walk-off, and the team earned the Wild Card by 1 game in the standings. To say the first 2 weeks make no difference is simply false.

    Liked by 1 person

  282. 289 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Sucks for them. I always find it a bit difficult to feel badly for the Dodgers, but I do really like Turner. I’d much rather see him on the field than not.

    Early estimates say he’ll be out 6-9 weeks. It looks like they’ll move Logan Forsythe over from 2B to 3B, as they have quite a few options to play 2B in the interim including the ageless Chase Utley. Betcha they miss the beloved Charlie Culberson even more now.

    Like

  283. 290 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Did y’all see that Melvin was released by the Tribe yesterday? Anyone care? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    Liked by 1 person

  284. 291 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 10:11 am

    Ha ha ha ha…

    Like

  285. 292 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Regarding Johan and Opening Day, courtesy of Bowman:

    The Braves have to remain prepared for the possibility Camargo won’t be ready for the the March 29 regular season opener against the Phillies. But for now, the hope is he will return to the lineup either this weekend or for the March 26 exhibition game against the Yankees at SunTrust Park.

    Even if Camargo avoids the disabled list, his injury could lead the Braves to carry an extra backup infielder during the first couple weeks of the regular season. The Braves do not need to carry five starting pitchers before April 10. This provides the option to carry an extra position player — either a backup outfielder or backup infielder — through the season’s first 10 games.

    Charlie Culberson is the only backup infielder currently projected to be on Atlanta’s Opening Day roster. If Snitker chooses to carry an additional infielder, he could go with Rio Ruiz, who can play third base, or versatile non-roster invitee Christian Colon.

    Ruiz’s presence on the 40-man roster could give him the advantage. But the former prospect has also created some encouragement with some of his most recent plate appearances. The corner infielder recorded an RBI single during Monday’s 6-0 win over the Blue Jays and is now 6-for-17 with two strikeouts over his past seven games. He was 7-for-38 with 15 strikeouts before this stretch.

    “Rio just keeps getting better,” Snitker said. “He keeps improving. He’s a hard-working kid. He’s very dedicated and very diligent with his work. He’s a young kid that keeps working and keeps getting better.”

    One has to wonder if having more playing time with Johan out has enabled Rio to break out of it somewhat. Whatever the cause, he appears to have the inside track at the moment. Now it’s time for Christian Colon to counter punch. His advantage is his versatility, and we know how this regime values versatility. i love some good ol’ competition.

    Like

  286. 293 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 10:40 am

    I somehow forgot to include Anibal Sanchez in the candidates for the #5 starting job, which is unfortunate since he has a real shot at that job… maybe even the inside track at the moment.

    Like

  287. 294 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Can’t get a full list of yesterday’s cuts, but 6 were reassigned / optioned including Ronald Acuna (headlines) and Dustin Peterson (not headlines). Not sure of the other 4, but I’m sure there weren’t any surprises.

    Like

  288. 295 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Ah… here we go.

    C Rob Brantley, IF Christian Colon, and P’s Josh Graham and Miguel Socolovich were the other Braves reassigned.

    Essentially tightens up the bench race with Danny Santana, Lane Adams, Ezequiel Crerra, and Rio battling for 3 spots behind Zuk and Culberson.

    Anybody notice Danny has been getting reps at 2B. It’s that versatility thing again.I think he’s made the team.

    The last spot will probably come down to Adams and Carrera, with the “winner” only lasting until the 5th starter is needed. And since Carerra is on a minor league deal and not on the 40-man roster, he’s probably the odd man out.

    The long term 4 man bench (after Acuna arrives) will probably be Zuk, Culberson, DanTana and either Preston Tucker, Lane Adams or Rio depending on how 3B is looking. Not sure the team will carry 5 OF with a 4 man bench, and Tucker has a minor league option remaining. My gut says he gets stashed at AAA, and that Lane is DFA’d. Danny survives and Rio hangs on as 3B insurance.

    Like

  289. 296 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    Here you go Vee:

    The #Braves today reassigned six players to minor league camp, including OF Ronald Acuña Jr., C Rob Brantley, INF Christian Colon, OF Dustin Peterson and RHPs Josh Graham and Miguel Socolovich.

    Liked by 1 person

  290. 297 Carolina Lady March 20, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Welcome to BABESCHICKS who is now following Braves & Stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  291. 298 Vox O'Reason March 20, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Well, I missed that one…

    Like

  292. 299 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2018 at 6:56 pm

    Can’t say that it was a bad move to draft Gomez nor a bad decision to return him to the Yankees. The depth of the Braves pitching corp has change since December.

    Liked by 1 person

  293. 300 Gil in Mechanicsville March 20, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Now, if they could just return Schimpf…

    Liked by 1 person

  294. 302 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  295. 303 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Indeed he will.

    Liked by 2 people

  296. 304 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    A couple of items from Bowman today:

    Camargo (right side discomfort) is still just taking dry swings and hitting off a tee today. He still hopes to be ready for Opening Day, but his status certainly seems questionable. Whether or not Camargo starts on the DL, Ruiz is now a strong candidate for the OD roster.

    Danny Santana took grounders on the left side of the infield this afternoon. Camargo’s status could also further enhance the likelihood of Santana being on the OD roster.

    Also, the Braves announced that they reassigned P Josh Ravin to minor league camp today.

    Like

  297. 305 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    As an aside, I like the O’s signing of Alex Cobb for 4 years/$57M. IMO, it’s a good fit for both parties – a good return for Cobb, and a smart deal for BAL. Win/win. You better have good pitching in that division, and this signing keeps the O’s competitive.

    As much as I’d like to have seen something similar here, it really wasn’t a fit. In fact, I was thinking about our pitching today.

    We will open the season with Julio, Folty, McCarthy, Newk and eventually Sanchez/Kazmir/Gohara. But let’s just go ahead and call it Gohara because it’ll be his as soon as he’s healthy.

    Then at mid-season, I predict McCarthy is gone and Soroka is promoted. The rotation then looks like Julio, Folty, Newk, Gohara, Soroka.

    BUT…

    Max Fried is close himself, not to mention Kolby Allard. Those are the pitchers that are realistic for 2018. Allard might hold off until 2019, but Fried is close now.

    I know that you can never have too much starting pitching. I know that Gohara seems a bit injury prone. But I know too that at some point, you are looking at 7 strong candidates for 5 spots just this year.

    And that doesn’t even take into account the wave just below that will start popping up in 2019, being Kyle Wright and Patrick Weigel. Then the 2020 group is strong with Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller, Bryce Wilson and Touki Toussaint.

    Crikey!!!

    Like

  298. 306 berigan2electricboogaloo March 21, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    Teammates want to open with the best team possible. I love the fight already in them. Don’t forget, the 2010 Braves defied conventional logic and broke camp with Jason Heyward as starter in RF. He promptly won the season’s first game with a walk-off, and the team earned the Wild Card by 1 game in the standings. To say the first 2 weeks make no difference is simply false.

    To be a gloomy gus, someday (hopefully not to the braves!) a prized prospect will be sent down for no good reason except for that extra year of control (that is likely to be bought out at some point anyways) and will run into a Minor league park’s rock hard wall, sprinkler system spigot , etc) and a team will loss said prospect for months…

    and like was said above, the team would be a lot better with him in the lineup…get off to a say, 4-10 start cuz there is little offense, I sure hope Thoppy and friends will pat themselves on the back when fans aren’t paying a lot of attention come August….
    the voice of doom has spoken!!!!
    😛

    Liked by 1 person

  299. 307 Vox O'Reason March 21, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Like toes, obliques are not to be trifled with.

    Liked by 2 people

  300. 308 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2018 at 5:34 pm

    Obliques/lats are troublesome things in that you just don’t know when they are going to jump up and bite you. What we do know is anyone who is suffering from an oblique strain will have a demonstratively poor showing at the plate. It is like a hunter who is afraid of the recoil from his shotgun, they have a tendency to jump right before the pull the trigger.

    So, I am of the mind that the Braves should just plan on opening the season with Camago on the DL and work around it. Culberson can play third.

    Like

  301. 309 Gil in Mechanicsville March 21, 2018 at 8:58 pm

    And, with that, DOB reports Camargo will start the season on the DL… Who saw that coming? Oh. wait…

    Liked by 1 person

  302. 310 berigan2electricboogaloo March 21, 2018 at 9:30 pm

    v, I’m lazy/tired, will just copy paste your entire post to comment on 😛
    As an aside, I like the O’s signing of Alex Cobb for 4 years/$57M. IMO, it’s a good fit for both parties – a good return for Cobb, and a smart deal for BAL. Win/win. You better have good pitching in that division, and this signing keeps the O’s competitive.

    As much as I’d like to have seen something similar here, it really wasn’t a fit. In fact, I was thinking about our pitching today.

    We will open the season with Julio, Folty, McCarthy, Newk and eventually Sanchez/Kazmir/Gohara. But let’s just go ahead and call it Gohara because it’ll be his as soon as he’s healthy.

    Then at mid-season, I predict McCarthy is gone and Soroka is promoted. The rotation then looks like Julio, Folty, Newk, Gohara, Soroka.

    BUT…

    Max Fried is close himself, not to mention Kolby Allard. Those are the pitchers that are realistic for 2018. Allard might hold off until 2019, but Fried is close now.

    I know that you can never have too much starting pitching. I know that Gohara seems a bit injury prone. But I know too that at some point, you are looking at 7 strong candidates for 5 spots just this year.

    And that doesn’t even take into account the wave just below that will start popping up in 2019, being Kyle Wright and Patrick Weigel. Then the 2020 group is strong with Ian Anderson, Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller, Bryce Wilson and Touki Toussaint.

    Crikey!!!

    I still am scratching my head about the Alex Cobb deal… I think it’s AL east coast bias, the fact that he has survived there, that got them 4 years (but why didn’t a deal get made awhile ago? Now both sides will suffer)

    But, only one team took a tiny 1 year chance on Lance Lynn, unfairly tagged a middle of the rotation #3,#4 guy. How many guys like that have never once had an ERA above 3.97? Twins made out like bandits, and IF he stays healthy, a lot of teams are going to kick themselves they didn’t sign him, as the twins move on in the playoffs…

    Then at mid-season, I predict McCarthy is gone

    Yep, most likely via the 60 day DL 😉

    Then at mid-season, I predict McCarthy is gone and Soroka is promoted. The rotation then looks like Julio, Folty, Newk, Gohara, Soroka.

    BUT…

    Max Fried is close himself, not to mention Kolby Allard. Those are the pitchers that are realistic for 2018. Allard might hold off until 2019, but Fried is close now.

    I know that you can never have too much starting pitching. I know that Gohara seems a bit injury prone. But I know too that at some point, you are looking at 7 strong candidates for 5 spots just this year.

    V, it’s going to be so….what’s the word? Odd. So many young pitchers, + stoopid baseball analytics + ??????
    check this out… Max Fried, well, he’s 24, so ride ’em right? no! Never has he pitched more than 118 innings, and in fact that was when he was 19, he didn’t even pitch 100 innings last year! So, what is the max number you can pitch him at AAA and the majors?
    Luiz Gohara is 21, and has never pitched more than 123 innings in a season.
    Mike Soroka, 20…shockingly, just saw he pitched 153 innings last year at 19
    …I sure hope his pitch count was low!
    Kolby Allard also 20…again, surprised at the fact at 18 he throw only 87 innings, 150 innings, last year…almost a doubling of his innings…
    anyway, use guys get the point…I sound like I am of two minds…I guess I am….while I am not for absolute babying of pitchers, we do know what happens to elbows of young pitchers…and the not so young….
    but, with so many UNPROVEN arms, what is a team to do? we may very well see a continual stream of guys going up and down, perhaps young starters going 4, then turning it over to other young starters to go 3 or 4 to keep innings/pitches down. Could make for some very well pitched games, and in a weird way, a fairly rested bullpen (IF Julio, Brandon and Folty don’t go 3,4 innings ever other start)
    It may stunt some pitchers growth, but they may get that all important confidence they need..and keep their innings down…
    well, if nothing else, it should be very interesting to watch what the team does to keep the young arms safe and sound, and building the value of guys that will likely be trade bait….

    Liked by 1 person

  303. 311 berigan2electricboogaloo March 21, 2018 at 9:35 pm

    V, it’s going to be so….what’s the word? Odd. So many young pitchers, + stoopid baseball analytics = ??????

    =, not a +…sigh

    Liked by 2 people

  304. 312 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2018 at 7:45 am

    New York Daily News:

    Jim Thome is getting his wish.

    The 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee will see his request granted to have the Cleveland Indians’ block letter “C” logo on his Cooperstown plaque and not Chief Wahoo, according to MLB.com.

    The acclaimed first baseman made his feelings known early last month, stating his preference not to have the Chief Wahoo logo.

    “I know my decision would be to wear the ‘C’ because I think it’s the right thing to do,” Thome said Friday.

    He didn’t mind wearing it when they were paying him millions of dollars. Putz.

    Liked by 1 person

  305. 313 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2018 at 8:03 am

    I’m sure he feels extreme guilt playing for the racist “White” Sox as well…

    Liked by 1 person

  306. 314 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Bowman notes:

    The Braves have not yet officially placed Camargo on the 10-day disabled list, but after a 3-2 win over the Tigers, Snitker said the third baseman will most likely miss the first week of the regular season while recovering from the back and right side discomfort that developed last week.

    [Rio] Ruiz and Charlie Culberson would be the top options to play third base in Camargo’s absence. Switch-hitting utility man Danny Santana’s ability to play the hot corner could enhance the likelihood of him making the Opening Day roster as a non-roster invitee.

    Closer Arodys Vizcaino, A.J. Minter, Jose Ramirez, Dan Winkler, Sam Freeman and Peter Moylan stand as the locks for the Braves’ projected eight-man bullpen. Snitker said he might fill the final two spots with long relievers.

    Chase Whitley, who came to camp bidding for a roster spot, will likely begin the season on the DL as he returns from a staph infection that affected his heart rate as recently as last week.

    Like

  307. 315 Gil in Mechanicsville March 22, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Ah well, political correctness goes a long way with the “suits” at the MLB network. Personally, I believe nearly all PC is optics driven, it allows people to feel good about themselves without actually having to do anything of substance.

    In my lifetime, I have found the world to be filled with a plethora of hypocrites.

    Now real baseball… As per usual, the final make up of the opening day roster will be determined by who has options left. For this reason, I find it difficult to believe either Danny Santana nor Preston Tucker will make the cut. Not that they couldn’t contribute to the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  308. 316 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2018 at 8:37 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    We are officially just a week away!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  309. 317 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2018 at 8:41 am

    I believe nearly all PC is optics driven, it allows people to feel good about themselves without actually having to do anything of substance.

    Call me cynical, but I believe the PC movement is intended to fracture is into a non-unified cluster of ethnic groups because it’s much easier to manipulate the group than it is the individual. Once you can pit groups against each other, then cater to the desires and wishes of select groups, you can control the electorate.

    Divided we fall.

    Liked by 2 people

  310. 318 Vox O'Reason March 22, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    Like

  311. 319 Gil in Mechanicsville March 22, 2018 at 6:27 pm

    Lucus Simms pretty much cemented his assignment to Gwinnett today giving up 8 runs on 6 hits in three innings to the Red Birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  312. 320 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    (I love this one!)

    Liked by 1 person

  313. 321 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Truly a record which will never be broken.

    Liked by 2 people

  314. 322 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Nope. This generation is too namby pamby. Don’t dare hurt anyone’s feewings because, you know, how we feel is so much more important than reality.

    Like

  315. 324 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 9:55 am

    A fair representation of what the regular season “go to” lineup will look like. TFlow and Zuk are interchangeable.

    I’m somewhat on board with carrying the extra catcher for the first couple of weeks. Not that I think that much of Chris Stewart, but it does allow Flo or Zuk to pinch hit. And do we really need 6 OF’s? Especially when the 6th will be Carerra or Adams, who had a miserable spring? Equivalent of Emilio Bonifacio…

    Like

  316. 325 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Maybe this comment is a bit premature, but where will Ronald Acuna fit into this batting order? As a righty, he can fit seemless behind (or in front of) Freddie. But do you want to place him there right away? That’s a pretty heavy pressure spot in the lineup.

    Maybe initially he bats behind Markakis at #6. But at some point you have to move him up. And to be honest, I think he plays better at 3 than Freddie. He’s a 5-tooler, and his speed would keep the lineup burning behind Ender and Ozzie.

    SO while the above is a fair representation of Opening Day 2017, my lineup in 2018 would start with:
    Ozzie, 2B (S)
    Ender, CF (L)
    Acuna, RF (R)
    Freddie, 1B (L)
    Austin Riley, 3B (R)

    .. with a mystery LF and C slotting into the bottom of the order with Dansby.

    Liked by 1 person

  317. 326 Carolina Lady March 23, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I like that lineup, V. Have the more experienced Freeman backup Acuna. Makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  318. 327 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2018 at 10:39 am

    One has to believe your second line up will come to fruition at some point Vee.

    Like

  319. 328 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Today’s assortment of comments from Bowman:

    Regarding Ronald Acuna: If you evaluate the probabilities, it certainly makes sense to predict a full year of Acuna on the field in 2024 will trump the value of him being available for 13 additional games right now, when the team is still in the midst of its rebuild.

    Takeaway: Our best player will be wearing a Stripers uniform for a couple of weeks.

    Regarding Mike] Soroka: Given that Soroka was reassigned to Minor League camp on March 9, I wouldn’t say he was ever considered a serious candidate for the Opening Day roster. But that doesn’t mean the internal discussions weren’t quite similar to the ones I’ve had with scouts, who believe he was the best Braves pitcher they saw this spring.

    Takeaway: Our best pitcher will be wearing a Stripers uniform for a couple of months.

    Regarding Julio Teheran: Soroka, Kyle Wright and Kolby Allard stand as a formidable wave of starting pitchers who could all come to next year’s Spring Training positioned to grab a rotation spot. Ian Anderson and Joey Wentz won’t be far behind. So, this season will serve as a weeding out process for Atlanta’s starting pitchers.

    Takeaway: This year’s “ace” and Opening Day pitcher may not even make next year’s rotation, if he’s still in the organization at all.

    Regarding Dustin Peterson and Preston Tucker: (Peterson has) provided indications he is even better and stronger than he was before he suffered the left hamate fracture that marred his 2017 season.

    If Tucker’s power potential translates into extended Major League success, he might be deemed an everyday option for a playoff-caliber team. The capability is there, but for now I consider him a fourth outfielder, whose overall value is diminished by his defense.

    Takeaway: Tucker will be traded at mid-season, along with Nick Markakis, Peterson will get a long look in the second half to determine if the Braves need to go shopping for a LF before 2018, or concentrate on acquiring a C.

    One more thought on LF…

    IMO, it would behoove the Braves to give Peterson the chance for a couple of years rather than invest alot of $$ in a LF. Christian Pache is no more than 3 years away, and likely 2. They should instead look to acquire a bona fide C. I still think JT Realmuto is an option given the Braves loaded farm system and future payroll flexibility.

    Liked by 1 person

  320. 329 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2018 at 11:08 am

    We shall print and save the above opine for future reference. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  321. 330 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Wanna see something interesting? The Gwinnett Stripers open the season on the road, and stay there until their home opener on Friday April 12. The estimated callup date for Ronald Acuna is April 13. That means he’ll have 1 home game in Coolray Field. I better order my tickets now!

    Liked by 2 people

  322. 331 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Interesting quote from Snit regarding 3B, courtesy of AJC:

    “Rio has worked his ass off the last couple of years. He’s getting better. You never know, situations happen, door gets opened and a guy doesn’t give it back. You never know.”

    Like

  323. 332 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    At any rate, it looks like Rio has made the team.

    Liked by 1 person

  324. 333 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Anibal Sanchez could be the 2018 version of Jhoulys Chacin. String together a few decent starts in the early going and get traded for a mid-level prospect. I’m on board.

    Liked by 1 person

  325. 334 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    It all works for me… Better hope they actually let him play that one game.

    Yes, and it would not bother me one bit if Sanchez put together several strong outings. Someone always needs pitching. (cough) Miami.

    Like

  326. 335 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    And with that his name was removed from the hat. Buh bye.

    Like

  327. 336 Vox O'Reason March 23, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Meanwhile, Scott Kazmir breathes another long sigh of relief. (No pun intended. Well, ok… it was.)

    Like

  328. 337 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    So, Sanchez pitched decently today, 3 runs on 7 hits in his 5 innings of work but Wisler my well have pitched his way off the Atlanta roster giving up 7 runs on 6 hits without recording an out in his appearance in the 7th inning at Disney. Not sure if a message was being sent by Snit for leaving him out there while the roof caved in but I am sure one was received.

    Liked by 1 person

  329. 338 Gil in Mechanicsville March 23, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    Did not mean to be redundant in my post Vee but yours was not up when I began typing. Still, it appears we are on the same page.

    Liked by 1 person

  330. 339 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  331. 340 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2018 at 11:09 am

    I am so excited!!!

    The way I see it, Ronald Acuña will get his callup on the first possible day, which should be April 13 according to all published reports. That means if I want to see him in Gwinnett, I have to do it before then.

    Naturally the Stripers open the season on the road and have their home opener on…

    … wait for it…

    April 12.

    I just bought 4 tickets just next to the home dugout, 4 rows up, for the home opener.

    Oh baby I cannot wait!!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  332. 341 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Actually, I bought 8. It’s gonna be a fun time with family and friends.

    The Stripers have a promotion this year called the “Hook, Line, and Sinker Special”. Every Thursday home game, you can get 4 infield box seats, 4 hot dogs, and 4 drinks for $44. That, my friends, is a bargain.

    Like

  333. 342 Vox O'Reason March 24, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Shocker… 🙄

    Like

  334. 343 Gil in Mechanicsville March 24, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    “Velocity down, Kazmir exits with injury…”

    So, looks like a guy who had a chance to start the year with the A Braves will now go on the DL and insurance will kick in I would venture to guess, I/m not sure exactly how the insurance works as related to players who are not on the DL for less than 60 days.

    Regardless, I would think the Anibal Sanchez’s door of opportunity may have been thrown wide open. He fills the bill on a couple of fronts, a veteran pitcher who is capable of pitching in long relief who will not break the bank as far as payroll nor will he block any of the young arms being groomed in the minor leagues and who could provide a pretty decent return if he pitched decently the first couple of months.

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t know why the Giants haven’t been knocking on Thoppy’s door. He is just the sort of vet who could get them through the fist couple of months of the 2018 season as Madison Bumgarner out with a broken hand and Jeff Samardzija slated to begin the season on the DL with a strained pectoral muscle. The only problem might just be what the Giants are willing to give up for Sanchez.

    Sanchez might not be a front line guy but he is certainly capable of keeping his team in the game against an opposing #4 or #5.

    Like

  335. 344 Gil in Mechanicsville March 24, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    The Stripers have a promotion this year called the “Hook, Line, and Sinker Special”. Every Thursday home game, you can get 4 infield box seats, 4 hot dogs, and 4 drinks for $44. That, my friends, is a bargain.

    A bargain indeed, I paid $84 for a single box seat to a Nationals vs Braves game last season. However, they do have a decent promotion for one of the early Braves games in April. The down side is I would have to drive to DC and that my friends is a real deal killer…

    Liked by 1 person

  336. 345 Gil in Mechanicsville March 24, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Braves give Scott Kazmir his unconditional release. Surprize…

    Like

  337. 346 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2018 at 9:19 am

    “After 4 hours and 45 minutes of scoreless baseball spanning 15 innings, a wild pitch on an intentional walk, of all things, brought home the game’s only run.

    VCU’s Daane Berezo and Paul Witt led off the bottom of the 15th inning with consecutive singles to right field, and Mitchel Lacey’s bunt moved them to scoring position. Nick Robinson, the fifth pitcher of the day for Rhode Island, had intended to intentionally walk Zac Ching to put a force at every base, but a wild pitch derailed that plan and allowed Berezo to score from third, securing a 1-0 win for the Rams at The Diamond.”

    And that is why I don’t like not having to throw the pitches for an intentional walk. You just never know…

    Liked by 2 people

  338. 347 Gil in Mechanicsville March 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Okay, I hope Folty got is blow up game out of his system today. It is why spring training stats can be so tricky.

    The Braves signed a couple of vets to major league contract today. Both an infielder and an outfielder. It does not bode well for the guys already on the fringe.

    Like

  339. 348 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2018 at 6:52 pm

    Like

  340. 349 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Like

  341. 350 Vox O'Reason March 25, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Just

    until Opening Day!

    Liked by 2 people

  342. 351 berigan2electricboogaloo March 25, 2018 at 9:45 pm

    was going to post this then, got distracted, saw V beat me to the punch…still, gonna vent… 😉
    The Braves have signed outfielder Peter Bourjos to a major league deal worth $1MM, MLBTR’s Steve Adams reports. 🙄
    How exciting….really shrewd move Thoppy. No wonder you won so many division titles in the AL east…
    really? A major league deal? really???? well, he hit .223 last year (.241 career BA) with a robust .272 OBP. but Ber, he has speed, he can steal a base or two. No, no really. 16 steals the last 3 seasons, caught 16 times.
    so, no power, speed, but can’t steal, can’t hit, can’t walk. Can play some D. Ok….can’t Lane Adams do all of that? Or Santana? makes no sense….

    Like

  343. 352 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 8:38 am

    Actually, it does make some sense. He is a guy who was a major league starter with above average defense in CF until Mike Trout came along and took his position. And while he hasn’t posted All-Star offensive numbers since then, he had a pretty encouraging spring slashing .326/.362/.372, as opposed to Lane Adams who surprised everyone by having an atrocious spring despite being mentioned as the season starter in LF. His .220/.235/.340 spring line doesn’t even tell the horror of his 21 K’s, which would have been more glaring if not for his whiff-mate Ryan Schimpf. The bottom line is that Adams not only lost a shot at starting, he endangered his place on the roster. Had the 2 been on the same team for all of spring, Bourjos would have easily won the position battle.

    But the reality is that it’s likely not a Bourjos vs. Adams thing. The team could keep both Adams and Bourjos, for the reasons Bowman laid out yesterday.

    The Flaherty and Bourjos deals will most likely affect [Ezequiel] Carrera and [Danny] Santana, who are on Minor League deals that don’t include opt outs.

    Unlike Lane Adams who is on the 40-man and out of options, Carrera and Santana can be directly placed on Gwinnett’s roster

    Flaherty and Bourjos certainly upgrade the bench from a defensive perspective. These aren’t game-changing, significant deals. But additional depth provides flexibility that wouldn’t have existed had the Braves put all their stock in Carrera and Santana, who are out of options.

    In other words, the Braves can keep all 4 of them in the organization as depth if they place Adams and Bourjos on the Major League roster, and reassign Carrera and Santana to AAA.

    All of this actually brings to fruition a couple of things that Thoppy told the media earlier in spring. One, the team would look to bolster its defense behind its young pitchers. Both Flaherty and Bourjos do that. As you’ll recall, the team had been trying to fit Santana in the IF over the last 2 weeks, particularly at 3B this past week. It was not a smooth fit. And he told us that player options would play into the way the Opening Day would be constructed to give the organization more flexibility in the early part of the season. IMO, this means that he has some additional pieces that can fill some gaps on other teams that he can use in trades.

    But to address Bourjos specifically, he immediately becomes the team’s 2nd best defensive OF and the only true CF behind Ender until Acuna arrives. That was the single most attractive quality he had as he became available.

    Bottom line: I would agree with you that the move is puzzling if Adams had performed in spring the way he finished last season. But he didn’t, and didn’t by a long shot. And he’s only a passable defender in CF. Adding Bourjos gives the team a bona fide CF behind Ender, something we really don’t have outside of Acuna who won’t be here for at least 2 weeks.

    Like

  344. 353 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  345. 354 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 8:56 am

    And of course Florida is now in the rear view mirror one more time. The team arrived back in Atlanta yesterday to finish the spring slate at Suntrust Park with a game against the Yankees tonight and a game against the “Future Stars” tomorrow night. I wonder if Acuna will be on that team?

    Like

  346. 355 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Can he still play 3B?

    Like

  347. 356 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 9:05 am

    Ya know, it sounds kind of fun to think of Joey Bats hitting cleanup behind Freddie, but the reality is that there is not a clean fit on our team. He hasn’t played much 3B in a long time, and his OF defense has slowed considerably over the last few years. Add to that his “off’ year last year – .203/.308/.366 albeit with 23 HR’s – and I can’t see anything becoming of this.

    Like

  348. 357 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 9:13 am

    I’ll tell ya, Ber…

    The more I look at this, the more I think you are right and Bowman is not. I can’t see the Braves keeping both Bourjos and Adams. I think Adams simply played himself off the roster this spring. The defense, particularly in CF, is just not worth the lack of hitting. At least with Borjous you still get above average OF defense off the bench, especially in CF.

    All of this is particularly pointed toward the roster minus Ronald Acuna. His arrival changes everything.

    I think Preston Tucker has won the LF job for the first couple of weeks, and Bourjos will be his late inning defensive replacement.

    Liked by 1 person

  349. 358 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 9:20 am

    I’m almost more puzzled by the signing of Ryan Flaherty. While he is a super-utility type player defensively, he has more E’s at 3B than any of his other positions. And that would seem to be the team’s position of greatest need to me. I’d prefer Charlie Culberson over him to back up any of the IF positions anyway. Maybe Culberson gets more time at 3B as a starter than we are anticipating?

    Liked by 1 person

  350. 359 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 9:22 am

    I read earlier today that Tyler Flowers is dealing with groin soreness. That could play into Snit’s Opening Day roster decisions, paving the way for him to carry 3 catchers while he’s able to keep that extra bench player.

    Like

  351. 360 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 9:52 am

    I know this morning’s posts are somewhat scattershot and rambling. At best, not very cohesive. But there are alot of things going on these last couple of days before the season kicks off.

    In fact, let’s not get lulled into thinking any of the current bench options are the last options. There is still plenty of time to make more moves before the lid-lifter on Thursday. There’s plenty of time to eliminate some of the redundancy that looks to be on the current roster.

    Here are the certainties:

    Rotation: Julio, Folty, McCarthy, Newk

    Bullpen: Viz, AJ, JoseRam, Sam Freeman, Peter Moylan, Dan Winkler (2 spots remaining)

    Lineup: Ender, Ozzie, Freddie, Kakes, Flow, Tucker, Dansby, Rio

    Bench: Zuk, Culberson, Bourjos, Flaherty (1 spot remaining)

    I’m guessing Anibal Sanchez will make the team as the #5 starter, but could pitch at AAA until the 5th starter is needed. Rex Brothers seems to be the leader to win the 7th bullpen spot. But who will the long reliever be? Would they go ahead and add Sanchez now as the long reliever, with hopes that Gohara will be ready by late April? No clear answers here yet. Had one of the youngsters – Sims, Wisler, Blair – made a positive impression, he would have seized that long relief role. None did.

    And that last bench spot… Lane Adams? Chris Stewart?

    Here’s the problem with each of those… they’re both RH. Our bench is already RH heavy, with Ryan Flaherty being the only LH bat, and not much of a bat at that.

    Can we go the first 2 weeks with the bench imbalance? Because when Acuna arrives, Tucker’s LH bat goes to the bench, balancing the whole thing. And if that’s the case, Adams will probably make the team allowing us to stash both Santana and Carrera at AAA, with Adams losing both his 25-man and 40-man roster spots to Acuna on April 13.

    We also need to remember that Johan Camargo could be ready to return from the DL after about a week. That also helps balance the bench as Rio is a LH and Johan is a SH.

    So who loses their job when Johan comes back? The freshly signed Flaherty?

    One almost has to think there is something afoot we don’t know that is predicating yesterday’s signings. Neither directly addressed a need, particularly Flaherty, while both served to further muddle a bench picture that was already unclear. I can get Bourjos as a CF, but Flaherty? Is it because he’s a LH?

    Waiting for clarity to arrive in the next day or so. But it’ll probably be Wednesday.

    Like

  352. 361 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Hmmm…

    Ominous words from Bowman:

    Flaherty’s presence lessens the concern that would grow if Johan Camargo’s right oblique discomfort lingers long past April 5, when he will be eligible to return from the disabled list.

    We now have someone specifically addressing Camargo’s oblique as the injury. It’s no longer vaguely characterized as “back (oblique)”. We have all seen those oblique injuries affect players for lengthy periods of time. I don’t like it.

    Like

  353. 362 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 10:23 am

    I also see that Bowman as redefined Acuna’s earliest possible callup date as April 14, not 13. Is 1 day a big deal? Details are always important.

    Like

  354. 363 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Hey, Ber. Thought you might enjoy this:

    https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/01/30/hedy-lamarr/

    Liked by 2 people

  355. 364 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Wouldn’t make any sense of they still were.

    Like

  356. 365 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Of specific roster concerns…

    When Anibal Sanchez is added, either now or 2 weeks from now, he’ll need a 40-man roster spot. The Braves could place Jacob Lindgren on the 60-day DL and accomplish that.

    And of course, when Ronald Acuna is added in a couple of weeks, he’ll need one as well. Early money says we DFA Lane Adams.

    Like

  357. 366 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 11:52 am

    One final thought, then I really do have to shift my focus from the Braves to my actual paying job…

    I do not believe for a second that the roster we play with on Thursday will look like the roster we have even in another month or so. Obviously Ronald Acuna will be one big change, but Dansby has to prove himself when it matters. That’s not a done deal yet. Same with Newk. And I believe as the first few months go along, we’ll trade off some of our veteran surplus… certainly by the trade deadline. Brandon McCarthy need not buy a home here. Neither should Anibal Sanchez. And I hope Nick isn’t committed to a long lease.

    I believe the shaping will be an ongoing process throughout the early part of the season, but the second half version will be one that propels us into 2019.

    Like

  358. 367 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    It’s official:

    Like

  359. 368 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    For sure, you can find out about the most interesting stuff here at the ol’ B&S. Thanks for the (cough) heads up of Lamar….

    In baseball news, so many things which never seem to make sense to we uninformed baseball fans, I’m sure there were nerds deep in the bowels of STP clacking away at their keyboards justifying two journeymen utility guys. I was looking forward to seeing Dantana but I supposed that will have to wait.

    Now, I would not be surprised to see him include in a trade for someone else as yet unknown. New management team brings in a whole different set of eyes and different opinions on what is needed and where to go.

    Still, the money allocated for the season is a given, I don’t see Liberty Media making any short term commitments as far as payroll beyond what they already have done.

    Also, having Flowers begin the season on the DL would not be a complete surprise either.

    Liked by 2 people

  360. 369 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Of course, all these guys we’re dickering over today are just bench guys. It’s not like we’re still scouring for starters.

    Then again, I still don’t know who we have playing 3B. I don’t think Snit knows either.

    Liked by 3 people

  361. 370 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    Not to sell Johan Camargo short (no pun intended), but we haven’t seen what the guy can do in a daily role. He was fantastic for us off the bench, but when given an everyday job, he promptly got hurt and lost it. Not his fault per se, but we still haven’t seen if he gets exposed when playing on an everyday basis.

    I say all that not to disparage Johan, but to continue to question our 3B quandary. We might just have the worst 3B situation in MLB. Can you point to another team with a more glaring hole? And it’s at a pretty important position, too…

    Like

  362. 371 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    In fact, our 3B status is so bad, we traded for Ryan Schrimpf to try to help. Holy moly…

    Like

  363. 372 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Schrimpf? That’d be Schimpf. See, I’m so rattled I cannot even type his actual name correctly.

    Liked by 1 person

  364. 373 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    We have sort of bantered around here that the Braves would be likely to try to sign Ronald Acuna to a multi-year pact sooner than later, rendering this early season 14 day banishment pointless. Something like Brian McCann accepted (and Jeff Francoeur unwisely rejected) back in the day.

    Well, the measuring stick was just given to us by our division rival Phillies, who had already announced that young 2B Scott Kingery would be on their Opening Day roster, and now have given him a multi-year deal that insures salary guarantees for Kingery and cost certainties for the Phils.

    Kingery’s deal gives him salaries of $750K this year, $1.25M in 2019, $1.5M in ’20, $4M in ’21, $6M in ’22 and $8M in ’23. It also gives the Phils 1-year team options for ’24, ’25 and ’26 worth $13M, $14M and $15M respectively. Kingery also receives a $1.5M signing bonus.

    So Kingery gets $23M in guaranteed money for what would be his pre-arb and arb years, and the Phils get cost certainty and have control over Kingery for his prime years. That’s a win/win.

    I hope Thoppy & Co. are studying this deal. Certainly Acuna should get more guaranteed $$ than Kingery, but the framework is quite applicable. Bump the total guarantee for the first 6 years to $30M, guarantee the 7th year at $14M for 2024, adjust the remaining 2 option amounts to $16M in ’25 and $18M in ’26, and you’re in business. And that would still be a bargain for the Braves.

    There are still 2 days until the team has to set their Opening Day roster. Let’s get ‘er done.

    Liked by 2 people

  365. 374 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 4:53 pm

    MLBTR:

    The Diamondbacks have agreed to a five-year, $24MM extension with middle infielder Ketel Marte, Robert Murray of FanRag reports. The deal also comes with a pair of option years worth a combined $22MM, which could make it a seven-year, $46MM pact. Marte is a client of the Legacy Agency.

    The Diamondbacks already had Marte under control for the next half-decade, including four arbitration-eligible years, but the extension means they won’t go through that process at all with him. The Phillies made a similar decision Sunday when they signed infielder/outfielder Scott Kingery to a five-year, $24MM guarantee of his own.

    Granted, Marte made his debut last season, but again the structure is still applicable.

    Liked by 1 person

  366. 375 Vox O'Reason March 26, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    In the words of the great Mel Allen, “Well, how about that?”

    Liked by 3 people

  367. 376 Gil in Mechanicsville March 26, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I’d go for an early signing of Acuna but it is more likely it will take place after The Answer to Everything has played at least part of a season in a big league uniform. That said, the should get him signed before Scott Boras come knocking.

    Liked by 3 people

  368. 377 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Just

    days until Opening Day!

    Liked by 2 people

  369. 378 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 8:22 am

    I am anxiously awaiting the Future Stars roster that will oppose the Braves tonight. I do know that Mike Soroka is scheduled to start. I certainly hope that Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley are in that lineup. Is it wrong of me to hope they win?

    Liked by 2 people

  370. 379 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 8:34 am

    I could never guess the whole team, but I’m gonna give a shot at the starting lineup behind Soroka…

    CF Christian Pache
    2B Travis Demeritte
    RF Ronald Acuna
    3B Austin Riley
    LF Dustin Peterson
    C Alex Jackson
    1B (I got nuthin’)
    SS Derian Cruz

    Like

  371. 380 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 8:37 am

    There are no real “prospects” at 1B; no clear future stars that I see… at least not on the near horizon. There is a kid they drafted last year as a 3B/1B that could be interesting in a few years named Drew Lugbauer. But it’s to soon to call him a “future star”, and he’s too young to line up with the others.

    That’s the Freddie Freeman effect.

    Liked by 1 person

  372. 381 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Maybe Carlos Castro…

    Like

  373. 382 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Not gonna speculate on the roster today, even though it is so tempting. I do know that we won’t see the official Opening Day roster until the last minute tomorrow. Snit said yesterday that he hadn’t talked to Thoppy about the timetable, but he didn’t see any reason to submit it any earlier than they had to especially since “alot can still happen in two days.”

    I will say that Rex Brothers probably cemented his spot in the bullpen with a good outing last night. This is a bullpen that is going to be good. People aren’t talking much about them as they don’t have any big names, but they are solid. When our win total is higher this year than most people are predicting, we’ll point to the bullpen as a major reason why.

    And Ryan Flaherty looked good at 3B even if he didn’t get a hit in his 2 AB’s. But then again, few Braves did including Lane Adams who did not help his bid for a roster spot. He’s now hovering right on the Mendoza line with a .200 AVG this spring, and a more glaring .214 OBP.

    Like

  374. 383 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Alan Carpenter:

    According to information from a Canadian Sports Management professional via twitter, Ronald Acuna, Jr. was given an offer by the Atlanta Braves recently – one that would have trumped the $24 million guarantee that Scott Kingery just received from the Phillies.

    All you can do is offer…

    Liked by 1 person

  375. 384 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2018 at 11:16 am

    Well, if he turned it down prior to his being reassigned to the minor league camp, it would explain a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

  376. 385 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I’ll take Bowman’s word over Arturo J. Marcano G.

    Liked by 2 people

  377. 386 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Liked by 3 people

  378. 387 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    Of course, all these guys we’re dickering over today are just bench guys. It’s not like we’re still scouring for starters.

    V, it’s easy for me to forget that, it’s just that…this offense could be decent…could stink too if anyone is cold out of the gate.
    and guys like…..Charlie Culberson coming off the bench…I mean, why is he sold golden, anyways? Yes, he can play a lot of positions (I can V saying, BINGO! or something like that, to this point 😉 ) but he’s never hit , except he was on fire in the playoffs last year. He was 2 for 13 last year for the ML Dodgers. Ok, I guess to be fair, he hit .299 in 60+ AB’s in 2016…but…he has a .232 career BA. He hit .195 in 2014 in Colorado!!!! .195 in spring training this year…wee….
    add Peter Bourjos off the bench, well…some relievers are really gonna lose sleep thinking about facing them in Atlanta 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  379. 388 berigan2electricboogaloo March 27, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    I mean, why is he so golden, anyways?

    man, don’t quite know how I could have typed sold, instead of so :/

    Like

  380. 389 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    I was close…

    Liked by 1 person

  381. 390 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Interesting. Forgot Didder was an IF also. And forgot Davidson was a 1B before we drafted him and made him an OF. He might be better off at this point moving back to 1B. Us too.

    Like

  382. 391 Vox O'Reason March 27, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Ber, I think if Johan had not gotten hurt, we would have never considered Flaherty. He’s just depth at thus point.

    Culberson is a nice utility guy that can give you good defense at alot of spots.if we had an actual starting 3B, then Johan woukd be that guy and Culberson would not be in the conversation.

    As for Bourjos, all of our in house 4th OF options that could back up CF sucked in camp. It’s pretty much that simple. (… and sad.)

    Like

  383. 392 Gil in Mechanicsville March 27, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    So, will a bunch of these guys be looking for living quarters tomorrow or just staying in a hotel for a week or so? Lots of benefits to owning a motor home…

    Liked by 2 people

  384. 393 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Braves win!

    Like

  385. 394 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Just

    day until Opening Day!

    WOOOO!!

    Liked by 2 people

  386. 395 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Looking for the final Opening Day roster news today…

    Like

  387. 396 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 8:32 am

    How about young OF Cristian Pache last night?

    Bowman: Ten-time Gold Glove Award winner Andruw Jones says Cristian Pache is already the best defensive outfielder in the Braves organization. Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox described the 19-year-old center fielder as one of the most dynamic defensive players he has ever seen in the outfield.

    From all accounts, the organization is simply waiting for his bat to catch up with his glove as he likely heads for A+ Florida to start 2018. Thus far, he’s been a spray hitter, peppering line drives all over the field, but with 0 HR’s in 689 professional AB’s.

    He hit 2 HR’s in 3 AB’s last night.

    Attaway to make an impression, kid!

    Speaking of impressions, Rio Ruiz has gone the opposite way. He finished the spring in an 0-10 slump with 5 K’s, slashing .206/.225/.353 for camp with 22 K’s overall.

    Ew.

    Given that he has 0 minor league options remaining, if he played himself off the Opening Day roster, he also played himself off the 40-man roster. And since he’s currently on ours, any team that claims him off waivers would have to place him on theirs. That’s not likely, so there’s a likely chance he will be DFA’d and then outrighted to AAA. I suppose there’s always the chance he could just be released, but given the horrid state of 3B on the major league team, that’s mot likely.

    This tells you right there why the Braves picked up Ryan Flaherty 3 days ago. He’s probably the starting 3B until Johan is healthy. That is a true indictment of our situation at 3B.

    Liked by 1 person

  388. 397 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Aside from Pache, 3 other kids made good impressions last night.

    Mike Soroka showed why he will be in Atlanta sooner than later. He’s special, y’all. Braves Asst. Gm Perry Minasian could hardly contain himself taking about him last night during the radio broadcast. And not only does he have it between the lines, Gabe Burns says, “Mike Soroka is such a delight. Well-spoken, insightful. Some guys just get it. Braves got a good one.”

    Dustin Peterson also showed why he was the organizational position player of the year in 2016. His wrist is healthy and he’s on a mission to prove it. He looked great both at the plate and in the field.

    And of course, Ronald Acuña, Jr., was just himself. He hit a line drive last night that was measured as having a 115.1 mph exit velocity. According to Statcast, that would have been the highest exit velo of any Braves hitter last season, and 22nd in all of MLB. I’m sure Newk was happy it wasn’t right back up the pipe.

    Liked by 1 person

  389. 398 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Speaking of RAJ, he refuted yesterday’s reports that he had turned down a contract offer from the Braves. He spoke through his interpreter with 680 the Fan, the Braves flagship radio station, and said that he doesn’t know where that rumor came from and that no one from the Braves has approached him about a contract.

    Like

  390. 399 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2018 at 9:22 am

    “He spoke through his interpreter with 680 the Fan, the Braves flagship radio station, and said that he doesn’t know where that rumor came from and that no one from the Braves has approached him about a contract.”

    Not said is that if the Braves should make such an offer, he would be all over like a hanging curve ball….

    Liked by 1 person

  391. 400 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2018 at 9:27 am

    And how about that kid Pache? Okay now, who do you think he got the idea that chicks and front office type dig the long ball from? Showing power in front of a lot of Atlanta fans will put him front and center for a lot of Braves devotees. That and Newk will never throw him another fast ball…

    Just keep getting better and you will be wearing a “Big A” before you know it…

    Liked by 1 person

  392. 401 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 9:32 am

    Every time I glance down at that countdown timer, and see it ticking off in hours now it sends tingles down my spine.

    Liked by 2 people

  393. 402 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 10:35 am

    I am very confused. I thought Rio had no options left. I was obviously very mistaken…

    Liked by 2 people

  394. 403 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 10:37 am

    This means that Sanchez will stay stretched out at AAA until April 11 when the 5th starter will first be needed. It also means that Lane Adams has made the team, at least for the first 2 weeks of the season.

    Like

  395. 404 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 10:39 am

    OK… I had Rio confused with someone else. He actually had 2 options left. Wonder who I confused him with? Maybe Charlie Culberson, whom I know has 0 options remaining.

    It would also appear that the team is carrying Chris Stewart as a 3rd catcher allowing them to use either Flow or Zuk as a PH. Solid decision, IMO.

    Liked by 1 person

  396. 405 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I know I said I would patiently wait for the final roster announcement, but the earlier moves make it fairly clear what the roster will be.

    Lineup:
    Ender, Ozzie, Freddie, Kakes, Flow, Tucker, Dans, Flaherty

    Bench:
    Zuk, Stewart, Culberson, Bourjos, Adams

    Rotation:
    Teheran, Folty, McCarthy, Newcomb

    Pen:
    Viz, AJ, JoRam, Moylan, SFreeman, Winkler, Brothers, ??? (I’ll guess Shane Carle since he’s already on the 40-man roster.)

    One observation that disturbs me greatly is that the entirety of the 5 man bench is RH, while the lineup features 5 LH, 1 SH, and 2 RH.

    We have a serious lack of balance for a week or 2.

    Johan’s return (earliest date April 6) will help as his SH bat will push Flaherty’s LH bat to the bench, and either Bourjos’ or Adams’ RH off the bench (and roster). RAJ’s arrival will finalize the balance as his RH bat will move to the lineup and Tucker’s LH bat will come to the bench.

    Like

  397. 406 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 11:35 am

    One might guess that the Braves will employ a platoon with Flaherty and Culberson while Johan heals. It might be more of a stretch to say they’ll platoon Tucker with either Adams or Bourjos. Tucker’s bat probably plays better regardless of pitcher. But you never know. Snit, like his mentor Bobby, likes to get playing time for his reserves, so it’s plausible at least.

    Like

  398. 407 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Those 2 possible platoon options also help mitigate the all RH bench somewhat.

    Like

  399. 408 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Have mercy…

    Liked by 2 people

  400. 410 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    I believe that Montreal would support another MLB team… at least as well as Miami does, which wouldn’t take much.

    Liked by 1 person

  401. 411 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Fansided’s Jeff Schafer:

    The front office made the tough call to send third baseman Rio Ruiz to Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old slashed .206/.225/.353 in the 2018 Spring Training with two home runs, four doubles, eight runs scored and 11 RBI’s. He also walked just twice and struck out 22 times.

    Personally, I would have given the opening day starting third baseman job to Ruiz. He’s still young and has a future in the majors. Giving this opportunity to guys who absolutely don’t have a path in the Braves future is mind-boggling to me.

    I have to say, after reading this assertion, I am rethinking my own position here. Neither Flaherty nor Culberson is going to be a force offensively. In fact, each will probably bat 8th in the lineup.

    If the reasoning is simply that Rio can still develop at AAA without the pressure of the majors, then I can live with that. Or if they feel like they can stash Rio at AAA and keep both Flaherty and Culberson while maintaining maximum roster flexibility, I suppose I get that too even if I don’t care for it. (It’s the same logic behind Adams winning over Santana.) But keeping Flaherty over Rio does not make sense in the context of working toward the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  402. 412 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Liked by 1 person

  403. 413 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Have you ever seen or heard an announcement that someone underwent a failed surgery? Me neither.

    Liked by 1 person

  404. 414 Carolina Lady March 28, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Wonder how old Andrews is now! Gotta really be up there. Sure hope he has an understudy somewhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  405. 415 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    Back to the roster…

    I still believe the roster will be a work in progress for the first 2-3 months anyway. Obviously we have expectations for RAJ in LF in a couple of weeks, which will also impact the bench.

    Rio could certainly be back in a few weeks if he has a strong start to his AAA season. Flaherty could depart as quickly as he arrived if he stinks it up at the hot corner. It’s almost like an extended Spring Training as far as 3B goes… still anyone’s job to win outright. Hopefully someone will emerge and seize the opportunity, be it Johan, Rio, or whomever. I personally don’t care as long as they produce consistently.

    I just loathe the idea of having such a glaring hole in our lineup day in and day out.

    Liked by 1 person

  406. 416 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Ouch. Forgot this would be #2. Yowser…

    Liked by 1 person

  407. 417 berigan2electricboogaloo March 28, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    If the reasoning is simply that Rio can still develop at AAA without the pressure of the majors, then I can live with that. Or if they feel like they can stash Rio at AAA and keep both Flaherty and Culberson while maintaining maximum roster flexibility, I suppose I get that too even if I don’t care for it. (It’s the same logic behind Adams winning over Santana.) But keeping Flaherty over Rio does not make sense in the context of working toward the future.

    V, I have to agree, why not have Ruiz start? Clearly he has impressed Snit…I hope the new homeboy above, is not making these sorts of decisions….

    as for Santana vs Lane Adams….I like Lane, so I am biased…but, last year , Santana hit .202 in 168 ABs, 4 HR’s 23 RBI’s , and stole 7 bases (7 for 7!) between the short time with the Twins, and the braves.

    My boy Lane, in 109 AB’s was pretty decent. .275 /.339 with 5 HR’s 20 RBI’s and 10 steals (10 for 10!)
    I also saw somewheres, that Lane hit .200 this spring (as you mentioned above) but he is a career .210 ST batting ave. Perhaps he tries too hard to win a job in S.T.

    I am sure Peter B is a better CF than Lane, but Lane has the same speed (only he is able to steal bases, unlike Peter) and at least if last year was not an anomaly , is a better overall hitter….Lane will likely get send down/released, but at least he gets to go with the team for the home opener for once….I think we will see him again during the season….

    Liked by 1 person

  408. 418 Vox O'Reason March 28, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Yes, Ber. I am fairly convinced that these moves were predicated more on overall roster flexibility than anything. By optioning Rio, they could keep all 3 IF’s. Same as assigning Danny and Zeke to AAA. It allowed the Braves to keep everyone, at least for 2 more weeks.

    Activating Johan, selecting Anibal Sanchez and promoting RAJ will force the Braves to make some more definitive decisions and roster moves, but this way they get a couple more weeks of assessment before making the final call. And they can make these assessments on real ML competition, not speculation.

    Like

  409. 419 Gil in Mechanicsville March 28, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    First on Jacob Lindgren: Well don’t that just toast your marsh mellow? That means he will not really return to pitching until 2020… maybe… Either way, sucks for him…

    As for all the roster moves: Remember Thoppy said the team may not start the season with the best 25. As long as they don’t drop six in a row to start the season, well, I can deal with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  410. 420 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 7:22 am

    Liked by 1 person

  411. 421 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 8:55 am

    Braves Opening Day Roster:

    Lineup:
    Ender, Ozzie, Freddie, Kakes, Flow, Tucker, Dans, Flaherty

    Bench:
    Zuk, Stewart, Culberson, Bourjos, Adams

    Rotation:
    Teheran, Folty, McCarthy, Newk

    Pen:
    Viz, AJ, JoRam, Petey Moylan, Sam Freeman, Dan Winkler, Rex Brothers, Shane Carle

    Like

  412. 422 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Thoppy reminded on radio this morning that Rio Ruiz had completely changed his swing this offseason, which led to the inconsistency this spring. The organization understands it, which is why he was optioned to continue the work at AAA.

    I remember talking about his new swing, so that all makes sense. Hopefully for him it will come together sooner than later, as Austin Riley isn’t very far behind.

    Liked by 1 person

  413. 423 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Given the speed that we will be working with this season, I seriously wish Snit would consider dropping Freddie to cleanup and batting Ozzie leadoff. A lineup starting with Ozzie, Ender, RAJ, Freddie would be seriously good. And if we could find one more source of power to bat 5th, we’d really be talking.

    Liked by 1 person

  414. 424 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Greetings and salutations friends, today is the real official/unofficial start of summer. We have 162 days before fall and the whole “wait until next year” cry form the also rans but at this point the slate is clean. For the next 6 months we get to exult and agonize over the the successes and failures of our favorite team but today, it as all about the great unknown.

    Who will be the surprise, who will disappoint? To be sure, we have an entire off season to analyze what went right and what went wrong.

    So, for now, it’s all good. I am anxious to get starter, I am ready for those two immortal words know to every fan, PLAY BALL…

    Like

  415. 425 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Thoppy on radio a little while ago:

    “The rebuild is over. The teardown ended with the Matt Kemp trade.”

    Liked by 1 person

  416. 426 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I’ve been waiting a,long time to do this…

    2day’s lineup vs. the Phils:

    Ender, CF
    Ozzie, 2B
    Freddie, 1B
    Kakes, RF
    Flow, C
    Tucker, LF
    Dans, SS
    Flaherty, 3B
    Julio, RHP

    Game time 4:10pm

    Liked by 1 person

  417. 427 Carolina Lady March 29, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Anyone know if the game is being broadcast somewhere?

    Like

  418. 428 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    It’s on Fox Sports Southeast regionally.

    Like

  419. 429 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    You can get that out toward the NC coast, can’t ya?

    Like

  420. 431 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Interesting…

    Liked by 1 person

  421. 432 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    As we expected.

    Like

  422. 433 Vox O'Reason March 29, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Of course, there were no last minute changes to the roster, and it was announced. I just found it interesting they waited so late to announce it. Were they engaged in anything specifically? Or were they just holding out because… well, just because?

    Liked by 1 person

  423. 434 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    The deal may have just fallen through or someone changed their minds. Only the principals know for sure.

    Watching the Mets vs St Louis game currently. I am a fan of the Mets broadcast crew.

    CL, I would guess you get MASN which is owned by the Orioles. MLB offers a package now which allows you to follow a single out of market team for only $10 per month. Not a bad deal really, about the same cost as a Star Bucks latte….

    Liked by 1 person

  424. 435 berigan2electricboogaloo March 29, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    sad…I’m sure most everyone remembers him, even it he wasn’t one of the greats http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/22953337/long-new-york-mets-hitter-rusty-staub-dies-73

    Liked by 2 people

  425. 436 Gil in Mechanicsville March 29, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    Well DANG!!! How about that? That’ll teach to walk Freddie… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  426. 437 berigan2electricboogaloo March 30, 2018 at 6:54 am

    I don’t know if I should blame age, or just plain ol’ stupidity, but I was thinking…thinking….that the first game of the season was tomorrow (today) even though I knew the season started on a Thursday…and I also knew it was Thursday….yesterday, but for some reason, baseball wise, I thought it was Wednesday 😛
    so, imagine my surprise hearing about it being opening day, AND all the the teams were playing! And the braves had this odd 4 to 7 slot…and so I flipped by at 6:45 to see them down 5-2, well…good thing I had missed most of this game, the offense is going to be weak for 2 weeks for sure, and if FF gets ff to a slow start…
    really, really glad I stuck with the game…so, a guy over 30 won the game?
    How about that???

    Liked by 2 people

  427. 438 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2018 at 8:05 am

    What was not to like about the game? Rookie shines, star shines, grizzled veteran gets his first ever walk off HR, manager gets tossed… all the things I love in a game. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  428. 439 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2018 at 8:20 am

    Now I remember why I love baseball, the shot of dopamine release you get when your team does something special. That feeling of temporary euphoria you get… Yep, who needs drugs? Getting high on life…

    Yes Ber, I was pretty bummed when Brothers walked two and walked in a run. I’m thinking, “here we go again”… I stuck it out too however, figured in for a pence, in for a pound. Now, if only Folty can slow his pace a bit.

    Liked by 2 people

  429. 440 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2018 at 8:52 am

    What was not to like about the game?

    Oh wait… I can answer my own question: Tyler Flowers’ apparent oblique injury. Snit said, “It doesn’t look real good. Those things are nasty, as we know.” Yes we do. Ask Johan.

    I think the Braves were really thankful they chose to keep 3 catchers on the Opening Day roster. It does make me wonder now whom they might call on to replace Flow on the active roster. Probably not a 3rd catcher again as Zuk will simply be the main guy and Stew will be the backup without being a PH. So who comes up?

    We really need a LH for the bench, but there aren’t any good candidates on the 40-man roster. If the SH DanTana is called upon, which is possible, he can be accommodated by transferring Jacob Lindgren to the 60-day DL. Easy, right? Well, they need that spot for Anibal Sanchez in a week or so. So you could do it today, but you’re just “kicking the can down the road” on another decision in a few more days. Still, in this game, buying a few days can make a big difference.

    Here’s another thing to think about with regard to Danny. If he’s selected and given a roster spot, he has 0 minor league options left; so you have to be committed to having him on the roster for the long haul or risk losing him via waivers which would almost certainly happen. The same applies to Ezequiel Carrera.

    If it’s a LH bat they want to add, the candidates whom are already on the 40-man roster and have minor league options remaining are just 2: the “work in progress” Rio Ruiz, or the “human turnstile” Ryan Schimpf. Yuck.

    If they’re content to continue with an all RH bench, Dustin Peterson is a possibility. While he would have to be added to the 40-man, he does have minor league options left and can easily be replaced on the active roster by Johan or RAJ.

    And of course, I’m sure Thoppy is looking at any and all outside options as well.

    We knew the roster would be in a somewhat fluid state for the first few weeks, but we didn’t think it would necessitate change quite this quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  430. 441 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2018 at 9:51 am

    It’s worth noting that Jim Callis at MLB.com has picked the Braves to finish 3rd in the NL East in 2018 ahead of the Mets. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  431. 442 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2018 at 10:44 am

    As you said, could just be kicking the can down the road as far as the 40 man roster but as you said, a lot of things can happen in a week.

    I think the Braves opted to add Steward to the 25 man roster because Flowers was a bit iffy to begin with, Remember, he was complaining about a groin “twinge” the final couple of weeks of spring training. Maybe the oblique was tweaked because he was compensating for the groin or maybe it was just because it was the oblique witch is a position player’s answer to a pitcher’s sore elbow.

    So, I guess the bad weather has moved or will have moved out of Atlanta by game time…

    Like

  432. 443 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2018 at 10:57 am

    So, I guess the bad weather has moved or will have moved out of Atlanta by game time…

    Gone. It’s beautiful here in NEGA… in God’s country.

    Liked by 3 people

  433. 444 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    As expected. Flow has been placed on the DL with the oblique strain.

    NOT as expected, the team has selected the contract of RHRP Miguel Socolovich. (To facilitate that, they indeed moved Jacob Lindgren to the 60-day DL… as expected.)

    I half thought they might use they opportunity to go ahead and activate Anibal Sanchez and let him work long relief until the 5th starter was needed. So replacing Flow with a pitcher is not a total surprise. But of all the possibilities, I didn’t see adding Soco. He didn’t stand out to me all that much in spring. And in limited major league action with the Cards, he didn’t stand out all that much either. He does have a reputation as a ground ball pitcher, so maybe that’s the appeal. Not sure…

    Like

  434. 445 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2018 at 3:20 pm

    Bowman adds this note:

    Had they added Santana today, when it comes time to add Camargo and Sanchez next week, they may have had to DFA a player they want to keep.

    So adding Soco to the roster today is possibly a prelude to dumping him back off in a week or so? I think I actually understand that. He’s the last arm in the bullpen, hopefully only having 1 or 2 chances to impact a game before departing.

    Perhaps he and Rex Brothers are in a competition to see who can suck more, with the winner (or loser depending on perspective) being DFA’d, going unclaimed, then being outrighted back to Gwinnett.

    OK then.

    Like

  435. 446 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Have we not seen this movie before where they add a guy who is borderline sucky so when they have to cut someone they can DNF them and add a roster spot and no one is really upset?

    Besides, you can always use a guy who will give up 10 runs after the outcome is no longer in doubt as long as he can go several innings and if his arm falls off, oh well….

    Liked by 2 people

  436. 447 Vox O'Reason March 30, 2018 at 9:14 pm

    I think Preston Tucker is a ballplayer, and I think Ryan Flaherty is a ballplayer. Two fairly under the radar but savvy pickups.

    Liked by 2 people

  437. 448 Gil in Mechanicsville March 30, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    I’m thinking Suzuki must have steel in his spine to still be behind the plate tonight.

    I thought Folty pitched a good game (5 innings) Okay, he gave up two dingers but that happens. He had a lot of movement, a lot of swing and misses pushed his pitch count up.

    Like

  438. 449 berigan2electricboogaloo March 31, 2018 at 12:17 am

    not the best umpired game….
    Poor Kurt….I sure hope his hand is broken, sure hit squarely…..

    Like

  439. 450 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Oh, the agony of defeat from the jaws of victory…

    Liked by 1 person

  440. 451 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2018 at 9:20 am

    If Braves choose to add a catcher, Derek Norris is available.

    Like

  441. 452 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2018 at 9:22 am

    Cameron Rupp was recently released too.

    Like

  442. 453 berigan2electricboogaloo March 31, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Poor Kurt….I sure hope his hand is NOT broken, sure hit squarely

    geeez 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  443. 454 Vox O'Reason March 31, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    It was hit squarely right in the vicinity of the evil hamate bone.

    Like

  444. 455 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    No updates as yet, I guess we will find out tonight.

    I hate it when the Braves have to play short handed. No pun intended….

    Prediction: Matt Adams will hit at least one home run next week against the Braves at STP. He is raking for the Nits…

    Good thing for the Braves they have Sunday off, the bullpen is already being exposed.

    Liked by 1 person

  445. 456 Gil in Mechanicsville March 31, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    Would not be surprised to see the Braves make a trade for someone like Recker from the padres but if a catcher is going to be needed for an extended time, look for a trade of significance.

    Liked by 1 person

  446. 457 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2018 at 8:12 am

    And the Braves trade Schimpf to the Angles for catcher Carlos Perez. Seems reasonable to me…

    Liked by 2 people

  447. 458 Vox O'Reason April 1, 2018 at 3:08 pm

    Gabe Kapler… has there been a major league manager in over his head more than Kepler? Last time I saw that much incompetence from a manager was when Ted Turner took over the Braves’ helm for 1 game.

    Liked by 3 people

  448. 459 Gil in Mechanicsville April 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I wonder if the “book” Kapler refer to the fact that you could burn up your bullpen pretty quick by using them up early in a game when there was no reason to. I knew the Phillies would likely lose the game Saturday if for no other reason than their bullpen had been over used.

    Having a strong pen only works when you can bring in a fresh arm. I guess he forgot they were no longer playing under spring training conditions where they had an infinite number of pitchers available on a daily bases.

    Liked by 1 person

  449. 460 Vox O'Reason April 1, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    Personally, I’m perfectly ok with the way he’s managing the Phillies. Hope he’s there a long time. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  450. 461 Carolina Lady April 1, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    GIL HAS A NEW LEAD UP! Thanks, Chief!!

    Like


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Blog Birthdays

ChrisKlob: Feb 4

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Gil: Apr 15

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BravesAndStuff: Dec 5, 2007

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