Alex Wood continued his good Spring with a good six innings of work on Saturday against the Red Sox. He only gave up six hits with one run. Although you have to take most Spring Training numbers with a grain of salt, it has to be encouraging for the Braves that Wood has had a very productive Spring. Meanwhile, Dan Uggla went deep (continuing what has been a pretty nice Spring for Uggla) and Andrelton Simmons hit his first dinger of Spring. Also, we had a very strange play occur between Freddie Freeman and Red Sox pitcher John Lackey.
After departures and injuries, there was really no debate as to who would be the Opening Day starter for the Braves, and Fredi Gonzalez made it official yesterday: Julio Teheran will take the mound for the Braves to start off their season on March 31st against the Brewers. Teheran has followed up his contract extension in winter with a solid spring, which will hopefully translate into a great regular season campaign for the Colombian hurler. Also, Fredi decided to get creative when it came to the process of naming Teheran as the starter...
Evan Gattis "tweaked" his quad muscle earlier this week, and he's been resting for most of that time. Now he's testing it out, and Gattis figures that he'll be ready to return to the field in the next couple of days. Gattis reiterated his opinion that if this was the regular season, he'd be out there playing.
After dealing with 2 extremely unfortunate incidents last season (appendectomy and then a broken jaw), Jason Heyward talked to Mark Bowman about how he's mentally preparing to face any other challenges that may pop up in 2014. Heyward recognized that staying healthy has been a bit of an issue throughout his career, but Heyward also told Bowman the following:
"You can throw whatever you want to throw at me...I feel like I have handled everything individually already, anyway. Twenty years old and taking on a lot of attention and then getting up to this point, now it's just, 'What are you going to throw at me that I haven't seen?' Everybody knows by now, the most important thing to me is winning and looking out for my teammates."
League Wide News
In case you missed it yesterday morning (and by morning I mean 4 a.m. so it may as well have been the dead of the night), the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 to kick off the regular season in Sydney, Australia. Clayton Kershaw only gave up 1 run with 5 hits allowed over 6 2/3 innings pitched to help the Dodgers cause.
The Milwaukee Brewers exercised their option on manager Ron Roenicke, and also tacked on another option for 2016 as well. Milwaukee has a .521 W-L record since Roenicke took the reigns in 2011, which was when they won the NL Central with a 96-66 record.
Phillies P Cole Hamels has been fighting to return from shoulder tendinitis all Spring, and the lefthanded ace for Philadelphia made a big step in his recovery on Saturday as he threw a live BP session. He's pretty much a lock to start the season on the DL, but the end of April is looking like a realistic return date for Hamels.
After an unfortunate line drive felled closer Aroldis Chapman, the Reds are now the victims of more injury woes as utilityman (and occasional pitcher) Skip Schumaker will miss a month with a dislocated left shoulder. Definitely not good news for a player who has been treading the replacement level waters for the past few seasons.
In what appears to be an effort to speed things up for his client, Scott Boras has informed Peter Gammons that his client, free agent Stephen Drew, has a 3 year, $39 MM deal on the table. If that's the case, what are they waiting for?!
After signing a minor league deal with the Indians, former Brave Jeff Francoeur failed to make Cleveland's big league squad and was cut on Saturday. As expected, it didn't take long for fans to start asking questions to poor old DOB.
Padres pitcher Josh Johnson is going to begin the 2014 campaign on the DL with a strained flexor muscle. Padres manager Bud Black says that the righthander will be out for 4-5 weeks. The 30-year-old pitcher is trying to bounce back from a pretty disappointing 2013 season in which he recorded career highs in ERA and FIP during his one season as a Blue Jay.