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Atlanta Braves news and links: Olivera will be off to Puerto Rico this winter

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Hector Olivera's had a weird 2015. His baseball will continue into the winter as he'll be playing winter ball in Puerto Rico.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


Braves Season in Review: Shortstops

Just like how the Braves expected and got more of the same from the First Base position due to Freddie Freeman being Freddie Freeman, the Braves expected and got more of the same from the Shortstop position due to Andrelton Simmons being Andrelton Simmons. That's to say that we knew that we were going to get excellent defense with somewhat underwhelming offense. Other than a few minor injuries keeping him out of games here and there, Simba was once again the man for the Braves at the Shortstop position, and he will continue to be so for the forseeable future.

TC Community ranks prospects

Recently, the community here at Talking Chop decided to take it on themselves to rank the prospects that the Braves have down on the farm. If you didn't participate in the top 10 rankings, then don't worry -- You've still got plenty of opportunity to vote on the rest of the rankings. But for now, Ivan the Great has compiled a list of what you guys think are the Top 10 Braves prospects. So, if you're a fan of the Braves' minor league system (and who isn't?) and you're a fan of anagrams (again, who isn't?), then take a look.

Olivera will play winter ball this season

Hector Olivera's had an interesting 2015 season, to say the least. After being signed by the Dodgers and coming close to a call-up before injury derailed those plans, Olivera continued his rise to the majors after being traded to the Braves, and finally made it to the bigs in September to at least get in some experience. He'll continue to get experience by getting in some time in Puerto Rico's winter league, which is where he'll be surrounded by multiple Braves coaches -- including Hitting Coach Kevin Seitzer for a month.

"I think we’re not going to see the Olivera we want until maybe April of next year, when he gets a winter ball season and he gets a spring training," manager Fredi Gonzalez said Monday at Turner Field, a day after his Braves swept a season-ending doubleheader against St. Louis, an upbeat ending to a tumultuous season marked by numerous trades and 95 losses.

"Then I can sit and go, you know what, I think he’s an infielder, or I think he’s an outfielder. You see arm strength. Going from second base to third base, the arm angle is different. You see him run, you see power, you see those things, so you’re optimistic this guy can be all those things that we talk about."

Gonzalez was responding to a question about whether Olivera might be better suited for the outfield. For now, the Braves say they have no plans to move him, but haven’t ruled out the possibility.

Christian Bethancourt has knee surgery

In somewhat minor injury news, Christian Bethancourt actually had arthroscopic knee surgery. The good news is that, again, this is relatively minor when it comes to injuries, and he'll be able to start working out again by November. That means that he should be ready for Spring Training.


Astros win AL Wild Card with comfortable 3-0 victory over Yankees

The Houston Astros basically controlled the 2015 AL Wild Card Game from start to finish, as they rode two homers and six solid innings of pitching work from Dallas Keuchel to a 3-0 victory over the New York Yankees. Colby Rasmus hit a dinger in the second inning to put the Rangers on the board, then Carlos Gomez added another solo homer in the fourth. By the seventh inning, the Yankees' offense looked listless, and Jose Altuve delivered the kiss of death by somehow poking a single past the Yankees' defense for a RBI single. Now, the Astros get to continue what's been an incredibly improbable run to the Postseason, while the Yankees are left to wonder what could've been after an improbable run of their own.