Archive for February, 2023

205: Youth Springs Eternal

By Gil ‘N Mechanicsville 2/20/23

Each season 30 MLB teams reset and aim for the ultimate prize of winning the World Series. Of the 30, perhaps 1/3 have it as a realistic goal, after all, 162 games plus is a long season and as always, it is not who you play but when you play them. Something which will help in evaluating the pretenders verses the contenders is every team will play the same opponents over the course of the season. The caveat is again, not who you play but when you play them. That said, it is still, if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.

All position players need to let their respective clubs they are ready to show up Tuesday morning. The most conspicuous for their absence for the Braves is Marcel Ozuna. Perhaps he is just waiting to find out if he has been traded to the Pirates so he knows which camp to report to. NOTE: As I continue to pen this blog post, I have learned that Marcel has indeed shown up and says he is in the best shape of his life and is ready to play left field.

From all reports, it appears the starting short stop job is Vaughn Grissom’s to lose. I am pretty sure the Braves resident shortstop in waiting, Braden Shewmake, is hoping for a trade to a team that will allow him to play beyond the Triple A level. From what I understand, it is his bat which is holding him back. I am sure he was a little envious of Grissom getting 3 weeks of one on one time with Wash this winter. On that note, I read Elvis Andrus has signed a one year $3 million contract to return to the White Sox to play second base. Well,, another piece off the board.

Lots of arms showing up in camp so far. Looks like the Braves bullpen line-up is going to be tough to crack. May the best arms win. I think it will be interesting to watch at how the no shift rule and the pitch clock will effect the pitchers this season. Look for the batting averages of lefty hitters to rise this season. The only new rule I worry about is the two throw over rule for pitchers trying to hold runners on base. There are going to be players who try to coax a balk from the pitchers. The pitch clock should also take away the pitcher’s ability to disrupt the would be base stealer’s timing. That said, it is still better than having to deal with some human rain delay relievers who make the game boring.

The one nice thing about spring training is getting familiar with new players. The Braves really beat the bushes this off season looking for someone who was cheap that could actually take hold of the left field job. My view is that if one of these guys can actually fill the void, the Braves won’t feel too bad about cutting ties with the afore mentioned Ozuna. Marcel’s salary is sunk cost. The payroll is going to be the same no matter who is in left field, having a guy out there who is only making a couple of million dollars (notice how flippant I refer to a million dollars like it’s lunch money) is a lot easier

Anywho, there will be a lot of interviews and opines about the happenings in North Port over the next few weeks. Let us all pray no one develops an injury or the dreaded yips. Lots of time to wail and moan over lost opportunities. We are at the beginning of the beginning. GO BARVES! 😉


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