Tomahawk Chops: Daily Atlanta Braves News Clippings For Thursday, March 22nd

Your one-page daily morning overview of Atlanta Braves news:

Braves want Heyward to be aggressive at plate | News
"We want Jason to be ready to hit and attack fastball strikes," Walker said. "That doesn't mean that we want him in swing mode or swinging at every first pitch. He's always had a good eye. So he'll make good decisions. We want him to get ready to hit."

Tommy Hanson makes strong start as questions surround Braves starting rotation | News
Hanson struggled to command his curveball and felt somewhat uncomfortable when he found himself attempting to use his new delivery for the first time with a runner on second base. But just 24 hours after seeing Jurrjens produce a fourth consecutive less-than-impressive exhibition start, the Braves were thrilled to see the second-most tenured member of their current rotation produce some encouraging results.

Pastornicky impressing, gaining confidence | News
"For me, Tyler Pastornicky had the best at-bat that I've seen in camp," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He couldn't get the [sacrifice] bunt down. He battled and battled and got the guy over to third base on a base hit."

Gonzalez evolving into regular-season mode | News
"I always divide Spring Training into thirds," Gonzalez said. "The first 10 games is just get your at-bats and get your timing down. You don't want to put bunts and hit-and-runs on during the first three at-bats of the spring. The second 10, you kind of let them look for signs like we've been doing. Then the next 10, you try to play it as close as you would during the season to a certain extent."

Plugging the holes | Rowland's Office
Meanwhile, if all the worst-case scenarios play out in the rotation there is pretty decent free agent still unsigned, one the Bravos know well. Javy Vazquez is just two years removed from the best season by a Braves starter since the golden era and he was actually pretty solid in 2011 (13 wins, 3.69 ERA, 192 IP, 1.183 WHIP). He’s unofficially retired but, if the Braves find themselves needing pitching reinforcements they should give him a call.

Parraz making strong case for roster spot | News
"So far, he has swung the bat well," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He has some pop. Everything is about timing and opportunity. But yeah, I like what I see. He runs the bases well. He's not going to steal you 30 bases, but he's OK. He throws above average."

If Matt Cain wants to be closer to home, the Braves should oblige | Rowland's Office
The Braves have lacked an ace since Smoltzie’s shoulder gave out in 2008. No disrespect to Huddy, but he’s no Roy Halladay or Tim Lincecum (neither is JJ while health concerns threaten to keep Tommy H. from fulfilling his potential). San Fran, meanwhile, has a pair of aces, one of whom will be a free agent after this season. Here’s hoping FW make a run at Matt Cain in 2013.

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