It appears as though the 2021 season, for better or worse, is slowly starting to come into focus for the Braves.
There has not been a ton of movement on the free agent or the trade market across the league the last few days and the top of the market seems to be frozen until the league makes a decision one way or another regarding the DH as well as regarding when the season will actually start, when/how many fans will be allowed to games, etc. As Kris noted in the mailbag article he posted yesterday, questions surrounding the DH and the top of the free agent market in general are going to dictate a lot of what the Braves will and won’t do for the 2021 season and beyond.
While we did hear from Alex Anthopoulos yesterday a bit, all we learned is that AA is still good at talking about absolutely nothing for extended periods of time. However, we also heard from manager Brian Snitker where he talked about, among other things, the futures of Cristian Pache and Ender Inciarte, how the rules changes played out on his end last season, and the team’s rotation additions.
In related news, not only will we see Snitker returning for the 2021 season, but the entire coaching staff for the Braves will be coming back. It wouldn’t have taken much convincing for me to think that pitching coach Rick Kranitz may be better suited for a different role in the organization, it is also hard to argue with the fact that the team was one game away from the World Series with a starting pitching staff that consisted of Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and a lot of duct tape and crossing fingers.
In other news, ESPN released its TV schedule yesterday and it looks like the Braves are going to be playing in four of the 13 Sunday Night Baseball games that are currently on the schedule. On one hand, it is a plus to have the Braves featured on national broadcasts so that is worth celebrating. On the other hand, ESPN’s baseball broadcasts have left something to be desired especially from a preparation standpoint and the match-ups against the Phillies twice, the Mets, and the Cubs seem to be more interesting from a name recognition perspective than from a baseball one.