Spring Training is always good for a weird game or two, and this was definitely one of them as the Braves and the Washington Nationals combined for 31 runs in a 16-15 slugfest. For visual proof of how weird this game was, look at the following tweet:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>This is one half-inning. Gross. <a href="http://t.co/UejDKvtAWz">pic.twitter.com/UejDKvtAWz</a></p>— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) <a href="https://twitter.com/masnKolko/statuses/439890568777179136">March 1, 2014</a></blockquote>
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After pitching two scoreless innings with a strikeout in his solid debut for this season's Spring Training, young pitcher and he-of-the-$32 Million-Contract Extension Julio Teheran talked to Mark Bowman about his confidence as he heads into 2014. Teheran also revealed that a meeting with the legendary Pedro Martinez was instrumental in helping turn his season around.
With FOX and CBS both having turned in their previews of the Braves' upcoming season, NBC's Hardball Talk has now taken their shot at forecasting the Braves for 2014.
In case you missed it last night, the Braves signed Cuban catcher Yenier Bello. Bello's had a very interesting path to the United States, much less the Braves, and now that he's here, he'll probably be headed to the Braves' minor league system.
The young second-baseman has reportedly gotten off to a very impressive start at camp for the Braves. Although Dan Uggla is currently heading into the season slated as the starter at second base, Tommy La Stella's recent performances could make Uggla's hold on the position anything but a foregone conculsion.
As has been reported before, Brandon Beachy is notorious for having the type of work ethic that makes it hard to take it easy. Even after a bit of a rocky appearance against the Astros earlier this week, Beachy is still optimistic that he'll be ready to return to the high level that he is used to pitching at.
Andrelton Simmons already has a very clear foothold on the title of Best Defensive Player in Baseball. In addition to holding on to that title while trying to build on a historically good defensive season, Simmons is now trying to improve his contributions at the plate by working on his hitting in efforts to become an even bigger cog in the Braves' machine.
Dave O'Brien spent time talking to catcher Christian Bethancourt as he prepares for a season that will probably see the 22-year-old start the season out in Gwinnett. It's clear that the Braves organization is very high on Bethancourt to the point of having him train with the Major League Braves this spring, and have faith in Bethancourt's ability to contribute to the cause should he have to be in a position to fill in during this season.
With all the talk surrounding B.J. Upton and the adjustments that he's been making to his swing, many of you have been wondering whether or not Dan Uggla's been tinkering with his swing as well. The video in the above link shows Uggla in BP, showing off his new, "quieter" swing. He's right on track to become the Grapefruit League's hit king so there's that.
League Wide News
The notoriously frugal Miami Marlins have given their ace pitcher a small pay raise, as pitcher Jose Fernandez will be making $635,000 instead of the league minimum of $500,000. After a dazzling rookie season in which Fernandez posted a 2.19 ERA, a 2.73 FIP and an ERA- of 58, the young righty will probably be in line for more substantial raise if he keeps it up.
Heralded Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka made his debut on an American mound today, and he didn't disappoint. After pitching two scoreless innings and doing this to Ben Revere, Tanaka reportedly looked fine, even if he admitted to reporters that he was "nervous."
After suffering strains to his triceps and shoulder capsule, Phillies starting pitcher Ethan Martin will be shut down for three weeks. This is bad news for a team that is already dealing with a couple of pitchers trying their best to recover from injury in time for Opening Day/Week.
Despite the fact that Hisashi Iwakuma got a good report from a recent doctor's visit, the doctor also recommended that the Japanese right hander keep the splint on his sprained middle finger for 3 more weeks. This will probably result in Iwakuma missing the initial part of the season, which is a bit of a blow for the Mariners.
Los Angeles Dodgers' OF Matt Kemp has been put on a "seven step" rehabilitation process by manager Don Mattingly, and Kemp has apparently reached the latter parts of rehabilitation by being cleared for "more baseball activities." Kemp also ran, which was another big step for the outfielder who is hoping to rebound from a disappointing and injury-riddled season.
Major League Baseball's Advanced Media department made a major announcement at the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. That announcement would be that they would now be tracking all movement of every player during every play of every game. Needless to say, this is an exciting development which should be instrumental in advancing the statistical understanding of the game and luckily for us, Citi Field was the location of a test run. That means that they were able to track Jason Heyward's heartstopping and game-winning catch against the Mets last season.