There was free baseball, well for one inning there was at Champion Field on Sunday afternoon. Southpaw Alex Wood and seven relievers, including Luis Avilan and Cory Gearrin, combined to pitch a seven hit ten inning shutout for the split-squad team against the Detroit Tigers. Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell had to be pleased to see only two walks allowed after the team walked 11 Nationals batters the day before in a game that neither team wants to remember. But hey it's just Spring Training. Gearrin has put in solid work in his two appearances this spring and has only allowed one baserunner in 2.1 innings of work.
The competition between Alex Wood and Freddy Garcia is on for the fifth starting spot in the rotation and so far each have posted two shutout innings in their first Spring Training starts. The former UGA standout told reporters he felt great, as he allowed three hits and struck out two, one of which came against Ian Kinsler on a 93-mph fastball received by Christian Bethancourt in the first inning. He also benefited from two double plays. It will be interesting to see if the Braves go towards the youth movement or give the veteran the fifth spot come regular season. Garcia will take the hill Monday at 1:05 p.m. against the Mets at Disney.
Up-and-coming second base prospect Tommy La Stella had yet another big day at the dish, as he produced his second straight multi-hit game and is now 7-for-15 this spring. Along with Matt Lipka, he is one of the Braves non-roster invitees making a lot of noise so far. Jordan Schafer also had two hits in the game and improves his average to .455 and is tied with Chris Johnson for the most doubles (3) on the team. B.J. Upton also had his first hit of the spring which was a double. Click here for pictures of the game action.
J-Up is back into action and went 0-for-1 with a walk and a fly out to center in his first action back against the Astros. He played four pain-free innings of baseball.
Big money, big results so far for last years 5th place MVP Award candidate in a small sample size so far in Spring Training. Some coaches according to DOB wish they could keep Freddie Freeman in a deep freeze and open him up in April. The slugging first baseman says he's feeling great and the results have shown so far, as he is hitting .500 (5-for-10) with two doubles.
Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are very excited about what they are seeing so far from outfield prospect Matt Lipka. After a 3-for-6 day Saturday against the Nationals the speedy center fielder reached base twice in the 0-0 tie to the Tigers, via a line drive single to left field and a walk.
AP sports writer Kristie Riekenap caught up with the eldest of the two Upton brothers earlier this past week in camp. Last season B.J. went from being an everyday starter to a defensive replacement and he vows that will never happen again.
While J.R. Graham did not have the best of outings on Friday he says he feels confident and that his rust had just shown a little bit and felt no pain the next day. This is good news for a pitcher that ended last season short due to an elbow injury while at Double-A Mississippi.
League Wide News:
It's good to see Huddy back doing what he does best, as he pitched two innings of no-hit ball in his first start since breaking his ankle on July 24 against the Mets while covering first base on a bang bang play.
The new face of the franchise out in Seattle is trying to sell his new team on bringing back Kendrys Morales and acquiring Ervin Santana. Morales put up solid numbers last year with 57 extra base hits and a .785 OPS. Santana is a workhorse who has pitched over 211 innings in three of the last four seasons and put up a 3.28 ERA last season in Kansas City.
There was really no question about it, but the young hot shot Jose Fernandez will be the Opening Day starter this season for the Miami Marlins. Last season he did what many players have never done, which is make the jump from High-A ball straight to the majors. As well all know he dominated and he led the Marlins with a 4.2 WAR.
Just a day after hitting his first home run of the spring Cameron Maybin will undergo an MRI on Monday morning after hurting himself on a diving catch he made robbing Juan Uribe of a hit. He only played in 14 games last season due to injuries.
The Executive of VP Baseball Operations talks further about the new rules and how the expanded replay reviews have been well received. Technology will help decide some close calls this year.
The former Giants relief pitcher has retired at the age of 40. Mota made 743 relief appearances and held a 3.94 career ERA while pitching for seven teams.
Miguel Sano, the No. 6 top prospect in all of baseball, is not expected to play this season at all as he will have to have TJ surgery on his right elbow. Last season he hit 35 home runs and drove in 103 runs as a 20-year old playing in High-A and Double-A for the Minnesota Twins.