March 3, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) pitches in the first inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers at Champion Stadium. The Tigers beat the Braves 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Spring Training Worries, Mike Minor, and Brian McCann

Well I’m sure a 2-0 one hitter wasn’t the game many of you were hoping to see but there is one thing we all have to remember: This is Spring Training. None of these games really matter, and there is no way we can judge players after one game (regardless of if it is Spring Training or the regular season).

Spring Training is about seeing some live pitching, getting a feel for the breaking ball or change up, shaking off the rust, and evaluating the players who may or may not be on the 25 man roster to start the season. As long as players are getting some at bats/innings, and not looking horrible in the process, everything is fine.

So remember to stay relaxed throughout the Spring and hold off on the pitchforks a bit longer.

Mike Minor

Yesterday I said I was interested in seeing how Minor would back up his ‘talk’ with the first start of Spring Training. He did just that and struck out the side with just 14 pitches to start off the game. He only threw a total of 37 pitches, but managed to throw 21 of them for strikes.

What I liked hearing more than his outing though, was his comments after the game:

“I didn’t feel like I pitched that great to strike out the side. They were swinging a lot. In midseason form they’re letting those balls go, a couple of inches outside.”

Some humble statements never hurt if you are trying to make up for some rough comments a few days before.

Brian McCann

We have talked a lot about Brian McCann lately, and I feel like it is only just beginning. He is going to be a topic throughout the entire season with his contract situation and free agency looming in the not so distant future.

David O’Brien put up a post that goes into detail about the situation for Atlanta.

Don’t think for a moment that he’s not going to get bigger offers from at least one or two AL teams than what he’ll get from the Braves, with their modest payroll. He might even get a larger offer from an NL team. We’ll have to wait to see.

This is one of the reasons why I hate the DH. American League teams can afford to give players longer contracts, because if they become a defensive liability later on they can simply let them DH every game. We could see some changes with the DH when the league become even and we have regular interleague play but for now the AL still has the advantage as far as contracts go (Pujols, Fielder).

DOB is right to include other NL teams though. The Braves are going to be getting tighter financially over the next few years unless they are sold to some rich old guy. Plenty of teams in our own league could afford to pay McCann a lot more than we could. The Dodgers and Phillies are both teams who would probably be interested. Maybe even the Marlins.

I certainly hope McCann loves playing for Atlanta because if not, he is surely gone after 2013.

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Brian Mccann Mike Minor

  • FredOwens

    I suspect that McCann will play elsewhere in 2014 unless a lot of arb eligible high $$ players are traded or we hit powerball a few times and buy the team. I suspect 5@75 is out of reach and he will surely get that offer and more. The Yankees traded theit catcher who could hit for a pitcher, the Red Sox use Slatalamochia, The Mets, Dodgers, Yankees and Rangers could all use him. These are the current 2014 free agent catchersaccordingto MLBTR
    John Buck (33),  Jesus Flores (29),  Ryan Hanigan (33),  Ramon Hernandez (38),  Wil Nieves (36) Brayan Pena (32),  Jarrod Saltalamacchia (29),  Geovany Soto (31),  Kurt Suzuki (30) – $8.5MM club option with a $650K buyout
    Put McCann out there and you can see he’s the cream of the crop. Do you think he’ll take a 10-20 million home town discount? Would you give him 75 or more for 4 years or 100 for 5?

  • Big Bad Bob

    Brian McCann is one of those players that is hard to figure.
    He seems to really love the Braves and his teammates. He signed a team friendly deal before he was arb eligible (while Frenchy didn’t…Thank God!). He’s a leader in the clubhouse and among his peers. He has a great working relationship with the pitchers and McDowell.
    Now, having said that, does he sign another team friendly deal to stay, or does he take his skills to another team that can pay nore? If he sigms in the AL, he could receive a 10 year deal. On the other hand, if he signs with the Braves for 5 years, will he still be an effective hitter afterwards?
    I suppose it all depends on whether McCann wants to continue playing past 35 (a la Chipper).
    If he does, our B Mc will B Gone.

  • FredOwens

     @Big Bad Bob I doubt he’ll get 10 years as a catcher. Posada aside most don’t last that long at the highest level. He could get six with options but as the salary cap limits grow teeth it will be hard to see a team giving a catcher that kind of money. The Twinkies already regret the Mauer deal. I could see a the RSox or Yanks going 6yrs 108 with an option year or two but that’s extreme and most others won’t go there. He isn’t Albert at the plate or Yadi behind it. I suspect he’s gone unless he just can’t leave GA  and isn’t out to see who has the longest …row of zeros