March 15, 2012; Clearwater, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens (49) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Last Stretch Is A Grind

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Earlier today, our editor wrote how this was the best part of Spring Training. I have to respectfully disagree. This part of Spring Training is great for the position battles and the roster moves that ensue, yes. But the games are boring. The excitement of baseball being back is gone, replaced by the monotonous meaningless games. You just want the games to start. Luckily, there is a bit of a break because of the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics starting the regular season today.

But for the other 28 teams, it’s hard. You saw it in yesterday’s game against the Mets. Both teams are opening the season against each other and we are in the final turn of the rotation before Opening Day. So you saw two pitchers start the game that will likely not be on the Opening Day roster. That’s fine, I suppose. In the big picture it means meaningful baseball is so close. In the small picture, you can pretty much glance over most of the statistics and results in the next week.

In the Braves perspective, you do have some questions although the answers do seem a little bit more clear. Andrelton Simmons has taken the expected step back and will likely start the season in the minors. The rotation seems set, although Julio Teheran will get a final look, and a final shot, to make his case (at least to start the season.) Jair Jurrjens stopped worrying about his knee and pitched his best game of the spring. Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are getting their hitting sticks into mid-season form. Things that had people worrying since last September have slowly been disappearing. The optimism surrounding Opening Day seems to be increasing for the Braves (despite the Chipper Jones injury) just as it is fading for their biggest division rival in Philadelphia. It should be a very interesting season. If only there wasn’t this last week to have to sit through.

Tags: Andrelton Simmons Braves Chipper Jones Freddie Freeman Jair Jurrjens Jason Heyward Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training

comments powered by Disqus