After Lay Batista gave up two runs in the ninth to bring the game to a tie the Braves won the game in quite strange fashion. Erensto Mejia walked and was pinch ran for by Joey Terdoslavich who then moved up to second on a throwing error and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Then in his first action of spring training Braeden Schlehuber, one of seven catchers in camp, hit a bloop single to center for a walk-off winner. Dan Uggla had a good day at the plate and was 1-for-2 with a walk. He's batting .286 and has the same amount of walks (5) as strikeouts (5). In his first three years for Atlanta he has drawn an average of 78 walks per campaign.
Julio Teheran put up his second impressive spring training performance in as many starts, as he threw three innings of scoreless ball with four punch outs and threw 36 of 53 pitches for strikes. Teheran worked out of trouble similar to how he did last season when he led the team in LOB% (80.9). The team hopes he can live up to his new big deal, which is in rather good price for a hard-throwing righty who has the chance to emerge into an ace. Before Batista came in for the ninth the bullpen did great work behind him with Luis Avilan, Craig Kimbrel, Jordan Walden, Cory Gearrin, and Yunesky Maya combining for five innings of shutout baseball with six strike outs. See pictures of game action.
USA Today sports writer Paul White writes his clubhouse confidential for the Braves and discusses who will emerge as the team leader this season. All signs point to the man locked down at first for the next eight seasons. Freddie Freeman however is not the type to demand attention and the leadership role, as he tells White that he is just a "guy who goes out there and sticks to it and plays with a passion."
Bleacher Report featured columnist Joe Giglio breaks down five different so-called position battles, including who should win the right-handed setup man role between David Carpenter (10.1 SO/9), Anthony Varvaro (47.2 GB%), and Jordan Walden (10.3 SO/9).
While the Braves signed their five core players--Heyward, Freeman, Simmons, Teheran, Kimbrel--they still lost Brian McCann and Tim Hudson. Mlb.com's Hal Bodley talks about why he it won't be like last year when they cruised to the division crown.
Each time a Braves' batter is walked this season money will be raised to help cover the costs of therapy and its equipment for victims of spinal cord and brain injuries. With the program called Walks for Recovery, the organization is asking for individuals, groups and corporations to contribute 10 cents or more for every walk drawn in the '14 campaign. Dan Uggla could be making his money's worth now.
While it would seem hard to beat a guy out for a rotation spot with a motto as good as 'Just Make Pitch', Alex Wood is gunning for the fifth slot in the rotation and has done well in spring training. One scout told the Braves when they drafted the former standout UGA Bulldog to not alter the southpaw's funky delivery, as they said "it works for him". Wood last season had a great knack to keep opposing hitters inside the ballpark, only giving up three home runs in 77.2 innings (0.3 HR/9).
With limited mobility Ernesto Mejia is limited to playing first base, a position that is quite solidified as of right now in the Braves organization. However, the Venezuelan slugger has put up monster numbers the past two seasons in which he has led the International League in RBIs the past two years. Unless an injury on the big league club the most likely option for the 6-foot-5, 260-pound hoss is to be traded to another organization at some point. Over the past two seasons at Triple-A Gwinnett he has 121 extra base hits (52 HRs, 67 2Bs, 2 3Bs).
League Wide News
Two of baseball's biggest stars were involved in one play when Yasiel Puig came up short on a diving attempt at a fly ball to the left center gap off the bat of Mike Trout. The ball then rolled to the fence at the same time the youngster flew around the bases and had his mind set on home plate. However, as apparent by the newly installed replay Trout was tagged in the knick-of-time right before his right hand slid over the plate.
If not for this man many MLB pitchers careers would have been well over by now and some of the greatest in the game may have never been able to showcase their talents. Dr. Frank Jobe left his mark on the game of baseball by developing the groundbreaking elbow surgery known as 'Tommy John' surgery.
Freddy Galvis has made it known to the rest of players around the league that Masahiro Tanaka is hittable and can be taken out of the park. In the $150 dollar man's first start in spring training, after pitching relief in his first, he went three innings and gave up two hits and a run for a solid outing. The Yankees expect him to be their number three starter come regular season.
Former Braves reliever Kameron Loe (6''8) and Tim Lincecum (5''11) switched jerseys and pants as well in the clubhouse only for team jokester Hunter Pence to take a picture of the comedical pitchers that he put on his instagram account.
In the near future a camera and radar based system will not only be able to track the baseball, but every player on the field. The sport that use to operate with the least amount of technology is now becoming one of the most advanced in all of sports.
The 41-year old still has high hopes for himself on coming back to play in the majors this season. Last year playing in Taiwan he posted a .352 average with 43 RBIs in 49 games as a OF/DH.
Just a few days after signing Johan Santana to a one-year deal the Baltimore Orioles may be trying to get their hands on yet another starting pitcher in Ervin Santana. Showalter's team has a lot to figure out in the rotation before opening day.
Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels fatigue in his throwing arm could possibly keep him out until May. The Braves surely don't mind this as he is 5-3 with a 2.96 ERA and two complete games against them in the past three seasons.