Sunday, February 24, 2013

Training Game #2 Recap: The Yankees

It was a pretty good hitting day for the Braves. However, it was a terrible fielding day, which is always one of my concerns with out lineup. Atlanta had 3 errors in the game, most of which came in the third inning. We were tossing the ball all over the diamond, AND Bethancourt had a tough time blocking pitches at the plate. Not pretty, and not what I want out of our guys.

Two guys had standout days at the plate: Freddie Freeman and Evan Gattis. Evan managed a 4th inning double and a two run bomb in the 6th to go 2/3 on the day. Freddie also had a pair of singles and scored a run on Gattis' long ball, going 2/3 as well. The rest of the team was average in their attempts to get on base, and we suffered from an all-too-familiar problem of going 0-7 with RISP. Strikeout totals for the Braves? Five this time around which brings our running total to 13.

Let's take a look at some good and bad through 2 games so far:

Good - Freddie Freeman already has 3 hits in 5 ABs. Every time he's put the ball in play, he's gotten a base hit. None of them are deep balls yet, but I like the way he's putting the bat on the ball. Also, we got a peek at Braves pitching prospect JR Graham, a guy that can wing a fastball up to 100 on the gun with some natural movement. Graham's issue in the bigs will be command, but he's got the natural ability to be a possible show player.

Bad -  Jordan Walden, the player we received in the trade for Tommy Hanson, got absolutely lit up in this game. Part of that wasn't hit fault because the Braves fielding in the third was wretched. However, he still gave up 4 runs on 3 hits and a bomb. No amount of fielding can bring one back into the ballpark when it's 5 rows deep. Walden was a closer for the Angels in 2011 and an All-Star. Seeing as we have Kimbrel already, that won't be his role with us. We'd be looking for him as a setup guy, but he's had problems with command and his fastball has seen a dropoff. With those concerns I have a close eye on Walden to see if he even belongs in our already quality pen.

Go Braves!

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