With the Braves first full squad workout scheduled for today they will not be a man short in their regular lineup, as Andrelton Simmons reported to camp Tuesday in his usual upbeat mood according to DOB. Instead of worrying about becoming the fifth player on the team to be given a contract extension in the past two weeks the 24-year old gold glover is more focused on playing the sport he grew up playing in Curacao. For right now he will let his representatives take care of a potential deal to retain his talents in Atlanta for the foreseeable future.
After what he calls it just a plain 'awful' season last year, in which he hit .144 (28-for-197) in the last three months of the season, Dan Uggla has shown great motivation at camp to have a bounce back year in 2014. In fact, the veteran second baseman showed up a week before he was required to be at camp and has not held a grudge or shown an attitude for being left of the playoff roster last season. There is still plenty hope left for the seven-year vet who has averaged 29 home runs a season.
While the fans are extremely happy with the job of the front office right now there is a man high up in the Braves organization that can hardly contain his excitement: John Schuerholz. The team president sits down with Mlb.com to talk about the hard work that has gone into the signings and how he thinks the deals will help the team this season and down the road.
Back on Dec. 13 the Braves signed Mat Gamel to a minor league contract with hopes that he would have a strong showing in ST and be a power bat off the bench. However, after dropping 28 bombs in 128 games at Triple-A Nashville (Brewers) he will now have missed the past three seasons as knee problems continue to surface. The Braves released Gamel (1B/3B) on Tuesday afternoon.
Marc Hulet of Fangraphs released his annual Top 15 prospects in the Braves organization. Number one on the list is RHP Lucas Sims and last but not least is another righty Cody Martin. See what type of numbers these prospects are projected for this upcoming season, including a 2.7 WAR projected for second base prospect Tommy La Stella.
The Braves spring training non-roster invitee, who ranks No. 8 in Fangraphs Top 15 Braves prospects, talks to David Laurila about his hitting approach and other topics fans should be interested to read about. La Stella will be making his ST debut this year and is highly praised for his contact ability.
Three Talking Chop editors (Franklin, Ben, and Scott) sit down for a Tuesday lunchtime podcast and discuss the Braves recent extensions and whether or not they like the deals or not.
TC editor Jane Hammond lists the schedule of televised games for the Braves this ST, which includes a March 25 game against the Detroit Tigers aired on ESPN. All the games will be on local radio in Atlanta.
See what TC's Ben Duronio thinks about David Carpenter and Luis Avilan for the upcoming season. Last season the two relievers were a big key to the success of the Braves bullpen, as they combined for a 9-1 record in 130.2 innings (24 earned runs), and a .97 WHIP.
DOB reports the six bobblehead giveaway dates, which are always a fan favorite. Fans will get to choose who they want for the 8/13 giveaway. C'mon Braves Country make it something creative.
Fangraphs Howard Bender takes a look and previews the Braves outfield for the 2014 season. Can B.J. hit more than 15 home runs this season?
League Wide News:
The biggest offseason signee had a rather loud first day in camp for the Mariners, as his new manager Lloyd McClendon backed up the All-Star second baseman who was criticized by his former Yankee hitting coach.
After a masterful past season from the mound, winning 14 games and posting a 3.4 WAR, Justin Masterson agreed on a one-year, $9.7625 million contract for 2014. He will be Cleveland's opening day starter.
The Washington Post's Adam Kilgore reports that Stephen Strasburg is working on adding a slider to his list of pitches. Despite posting a 9.39 SO/9 rate the Washington Nationals ace will look to shake off last seasons 8-9 record from the hill.
A day after having cleared their second baseman to begin a throwing program, the Texas Rangers have shut down Jurickson Profar because of ongoing shoulder tendinitis. He told the team he suffered the injury from lifting weights last month.
Manny Ramirez makes baseball news as he signs Alex Estaban to be his agent six months after failed comeback attempt with Texas Rangers minor league team. Ramirez is 41 years old.
The saga continues for Stephen Drew. The shortstop's agent Scott Boras has a very high asking price at $14 million.
For all you baseball fans who enjoy a good bench clearing brawl.