Tomahawk Chops: Daily Atlanta Braves News Clippings For Wednesday, April 4th

Chipper took swings for the first time since his surgery, and is eying a mid-April return to the Braves.

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

Braves close exhibitions with sell-out in Gwinnett |
"I’ve been begging him for two spring trainings now to get him in uniform," Braves manager and Cox protégé Fredi Gonzalez said. "Hopefully this is not the last time." Word was Cox had given a rousing clubhouse speech to the minor leaguers, and it showed as they took a 3-1 lead on the major leaguers.

Takeaways From Futures Game | Capitol Avenue Club
The prospects against MLB’ers was a fun watch, despite running into some issues with the stream at times. Even so, I saw a good deal of prospects I had yet to see live and was impressed by a good amount of them.

Fredi Gonzalez calls his Braves 'hyenas' - in the nicest way | Mark Bradley
Fredi Gonzalez likes his Braves. He likes them so much he unfurled this evocative image: "We’re not a glamorous team. No, we didn’t go out and make a move for a big-time player, but maybe we’re more like hyenas." Hang on. The manager was just warming to his metaphor. "We’re not a pretty team to look at. There’s not [an Albert] Pujols in the group. But hyenas hunt in packs." Then, nodding to a visitor, Gonzalez said: "You writing this for tomorrow? I might need to run that one by the team first."

Review of Chad Durbin | Braves Journal
The decision to sign Durbin (sending Yohan Flande to the minors a day after he was told he had made the Show for the first time, like some sort of cruel joke) is basically inexplicable, but then all of Durbin’s (now thirteen season) career has been inexplicable. He has had one good season, and that came after he’d already had eight bad ones. He wasn’t ever a hot prospect, or a first round draft pick, or the sort of physical specimen to make scouts lose their minds, or anything that would call for extra chances despite repeated failure. He’s not even lefthanded. There’s really no reason he isn’t selling insurance now instead of picking up a major league paycheck. He’s made about $6.6 million playing Major League Baseball, and there’s no evidence he’s run out of chances.

Tommy Hanson deserves Opening Day accolades | News
Still five months shy of his 26th birthday, Hanson will be the youngest Braves Opening Day starter since a 23-year-old Smoltz held the honor in 1991. While he's approaching his third full Major League season, the lanky right-hander also seems to be better understanding the adjustments he will need to make over the course of his career.

Chipper swings, eyes home-opener return | News
Jones took between 50 and 60 swings, from both sides of the plate, prior to the Braves Futures Game at Coolray Field on Tuesday. "I couldn't be happier," said Jones. "I was afraid the swing might have gone somewhere over the last eight days, but if it did slip away it hasn't slipped too far. I'm very pleased with the way the ball was coming off the bat and I'm not even using my bats.

Chipper optimistic about chances to return before April 13 | Atlanta Braves
"Aiming for (April 13), but optimistic that it might be a little sooner than that," Jones said. "We’ll just have to see how the next week goes." Jones will travel with the Braves to New York on Wednesday and begin to intensify his work in the field after taking 20 groundballs Tuesday. At the plate, though, Jones said he couldn’t be happier with how he comfortable he felt, and that was while using Brian McCann’s bats.

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