He's not a bad apple at all. He's just a very competitive guy who sometimes doesn't bite his tongue or flies off the handle and loses his temper. Right now, he's producing in his platoon role, and hasn't let his dissatisfaction with not playing more affect the team in any way.
Sure. Most recently, the timing of the Kimbrel trade, on the eve of opening day after so many fans and Braves players had gotten over the trauma of offseason trades of Heyward and Co. But I also understand why they did it -- they had a chance to move Melvin Upton's huge contract in full, which none of us thought possible. And if they'd told the Padres, let's wait and do this in a week, they risked Kimbrel getting hurt or the Padres coming to their senses and backing out of the deal to take on all of Upton's contract.
No, I don't agree. And you can't argue with the results they're getting from the Callaspo/Johnson platoon. When the results change, they you reassess. But while both are thriving, you don't change the arrangement just to suit the person wishes of one player or another.
Agree, and yes, very surprised. I have no idea how a pitcher, without being hurt, can go from back-to-back 50-save seasons to last year's 7 ERA (or whatever it was), and then get the sinker back and look as filthy as he does now. I mean, he looks like a dominant closer again. He is, indeed, nasty.
Yes, if that situation arises, I think they can and would. Bottom line, making the playoffs is good for business. Even as a wild card team. And you can build on that going forward. But that's a long, long way off. Let's see how things go.
Wisler. He's real advanced for his age, fairly polished, from everyone I talk to who's seen him. Scouts, coaches, players (Stults saw him briefly last year).
Not to be cold, but you can't make a pitcher part of your future plans if he's can't stay healthy. Two years in a row, the shoulder has made them change plans. Unless he gets healthy and has a good season, can see him going non-tendered next fall, or traded if he shows he's healthy and other teams are convinced.
Don't know if Seitzer would've helped B.J. I'd say at least a little, but that's just guessing, really. He's sure helped several other guys on this team have a new approach, something sorely lacking in recent years. But that also had to do with having some veteran hitters who weren't going to change what they did regardless of who was telling them to do it this way or that. They've gone from being third-worst in the majors w/ RISP to currently leading majors in that category. I don't think they'll stay that high, but the approach is night-and-day different from last year with this crew.
I just don't think it's that important. People make way too much of the lineup changes, in my view. There have been great managers in recent years who only kept one or two guys in the same spot in their lineup on a regular basis, and there have been some great and some bad managers who changed it every day.
You haven't looked at the spring stats if you think Cunningham's "production ran circles around him." And to answer your question, no, neither a mystery why he made the team to anyone in the clubhouse or who covered the team this spring.
It's really not a question of whether I think he's too injury prone. He's started the past two seasons on the DL with shoulder issues. Like I said earlier, needs to bounce back and have a healthy season this year or I can't see Braves tendering him a contract next fall.
Yes, could definitely see him. Would almost expect to see him at some point. He made a great impression this spring, would've been on the team were it not for the Kimbrel trade night before opening day.
Bullpen depth, lineup depth, lack of power
No, but thanks. I won't tell Frank you thought he was worst GM in baseball when we have lunch today.
Hart and the new guys have been great to deal with. Clubhouse in general has been easier for all reporters to work with this year, just more guys making themselves available after games, more guys who understand we have a job to do and don't mind doing interviews, like back in the day when the Braves' best players were, for the most part, all very good with the media.
Agree he has the stuff to be a good reliever, but also think if he just keeps polishing his control and secondary pitches, he can be a very good middle-rotation or top-half-rotation starter.
Thanks, Chris. No worries. As we in this industry know, haters are gonna hate. Social media provides a convenient platform for that (in addition to its positive aspects).
To the contrary. I think Ciriaco was better off knowing he'd made the team if not for that trade, rather than just being sent to Triple-A and wondering what the H he's got to do to make a team if his spring wasn't enough.
The draft and international signings are going to be more important than ever with this regime, who've determined that it's the best way for a mid-payroll team to get top players, by scouring the international market and signing plenty of 16- and 17-year-olds, and by making as few mistakes as possible in the draft. But they also will have more money in the budget for free agents with the new ballpark on the way (and the more than $50 million they gleaned in trading away Upton and Kimbrel and taking on Maybin and Quentin contracts).
And the amazing thing is, it's his real name. I asked him yesterday, Sugar Ray Robinson or Sugar Ray Leonard? He said dad liked Leonard, that's where Sugar Ray came from.
Martin wouldn't be able to move right into a starting role if he goes much longer without starting. Might even be too late now, to move into a starting role without first getting stretched out in minors. Anyway, they like him in current role, and Wisler's early results suggest he could be ready at any time for a callup.
Said all along I wouldn't be surprised if they flirted with .500. I took 79 wins in our media preseason pool. Now looking like that might've been a bit low, but it's way, way early.
Minor is making $5.6M this year. That's what Braves owe him, nothing beyond this season.