@Phillip: Answered previously: yes.
@RyanDunlevy: Haha. Lordy, I'm guessing this has been a point of emphasis for a while. Just nice to see them finally doing it.
@TylerSmith: Thanks. Sometimes, yes. But I can't worry about that in my job. Players also have respect for writers who show up and don't hide. I've had Braves players tell me that, even if I've criticized them.
@MarkWright: Unless he's used as trade bait before then, yes.
@HistoryofMatt: Not during the season.
@Remow: I think Gattis has done great this year, given his meteoric rise and how much suddenly is on his plate (no pun intended). I'm not convinced yet he's team's catcher in long-term but he may not have to be with Bethancourt on then way.
@MarkWright: No. Heyward going to free agency.
@Les: Would be surprised if he kept this up for season but Braves have already got more out of him than they expected.
@Jason: Make me the owner. ... Seriously, I think Braves are "stuck" to some degree because of contracts. But I'd give Schafer extended playing time for a couple of weeks to see if he's worthy of taking over center field and leadoff jobs. Trades, etc. problematic right now.
@Tylet: And we're off! ... I expect LaStella at some point but hard to say when. Here are two things to consider: 1) Uggla is hitting well obviously but he's not a distraction. If he becomes a distraction, that speeds up the decision on whether to release him.; 2) Teams often look at the arbitration clock on issues like this. When LaStella is called up, the clock starts. They may want to wait until June,
OK, I see 113 of you are "watching" Anybody have a question or is everybody happy and content now after last night's win?
Hello everybody. I'm Mr. Braves Mailbag today. If you have any questions, I'm here.
I'm told we're wrapping this up, folks. Thanks so much for participating and for your questions. Lots of good ones. Take it easy and enjoy your day!
That's a good question, Chris. As far as hitting goes, I think Freddie Freeman is a guy everybody looks up to and knows what he's doing at the plate. He's not super vocal though. Chris Johnson, Justin Upton. Jason Heyward. all have leadership qualities.
I think you can make a case for Simmons to bat in the second spot....though Simmons really hasn't gotten on track yet this season. maybe hitting with some better protection would help him. ...I think LaStella could definitely be the kind of guy you want hitting second. Think he'd need a little time under his belt before they'd put that on them though. We'll have to see. I'm with you that there aren't a ton of obvious leadoff options.
Nobody immediately comes to mind other than Matt Lipka, who has some serious wheels. Loved to watch him run during spring training. But his development was stalled by hamstring injury, so he's not an immediate solution. ...and shoot, Constanza can give you speed and a slap hit, but he's not a long-term answer in the leadoff spot. Seems to do good things when he gets opportunities up here, though, doesn't he?
Hm. good question. Always love a good Maddux question. Based on what contract Santana was looking for last winter, I think you'd be safe to make him a qualifying offer and take your draft compensation. ...and i think it was a good move to bring Maddux back for a year, even when somebody lost a poker hand there!
Cliff, I'm not sure on what planet a reporter would ask a player if he's afraid of a fence and I'm never going to ask that question, so not sure how to answer your question. I've seen B.J. have problems with balls in gaps, not just at the fence. But i think his glasses have helped him in the field. there was a play he got hurt on right before the all-star break last year that i think he overran, maybe because he couldn't see the ball well. I do think Andruw Jones is the best center fielder i or we will ever see. And he does kind of ruin the position for me now. He...was....amazing.
I was thinking about this the other day, after Santana put up another great start and just watching him interact with his teammates. He's a positive force in the clubhouse, no doubt, and obviously he's doing the job on the field. I do know he was looking for big $$$ this past winter and the reason he's here is because he didn't get it. I can't really see the Braves being the team that gives him the top dollar he's looking for. Think the Braves will probably end up like the Royals were last year. Really liked the guy, but had to let him walk.
I saw that last night too, Cliff. I'm not in San Fran to ask him but I think he just plays through some nagging things from time to time. The only thing i knew that was serious was a jammed wrist earlier this season and I think he's done OK with that.
No, Frank, I don't think fans dismiss it. We hear about B.J. quite a bit too, don't you? Uggla just seems to be stealing the "headlines" these days. Do think B.J. has made more progress lately and bringing something to the table. And he's got more time left on his contract, owed a good bit more money so the patience level is going to be higher.
I think the Nationals are under-performing. I think the Phillies are old. And I for one am bummed that Jose Fernandez might not be pitching again this season. The Marlins have been one of the more interesting stories of the season. Intriguing team. And no, I think we're all going to have to keep watching to see what unfolds (smile). I mean i wouldn't have predicted the Marlins would play like they have for the first two months of the season. So i'm not going to predict the next couple.