The Braves starting pitching staff continues to be nothing but down right dominant, as David Hale threw eight inning of one run ball and only allowed two hits in the 4-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Just 23 games into the season the five starters have now combined for 19 quality starts and in 23.1 innings pitched this year Hale has yet to give up a home run. However, with Mike Minor scheduled to come back soon after this weekend he could take a step back to either the bullpen or the minors. This start by the 26-year old righty makes the job no easier on Fredi Gonzalez.
Before the fifth inning of the Braves game at Turner Field on Saturday a soldier was reunited with his family as part of a surprise. Many tears were shed around the ballpark seeing the father embrace his wife and two unsuspecting children on Military Appreciation Night at the ballpark.
The season that Chris Johnson had last year is maybe one that he will never repeat, but through the first month of the season he is having a less than spectacular start to the new campaign. While his power numbers appear down, in the home run category especially, he is still second on the team with six doubles and a .328 BABIP. The biggest fear is his 26.1 percent strikeout rate so far that is the highest it has ever been in his career between Houston and Atlanta. Read into Ben Duronio's piece to see if he thinks he will get back on track at the dish.
His wraparound glasses haven't come in yet, but B.J. Upton reportedly is seeing the ball much better while wearing prescription glasses at the plate. Last night he also collected his 1,000 career hit, something he believes took too long to happen. He is currently hitting .209 on the season but only has two runs batted in on 18 hits.
Ernesto Mejia was putting up numbers like never before to start the season in Gwinnett (AAA) with a .354 batting average to go along with seven home runs and 24 RBIs in just 20 games played. However, after weighing in all of their options the Braves realized it was part ways with the mammoth of a first baseman who is not versatile enough for the ball clubs needs. He will take his talents, which rely on cranking the ball over the fence, to the Japanese ball club called the Seibu Lions of the Nippon Professional Baseball league. See what Ian Morris had to say about the organization parting ways with one of its top minor league sluggers.
Freddie Freeman has put forth the best month of his entire career with his bat and he made Mike Leake pay on Saturday night taking a 2-2 high fastball out of the zone for a two-run dinger. However, many others have also been impressed with his flashy glove work as well. The six figure man has not let the big offseason contract get to his head and has a chance to not only play in his first All Star game this season, but start his first as well.
If the Braves pitching staff is playing follow the leader the top dog of the group would be Aaron Harang who has shocked many around the league of just how dominant he has been so far this season. He along with Julio Teheran are the only two pitchers in the best rotation in baseball as of right now to have had all five of their starts be classified as quality starts. His veteran presence is in full force.
If the Braves starting pitching staff wasn't already good enough they are ecstatic that Mike Minor is on his way back to the big league club after making his final rehab appearance on Friday. Despite a rough last outing he figures to be a key arm in the starting five and after all he did beat Zack Grienke in the second game of the NLDS last season.
Voting is now open for the 2014 All Star Game that will be held at Target Field this summer in the so called Midseason Classic. Vote now for your favorite players.
Ryan Braun has a ferocious cut at the plate and hurts many pitchers, but this time he hurt one of his own teammates when swinging a bat to close to the dugout and knocked down teammate Juan Segura who would need stitches. Even worse the bat weight was still on which added to the impact. The Brewers still won their game 5-3 after the incident against the Cubs. They have the best record in baseball so far at 18-6.
MLB's leading home run hitter from last season will head to the DL with a strained oblique. This comes right as Manny Machado is about to make his return to the lineup after being out for the whole first month of the season.
Aroldis Chapman will throw one more live BP session before heading out on his rehab assignment. The league has been missing its 100 mph southpaw for the Reds.
Josh Reddick's Cannon
George Springer is fast but not quick enough to beat Josh Reddick's arm when tagging from second on a fairly deep fly ball. The throw was as perfect as it comes for a gold glove outfielder.