The Braves once again struggled on the west coast, as they ended up getting swept by the Dodgers over a three-game weekend series. Matt Wisler gave up eight runs through four innings, and this was a prime example of a young pitcher taking his lumps at the major league level. The good news is that the offense showed signs of life (as evidenced by the six runs scored), but it's hard to overcome a bad pitching day.
We've reached what is arguably the most important week of the regular season for the Braves: Draft week. We're going to have wall-to-wall coverage once the draft starts on Thursday, and we're starting to ramp things up as far as draft coverage is concerned. Garrett took a look at the Braves' draft needs, and it's definitely worth reading so that you can get ready for the draft, yourself.
Meanwhile, the crew over at FOX Sports South is also getting ready for the draft, and they've come up with a list of possible picks that the Braves could take at #3 overall (such as Jason Groome, Riley Pint, A.J. Puk, and of course, Kyle Lewis). They also discussed the Braves' possible strategy on the first night of the draft as well.
The Braves' options for the '16 draft hinge primarily on the choices made by the Phillies and Reds ahead of them, but they have a few available strategies at their disposal regardless. Will they simply draft best player available? Will they avoid the inherent risks associated with high-school players by targeting more immediate needs with a college bat — a route Coppolella has hinted at on multiple occasions. Then there's also the possibility the Braves take full advantage of their financial flexibility by selecting a more "signable" talent at No. 3 to hand over-slot bonuses at picks Nos. 40 and 44.
After spending nearly 40 years in the Braves' organization, Brian Snitker is currently experiencing what it's like being manager of the Atlanta Braves. He's described the time since taking over the reigns of the major league squad as being a "blur," and he's trying to make the best of the situation during what appears to be a long-term audition for the permanent role.
...Do not mistake Snit for a passerby. He’d been here the whole time, showing up, carrying a fungo bat, asking what else he could do. As a young man himself, he caught a fresh Steve Bedrosian in A-ball, and a year later caught a 39-year-old Jim Bouton in Double-A. He once backed up Bruce Benedict for a few games in Triple-A, and played his final games alongside Brook Jacoby and Milt Thompson. Not so long after, he was the man who stood nearby while David Justice and Mark Lemke and Tony Graffanino and Rafael Furcal and so many others began their journeys. This is what a baseball lifer looks like after putting in all those days, stacking them up, and taping up the blisters, and never once stopping to ask what was in it for him. Not until it was there, right in front of him, and he was grateful.
"That’s what I am," he said. "I’m a lifer. I’m a baseball guy. That’s what I do. It’s the way I’m wired. I like July when it’s hot and you haven’t had an off day in three weeks and every day is the same. I love that part of the game. I love that part of the game."
It's June now, which means that it's time to start taking the standings a little seriously. This year's AL West race should be an interesting one to follow during the summer, and the Rangers sent a warning shot to the rest of the division -- especially the Mariners, who they swept over the weekend.
JT Realmuto's RBI single was the difference in the Marlins 1-0 victory over the Mets on Sunday, but the star of the show was Jose Fernandez. Miami's ace pitched seven innings of shutout ball and struck out 14 batters. He was locked in, and the Marlins needed every bit of it in this extremely close encounter.