A day after Kris Medlen left the mound clutching at his elbow (to what has been diagnosed as a "right forearm strain" pending MRI), Brandon Beachy left the game after pitching 2 innings despite being scheduled to pitch 4 innings. The reason? Tightness in his biceps. Beachy revealed to the press that he'd been working through the tightness all Spring, and although it may not be serious, it's definitely a worrying sign for a pitcher who is still trying to fully return from Tommy John surgery.
With all the talk about potentially missing 2 starters for a long time (especially considering the history surrounding those arms), it's only natural that there's talk about potentially replacing those players in case the worst fears concerning Medlen and Beachy are realized. That means that there is now talk that the Braves could potentially make a run at signing free agent pitcher Ervin Santana.
If the MRIs confirm that the injuries to the two pitchers are indeed serious, then our friends at MLB Daily Dish figure that the Braves and their management will be singing a sad tune (similar to this one), lamenting the fact that losing 2 good starters from their rotation could torpedo a defense of a divisional title before it even got started.
Grant Brisbee over at SB Nation MLB is having a rough time observing all of the rough luck that has hit the Braves pitching staff as of late. He doesn't seem too excited about Fredi Gonzalez's exclamation of "Thank God for Freddy Garcia."
Everybody's getting their takes in on this story, and here's the gist of Jon Morosi's take on the Braves' pitching situation:
When the word "crisis" is being thrown around before an official diagnosis comes out, you'd think that this would cause widespread panic throughout Braves Country. This sentiment is not shared with the locals, however.
In his blog, Dave O'Brien offers his take on these worrisome times. Although he did note that the Braves were taking a look at possibly signing Santana to a deal, DOB also made sure to note that the Braves are probably not going to make an acquisition out of panic, for multiple reasons.
Yesterday's game against the Phillies was the first time for the Braves to have an opportunity to utilize instant replay by using a challenge. However, Fredi G didn't see an opportunity where using it was useful, so he decided not to. There will be four more games this Spring where replay could be used before the regular season gets underway.
In order to help the manager decide which plays warrant a challenge, the Braves have hired former pitcher Horacio Ramirez as a coaching assistant.
With all of the hullabaloo going on yesterday, the Braves made a move that might have gotten lost in the shuffle. The Chicago White Sox got cash in exchange for RHP Zach Stewart. The move appears to be one for organizational depth, as Stewart fits the mold of "AAAA" pitcher.
In the wake of the news and speculation surrounding Medlen and Beachy, it's important to take note of the positives, and one of the positives is that we got to see both Jason Heyward and Dan Uggla hit absolute dingers yesterday as the Braves got themselves a rare Spring Training win yesterday. Tommy La Stella contributed to the cause at the plate with an RBI double. Here's a look at both of the homers from yesterday.
League Wide News
Barry Bonds made his return to the familiar black-and-orange of the San Francisco Giants on Monday. The polarizing figure and leader in career home runs held a press conference and didn't appear to be as surly as he used to be in the past. He did have some choice words for the Hall of Fame voters:
Bonds said he should "without a doubt" be in Hall of Fame. His message to voters: "You guys are all adults, I have no advice for you."
Bonds said he should "without a doubt" be in Hall of Fame. His message to voters: "You guys are all adults, I have no advice for you."— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) March 10, 2014
In addition to fulfilling his duties for MLB Network, former Braves legend John Smoltz will also do some games for FOX this season. He will team with Matt Vasgersian in the booth.
After receiving lots of feedback from the players, MLBPA director Tony Clark has announced that the MLBPA is ready to propose some changes to the league's Joint Drug Agreement. The top issue appears to be increasing the ban for first-time offenders.
Ike Davis has been sitting out of games since the 2nd of March due to calf strains to both legs, and he'll probably be out for a bit longer since he's now in a walking boot. The boot is on his right leg, and Davis is hoping that he'll get 2 weeks of Spring games to prepare to take a stab at a bounce-back season.
As is usual for pre-arb players, Orioles 3B Manny Machado got his contract auto-renewed to $519,000. Although it's an improvement over his salary last season, Machado is looking for bigger money and expressed disappointment at the relatively small salary. If the young third baseman can recover from a grisly injury that cut his great season short (.283/.314/.432 at the dish and 35 DRS and 31.8 UZR in the field) and continue to keep up his form, then he'll be looking at a more substantial raise pretty soon.
Tracy McGrady (yes, this Tracy McGrady) has been hard at work attempting to make his childhood dreams of playing professional baseball a reality. After getting an invite from the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, McGrady is now one step closer to making this thing happen.
Marlins OF Giancarlo Stanton has hit some giant home runs in his day, but this one was something else. In the video below, he smashes a ball that may have actually gone into orbit at one point. It's an impressive show of power from one of the lone bright spots for the Marlins.