Oct 4, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Jason Heyward (right), right fielder Justin Upton (8), and center fielder B.J. Upton (left) celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in 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

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 1/13

Beyond The Box Score

Finding value in Paul Maholm

One name that hasn’t generated much buzz around the campfire is Paul Maholm. I’m not saying it’s a surprise. He mustered a paltry 5.12 FIP from July through September, and that prompted the Braves to keep him off the postseason roster. Indeed, that’s an ugly way to foray into free agency.

Aug 28, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Paul Maholm (28) pitches in the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

But, saying Maholm’s market has been completely dead wouldn’t be accurate. We’ve heard a few whispers. Most recently, the Minnesota Twins were said to be “monitoring” Maholm, in addition to a handful of others. Which basically translates to this: he’s not Minnesota’s No. 1 priority, but if they’re still searching for rotation depth come early February, they’ll give him a look. Or something along those lines.

Elsewhere, the New York Mets talked to Maholm’s agent in December, but nothing is expected to come to fruition. The Mets have a slew of young pitchers capable of anchoring down the back-end of their rotation, but perhaps they go for the experienced option on a short-term deal to give the youngsters a little bit more time to develop. It’d make sense.

That’s pretty much it, though. And again, I can’t say I’m super-surprised. Maholm wasn’t terrifyingly bad in 2013, but he wasn’t good. Even “average” would, technically, be wrong, where FIP-, xFIP- and ERA- all go on a “100 is average” system.


MLB Rumors

Atlanta Braves Rumors

It will be tough for the Braves to sign Jason Heyward to a long-term deal, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. With Heyward just two years away from being eligible for free agency, he has less incentive to accept the security of an extension, and therefore won’t be inclined to give the Braves much of a discount. It might be better for the Braves to focus their efforts on signing Andrelton Simmonsand/or Freddie Freeman, O’Brien suggests.


Sandy Springs Patch

New Braves Stadium Will Impact Sandy Springs Traffic, Question is How Much?

The stadium will be located just outside of Sandy Springs and less than a mile from the new site of Heards Ferry Elementary School.

Sandy Springs staff has started an assessment on the impact of the Atlanta Braves’ new ballpark on local traffic.

The stadium will be located in the Cumberland Mall area just outside Sandy Springs, and less than a mile from the new site of Heards Ferry Elementary School at 6151 Powers Ferry Road.

During public comment at last week’s City Council meeting, resident Michael McDonald asked about the stadium’s impact. He also raised the question in a previous meeting. Mayor Rusty Paul said, “I’m not sure we know at this point. We’ll have some conversations with Cobb County.”

Paul added, “That is something we’ll be able to discuss more fully as we learn more. There is no question that it is going to have an impact on parts of the city, and we are in the process of doing that assessment today.”


Gwinnett Braves

Tom Glavine: The First G-Brave in Cooperstown

Though he played just two games with the club, legendary Atlanta Braves’ left-handerTom Glavine is a former G-Brave.  With the announcement of Glavine as part of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2014 induction class yesterday, the Gwinnett Braves Baseball Club has its first member of Cooperstown.

Glavine, who will be enshrined in the Hall alongside rotation-mate Greg Maddux and their manager Bobby Cox on July 27, 2014, was ever-so-briefly a member of the Gwinnett roster in 2009.  The G-Braves were not quite two months into their inaugural season at then-named Gwinnett Stadium when Glavine came to town on a minor league injury rehab assignment.

Glavine had rejoined Atlanta as a free agent in 2008 after spending the previous five seasons with the New York Mets.  He went 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA in 13 starts that year, a campaign shortened by three trips to the disabled list.  A nagging left elbow strain ended the left-hander’s season in mid-August, and Glavine underwent surgery with Dr. James Andrews to repair a torn flexor tendon on August 21.  The 2009 season was to be the 43-year-old’s comeback from the only major injury of his career.

His first rehab outing came with Double-A Mississippi on April 12, 2009, a 2.0-inning start in which he allowed a run on three hits in a no-decision.  Though he was efficient with 26 strikes among his 36 pitches, Glavine wouldn’t take the mound again until late May.

It was on May 23, 2009 when Glavine made his Gwinnett Braves debut.  In front of a Gwinnett Stadium crowd of 9,294, he turned in 3.0 innings against Toledo, yielding three runs on five hits.  Two of those runs came on a two-run homer by Mud Hens’ first baseman Ryan Roberson in the third inning.  Glavine left in line to lose, but the G-Braves scored seven runs over the fourth and fifth innings to take a 9-3 lead.  Two scoreless frames from relieverFrancisley Bueno and a rain storm that erupted prior to the sixth gave Gwinnett the 9-3 victory in a shortened five-inning contest.

Five days later, Glavine made his final appearance in a G-Braves uniform and provided one last glimpse of his legacy for the 5,571 in attendance.  He handcuffed the Indianapolis Indians to six hits over 5.0 scoreless innings, walking one while striking out two.  Glavine threw 67 pitches, 41 for strikes to earn the win as Gwinnett prevailed, 10-6.

Those two outings (1-0 with a 3.38 ERA) marked the whole of Glavine’s time as a G-Brave.  However, it was not his final outing in professional baseball.  The last start of his career came with the Class-A Rome Braves on June 2, 2009.  Glavine won that game as well, tossing 6.0 scoreless, three-hit innings, walking none and striking out two in a 3-0 blanking of Augusta.



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