A Braves pitcher had an outing get cut short on Saturday and it wasn't due to injury; Instead, it was due to rain, as the Future Stars game was played on an extremely wet field in Rome. The rain cut Minor's start short a bit, as the lefty (who is recovering from surgery in the offseason) only threw 14 pitches over 1 1/3 innings. However, Minor was pretty happy to actually be participating in a game, as he told the following to mlb.com's Joe Morgan:
"It felt good to actually play in a game without the L-screen," Minor said. "It felt good. … The game atmosphere of everything rolling, umpires and guys behind me playing defense, it felt good."
After the 13-4 loss to the Braves Future Stars, the Braves set their 25-man roster of actual stars as they prepare for the 2014 season, which will be starting tomorrow.
After ominous reports came out that reliever Cory Gearrin had "involvement" in his UCL, the bad news was confirmed after an evaluation: Gearrin will need Tommy John surgery. Gearrin joins Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy as the third Braves pitcher to go down with an injured UCL. Braves beat writer Dave O'Brien asked manager Fredi Gonzalez about his thoughts on the rash of UCL injuries in his pitching staff:
Fredi on #Braves rash of TJs "You really can’t put your finger on it, or have a theory behind. It’s just your turn to survive it."— David O'Brien (@ajcbraves) March 29, 2014
With that being said, according to Bill Shanks, the Braves have no choice but to press forward and "shake off" the injuries. Shanks delivers somewhat of a recap of the Braves' spring that saw 3 pitchers go down to UCL injuries, but the gist of the article is that in spite of the injuries, the Braves are ready and prepared to take on the rest of baseball in their quest to go even further than the divisional round in 2014.
In this article, Mark Bowman points out that the Braves are facing similar injury adversity in 2014 that they faced in 2013, just at a much earlier time. In addition to the injuries, the rest of the team also had to drag a historically bad duo of Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton to 96 wins and a Divisional title. Therefore, it's obvious that the Braves are ready to do well again in the face of adversity and not let injuries "be an excuse."
In Bowman's article from Friday, the Braves beat writer talked with Opening Day starter Julio Teheran as the Braves' ace prepares to begin his 2014 campaign. Teheran notes that the best thing that came from his 2013 season was experience. Now that he's got some under his belt, he's full of confidence and ready to take the next step in his game, and that has the Braves extremely confident in Teheran's ability to lead the way for the Braves' pitching staff.
2 years ago, Braves outfield prospect and speedster Matt Lipka tore his hamstring nearly completely off the bone. This caused the prospect to drop from being the #6 prospect in the Braves system (according to Baseball America) after 2010 to being ranked #24 this offseason. However, Lipka has recovered from the injury and still has the speed, which means that the Braves organization is still hopeful that the outfielder can develop more tools on top of his speed to be able to contribute to the Major League squad in the future.
League Wide News
Earlier this Spring, Mike Trout signed an extension for the 2014 season that would pay him $1 MM in 2014 with the promise that this would be a bridge towards a bigger payday in the future. That bigger payday will come in 2015, as the Angels and the best player in the game agreed to a 6-year, $144.5 MM contract extension. The deal is a perfect medium for both player and team, and it guarantees that Trout will be an Angel until 2020. As Ben pointed out on Twitter, Trout will attempt to become the first player to lead baseball in WAR (10.0 in 2012, 10.4 in 2013 according to fangraphs) over 3 straight seasons since Wade Boggs accomplished the feat from 1986 through 1988.
The Oakland Athletics currently play in what is arguably the worst stadium in baseball, and the O.Co Coliseum's reputation took a further hit when rain caused some big-time sewage problems in the A's clubhouse...again. This isn't the first nor second time that there have been sewage issues at this stadium in the past 12 months, and this latest issue is the perfect excuse to post video of Fernando Rodney having to be rescued from a bathroom in Oakland last season.
Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin will be starting the season on the DL after he couldn't shake off a knee issue that had apparently been bothering him most of the Spring. This will be Quentin's 7th career DL stint, and this is a somewhat troubling start to 2014 for a guy who seems to have trouble staying on the field.
Our friends over at True Blue LA got a chance to talk to A.J. Ellis of the Dodgers and get his opinion on the changes to baseball's Joint Drug Agreement. As co-player rep for the Dodgers alongside Clayton Kershaw, Ellis made it clear that the players wanted the harsher punishments for drug use in order to keep the playing field level and fair for those who aren't using.
Another player signed a contract extension in baseball yesterday, and it was for 6 years as well! Unfortunately for Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes, it wasn't for the $144.5 MM that Mike Trout got, but I guess he'll have to somehow do with a measly, utterly meager $23 MM over 6 years, instead. Gomes had a slash line of .294/.345/.481 with 11 HRs and 131 wRC+ in just 88 games played as he shared time behind the plate with Carlos Santana. Gomes will be seeing a lot more time at backstop for Cleveland as Santana has made a move to 3rd base.
Dodgers announcer Vin Scully has been around to call some of the most memorable moments in Dodgers (and baseball in general) history, so what's an earthquake to a legend? Not much, as the legendary announcer continued to do his job with the poise and calming elegance that we're all used to, and even took time to share a bit of an anecdote from the earthquake that shook up the 1989 World Series.