Meanwhile on Saturday, Garcia had a long day. First, he got roughed up by the Miami Marlins in a game that ended up in a 6-6 tie. Secondly, Garcia had to zip right out of the building following his outing in order to be by his pregnant wife's side as she went into labor. Needless to say, Garcia and his family had a lot going on yesterday. The guys had a better day at the plate, with Jason Heyward and Justin Upton leading the charge. The other Braves squad in action lost 8-2 to the Nationals.
As we head into the 3rd full week of Spring Training, reviews on Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton are "mixed" as the two attempt to recover from putrid seasons in 2013. DOB reports that B.J. has looked better during BP than he has in the games, but also noted that there is still room for optimism as far as Bossman Junior is concerned. Uggla, on the other hand, has looked very good in the Spring so far, which is good for him considering that the Braves had a fair number of options (namely Tommy La Stella) if Uggla continued to Struggla (I'm sorry).
Young pitcher Alex Wood looked "sharp" in his outing on Friday, pitching 3 scoreless innings with only 2 hits allowed. Wood is battling with Freddy Garcia for the final spot in the rotation, and with the way these two have looked so far, it may come down to whoever can make pitch well enough to impress the manager.
Third baseman and resident BABIP God Chris Johnson was actually scheduled to have an off day as the Braves took on the Red Sox on Friday. Johnson, however, had no intentions of missing out on a chance to play in front of his hometown family and fans in Fort Meyers and ended up playing 6 1/2 innings that day.
After giving up the home run that basically knocked the Braves out of the playoffs, reliever David Carpenter revealed to DOB that he is determined to not take that moment with him in 2014. Carpenter also admitted that he was very emotional following the game,and that he received some words of wisdom from Hall-of-Famer and Braves radio announcer Don Sutton that helped him get over the ordeal.
In what has become a bit of tradition to close out Spring Training, the Braves will head up to Rome, GA to take on the Future All-Stars team, which is comprised of players from the Braves' Minor League system. The game will take place on the 29th, and if you want a chance to see the entire organization duke it out and maybe meet some of the players and other Braves personnel, then you should definitely buy tickets and make the trip to Rome.
The St. Louis Cardinals and infielder Matt Carpenter have agreed to a 6-year, $54 million deal which could go up to 7 years and $72 million if the seventh year is picked up by the Cardinals. Despite only having 2 full seasons of Major League experience under his belt, the Cardinals are hoping that Carpenter's statline of .318/.392/.481 with .381 wOBA and 147 wRC+ will be a sign of the future and not just an outlier.
After word came out last week that free agent pitcher Ervin Santana was willing to sit out until after the draft in order to be able to sign freely without costing his potential team a draft pick, word has come out yesterday that the former All-Star has signed a 1 year, $14 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. Santana reportedly fired his agent and proceeded to claim that he was willing to sign for the number that he did "as soon as possible." The Blue Jays heeded his word, and Santana finally has a home for the 2014 season.
After having a good season in 2013 (.301/.384/.499 with 148 wRC+, plus 11 DRS & 9.9 UZR) that saw him finish 4th in AL MVP voting, Oakland A's 3B Josh Donaldson will be receiving a raise, sort of. Instead of being paid $492,500 (which was barely above the league minimum), Donaldson will be paid $500,000 (which is exactly the league minimum). It's not much of a raise, but mo' money is mo' money.
Red Sox OF Shane Victorino stopped hitting from both sides of the plate late last season, switching to the right side on a permanent basis. The switch paid off, as Victorino ended up being an important spoke (5.6 fWAR) in the wheel that rolled towards another World Series trophy for Boston. Now, it appears that the switch will be for good.
Mets ace Matt Harvey is recovering from Tommy John surgery and figures to be out for the entire 2014 season. Harvey, however, has other ideas and in a tweet (that he deleted shortly afterwards) yesterday, he claimed that "Harvey Day" would happen in 2014, which means that he is definitely planning on returning sometime this season. This is just the latest occasion in which Harvey has declared that he is, personally, aiming to return in 2014 rather than wait for 2015.
Injured Angels OF Josh Hamilton could make his Spring Training game debut as soon as next week, according to manager Mike Scioscia. The 32-year-old Hamilton has been battling a strained left calf and is hoping to recover so that he can make a concerted effort at being able to start on Opening Day.
Despite replay already having been implemented in more than a few games this Spring, we won't be seeing the system used in Australia, which is where the Diamondbacks and Dodgers will be travelling to play the first two regular season games of 2014. Home Runs and boundary calls will still be subject to review.