Braves start Spring with bullpen blow up in 6-2 loss to Mets
A rough eighth inning by Miguel Socolovich and Akeel Morris was the difference in a 6-2 loss to the Mets in the spring opener. Alex Jackson and Cristian Pache recorded run scoring hits for the Braves. Matt Wisler got the start and tossed two scoreless innings.
Gohara slowed early by groin tightness
Luiz Gohara is among a group of pitchers trying to win a spot in the Braves’ opening day rotation. However, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s David O’Brien, Gohara has been slowed during the early part of camp due to tightness in his groin.
Atlanta Braves installed as 75-to-1 long-shots to reach World Series
Bovada.lv lists the Braves with 75-to-1 odds to win the 2018 World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers are the favorites at the start of spring training at 9/4 and followed closely by the Washington Nationals at 7/2.
Prospect Pache piquing interest at camp
While all eyes may be on Ronald Acuna in the Braves outfield, Atlanta has another outfield prospect in Cristian Pache who is getting his first taste of major league camp.
Braves Opening Day roster spot in Adams’ sight
Lane Adams is hoping to follow up a good 2017 season with a strong showing in spring training and a spot on the Braves’ opening day roster.
“I don’t know how many big league camps I’ve been to, but this is definitely the first one where I’ve had a chance to come in and be on the Opening Day roster,” Adams said. “It’s definitely exciting.”
Venters hoping to make historic comeback
Former Braves reliever Jonny Venters is in spring training with the Tampa Bay Rays and looking to comeback from his third Tommy John surgery.
Mets scratch prospect Dominic Smith from lineup for being late
Rookie first baseman Dominic Smith is in camp with the Mets and hoping to win a spot on the opening day roster. However, he didn’t get off to a great start after he was scratched from the lineup in Friday’s Grapefruit League opener after being late to a team meeting.
Rays’ Brent Honeywell needs Tommy John surgery
Rays pitching prospect Brent Honeywell has been diagnosed with a torn UCL and will require Tommy John surgery and miss the entire 2018 season. Honeywell suffered the injury on Thursday while throwing a live batting practice session.
Tigers sign Francisco Liriano
Free agent lefty Francisco Liriano has a new home after agreeing to a one-year, $4 million contract with the Detroit Tigers. The deal also reportedly includes a $1 million in incentives.
The nucleus of Freddie Freeman, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis led the Braves (or were tied for the lead) in 15 categories on offense last season. Inciarte made the All-Star game, and Freeman appeared on his way to MVP consideration in mid-May before he was hit by a pitch that broke his wrist. He missed seven weeks of the season because of the injury.
As the Braves wait for their young starting pitchers to develop and position players such as Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Johan Camargo to continue their progress — and the assumed rise of Ronald Acuna, the team will need Freeman, Inciarte and Markakis (with catchers Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki) to repeat (or better) their 2017 production.
Check out the video to see the stats for the hitting leaders and where they ranked in the National League last season.
By Scott T. Sterling
Jason Aldean is primed and ready for his beloved Atlanta Braves to kick off the 2018 MLB season.
Related: Jason Aldean Releases Three-Part Video for ‘You Make It Easy’
In the meantime, the country star is beyond excited to share the game with his baby boy, Memphis. Mostly because he envisions a future where Memphis is supporting him as a player on his favorite team.
“Future Atlanta Brave watching his first baseball game,” Aldean captioned a Twitter video of little Memphis taking in a spring training game.
“You gotta start ’em early,” Aldean can be heard saying off camera as his boy seems entranced by the pretty colors on the TV screen.
See Aldean’s tweet below.
It is often instructive to take a glance at what the oddsmakers think of a team and, earlier in February, word broke that the Atlanta Braves have a posted over/under win total in the neighborhood of 75 victories. This week, further information came to light, as the good folks at Bovada.lv provided NL Pennant odds and, as you may expect, Brian Snitker’s team is not considered to be one of the favorites to reach the World Series.
The Braves opened as 75-to-1 long-shots to win the National League and, even if that seems high in some ways, it does underline just how much would have to go right for Atlanta to put together a deep playoff run. For additional clarity, the Braves opened at 12-to-1 to simply win the NL East, with the Washington Nationals serving as overwhelming favorites (1-to-2) to win the division and the New York Mets (5-to-2) and Philadelphia Phillies (10-to-1) were assigned more favorable odds than that of the Braves.
It is often an enjoyable pastime for some baseball fans to place a small wager on their team to make a deep run or even win the World Series. If that floats your boat, there are 75-to-1 odds in your future for the Braves.
Below are the full NL Pennant odds, per Bovada. Let’s all be careful out there.
Today is February 23 and I’d like to congratulate you on making it through this barren desert of an offseason and making it to spring training games. It may not be anywhere near as exciting as Opening Day is, but it’s still baseball that we can watch and that should be enough to tide us until the regular season finally gets underway. The Braves will be getting things underway this afternoon and Mark Bowman reported that there will be a youthful vibe in the air.
While many of Atlanta’s veteran position players will not play during this first weekend of games, Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies and Johan Camargo will get an early opportunity to begin accelerating their preparations for what will be an important season for each of them.
”This is an important camp for all of our young guys because they don’t have a track record or a history or a baseball card that would allow them to come here to just get in shape,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “They’re here to perform. They need to go about it like that.”
We probably shouldn’t expect the Braves to be one of the heavy hitters when it comes to power hitting during this upcoming season. They haven’t had too much power since 2014 and it probably won’t be coming this season. With that being said, Ronald Acuna could provide some pop when he gets called up and David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted that if the team remains patient, they could continue to bring up players with pop in their bat.
Speaking of Acuna, the hottest prospect in the game should be one of the most interesting figures not only in actual games but in fantasy leagues as well. Scott White of CBS Sports recently wrote about Acuna’s fantasy prospects and where you should draft him if you choose to get in on the ground floor with Acuna. If you’re in a dynasty league and you haven’t snapped up Acuna yet, then I can safely say that you dropped the ball.
Our minor league crew has spent this week trying to give us an idea of what the minor league teams will look like when it comes to their roster composition. Finally, they’ve gotten to the Triple-A squad and Garrett gave us all a vision of what to expect when it comes to the new-look Stripers. Again, it’s looking like the rotation is what you should keep your eyes on here.
A few days ago, the Rays made a shocking move when they DFA’d Corey Dickerson. This is despite the fact that Dickerson is coming off of a very solid season where he hit .282/.325/.490 with 115 wRC+ and a career-high 27 home runs. The Rays decided that they could do without that for the 2018 season but the Pirates decided that they’d need that for this season, as Pittsburgh swung a trade to bring Dickerson back to the National League.
Grant Brisbee did his annual feature where he tries to crowd source what the best over/under bet in baseball is. Of course, trying to bet via crowd source is an awful idea (as evidenced by last year’s results), but it’s always fun to try as long as you aren’t using actual money, right? Plus, that’s link is also an easy resource for over/under lines for this season and you can use that information for “whatever you want.”
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — The Braves lost 93 games in 2016 and were expected to be worse in 2017.
Instead, they made an incremental improvement, losing “only” 90 games and debuting some players (Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson in particular) who were expected to be a big part of the next contending team in Atlanta.
They’re still in a rebuild phase, but this year they might add outfield prospect Ronald Acuna to their roster, and even at 20 years old he’s got a chance to be an impact player in the major leagues this year. Acuna blew through three levels of the Atlanta farm system in 2017, hitting .325/.374/.522 with 31 doubles, eight triples, 21 home runs and 20 stolen bases. The 144 strikeouts are a concern and it might be that Acuna needs a bit more time in Triple-A.
The Braves will score some runs; Freddie Freeman missed some time last year due to injury but should be back 100 percent. Nick Markakis can still hit, Ender Inciarte is an excellent leadoff man and Johan Camargo was just starting to hit last year when he suffered a knee injury — running out on the field to begin the game:
Bizarre, I know.
The Atlanta rotation is a bit of a mess. Julio Teheran has ace-type stuff, but had a mediocre year in 2016. After that, it’s anyone’s guess. The Braves had to take Brandon McCarthy’s contract from the Dodgers in order to get rid of Matt Kemp (there’s a victory right there, I think); if McCarthy is healthy (never a sure bet) he could provide some inning-eating. After that it’s a bunch of guys from the Braves system, none of whom are really any good, although Sean Newcomb did show some promise late last year.
Former Cub Arodys Vizcaino is still around as closer. Most of the rest of the Atlanta relievers, you’ve probably never heard of.
We won’t have to wait too long to see how this team is doing. The Cubs host the Braves April 13-15 at Wrigley Field, the second home series of the season. The teams will play again in Atlanta May 15-17 and then say farewell until 2019. Playing in Atlanta in May instead of the midsummer visit the Cubs had last year will be at a cooler time of year, and perhaps less rainy, too. Two of the three games the Cubs played in Atlanta last year were delayed several hours by thunderstorms that simply would not quit. It appears they built SunTrust Park in an area where the topography seems to be favorable for those types of storms:
If you’re interested in this sort of thing — I am, as I’m kind of a weather aficionado — you can read more about it in this article, which says that out of the first 46 games played at the Braves’ new park, 11 had some kind of rain delay.