Aug 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) smiles during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 11/22


Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Agent: McCann willing to learn to play first base

Brian McCann‘s agent, B.B. Abbott, went on Boston’s WEEI radio station and spoke of the free agent catcher’s interest to do anything possible for whatever club signs him.

Aug 13, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) runs to first base against the Philadelphia Phillies during the 7th inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

McCann, who has never played any other position but catcher, is open to learning how to play first base and serve as designated hitter to prolong his time on the field, Abbott told the station.

“He’s in search of additional at-bats to try to maximize what value he has to a team, but I think primarily, at least in his mind, he’s a catcher,” Abbott commented via phone on Wednesday.

He added:  “He gets it. He understands that his bat is what is the driving force behind this, but he takes pretty great pride in what he does behind the plate and he wants this to be a focus in this as well.”

McCann has drawn interest from about 10 teams, Abbott has said.

McCann will reportedly visit – over the next few weeks – with the teams that have shown interest, including the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees.

 

Fantasy Baseball Cracker Jacks

Julio Teheran: Braves Pitcher Will Keep Excelling in 2014 and Beyond

When a player is on an organization’s Top-10 prospects list for six straight years, expectations are high once they reach the major league level. Julio Teheran was given an opportunity for a spot in the Atlanta Braves rotation for 2013 and he never looked back, finishing fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting while posting the following numbers.

You will get an outstanding WHIP with Teheran to go along with his excellent strikeout rate that was discussed above. His WHIP for the 2013 season was 1.17. This WHIP has shown to be very sustainable and should be going forward, as he has posted similar numbers throughout his career in the Atlanta Braves organization.

His 2.97 ERA that he posted in the second half of the season should see an increase for 2014. He had a strand rate above 80% which is a little on the high side. I expect an ERA above the 3.35 that he posted in the first half of the season. I see Teheran posting an ERA around 3.50 with a strand rate that is more in line with the league average around 72%. My projected ERA can be lower than 3.50 and possibly closer to an ERA of 3.00, but he’d have to continue to progress at the rapid pace he’s currently on.

A pitcher like Jose Fernandez in Miami will always be at a disadvantage because of the offense that he has supporting him. Julio Teheran is on an Atlanta Braves team that finished 4th in the National League in Runs. The Atlanta Braves offensive production will give him an additional three to five wins a year. He won 14 games in 2013. Although it is hard to forecast wins for a pitcher, I see him posting something close to 14 wins again with a ceiling of a possible 17 wins for an Atlanta team that will again be the frontrunner for the National League East title in 2014.

Teheran is near the top of my list of sleepers going into 2014 for all of the reasons I stated above. But bigger than all of those reasons, his draft position is the main reason I’m so high on him.

 

Fansided

Braves’ Craig Kimbrel selected as ‘Delivery Man of the Year’

Oct 4, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the ninth inning of game two of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Turner Field. The Braves won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has been selected as this year’s recipient of the ‘Delivery Man of the Year’ award, handed out to Major League Baseball’s top reliever.

Kimbrel held opponents to a .166 batting average while posting a 1.21 ERA and converted 50 out of 54 save opportunities, which led the league in 2013.

The 25-year-old stopper completed his 4th season in MLB this year, and his third as the full-time closer.  Kimbrel had 42 saves in 2012 and 46 in 2011 while sporting a sterling career ERA of 1.39.

Kimbrel, the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year and three time All-Star, was also selected as the 2012 NL Rolaids Relief award winner.

Past winners of the ‘Delivery Man’ honors, starting in 2005 include: Mariano Rivera in 2005-06, Jonathan Papelbon, Brad Lidge, Rivera, Heath Bell, Jose Valverde and Fernando Rodney, respectively.

 

Rome Braves

Season Tickets and Twelve Pack Plans on Sale Now

2014 Season Tickets along with twelve pack plans are now available at the Rome Braves ticket office. Six packs will be available for sale on December 2nd. All plans include a ticket to the Atlanta Braves exhibition game at State Mutual Stadium on Saturday March 29th and opening night on April 10th. These ticket packages make great holiday gifts and start as low as $60.

Season ticket holders enjoy a guaranteed seat for 70 games plus many added benefits and discounts. Purchase a six or twelve pack ticket plan and receive undated vouchers to be used during the season.

The Rome Braves will host the Atlanta Braves in a special exhibition game at State Mutual Stadium on Saturday, March 29, 2014 against the Braves Future Stars. The Future Stars team will be made up of players from the Rome, Mississippi and Gwinnett Braves. This preseason game will be the last one for the Atlanta Braves before they travel to Philadelphia to open the 2014 season.

 

 

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