The Braves avoided their second nine-game losing streak of the season by picking up a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Nick Markakis continued his good start to the season by going 4-5 with three RBIs, and Mallex Smith went 3-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Combine that with the pitching staff managing to hold the lead, and that was the recipe for the Braves' fifth win of the season.
John Coppolella is apparently in wheeling-dealing mode again, and according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, the Braves are "desperate" to load up on draft picks for the upcoming draft, and are also willing to take on bad contracts as well, in order to make it worthwhile for any team that's interested in dealing.
You can add FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal to the list of people who believe that Fredi Gonzalez's time as Atlanta Braves manager is running out, as he started his most recent article on the Braves by saying that Fredi will be fired soon. On the other hand Rosenthal also expressed a bit of concern about the Braves' and their current rebuilding plan. However, Rosenthal can see the endgame of the Braves plan, as you see below:
Ultimately, the Braves believe they can be like the Royals, a team without major stars, but athletic, strong up the middle and maybe even deeper in pitching. Coppolella can use some of his young pitchers as chips to acquire position players, and others to form a powerhouse bullpen; two relievers coming off Tommy John surgery, Shae Simmons and Paco Rodriguez, also should be back in '17.
After a string of subpar performances, the Braves are starting to get impatient with Bud Norris, and this may result on Norris going the way of Williams Perez and being knocked out of the rotation in favor for a pitcher who's in the bullpen or currently in the minors.
Former Braves outfielder and current Yankees minor leaguer Nick Swisher was pretty excited to be joining the Braves' organization when the team traded for him last season. However, it appears that the goodwill has evaporated after the team cut him near the end of spring training. Swisher felt like the Braves could've done it earlier if they knew they weren't going to keep him on, and used some pretty strong words to describe how he felt about how the Braves dealt with him during the Spring.
"I'm a respect guy," the 35-year-old outfielder said after going 1-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies' affiliate at PNC Field on Wednesday. "I think for somebody who has accumulated that many years — you know what you're going to do. (And then) you're told, 'You don't fit in?' That's kind of a slap in the face."
"So I think for myself, whether I'm trying to prove them wrong ... more than anything, it's just the love and the backing I've gotten from all the New York fans since I've been back in this organization, that's the stuff I have time for man."
Thursday night was supposed to be a pretty good night for the Marlins. For the first time in franchise history, Miami swept the Dodgers in Los Angeles, and they did so with Dee Gordon playing a big role in the victory that gave them the sweep. As it turns out, that'll be the last time we see Dee Gordon for while. Immediately after the game, MLB announced that the defending NL Batting Champion tested positive for two different PEDs and was suspended for 80 games.
The Chicago White Sox have been one of the positive surprise packages of the young season so far, as they got off to a 16-6 start to the year. They're 16-7 now after they ran into Baltimore on Thursday night. Baltimore hit three dingers in their 10-2 blowout of Chicago, and it included a massive grand slam from Manny Machado.