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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Vizcaino undergoes surgery, expected to miss rest of season

Dr. David Altchek performed the surgery Wednesday in New York. Altchek cleaned up Vizcaíno’s labrum, while also removing scar tissue from the right shoulder joint, the team said in a release.“He was in pain and tried to pitch through it,” Anthopoulos said. “He, with the club, his agent as well, decided this was the best course of action for him, short-term and long-term.”

Jim Furtado Posted: April 18, 2019 at 08:13 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: arody vizcaino, braves

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Toussaint shines in relief as Braves hold off Mets

Touki Toussaint earned the win by tossing six solid innings of one-run relief in his season debut Saturday night as the host Atlanta Braves scored four runs apiece in the first and second innings of an 11-7 victory over the New York Mets.

The Braves, who lost the first two games of the four-game series, have won four of six. The Mets had a three-game winning streak snapped despite scoring at least six runs for a team-record seventh straight game.

Both starters were chased early Saturday. Mets left-hander Jason Vargas recorded just one out in the first inning and Braves southpaw Sean Newcomb exited after 1 1/3 innings.

Wondering what it says that hearing “six innings of relief” makes one think “the team uses an opener”, rather than “starting pitcher knocked out quickly”.

 

QLE Posted: April 14, 2019 at 07:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, relief pitching, touki toussaint

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Braves Extend Ozzie Albies | MLBTR

It’s a seven-year deal that’ll promise Albies $35MM, per the New York Post’s Joel Sherman (Twitter links). The contract begins in 2019 and contains a pair of club options valued at $7MM, and each comes with a $4MM buyout. Technically speaking, Albies is promised six years and $34.425MM in new money, as he’d already been signed for a $575K salary this season. If the Braves pick up both options, they’ll owe Albies a total of 45MM over the next nine seasons — including what would have been four free-agent seasons.


Braves and Rockies snowed out in Colorado

Today’s scheduled game between the Braves and Rockies at Coors Field has been postponed due to a blizzard warning in Denver. It will be made up on August 26 when, presumably, there will be less of a chance of snow.

What, no moving the game to a neutral site?

 

QLE Posted: April 11, 2019 at 06:02 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, rockies, snow

Monday, April 08, 2019

Dansby Swanson continues breakout season with walk-off single

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson’s career may not have taken off as fast as it has for several of his teammates, but 2019 is looking like a breakout season for the former top prospect.

Swanson’s hot start continued through Sunday, when he hit his third homer of the season and later added a walk-off single to top the Marlins, 4-3.

Miami had just tied the game in the top of the frame, when left-hander Adam Conley quickly loaded the bases. The 25-year-old took two fastballs for balls and then turned on an inside pitch and hit it to the wall for the win.

So, hot start, or something that is sustainable in the long term?

 

 

QLE Posted: April 08, 2019 at 09:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dansby swanson, walk-off

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Braves rookie calls fan in hospice care to let him know he made the team (video)

Big things are expected from Atlanta Braves rookie Kyle Wright. After being drafted in the first round of the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, the 23-year-old Wright quickly rose through the minors to make his major league debut last season.

Despite that, his inclusion on the team’s opening day roster in 2019 was no guarantee. With the Braves relying on a bevy of young pitchers, Wright had to earn his spot in the rotation.

He did just that, and upon hearing the news, Wright decided to let one of his biggest fans know he was going to take the mound for “Sunday Night Baseball.”

 

QLE Posted: March 31, 2019 at 04:51 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, fans, kyle wright

Friday, March 22, 2019

MLB season preview: Five over/unders you can count on in 2019

Want an easy way to prove to your friends you’re smarter than everyone else when it comes to baseball? Just look at some MLB over/unders.

By looking at win totals, you can get a quick snapshot of where you differ from the general consensus. Do you find the Tampa Bay Rays’ 84.5 win total insulting? Tell your friends they are going to be much better than anyone expects. Think there’s no way the New York Mets surpass 85.5 wins? You just identified a bust.

Feel extra confident in those predictions? Well, you can wager some hard-earned gummy bears on the outcome.

Somewhere, Sport Sullivan is suspecting that he was born a century too early….

 

 

QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, braves, cubs, overunder, phillies, previews, reds

Sunday, March 10, 2019

MLB preview: Five bold predictions for upcoming season

There is going to be plenty of turnover for the 2019 MLB season.

The game is changing and that is driving much of our projections for the year.

With that being said, here are five bold predictions for the 2019 season

For the most part, these predictions don’t feel all that bold- anyone here tempted to make bolder ones?

QLE Posted: March 10, 2019 at 07:32 AM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: batting average, braves, home runs, manny machado, predictions

Thursday, March 07, 2019

New-look NL East suddenly baseball’s deepest division

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For years, the NL East has been soft as a bunt single.

Not anymore.

Even before Bryce Harper decided to stay inside the division, four of the five teams spent this offseason swinging for the fences. In addition to defending champion Atlanta, the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals all have enough firepower to potentially contend for the playoffs.

Mind you, the Marlins can by themselves make any division weaker just by being in it.

QLE Posted: March 07, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mets, nationals, nl east, phillies

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Josh Donaldson feeling healthy and confident | MLB.com

I keep hearing the Braves haven’t done anything this off-season. Donaldson is nothing?

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2019 at 08:38 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, josh donaldson

Friday, March 01, 2019

Three Braves starters are dealing with elbow, shoulder problems

The Braves could do something about this- but they’d rather spend on real estate instead….

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, elbow, pitching

The Braves are rolling in money but aren’t spending it on baseball

The Atlanta Braves’ parent company, Liberty Media, released some financials today which show that the Braves are raking in cash, have seen profitability soar and have watched their debt go down. None of that is going into baseball, however. It’s going into real estate.

Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution we learn:

*Braves’ revenue increased to $442 million in 2018. That’s up 14.5 percent from 2017 ($386 million) and is up 69 percent from 2016 ($262 million);
*$404 million of that revenue is from baseball; $38 million of is from real estate in The Battery development that surrounds the park;
*Operating income (i.e. profit) before interest and depreciation surged from $7 million 2017 to $94 million in 2018;
*Debt went down substantially in the final quarter of last year –from $626 million to $494 million — but Liberty says the Braves will take on more debt to fund the next phase of construction at The Battery; and
*As noted many times in this space, baseball payroll is actually lower now than it was last year.

Taking the phrase about people rooting for real estate far too literally….

QLE Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:15 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dollah dollah bills, y'all, money, real estate

Thursday, February 21, 2019

At 33, Braves’ Donaldson trying to prove he can stay healthy

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Finding a job was pretty easy for Josh Donaldson. Proving he can keep it will be the tough part.

The former AL MVP didn’t have to wait long for a new opportunity, signing a one-year, $23 million contract with the Atlanta Braves less than a month after the World Series ended.

“I didn’t expect it to go that quickly,” Donaldson said Wednesday, the day before his first organized workout with the NL East champions. “It was my first time in free agency so I had something of an idea, but you don’t really know. I was very happy with the timing of it. They gave me the ease of the entire offseason to know which team I was going to be with.”

Pondering this matter- is it relevant that he’s only played four full seasons in MLB, or less so given that he’s only played in eight overall?

 

QLE Posted: February 21, 2019 at 04:36 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, health, josh donaldson

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Braves want you to get excited about ‘monetary yield’ and ‘glide slope’

Last week Braves president Terry McGuirk and general manager Alex Anthopoulos gave a sit-down interview with Jeff Schultz and David O’Brien of The Athletic. It did not go over well with Braves fans.

In the interview McGuirk and Anthopoulos walked back multiple past claims that the Braves would spend more money for the 2019 season and, as I detailed here, did so in a pretty condescending manner. It was difficult to take anything away from the interview other than the conclusion that (a) profit and cash flow are the team’s highest priorities; and (b) the team’s promises about what it plans to do in the future aren’t worth much. And it’s not just me saying that. McGuirk and Anthopoulos have been roasted by Braves fans, Atlanta talk radio and the Braves blogosphere since the interview went live.

No doubt aware of the blowback they created, last night McGuirk and Anthopoulos spoke to O’Brien once again. But unlike last time, they were not challenged substantively on any point. Indeed, the entire column reeks of McGuirk and Anthopoulos saying “HEY! We got a lot of bad press from our interview last week, so let’s try to fix it!” I am not exaggerating here. It’s as if O’Brien hit “record” when they began talking, hit “stop” when they stopped, transcribed the thing and published it with minimal additions.

Isn’t “glide slope” what Calvin used to do to get his toboggan to take flight?

 

QLE Posted: February 20, 2019 at 04:49 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: alex anthopoulos, braves, money

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Braves think their fans are idiots

Back to money.

Q: Liberty reported significant revenue increases for 2018. Fans see that and expectedly want you to invest in players.

McGuirk: The last thing you can do is follow our bouncing ball of economics, with debt. It costs a lot to build this edifice.

I have no idea what this means other than front offices think of all player salaries as pure liability and that the end game of a baseball team is profit, not winning baseball games.

Wait, I don’t need to infer that. McGuirk says so explicitly in his next answer, when asked about the interplay between team revenues and the product on the field:

It’s all designed to produce profitability that will go into our team, over and above, as we pay off the debt and pay off the principal. I wouldn’t be doing it unless I thought it was going to jettison us from that small middle-market team to high middle-market team to even potentially something bigger. I think it’s terrific for the Atlanta Braves. I couldn’t be more optimistic.

Except it does not “go into our team,” as the numbers and as McGuirk’s and Anthopoulos’ own answers demonstrate.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 14, 2019 at 01:03 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Ken Rosenthal on Twitter: “Nick Markakis re-signs with

Jim Furtado Posted: January 22, 2019 at 04:53 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nick markakis

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Report: Braves dismiss scouting leaders Bridges, Clark

The Braves released scouting director Brian Bridges and senior adviser to amateur scouting Roy Clark, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Both assumed their posts in 2014 during a major retooling of the front office. Bridges was promoted to scouting director under John Hart and John Coppolella’s regime.

Clark rejoined the team in October 2014 after leaving in 2009 following more than two decades with the team. He had stints with the Nationals and Dodgers before rejoining the Braves.

Clark, who spent 11 years as the Braves’ scouting director, helped draft well-known players such as Craig Kimbrel, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Jeff Francouer and others. He first joined the franchise as an area scout in 1989.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 10, 2019 at 08:37 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: braves

Monday, December 31, 2018

As of today, Phillies have 4th-best roster in NL East

Prior to the arrival of new GM Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets largely operated like a mid-market team these last few years. It didn’t help the Phillies much in their head-to-head matchup, with the Phillies going 50-82 against the Mets the last seven seasons.

It did, however, make the Mets less of a threat in the division race. The same can’t be said now after the Mets added Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano and Wilson Ramos, brought back Jeurys Familia and watched Zack Wheeler transform in the second half of 2018 into a legit top-of-the-rotation starter.

Suddenly, the Mets can talk themselves into a wild-card spot or perhaps even an NL East title if things break right. There is just a major advantage to having Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Wheeler, two very good late-inning relievers and a deeper lineup.

There are times when there are advantages to sharing a division with the Marlins….

QLE Posted: December 31, 2018 at 10:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, mets, nationals, phillies

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Toronto Sun: BROCHACHO BROUHAHA: Did Josh Donaldson shade the Blue Jays?!

#Burn!

Former Blue Jays star Josh Donaldson served up a double play of diss for his former team.

The Bringer of Rain and former MVP signed a one-year contract for $23 million with the ascendant Atlanta Braves and had some choice words for the wrecking crew currently dismantling the team that got the city excited about baseball again.

Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: December 06, 2018 at 11:05 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, braves, josh donaldson

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Interesting subplot brews in NL East as rival Braves hire Rick Kranitz, Phillies’ deposed pitching coach

After the Phillies surprisingly fired pitching coach Rick Kranitz last month, we wrote this line:

Kranitz, who had previously served as head major-league pitching coach with Miami, Baltimore and Milwaukee, should have no trouble hooking on with another organization.

Well, this has proven true.

Pity that the soap opera is a dying breed- this is the sort of thing for which the organ music was very much intended.

QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 05:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, phillies, rick kranitz, soap opera

BASEBALL: New Braves spring training ballpark named CoolToday Park

The new spring training home of the Atlanta Braves has its name: CoolToday Park.

Tuesday the Atlanta Braves announced a partnership with CoolToday for the naming rights of their new spring training ballpark, slated to host its first game on Sunday, March 24, with the Braves taking on the Tampa Bay Rays at 4:05 p.m. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“As part of our commitment to maintain a lifelong relationship with our community, this partnership with the Braves organization, City of North Port, and Sarasota County will cement our presence and strategy for southern Sarasota County,” said Jaime DiDomenico, President/Owner of CoolToday. “The Braves have a proven track record of building strong ties to the community they operate in and we look forward to enhancing those ties going forward. I’m very excited about what the future holds.”

In practice, the name is LameAlways, but they can’t admit to that, can they?

QLE Posted: December 05, 2018 at 04:54 AM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, naming rights, spring training

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Jeff Francoeur to Be Braves New TV Analyst

Joe Simpson is going to be (mostly) out as the TV analyst and will be shifted to radio. In the TV booth next to Chip Caray for most games: Jeff Francoeur.

...

Simpson has made some unwelcome headlines in the past few years for some comments that raised eyebrows. This past season he implied that Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was lying about his age. He also, strangely, criticized Chase Utley for taking batting practice in a t-shirt, calling it unprofessional.


Friday, November 30, 2018

Should the early success of their division rivals affect how the Nationals approach the offseason?

After a lackluster few years, the Philadelphia Phillies look ready to compete with starting pitching and an owner ready to spend big. The Atlanta Braves find themselves ready to compete with their barely-old-enough-to-drink superstars and a core that’s already won a division title.

So with the Washington Nationals coming to a crossroads with the potential loss of a superstar or potential bill of somewhere around $400 million, D.C. is facing an important question about their offseason move: Should they keep up with the proverbial Joneses, or try to plan for rebuilding in the future?

Every team’s decision-making, roster construction, and aggressiveness is determined by one defining factor: where they stand in terms of a contention window. Entering one? Go after that final piece. In the middle of one? Do everything you can to stay ahead of the competition. Solidly not in one? Sell, sell, sell.

I’d like to think that changes in general conditions would change how teams would behave, yes.

QLE Posted: November 30, 2018 at 06:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, nationals, phillies, the competition

AJC Exclusive: Changes coming to Braves’ broadcast team

The Braves will juggle the lineup in their broadcast booths for next season.

The biggest change is that former Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeur will replace veteran broadcaster Joe Simpson as the lead analyst on the Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast telecasts of games.

Simpson, a member of the Braves Hall of Fame, will remain part of the broadcast team for a 28th season, shifting to radio for a large number of games and also working a limited number on TV.

It’s been a while since we’ve had him to kick around…..

 

QLE Posted: November 30, 2018 at 06:50 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: announcers, braves, jeff francoeur, joe simpson, television

Monday, November 26, 2018

Brian McCann heads home to play for Braves | MLB.com

Brian McCann had his wish to return to the Braves granted, as the club announced on Monday afternoon that it signed the veteran catcher to a one-year, $2 million contract. McCann’s desire to once again play for his hometown team led him to decline a couple of more financially lucrative offers made by other teams.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 26, 2018 at 08:23 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, brian mccann

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