This spring training has produced some Sports Center worthy highlights so far and Jason Heyward's moonshot over the right field shed at Joker Marchant Stadium off left-handed reliever Duane Below can be added to the list with Josh Reddick's two spidermanish web gems. The 24-year-old, who served as a DH in the Braves 5-2 loss, led the offensive attack along with newcomer Ryan Doumit who was 2-for-3 while starting in right field. Doumit tripled in the first inning to deep right center to drive in the games first run and also stole a base in the fourth inning. Photos of the action.
With Mike Minor most likely not going to be ready for Opening Day it is assumed that Kris Medlen will not only serve a starring role in the Braves rotation but also receive the nod to take to the pitching rubber come March 31st in Milwaukee. The 15-game winner from last season received his first action of Grapefruit League play yesterday as he pitched two innings and gave up a run on two hits and a walk. His lone strikeout came in the second inning when he caught Austin Jackson looking for the third strike. One positive from his start he mentioned to DOB after the game is that he managed to keep Miguel Cabrera in the park.
Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird had to leave the game after the first inning of play on Thursday after he felt lower back pain after taking a swing in the top of the first. He believes the injury won't be too serious and with a day or two of treatment along with rest he should be back. Christian Bethancourt is scheduled to catch today.
Brandon Beachy will receive the start on Friday night for the Braves when they return home to Champion Stadium to take on the Houston Astros. The game time will be the latest of the day with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m..
While it's not too late to plan a trip down to sunny Lake Buena Vista to catch a spring training game, you can buy regular season single game tickets starting today at 10 a.m. for the 2014 season. The Braves will have some intriguing interleague home contests with the Red Sox, Angels, Mariners, and Athletics.
Detroit has built a winning franchise the past five seasons and have made it to two World Series. Shawn Windsor, a sports writer for the Detroit Free Press, talks about how Detroit has followed in the foots of what John Schuerholz and Bobby Cox were able to put together in Atlanta.
Tony Blengino posts a very interesting article on the Braves gold glove shortstop in which he talks solely about Simmons bat. While he hit 17 home runs last season there are some concerns, as he had an extremely high pop up rate 12.4% (91 percentile rank) and had an 18.0% line drive rate (8 percentile rank). However, his very low K% rate (8.4) is a positive sign that Simba can still keep his offensive value on the rise.
Astros first base prospect Japhet Amador (click for video) is expected to report to the team today after having to stay home with his sick pregnant wife. Amador, who is 6-foot-4 and weighs 315 pounds, is getting a chance to show his worth with the big league club after playing his entire career in the Mexican league, which is equivalent to Triple-A baseball in the United States. The 26-year-old hit .368 with 36 home runs for the Mexico City Red Devils last season. Take the statistics with a grain of salt since the pitching in his former league is nothing compared to the top caliber of pitchers in the MLB.
Hardly into the game, Dodgers starting pitcher Zach Greinke had to exit the game due to injury and has been diagnosed with a strained right calf. Greinke earlier in the week showed disgust for his team's opening series trip to Australia to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks to start the season. Maybe he got his wish?
Arizona may determine their starting shortstop this season by trading one of either youngster Didi Gregorius or Chris Owings to land a back up catcher to play behind Miguel Montero. Owings has been thought as the favorite to win the battle.
Two sources told The Big Lead that Tom Verducci and Harold Reynolds will join Joe Buck in the Fox broadcast booth this year for the World Series. Buck had been paired for quite some time with Tim McCarver.
The Yankee captain received a very warm and much deserved reception in his first game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went 0-for-2 and grounded into a double-play in his first plate appearance. The farewell tour has officially begun.
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