Your morning/afternoon stop for all the latest Braves news and other stories around the league.
Medlen Sharp In Braves First Grapefruit League Win
Kris Medlen made things look rather easy from the mound in the Atlanta Braves 8-4 win over the Washington Nationals on Tuesday afternoon. The 28-year old righty made quick work of the Nats and Bryce Harper, who remains hitless in spring training, as he went three shutout innings of one hit ball and walked one batter. He had command of his secondary pitches and threw 25 of his 39 pitchers for strikes. A good day of work for Meddy who figures to be the Opening Day starter in Milwaukee come March 31st.
Gosselin Beats The Shift To Seal The Deal
The Nats defensive experiment was an epic fail. In the bottom of the 8th inning with one out and the bases loaded manager Matt Williams decided to place five players in the infield (photo courtesy of DOB), as he brought in right fielder Steven Souza to play first base. Phil Gosselin then proceeded to line a bases-clearing triple to the right field wall off Luis Ayala and help the Braves get the monkey off their back as they notched their first spring training win. Andrelton Simmons swung the bat well in the game and was 2-for-3 with his first extra base hit of the spring and two RBI's. See photos of the game action.
A Day At Champion Stadium
There in fact was no cheering in the Champion Stadium press box Tuesday afternoon for hardball talk (NBC Sports) sports writer Craig Calcaterra even though he wanted to fist pump after Medlen struck out Anthony Rendon looking on a 78-mph changeup. Take a read about his day at the Braves ballpark in Disney.
NL East Rivalry Continues To Form Between Braves And Nationals
Mlb.com writer Paul Hagen writes that these two NL East supposed powerhouses have just seen the first of each other this year and there is not much love shared between them. This season the growing rivals will see face each other 19 times and three more times before the real baseball season starts up. Expect lots of great things and major story lines to come from the rivalry this season.
Bethancourt Ready For Call To The Bigs Whenever That May Be
In February Talking Chop listed Christian Bethancourt as No. 4 on the Braves Top 25 prospect list entering the 2014 season. The 22-year old Panama native has looked good so far in limited playing time and is 2-for-6 in three games played. Backup catcher Gerald Laird and bulllpen coach Eddie Perez told Mark Bowman that Bethancourt is in a league of his own with his arm strength and has a chance to be one of the best defensive catchers in the game.
Schlosser Has Chance To Make Vie For Braves Bullpen
A somewhat dark horse candidate for one of the two spots open in the Braves bullpen entering the 2014 season has emerged in that of 6-foot-4 sidearmer Gus Schlosser. Fourth-year manager Fredi Gonzalez says that former 17th-round pick has been the talk of the coaching staff so far in spring training. Gonzalez has an open mind about the bullpen final slots according to Carroll Rogers of the AJC and he likes what he has seen so far from the 25-year old who posted a 7-6 record record with a 2.39 ERA. By the way he is very pinpoint with his pitches with a 2.2 BB/9 mark.
Jason A Dream
It is apparent that one day soon Jason Heyward will get paid big money if he lives up to full potential and avoids any severe injuries. Our very own Mark L. Smith of TC breaks down five different win value scenarios for Heyward that can plug into how much he could be paid if given a long-term contract.
Bobby Cox Impressed With Sinking Action On Jason Hursh's Fastball
The former Oklahoma State standout has been solid in his first Major League spring training after being selected in the opening round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. He escaped a ninth inning bases loaded jam on Tuesday and will look to get some more work before the Braves send him down to the minors.
Gattis Ready To Start
Sports columnist Bill Shanks for The Telegraph has for us a feature story on El Oso Blanco about being ready to take over the reigns behind the plate. He believes that Evan Gattis is ready for the challenge that shouldn't be any tougher than what he's already been through in his rather amazing comeback story. Gattis notes that he is a much better hitter average wise than he showed last season and wants to bring a better approach to the plate this season than last when he had a 5.5% BB rate.
Garcia Could Bring Veteran Poise Braves Need
This offseason the Braves did get Gavin Floyd from the Chi Sox as they felt the need to add a more youthful arm to add to the rotation once healthy. Until he returns fully RantSports believes that Freddy Garcia could provide the leadership that the young staff needs if he takes the No. 5 starter role.
Atlanta Surge Instead Of Braves?
Mike McDonald, an Atlanta ad man, is the man responsible for wanting to bring a second Major League Baseball team to metro Atlanta and wants the AL team to be named the Atlanta Surge. DOB sums this whole case up best on social media:
League Wide News
Kinsler And Hamilton Critical Of Rangers Management
Two former Texas Rangers Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton both seem to have displeasure towards their last year or so playing in Arlington. Now the Detroit Tigers second baseman who was traded for Prince Fielder called GM Jon Daniels a "sleazeball" and was the one who pushed Nolan Ryan out of the organization.
O's Ink Johan Santana To One-Year Deal
Two-time Cy Young award winner Johan Santana has signed with the Baltimore Orioles to a one-year deal worth $3 million dollars. The southpaw veteran, who has 139 career wins and a 3.20 ERA over 12 MLB seasons, is expected to be ready to return to game action in June. He will have his work cut out with a deep lineup of possible starting pitchers for the O's.
Mets Shrinking Payroll Draws Attention
New players' union head Tony Clark is starting to pay close attention to the Mets payroll which is expected to be between $85-88 million this season despite the additions of Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon.
Dirks Out For 3 Months
Detroit Tigers left fielder Andy Dirks has to undergo back surgery and is expected to miss the entire first half of the season. The injury will now place speedster Rajai Davis into the lineup who is 30-for-40 in his career swiping bases.
Wilson Being Wilson
Dodgers relief pitcher and "crazy man" Brian Wilson indeed got the start against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday and his first pitch of the game was a knuckle ball to Brad Miller.