The Atlanta Braves have played five spring training games in 2013 and have accumulated a 2-3 record. The spring training record for any team means nothing and never has but it’s interesting to take a look at the statistics through the opening games.
Usually in spring training the hitters are behind the pitching and batting averages are down. Even though early and most have had less than 10 at bats, the Braves offensive seem to have gotten off on the right foot.
Evan Gattis and B.J. Upton both have five hits and are hitting over .500. Justin Upton started out slow not getting a hit in five at bats but since then in the last two games, he has gone 3-5 with a towering home run. Freddie Freeman has hit well starting off going 4-11 and has scored twice. Jason Heyward has two bombs already but those are his only hits so far. Dan Uggla has started the year off with two singles in nine at bats and has yet to pick up an RBI. In the two games Andrelton Simmons played with the Braves before going to the World Baseball Classic he didn’t collect a hit but did almost hit a bomb to center field, see the video below.
Then, we have the positional battles the Braves have this spring training. The third base position hasn’t taken a leader in the first couple games with both Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco having two hits and an RBI apiece. Christian Bethancourt and Gerald Laird both only have four at bats, Bethancourt having a double and Laird not finding a gap yet.
We’ve seen all five starting pitchers on the mound so far with each going two innings. Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm and Julio Teheran didn’t allow a hit or run in their outings. Kris Medlen gave up two hits but didn’t allow a run to cross the plate. Mike Minor struggled in his first outing giving up three hits and two runs to the Washington Nationals. A bright side in Minor’s day was the four strikeouts he totaled.
The most alerting aspect to take away from the first few games has been the bullpen. Supposedly one of the best in the game, the Braves have struggled in this area. Craig Kimbrel has appeared twice so far and gave up one run, Jonny Venters gave up two runs on three hits in one inning of work and Jordan Walden let four runs cross the plate in his single appearance this spring. Eric O’Flaherty has yet to pitch this spring being extra cautious with his sore back and probably won’t be back until next week