As you can probabaly tell there is a gap between updates during tax season. I think you all know why. Daily recaps don't start until after the 15th of April when I can settle in during daylight hours without constantly cranking the adding machine. Also, as we get closer to the actual real games starting on April 1st, I think we all realize that the last 10 days of spring training are totally useless. Everything will have been decided already in terms of roster slots and rotations, and we're just playing the games because we have to. I think you'll be excited about some of the new things I'll be adding to the blog once we get to the regular season, though. More on that in the coming weeks.
The game against the Cards is hardly worth going over. The only thing worth noting is that Minor struggled and Uggla had another hit. Minor didn't hit his zone at all and walked 4 guys while giving up 4 runs in 5 innings. Nobody had a homer, only Parraz had an extra bag hit, and we went 2-11 with RISP and 8 Ks. It sucked. Moving on.
Game 1 against the Mets was fun for the two bombs that Freeman and Francisco hit off Jeremy Hefner, the Mets starter. Hudson also looked much better going 6 innings with only 2 earned runs. BJ Upton also went 2/3 and looks good swinging the lumber every time he gets up to the plate. Downside? We went 0-8 with RISP and struck out 9 times.
The Yankees didn't send their A squad. They didn't even sent the B squad. On the radio broadcast, the announcers basically said if you knew any of these guys playing for the Yankees out there, you knew more than them. As a result, the "Yankees" only got 3 hits off Maholm and the relief crew. I don't really think this proved anything about Maholm, but maybe 6 innings of shutout ball will give him some confidence. The Braves lit up the 2012 rookie starter for the Yankees, David Phelps, for 7 hits, 4 runs, and a long shot. So at least the hitters were facing legitimate MLB pitching, albeit young pitching. Francisco went deep again (notice a pattern?), Reed Johnson had a double, and Heyward, Francisco, and Justin Upton had 2 out RBIs. The RISP was a much better 3-6, and the strikeout total was down to 7. Notice how the RISP improves when the Ks go down? Hmmm.
Game 2 against the Mets was as boring as baseball can get. The upside was Julio Teheran dazzling the Mets batters with his stuff. After 6 innings, Teheran had only given up one run on a homer, and struck out 7 with 2 walks. Downside? Unless your name was Chris Johnson, you didn't get much hitting done. Chris had a robust 3/4 day with a 2 out jack in the 4th off Niese (who we will see a lot of in the regular season). Dan Uggla went 0-4 with 2 Ks. Not so good there. It all ended with a 2-1 snoozer that the Braves won, but nobody was still in the stadium to notice.
So how do we look at this stage in Spring? I'll do a who's hot and who's not of the Braves during Spring:
Who's HOT? -
BJ Upton is batting .408 for spring with 5 doubles and 7 RBIs.
Freddie Freeman has 4 homers and is slugging close to .600
Chris Johnson is batting .333 with 3 bombs.
Pastornicky is hitting .364 with an OBP of .429 showing a good eye
Francisco is slugging .630 with 4 jacks and 8 RBIs.
Joey Terd is hitting a ridiculous .417 average for spring with 3 doubles in 36 ABs.
Evan Gattis has an absurd OPS (OBP + Slugging) of 1.076, and anything over .900 is considered awesome
Teheran has worked 20 innings with a 1.35 ERA
Maholm has worked 19.1 innings with a 2.33 ERA
Who's NOT? -
Dan Uggla is hitting .196 with 17 Ks and only 3 walks. He's also committed a team high 5 errors.
Bethancourt looks unready for primetime hitting only .133 in limited ABs
Reed Johson is hitting .179 in 39 ABs.
Chris Johnson has committed 4 errors at 3rd during spring. A sign he may not be ready as a starter.
Tim Hudson has an ERA of 5.40 in 20 innings of work. He's also given up 3 homers.
Sean Gilmartin and Cristhian Martinez both have ERAs in teh 6's, and look extremely shakey in middle relief
Jonny Venters has a WHIP that's over 2.3 in his limited work. He's simply putting on too many runners.
So there's a recap of where we stand. I think you'll agree that the lineup for the most part looks pretty hot, as do the starters. We need a little work on the middle relief, but overall it's shaping up nicely for our opener in April.