Monday, February 22, 2016

How I cover Spring Training

Let's get the obvious out of the way. I've said it for every year since I started this blog: SPRING TRAINING RECORDS DON'T MATTER. Repeat it again after me. SPRING TRAINING RECORDS DON'T MATTER.

There. Feel better? Good, because I don't care who wins or loses these meaningless games. What I do care about is guys getting their work in, and guys on the bubble of making the team getting a chance to see some decent pitching.

Right now I plan on doing a weekly wrapup of Spring Training every Monday, along with players to keep an eye on and a few stats I was impressed by. That's about it. Mostly spring training is about the eye test on pitchers hitting zones, not walking a ton of guys, getting some decent innings of work in, and occasionally guys working on their swings. But really most hitting stats for veterans in spring training are useless. I only care about the young guys trying to prove themselves.

So in about a week we're going to have the first Spring Training games begin. And the madness will start all over again about who makes the Braves roster in this year. And I'll start getting ready to make my bold predictions for 2016, which inevitably make me look silly.

Good times man, good times.


Friday, February 19, 2016

Braves pitchers and catchers report - Non-roster Invitees list

That's right, it's official. The Spring Training session for the Braves is officially underway. Here's the list of guys that aren't on the 40 man roster as "Non-Roster Invitee" that you will see during some of the Spring Training games. Keep your eye on these guys are they will be pushing to get on the roster in the coming years. This is courtesy of the Atlanta Braves MLB roster site:

# Pitchers B/T Ht Wt DOB

Aaron Blair R-R 6'5" 230 May 26, 1992

David Carpenter R-R 6'2" 230 Jul 15, 1985

Hunter Cervenka L-L 6'1" 225 Jan 3, 1990

Jhoulys Chacin R-R 6'3" 215 Jan 7, 1988

Chris Ellis R-R 6'5" 205 Sep 22, 1992

David Holmberg R-L 6'3" 245 Jul 19, 1991

Ryan Kelly R-R 6'2" 180 Oct 30, 1987

Kyle Kendrick R-R 6'3" 210 Aug 26, 1984

Sean Newcomb L-L 6'5" 245 Jun 12, 1993

Alexi Ogando R-R 6'4" 195 Oct 5, 1983

Lucas Sims R-R 6'2" 225 May 10, 1994

Alex Torres L-L 5'10" 185 Dec 8, 1987

Chris Volstad R-R 6'8" 230 Sep 23, 1986

Madison Younginer R-R 6'4" 195 Nov 3, 1990
# Catchers B/T Ht Wt DOB

Willians Astudillo R-R 5'9" 185 Oct 14, 1991

Matt Kennelly R-R 6'1" 200 Mar 21, 1989

Ryan Lavarnway R-R 6'4" 240 Aug 7, 1987

Joseph Odom R-R 6'2" 205 Jan 9, 1992

Braeden Schlehuber R-R 6'2" 210 Jan 7, 1988
# Infielders B/T Ht Wt DOB

Ozzie Albies S-R 5'9" 150 Jan 7, 1997

Reid Brignac L-R 6'3" 215 Jan 16, 1986

Chase d'Arnaud R-R 6'1" 205 Jan 21, 1987

Nate Freiman R-R 6'8" 250 Dec 31, 1986

Rio Ruiz L-R 6'2" 215 May 22, 1994

Dansby Swanson R-R 6'0" 190 Feb 11, 1994
# Outfielders B/T Ht Wt DOB

Braxton Davidson L-L 6'2" 210 Jun 18, 1996

Matt Tuiasosopo R-R 6'2" 225 May 10, 1986

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Braves Spring Training Schedule!

For those of you who want to know the schedule for March, here's an easy to read, print, etc rundown of the games for the Braves in Spring Training.


1 Orioles 1:05 pm
2 @ Orioles 1:05 pm
3 vs Tigers 1:05 pm
4 @ Phillies 1:05 pm
5 vs Pirates 1:05 pm
6 @ Mets 1:10 pm
7 @ Blue Jays 1:07 pm
8 vs Mets 1:05 pm
9 @ Astros 1:05 pm
10 @ Marlins 1:05 pm
11 SS @ Cardinals 1:05 pm
     SS vs Phillies 1:05 pm
12 vs Nationals 6:05 pm
13 @ Astros 1:05 pm
14 vs Rays 1:05 pm
15@ Tigers 1:05 pm
16 vs Cardinals 1:05 pm
17 SS @ Nationals 1:05 pm
     SS vs Astros 1:05 pm
18 vs Marlins 1:05 pm
19 @ Yankees 1:05 pm
20 vs Tigers 1:05 pm
21 @ Pirates 1:05 pm
22 @ Astros 1:05 pm
24 vs Phillies 6:05 pm
25 SS @ Tigers 1:05 pm
     SS vs Astros 1:05 pm
26 vs Mets 1:05 pm
27 @ Nationals 1:05 pm
28 vs Astros 6:05 pm
29 @ Orioles 6:05 pm
30 vs Yankees 1:05 pm
31 @ Orioles 3:05 pm

Monday, February 8, 2016

Football's over, Spring Training Soon

Spring is right around the corner, and that means the Braves are reporting down in Orlando soon for training. That also means we're getting closer and closer to actual baseball again, which is all I really care about in this stupid month of February.

I hate February. Football is over, college basketball is at the pointless part of the season, the NBA is basically useless as they've decided who is going to make the playoffs and who isn't for the most part, hockey isn't here anymore, and baseball is still a month away from training. It is truly the worst time of the year for sports.

I used to spend this time in tax season, lamenting my life choices and grinding out early returns. I'm no longer doing that. Now, I spend my time in February checking on Twitter, looking at rosters, working on accounting, and watching the occasional basketball game in between HGTV marathons and Adult Swim on cartoon network. Yep, living the dream.

So, what am I looking forward to with the Braves roster? He's a sneak peak.

- Jason Grilli - I'm looking forward to watching Grilli get back on the mound as the Braves closer after a bad injury sidelined him for the season last year near the All-Star break. And subsequently signaled the sell-off of the Braves team that followed. I can pretty much tie all the moves that happened between July 2015 and now for the Braves as being sparked by that Grilli injury.

- Freddie Freeman - Hopefully I get to see a fully healed Freddie Freeman that can find the ball without pain in his wrist. That would be key for this offense, because when Freddie was out of the lineup they were an offensive disaster, and even with him in the lineup he was barely functional.

- The Random-Ass Infield - I have no idea who will play second this season routinely. This will be an interesting battle between likely Jace Peterson, Gordon Beckham, Emilio Bonifacio. Or some combination that involves them playing infield spots in a platoon. We also have some questions at third, so that will involve Adonis Garcia and Hector Olivera. Oh and SS will likely be Erick Aybar who I've seen very little of since he's played his entire career in the AL.

- Michael Bourn in Center? - Will he be functional? He could barely hit last year. We had a decent OF in Cameron Maybin, and we traded him. We had a crappy OF in BJ and we traded him. And before that we had Michael Bourn and he was decent. However, he's older now and I'm not so sure he's in good enough shape to carry the load. Which means Braves minor league fans might get their wish and get a dose of Mallex Smith this year in the middle.

- Do we even have a LFer? - I'm pretty sure we're still paying Nick Swisher an abominable amount of money to be on this team because we dumped some other contracts. $10M of that money is owed by the Braves, and I'm not sure we can afford to stick his sorry butt in left the entire time. So there's some money you can light on fire while we figure out what to do in left. Maybe Olivera? Maybe Ender Inciarte? Maybe a fan raffle with a free glove and a jersey for the day?

Anyway, once we get spring training underway, I'll start digging into who is doing well and who isn't. Who will make the 25 man roster and who won't? Because March? March is a fun month. February blows hard.