May 6, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) and relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) embrace at the end of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Braves defeated the Reds 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Braves News 5/7


 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Braves quotes after Monday’s win vs. Reds

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

ANDRELTON SIMMONS

On his night:

“It was fun. I felt good. I got a couple pitches over the plate. Thanks to my teammates though, they gave me a good scouting report before I faced anybody so they made it easier.”

On adjustments last two weeks:

“I’m feeling better, getting my timing back. That off day, that rainout we had really helped. I spent some time in the cage, talked to the coaches, Justin helped quite a bit too and I feel right where I want to be right now. I’m right where I want to be.”

FREDI GONZALEZ

On Gattis in left:

“He did fine. You could say he let one in, and he drove one in. So he’s tied. But he did fine, really. The ball that was sinking away from him, maybe instead of giving up two runs there he only gives up one, if he dives for it. Other than that, he did fine.”

 

Athens Banner-Herald

Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Otis Nixon arrested

Former Major League outfielder Otis Nixon has been arrested on drug charges following a weekend traffic stop in suburban Atlanta.

A report from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office says Nixon was pulled over just after midnight Saturday after another driver called police to report a Dodge Ram truck weaving all over the road. The 54-year-old remained in jail Monday afternoon on $11,880 bond.

The report says deputies found a pipe to smoke crack cocaine in Nixon’s pocket and another in the car. They also found several suspected crack rocks.

 

The Leadoff Walk

Day 36 Observations: Hitters

Braves 7, Reds 4
Finally thawing after a thick offensive cold streak to begin the season, Simmons is beginning to resemble the player that starred during March’s World Baseball Classic. Simmons had his second three-hit game of the last week on Monday night with two of his hits going for home runs. The homers doubled his season total while his four RBI gave him 15 on the season to go with 17 runs scored. Simmons is now hitting .252/.305/.402 through 29 games, though it doesn’t really matter what his offensive numbers look like considering he’s already established himself as the defensive shortstop in baseball thanks to his incredible throwing arm and near-limitless range. Whether he hits or not, Simmons is a star.
In his season-debut following shoulder surgery over the winter, McCann went hitless in four at-bats with a walk, but his results aren’t important. At least not yet. All that matters for McCann is that he was back behind the plate for Atlanta and appeared more than capable of handling the catching duties. Last season was the worst of McCann’s career as battled through the injury which later required surgery. In 2011, his last fully healthy season, McCann hit .270/.351/.466, and provided his shoulder is sound, there’s no reason to think McCann can’t get close to replicating that kind of production.

Braves 7, Reds 3

Paul Maholm was more effective, even though it didn’t always seem that way. The Reds are a patient team, and they made him work. Still, it’s hard to argue with 5.2 innings and only 2 runs, and while Maholm isn’t replicating his run at the end of last season any time soon, we can live with him pitching like this. GearrinAvilan, and Kimbrel were effective in relief, allowing no runs over 2.1 innings of work, but Jordan Walden made things interesting, allowing 2 in the 8th an necessitating Kimbrel’s appearance.

Brian McCann wasn’t particularly impressive in his 2013 debut, but I was glad to see him back in the lineup. He adds some much-needed lefty depth behind Justin Upton, who failed to homer but had two hits. Also, it’s weird to see McCann and Evan Gattis hitting back to back. It can’t go on forever, but you figure, Gattis can spell Freeman at 1B once every two weeks, play in the OF once or twice a week, and grab a start at catcher once a week, and you’re talking 3 or 4 starts every week, plus your random pinch hit appearances. Seems workable to me.

 

 

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