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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Callis: Ranking the best farm systems of the past five years

No Phils.

In today’s Pipeline Perspectives, Jonathan and I debate which farm system has been the most productive since the end of the 2009 season. My choice was the Nationals, who have developed three budding superstars in Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon, two more All-Stars in Ian Desmond and Derek Norris, plus a bunch of complementary players and trade fodder….

4. Royals
Kansas City nearly rode its system to a World Series championship last year, building the second-most homegrown playoff team in 2014—behind only St. Louis. The Royals’ in-house highlights included Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi (the key pieces in the James Shields trade), Salvador Perez and Yordano Ventura.

5. Reds
Cincinnati has harvested a nice combination of blue-chip talent (Aroldis Chapman, Todd Frazier, Billy Hamilton, Devin Mesoraco) and solid contributors (most notably, Yonder Alonso, Brad Boxberger, Zack Cozart, Didi Gregorius, Yasmani Grandal and Mike Leake), though it has traded most of the latter group.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Minor, Upton not likely to return before May | www.ajc.com

How much longer will Upton play for the Braves anyway?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 24, 2015 at 07:08 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, melvin upton, mike minor

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Several players jockeying to win roster spots | braves.com

The Braves position battles, such as they are.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 17, 2015 at 08:43 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: alberto callaspo, braves, eric young jr., jace peterson, phil gosselin

Monday, March 16, 2015

Braves, Comcast will unveil major stadium deal | www.ajc.com

How many times will Comcast make them reschedule?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 16, 2015 at 07:25 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, stadium deals

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Favorites For Hector Olivera - BaseballAmerica.com

It will be interesting to see how much he signs for.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 09, 2015 at 06:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cuban free agents, dodgers, hector olivera, padres

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Minor’s absence opens opportunities for Stults | braves.com

This doesn’t sound good.

Though Braves officials are maintaining hope that Mike Minor needs just a few weeks of rest, they are well aware of the fact that the three months of rest he received this past offseason did not prevent his left shoulder from becoming an issue yet again this week.

Thus, instead of simply waiting a couple more weeks to see if the shoulder discomfort persists, the Braves are planning for Dr. James Andrews to evaluate Minor’s shoulder early next week. The hope is that the evaluation will provide a clearer understanding about what has caused the 27-year-old southpaw’s shoulder to prove so problematic over the past year.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 05, 2015 at 08:09 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mike minor

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Braves’ T-shirts: ‘Hello, my name is ...’ - Spring Training Blog - ESPN

You can’t know the players without a program t-shirt.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 04, 2015 at 08:08 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Sunday, March 01, 2015

With Upton out, Braves can get good look at CF options | Atlanta Braves blog

It’s not like Upton hasn’t been given ample opportunity to keep his job. I’d say he has no complaint if someone plays well in his absence and he doesn’t automatically get his job back.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2015 at 09:07 AM | 19 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, melvin upton

Phillies newcomer Francoeur becoming Howard’s biggest fan

“It seems like every time I look at him, he’s got a few guys around him,” manager Ryne Sandberg said of Francoeur. “I think there’s a good reason behind that. Players tend to go to him.”

Francoeur and Howard have been nearly inseparable during the first week of camp.

Their lockers are next to each other. They were in the same, three-man group, with infielder Andres Blanco, when hitters faced live pitching Friday. They are in the same, six-man team under Charlie Manuel’s guidance in the team’s carefully crafted hitting groups this spring.

The Phillies signed Francoeur to a minor league contract this winter because they think he has the chance to make their major league club as a much-needed righthanded bench bat. But like Manuel, he’s also someone with a history with Howard - they played against each other as NL East foes for years - and someone with an unwavering positive outlook, too.

He’s baaa-aaack!

 

eddieot Posted: March 01, 2015 at 07:13 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, jeff francoeur, mets, phillies, ryan howard

Saturday, February 28, 2015

AJC: Braves center fielder Upton (foot) likely out at least 2 months

Melvin Upton Jr. will likely miss all of spring training after being diagnosed with inflammation of a bone in his left foot, and the Braves suddenly have another opening-day spot up for grabs.

Upton had X-rays Friday morning that showed some damage but weren’t definitive, then had an MRI exam that revealed he has sesamoiditis, or inflammation in a bone behind the ball of his foot.

The Braves said he would be in short leg cast for two weeks, then a walking boot for 4-6 weeks. He’s not expected to resume baseball activities until early April.

Rickey! is just here so he don't get fined Posted: February 28, 2015 at 06:01 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, the melvins

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Braves insist it’s a ‘remodeling,’ not a ‘rebuilding’

You don’t?

The reality is the Braves didn’t believe they could be a World Series team if they kept the team intact. To be honest, they were actually thrilled the Nationals and Miami Marlins got even better during the winter, reinforcing their belief they were not going to contend for the division title.

At the same time, you don’t bring in veterans A.J. Pierznyski, Jason Grilli, John Buck, Kelly Johnson, Jim Johnson, Alberto Callaspo, Gomes and Markakis, and expect to go out every night and lose.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2015 at 08:37 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Baseball America: Five Historical Precedents for Cubs’ Loaded Top 100 Class.

1. 2006 Diamondbacks

The Players

SS Justin Upton (#2), SS Stephen Drew (#5), 1B Conor Jackson (#17), OF Carlos Quentin (#20), OF Chris Young (#23), OF Carlos Gonzalez (#32), RHP Dustin Nippert (#67)

The First Six Seasons
Arizona went 477-495 (.491) from 2006-11, with three winning seasons and two trips to the playoffs, one courtesy of an National League West division title.

The precedents aren’t as strong as I would have expected.

Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 22, 2015 at 02:37 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brewers, cubs, diamondbacks, prospects, rays, royals

BJ Upton to be henceforth known as Melvin Upton


‏@JeffSchultzAJC
#Braves exec John Hart made passing reference to “Melvin” (B.J.) Upton, then confirmed player will go by Melvin Upton Jr, this season.

PreservedFish Posted: February 22, 2015 at 02:32 PM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: bj upton, braves

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Braves have acquired best prospects this offseason | braves.com

Jim Callis really likes the prospects haul the Braves obtained this off-season.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2015 at 12:58 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, prospects

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Braves reliever Simmons undergoes Tommy John surgery | FOX Sports

Well, that’s out of the blue.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 12, 2015 at 07:30 PM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, shae simmons

Monday, February 09, 2015

Schoenfield: Ranking the teams: 30 through 25

Due for a better year: Domonic Brown gets what is maybe his final chance to prove himself as a big league regular. An All-Star in 2013 when he hit 27 home runs, he fell apart in 2014 with a .235/.285/.349 line. There’s still some talent here, but how much?

Due for a worse year: Ruben Amaro Jr.

I’m just the messenger: Everyone has been predicting the decline of the Phillies for a few years and Amaro finally admitted that a rebuilding was in order. He’s been asking for a ransom for Hamels, understandably so because he’s really the only valuable commodity he has, unless Chase Utley agrees to a trade or Cliff Lee comes back and proves he’s healthy. The past two seasons were painful for Phillies fans, but 2015 could be their worst season since losing 97 games in 2000.

The final word: Hey, on the bright side the Phillies outperformed my prediction last year by seven wins .. and still won just 73 games. If there’s a bright spot, it’s the bullpen, led by closer-in-waiting Ken Giles (1.18 ERA as a rookie), which should be solid even if Papelbon is traded.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 09, 2015 at 11:57 AM | 51 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, diamondbacks, phillies, rangers, rankings, rockies, twins

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Seitzer encouraged by workouts with Upton

“Any hitter that has a tendency to be long [with their swing], where their hands get away from the body, is going to have a tough time catching up to fastballs,” Seitzer said. “They will also be vulnerable to offspeed pitches and inside pitches.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 25, 2015 at 06:17 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: b.j. upton, braves

Monday, January 19, 2015

Madden: Beane’s A’s good to go, Hart’s Braves gone for year - NY Daily News

Comparing and contrasting John Hart’s and Billy Beane’s off-seasons.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 19, 2015 at 05:36 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bloop Hits: Terry Forster’s musical feast

I saw someone here refer to Forster’s batting average champ status, so, why not.

Though he was never an All-Star, never won any awards, Terry Forster — who turned 63 this week — had a pretty interesting big-league career. In addition to leading the American League in saves with the ’74 White Sox, winning a championship ring with the ’81 Dodgers, and making 614 appearances (most of them in relief) over the course of 16 years in the majors, the left-hander was also the last A.L. pitcher to steal a base in a regular-season game before the introduction of interleague play, and his .397 career batting average (31 hits in 78 at-bats) remains the highest of any player with 50 or more at-bats and/or at least 15 years of major-league experience. Not a bad legacy, especially for a player who people, er, largely remember today for being dubbed a “fat tub of goo” by David Letterman…

Forster’s charming, genuinely funny Late Night guest segment, which included a rundown of his favorite stadiums to eat in, received a substantial amount of press coverage at the time — and, unfortunately, paved the way for Forster’s ill-advised foray into recording. Released in August 1985 on a label run by Philadelphia’s Comedy Works nightclub, and credited to Terry Forster and the Lovehandles, the four-song EP Fat Is In is mostly notable for its cover photo of Forster chowing down on a party-sized submarine sandwich while clad in his Atlanta Braves uniform… Though a video for “Fat Is In” was filmed and submitted to MTV, the song failed to become a hit. (According to a New York Times article from August 1985, the clip involves Forster being shipwrecked on “The Isle of Chocolate Cones,” where he finds “happiness, fast food and break-dancing.” Sadly, the video seems to have been lost to the ages.)

 

The District Attorney Posted: January 17, 2015 at 03:52 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, history, music, terry forster

Hart says he will not trade Kimbrel « Bowman’s Blog

Kimbrel was a topic of conversation for some of the MLB Radio shows yesterday. In the morning Steve Phillips insisted he had to go. In the afternoon a host insisted he shouldn’t go anywhere. IMHO, it depends on their timeline. If they truly believe they can be competitive when the new park opens, they should hold onto him. If their timeline is longer than it makes sense to send him away for more prospects. John Hart has stated that he believes the Braves can be competitive for a playoff spot in 2016. I agree with him.

“We love our core group,” Hart said. “We have added quality players around this group to allow us to compete while strengthening the farm system.  We’ve added (Nick) Markakis, (Jason) Grilli,  (Jim) Johnson, A.J. (Pierzynski) and others to help us compete this year.  We have never entertained trading (Kimbrel) and have had zero conversations with any clubs about Craig. I want him finishing out a World Series win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 17, 2015 at 06:48 AM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, craig kimbrel

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Astros To Acquire Evan Gattis

Oh, Rio, Rio, dance away from the Rio Grande.

The Astros have reportedly agreed to acquire Braves catcher/outfielder Evan Gattis. In return, Atlanta will acquire a trio of prospects: righties Michael Foltynewicz and Andrew Thurman as well as third baseman Rio Ruiz.

For Houston, it is not entirely clear how the team would use Gattis… Gattis stepped things up with a .263/.317/.493 line and 22 long balls last year in 401 turns at bat.

Of course, Gattis also comes with an attractive contractual situation. He will play at league minimum for the final time this year before qualifying for arbitration in 2016…

Foltynewicz, who briefly reached the bigs last year as a reliever, sat at number three on Baseball America’s list of the best ‘Stros prospects and at fourth on the MLB.com version... Ruiz… slashed .293/.387/.436 with 11 home runs in 602 plate appearances at High-A last year… Thurman, 23, was taken in the second round in 2013 but has struggled to adapt to pro ball…

The deal is not yet complete, caution [the New York Post’s Joel] Sherman (via Twitter) and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (via Twitter), with the former saying the terms are settled upon pending physical and the latter warning there is still a chance that Gattis could be moved to another club.


Friday, January 09, 2015

Angels acquire third-base prospect from Braves | angels.com

Kubitza: The highest drafted position player in Texas State history, Kubitza has steadily ascended through the Minor Leagues. He had the best season of his career in 2014 with Double-A Mississippi. He hit .295/.405/.470 with eight home runs and led the Southern League in on-base percentage. While he is a patient hitter, his swing has a tendency to get long, leading to a lot of strikeouts. His swing is geared more to hitting line drives than home runs, which produces a lot of doubles, but doesn’t fit the traditional third base profile. His defense has improved in the Minor Leagues and his strong arm and soft hands are assets at third.

Sanchez: The Angels signed Sanchez out of Venezuela in 2013 and he made his professional debut a year later in the Arizona League. As a 17-year-old, he posted a 3.49 ERA and struck out 43 batters while walking 22 in 38 2/3 innings. While Sanchez is still young and raw, he already shows significant promise. He can throw his fastball up to 95 mph and his curveball gives him a second pitch with above-average potential. He also has a nascent changeup. Sanchez has a smooth delivery, but he is still learning to repeat it and his command suffers as a result. Still just a teenager, he has plenty of upside and simply needs time to learn the intricacies of his craft.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 09, 2015 at 07:02 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, braves, trades

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Cobb responds to Braves bonds appeal | www.myajc.com

$400 million for a baseball stadium.

Lawyers for Cobb County government say their plan to borrow nearly $400 million for the new Atlanta Braves stadium without a public vote is legal, because the bond issuance isn’t considered “debt within the meaning of the Georgia Constitution.”

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2015 at 10:12 AM | 35 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, stadium

Trade returns could have Braves sitting pretty | MLB.com

John Hart’s off-season work.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2015 at 09:55 AM | 139 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

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