March 17, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran (49) delivers a pitch against the New York Mets in the spring training game at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves' News 1/10

Morning Chop: A Summary of Atlanta Braves’ News



3 UP / 3 DOWN: 2014 Starting Pitchers

Fake Teams

Matt takes a look at which starting pitchers you should target and avoid for the 2014 fantasy baseball season.

↑↑↑3 UP↑↑↑

Julio Teheran - The Braves young starter was ranked the #1 right-handed pitching prospect by to begin the 2012 season. The Braves worked with Teheran throughout the 2012 season, having him repeatedly change his delivery in hopes to reduce the injury risk that came with his pitching motion. The Braves continued to tinker with his mechanics, which yielded results that were not close to living up to the previous expectations set for this top prospect. After the 2012 season, the Braves decided to scrap this failed approach and let Teheran get back to using his old delivery. Well, we saw how this worked out for Teheran in 2013, as he looked like the top pitching prospect from his days in the minors. Teheran flirted with no-hitters on multiple occasions in 2013 while earning Rookie of the Year considerations. After accumulating 185 innings pitched in 2013, the reigns should be completely off for this future ace in 2014. Teheran will be 23 years-old to enter the 2014 baseball season, and the future is very bright for this budding superstar.



Atlanta Braves’ Next Hall-Of-Famer Will Be Chipper Jones

Rant Sports

With the forthcoming inductions of former Atlanta Braves players Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine  into the Baseball Hall Of Fame, Braves fans start to think to themselves, “who’s next?”  That answer should be an easy one: Chipper Jones. Chipper will be a first-ballot Hall-Of-Famer — no question about it! …

With all due respect to John Smoltz, who will one day make the Hall Of Fame, Jones will beat him there and will absolutely be voted in when his allotted wait period ends.



Country star Aldean to perform at four big league parks

NEW YORK — Jason Aldean will perform on the field at packed Major League Baseball stadiums this season, and that’s close enough to a dream he had as a young first baseman.

The multiplatinum country music star, close friend with several Major League players and a lifelong Braves fan who has taken batting practice with the club, was at the studios in Manhattan on Thursday, and he announced that at least four MLB stadiums will be included on his 2014 Burn It Down Tour that starts May 1 and hits roughly 50 cities through year’s end.

The tour stops will include Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Nationals Park in Washington, PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and Aldean said more ballparks may be coming….

“I grew up about an hour south of Atlanta, I’m a huge Braves fan, and the last few seasons the Braves and Phillies have had a pretty good little rivalry going — and now Washington, too. So here I’m going to two of our rivals and before I even go play Atlanta at Turner Field, so I’ll probably take a little heat from some of my buddies on the Braves. It’s all good.”



2014 Baseball Hall of Fame: Greg Maddux explains why he signed with Braves over Yankees

NEW YORK — Sometimes Greg Maddux dreams in pinstripes.

Maddux said he still thinks about what would have happened if he signed with the Yankees in 1992 instead of solidifying his legendary career in Atlanta. Maddux was introduced to the Hall of Fame Thursday alongside fellow first-ballot picks Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan.

The Yankees’ offer to Maddux was historic for its time: a five-year, $34-million deal that would have given the 26-year-old the highest per-year salary any pitcher had ever received.

Instead, Maddux went to the Braves for five years and $28 million. Maddux said he has often contemplated what playing for the Yankees would have been like.

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  • fireboss

    The dude at Rant is really out of his mind if he thinks Smoltz won’t get in next year. It used to be a pretty good site too

    • carpengui

      Yeah, even if Smoltz doesn’t quite make it next year (Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez are also newcomers – plus Biggio and Piazza), then he’s still got time: it’s Jan 2018 before Chipper can even receive a vote.

      • Chris Headrick

        You never know with these yahoos that vote (as we’ve demonstrated). I thought Biggio would get in, but he was two votes shy. I agree Smoltz should get in, and it will be a travesty if he doesn’t next year, but nothing surprises me anymore with the screwed up HOF system, where many writers in the writers’ association don’t follow baseball, and haven’t for year!

    • Lee Trocinski

      Smoltz was similar, but not quite, to Schilling, and Curt got 30% this year. Smoltz is more-liked, but I doubt that accounts for an extra 2.5 times the votes. I think Chipper and Smoltz both get in on the ’18 ballot.

      • fireboss

        Smoltz and Schilling look the same on paper but Smoltz has things Schilling doesn’t starting with 153 saves to go with his 213 wins. Schilling has 22 to go with his 216. Voters will rightly see that as an advantage over Schilling. He’s the only pitcher with 200+ wins and 100+ saves. The only other pitcher close to that is Eckersley with 197 wins and 390 saves and he was a first ballot HoF choice.

        Smoltz missed 2000 completely and spent three years in the bullpen and is ahead or just marginally behind Schilling. This is not to say I don’t believe schilling is a Hall of Fame pitcher. Rather that Smoltz was better and the voters will see that. if the writers press ahead withe the changes being demanded by their most notable members. We could well have the best rotation of any induction class ever next year with Pedro, Johnson, Smoltz, Schilling joining I hope Biggio and Bagwell at least.

        • Lee Trocinski

          Schilling had 2 or 3 seasons better than Smoltz’s best season in ’96, and more great seasons overall. Smoltz had more above-average seasons, but his quality of performance was not as good as Schilling.

          • fireboss

            The numbers do not tell the whole story. Smoltz could have returned to starting after 1 season as a closer when he set a Braves record and saved more games than anyone else. Had he put up even his average year he’d have 30 more wins, 300 more strikeouts and two more 130 or better ERA + years. The Braves kept him in the pen and he saved another 98 games in two years once again leading the NL in saves and second only to Mo.
            Smoltz went from dominant starter to dominant closer back to dominant starter, something that had never been done and set records in the process. I believe the majority of voters in what I expect to be a reworked voting system will put both men into the Hall next year.

  • Lee Trocinski

    Also, I’m not sold on Teheran at all. He outperformed his FIP, xFIP, and SIERA by half a run, and I don’t think he can maintain such a good K/BB ratio. He didn’t walk many guys because he threw a ton of pitches right down the middle, especially to RHH. Look at his PITCHF/X Heat Maps on FanGraphs, change to Rainbow color scheme, and compare it to Medlen. Medlen also has pitches down the middle, but his highest frequency is closer to the outside corner. Teheran is going to be hit much harder next year if that continues, and he doesn’t have great life on his fastball or a wipeout offspeed pitch to get as many Ks as he did. I’d take a guaranteed 3.75 ERA in a heartbeat.

    • fireboss

      I’m not convinced about Julio either but I keep telling myself he’s young and can improve. I worry about his motion and his emotional approach derailing him.

  • rick staley

    Don’t care about numbers as much these days, personally think people look too much into them to find answers. The real eye test is when these kids are under a microscope on a contending team and base runners are at each station. Are they going to fold, bear down now that the batter they are facing represents a run if he gets on via BB, or pitch -to-contact in hopes of a DP to limit damage and escape the big inning?

    Julio seemingly got himself into such situations in 2013. I know Fred has already alluded to the fact (in other posts) about he is scared that JT will produce a 5 run inning as a result of his aloof manner (paraphrased) in failing to remain focused and tenacious at the same time on the mound. Surprisingly, he crafted a 3.20 ERA as a rookie.

    2014 needs to be the year Roger barks a bit louder or the hitters will bite his teasing manner of losing focus toeing the rubber to the tune of a 4+ ERA…imho. Something inside tells me that this kid gets it, and wants to improve this season on his way to a 16-7/ 3.55 ERA campaign. My biggest question for Julio is are you going to have the stamina as Minor did come October???