The Atlanta Braves picked up another draft pick on Monday acquiring Competitive Balance pick No. 76 and pitcher Brian Matusz from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor league pitchers Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek. Atlanta now owns five of the first 80 selections in the upcoming draft.
While Monday's trade on the surface doesn't look like much. The Braves added about $840,000 to their bonus pool and are well positioned in what could be a pivotal draft for their rebuild.
The biggest discussion on this week's episode centers around the dismissal of Fredi Gonzalez, but our own Eric Cole takes a closer look at the draft and reveals his top three players for the Braves who hold the No. 3 pick.
Eric breaks down more of the draft as we inch closer to the June 9 date when it will unfold. His top three players for the Braves at the No. 3 spot are Jason Groome, Riley Pint and Kyle Lewis. You'll have to listen to find out why. Ivan also chimes on the draft discussion to talk about where the above-average pitchers in the game come from and how that relates to their draft position. A recent analysis he did might suggest that Atlanta's strategy of going for high-impact arms early is a good one.
ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick takes a closer look at the Atlanta Braves in wake of the Fredi Gonzalez firing and identifies some goals that they need to reach by the end of the season. Continuing to develop their pitching prospects is the first and perhaps biggest one Crasnick mentions, but is followed closely by the search for a new manager to lead the team in 2017.
Yahoo!'s Jeff Passan runs down 10 of the biggest underachievers in MLB for the 2016 season. Braves shortstop Erick Aybar makes the list landing at No. 7:
Erick Aybar” as loudly as possible. Because Aybar, the Atlanta Braves’ 32-year-old shortstop, is currently on pace to post the single worst season for a hitter in the past century. His line: .175/.216/.204. That .420 OPS would shatter the record of .461. Aybar’s OBP would be the worst as would his SLG. Same for his batting average, if not for Ryan Howard. And then to have the indignity of missing a game because he got a chicken bone stuck in his throat. If Aybar weren’t making $8.5 million for this festival of sucktitude, you might feel bad for him.
Whether he actually gets to finish the season as the Braves’ starting shortstop is a quite the interesting question. The Braves have adopted the Phillies’ role as the team to beat, literally as well as to the top of the draft board. They do not want to win, and there are few better ways to lose than playing the worst player in history on a daily basis. More than that, the incentive is strong for the Braves to bury their two top shortstop prospects, Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson.
The great Carroll Rogers-Walton catches up with Jace Peterson as he tries to sort out his swing and to get his career back on track after a demotion to Gwinnett earlier this season.
“(Getting sent down) is not the end of the world,” Peterson said. “I feel like my best baseball is ahead of me and I feel good right now. Just looking to keep that going.”
MLB.com's Mark Bowman takes a look at the Braves' manager situation and writes that Brian Snitker may be a longshot candidate to claim the job permanently, he is still someone that shouldn't be overlooked.
Unfortunately, it's only natural to overlook an individual simply because decades have passed without him ever being mentioned as a managerial candidate. But through his loyal stint, Snitker has been one of the most influential members of the Braves' organization and it only makes sense to now keep an open mind about the possibility of him remaining in this role beyond this season.
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton will have knee surgery on June 8 and will miss the remainder of the season. Hamilton has battled knee issues off and on for the last two seasons.
#Rangers Josh Hamilton had 2nd opinion on knee. He'll have surgery June 8 and out for the rest of year.— Jared Sandler (@SandlerJ) May 23, 2016
The Kansas City Royals will be without outfielder Alex Gordon for three weeks to a month after he suffered a broken scaphoid bone during a collision with third baseman Mike Moustakas.
Alex Gordon headed to disabled list with a broken scaphoid bone in his hand. Out 3-4 weeks. Cuthbert back.— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) May 23, 2016