Fredi G. On Youth, Extensions, and Chances At Redemption

A flux of great quotes from Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell made their way onto Twitter today courtesy of Andrew Hirsch, sportswriter for the Forsyth County News. Andrew did an excellent job providing the information that helps answer a lot of questions that many (myself included) still currently have.

Uggla’s In, But For How Long?


So there you have it folks; Dan Uggla will be, barring any injury or too good to be true trade, the Braves starting second baseman entering the 2014 season.  I have long felt this was going to be the situation, and was unfazed by any Brandon Phillips or Howie Kendrick rumors.  Uggla will be given another shot, and maybe the presence of 2B prospect Tommy LaStella in Spring Training will be a good motivation tool.

Faith in B.J. Upton:

Fredi went where very few try to go and defended his center fielder.  Then again, no one else is paid to play him.  But hindsight is 20/20(much like the player we hope B.J. to be) and everyone in Braves Country should focus on what Upton as a player brings to the table, not his horrific 2013.

On McCann’s Departure:

Fredi shares the views of many of us Braves fans.  While some view it as heresy for a Brave to sign with the Yankees, Brian McCann was going to be paid an extreme amount of money by someone that the Braves could and would not match.  The Yankees just happened to need a catcher.  I myself believe he did what any reasonable person would do, and I wish the best of luck for McCann and his family in New York.  I know I’d bet on that pull power in New Yankee Stadium

On McCann’s Successor:

We’ve heard this one quite a few times from different publications.

Ryan Doumit; Professional Pinch Hitter:

Much to what is sure to be Alan’s enjoyment (and my own), Fredi has confirmed Ryan Doumit will primarily be a pinch hitter. Many, including myself, pondered briefly why the Braves would acquire yet another catcher, but after Alan’s article, it became increasingly clear that Fredi just wanted the switch hitting version of new Chicago Cubs first base coach Eric Hinske.

The Pending Return of Eric O’Flaherty:

Braves beat writer Mark Bowman followed up this report in a response to a question in his latest mailbag article. It seems that Eric O’Flahrety is torn between returning to his comfort zone on a one year deal in attempt to re-enter the free agent market strong next offseason and taking the luxury of multi-year security now for likely less money. It leaves you a little questionable of where O’Flahrety is at with his rehab and if he will be on time enough to make a difference in 2014. I made my case for why a one year reunion would be beneficial to both sides a couple of months ago.

Not Paying For An Ace:

That pretty much puts the final nail in an already air tight coffin that is David Price or Max Scherzer trade talks, as likely either of those trades would need to come with an extension. Elsewhere in the world today, David Price got $14MM for his second arbitration year, and just yesterday the Dodgers made Clayton Kershaw the most expensive pitcher ever. Any Price deal is likely to only be for two very expensive seasons. The Braves niche for sometime has been to develop good young starting pitching, and will likely continue to be, especially for the near future.

The Braves like their guns and are sticking to them.

Dark Days Soon to Be on the Horizon:

As expected, seemingly superhuman closer Craig Kimbrel and star in the making outfielder Jason Heyward are going year to year in arbitration, and seem likely to eventually depart via free agency come 2016. The Braves will likely turn their attention to players like Freddie Freeman and Andrelton Simmons, and even pitcher Mike Minor, with extension offers to create some cost certainty that the Braves are sorely missing this offseason.

Beachy Healthy, Ready To Start:

In the last bit of major news, Fredi confirmed that starting pitcher Brandon Beachy is healthy and will be ready to start spring training. This is very good news, and basically solidifies the Opening Day rotation(barring any injuries) of Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran, Alex Wood and Beachy.

Some Interesting Tidbits Before I Go

I have to admit that was a brutal move to make on his long time manager.





Tags: Braves Fredi Gonzalez Interview Roger McDowell

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