Braves Daily News Digest: 5/16

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Your morning/afternoon stop for all the latest Braves news and other top stories around the league.

BRAVES NEWS

Julio Franco To Play Opening Home Stand For Fort Worth Cats

The ageless wonder who played with the Atlanta Braves for six seasons and compiled 2,586 hits in his Major League career will play once more as a player and hitting coach for the Fort Worth Cats Baseball Club. The home stand will last from May 20-28 and allows Franco to join a rare group of players to have played five decades of professional baseball. He is now 55-years old and still has a passion for playing the game he loves, which is pretty incredible. Stay tuned for more info from TC on how he performs in his stint in Texas.

Braves-Cardinals Preview

Our very own Ben Duronio takes a look in at the road series for the Braves in St. Louis against a team that is much better than their record shows. While they will avoid facing Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha it will not get much easier, as Lance Lynn, Shelby Miller and Jaime Garcia are scheduled for the Cardinals. If the top pitching staff in the BIGS, which belongs to the Braves with a 2.76 team ERA, can limit hitters named Matt for the other team they should have a good shot of winning the series. Ervin Santana will start out the series on the hill and try to improve to 5-0 on the season.

A Look At The Braves Dominican Academy

TC's Ian Morris writes up a great article on what happens in the Dominican Republic at the team's site that often produces great MLB talent. Take a read if you haven't already and see the special documentary that FOX Sports South put together. As noted in the article, one quarter of players on MLB Opening Day rosters were born outside of the United States.

What's Your Favorite Braves Stadium, New And Old

Take your vote. Personally, the new park renderings look pretty incredible.

Offense Has Work Cut Out For Them

While the Braves still are atop the division by 1.5 games over the Nationals they still have yet to find any form of consistency at the plate, which has been almost a polar opposite of what the team has done on the pitching mound. Against right-handed pitchers this season the team has hit .220 and on the season they have a .290 OBP. Chris Johnson has shown great signs from the plate this month, hitting .367, and Freddie Freeman looks to be heating up again, but a big gap still remains in production from certain players.

FANPOST: Schafer Still Worth Keeping

While Jordan Schafer hardly sees the light of day anymore, one fan thinks he still serves an asset to the team and will improve his triple slash line of .130/.167/.217. His speed still remains an asset off the bench if the team needs a pinch runner late in games.

6 Braves In Top 100 Of First Quarter Of '14 Season

With one quarter of the season complete Bleacher Report tabs six Braves players in the Top-100: Andrelton Simmons (76), Justin Upton (58), Ervin Santana (56), Julio Teheran (49), Craig  Kimbrel (40), and Freddie Freeman (12).

LEAGUE NEWS

Trout Hits First Walk-Off Homer Of Career

Mike Trout has the sweetest swing in all of baseball and he displayed it in full effect last night, as he hit a three-run homer in the 9th inning to give the Angels a walk-off victory by the score of 6-5. He may just be the best player in all of baseball too at the age of 22.

Cueto Throws Shutout Over The No Show Padres

The San Diego Padres are in fact worse than the Braves at the plate, as they were shutout for a seventh time. Cueto also is the first major league pitcher in the last 100 years to go at least seven innings and allow two or less runs in all of his first nine starts since 1909.

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