Braves Daily News Digest: 6/17

Mike Zarrilli

Your daily morning/afternoon source for news and links

BRAVES NEWS

Philly Takes First Game Of Series Against Atlanta

For the second time in 3 days, Atlanta rallied to tie a game in the bottom of the 9th inning, which is what they did last night against the Phillies as an RBI single from Andrelton Simmons extended the game into extras. After failing to capitalize on a Freddie Freeman triple in the 10th, the Braves finally unraveled in the 13th, giving up 5 runs in that inning to end what was nearly a 5 hour affair. I'm sorry if you sat through the entire thing, because that was a bummer.

Atlanta's Carpenter Will Re-Evaluated Today

David Carpenter left last night's game in the 12th inning due to biceps discomfort. With the Braves bullpen a bit stretched out at the moment, Carpenter's injury has come at a pretty inopportune time, and later today Carpenter will be evaluated. Depending on the results of that evaluation, it means that we'll see "someone" get brought up from the minors to replace the ailing Carpenter, according to Fredi Gonzalez.

Davidson Signs With Braves Then Spends Day With Team

The 32nd overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft made it official yesterday, as Braxton Davidson signed his contract which made his addition to the Braves' system official. In addition, the Braves rolled out the red carpet for the top draft pick, as Davidson got to participate in BP with the major league squad. From the AJC, here's Davidson talking about the experience he had yesterday.

Less Strikes Equal Less Fun For Freeman

Freddie Freeman is currently enjoying the longest slump of his career, hitting .180/.296/.328 with only 2 HR and 75 wRC+ since May 30th. DOB has surmised that the slump is being exacerbated by the fact that teams aren't throwing nearly as many strikes as they used to throw to Freeman. 40.1% of the pitches Freddie Freeman has faced this season have been strikes, which is the third lowest percentage in all of baseball. That's not the only reason but it doesn't help to get out of a slump when teams are basically pitching around you every at-bat.

DOB: "Don't Expect Gattis In Left Field"

Mark Bowman's report of a possible Christian Bethancourt call-up that would put Bethancourt at catcher and ultimately move Evan Gattis to left field sent shockwaves around the Braves' corner of the internet. It seemed like a terrible idea for multiple reasons (as Dan Simpson so eloquently laid out in this piece). It seems as if the Braves themselves actually agree, as DOB reports that the team may not go through with that move after all:

And if you moved Evan Gattis to left field, you’d have a guy who would be one of the worst defensive outfielders in baseball, with real good but not exceptional offensive numbers for that position.

And that’s one reason that, from what I’m told by more than one person in the organization, the Braves aren’t talking about moving Gattis to left field this season and moving Justin Upton to right field and Jason Heyward to center and facilitate the benching of underperforming B.J. Upton, as laid out in a published report that said it’s something the Braves have discussed.

LEAGUE WIDE NEWS

Baseball Legend Tony Gwynn Dies At Age 54

The grand sport of baseball lost one of its pillars yesterday, as Hall of Famer and San Diego Padres legend Tony Gwynn died following a 4-year battle with cancer. Gwynn was only 54. As expected, a multitude of tribute was paid all around baseball, as people took time to appreciate what Gwynn meant to the sport and what he meant as a person to those who knew him. Tony Gwynn's son was placed on the Bereavement List by the Phillies once the news broke, and here's hoping that the younger Gwynn will be able to find some comfort in this time of grief after he lost his father and we lost a true legend in the game.

Kansas City Beats Detroit, Is Now 0.5 Games Back

It is June 17th and the Kansas City Royals are only a half-game back of the 1st place Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. They've surged up the AL Central leaderboard thanks to an 8-game win streak that has taken them to a 37-32 record. Yesterday's win saw them jump out to an 11-2 lead (while the Tigers started Justin Verlander, no less). That was the first of a 4-game series, and we could very well see the Royals in 1st place once it comes to a close.

Billingsley Will Not Return To Dodgers This Season

After getting Tommy John Surgery back in April of 2013, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley has elected to have another surgery on his right arm after it turned out that there was a partially torn tendon in his right elbow. The surgery will keep him out for another six months, which means that he's done for 2014 as well. With the way his contract is set up, this means that Billingsley will probably be a free agent in the offseason and may very well have thrown his last pitch as a Dodger back in April 2013.

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