Braves must replace Hudson, Maholm in rotation
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel has played only three full seasons in the majors, and already his contemporaries are considered the veterans of the team.
Kimbrel, 25, said it’s difficult for him to realize the young starters must now lead the rotation.
“Yeah, it’s kind of hard. Guys that I played minor league ball with are now the veterans of the ballclub,” Kimbrel said Monday, the first day of the Braves’ informal pitching camp. “It’s something that happened really fast and a lot of those guys are going to have to step into those shoes and win a lot of baseball games.”
The Braves acquired Ryan Doumit in a trade with the Twins last month, expecting him to contribute mostly off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Doumit had suffered a concussion in August. While he made a few starts behind the dish upon his return in mid-August, he contributed only as a pinch-hitter, DH, and occasional outfielder in September.
Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press spoke to Brian Dozier, a former teammate of Doumit’s, who said that Doumit is “not catching anymore”. However, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is refuting that report:
…after Doumit difficulities following Aug. concussion. #Braves traded for Doumit to be backup C/1B/corner OF. Wren no comment at this time
Atlanta Braves Country Caravan comes to Aiken to meet fans
Braves general manager Frank Wren, Hall of Fame pitcher and broadcaster Don Sutton, and former players Marquis Grissom and Brian Jordan made the trip to sign autographs and talk baseball with fans as part of the Braves Country Caravan.
A variety of executives, coaches, broadcasters and players travel more than 3,000 miles for 12 stops throughout the Southeast to meet fans and thank them for their support.
“I think this is our opportunity in the wintertime to come see the fans where they live,” Wren said. “They come all summer long to see us, so this gives us a chance over the winter to reach out to our fans, and it’s a great opportunity to get out in the community.”
The caravan is also an opportunity to discuss the latest involving the Braves and their expectations for the new season.
“We were one of the youngest teams in baseball last year and we won the second-most games in all of baseball, so I feel like we have a young, dynamic club that’s on the rise,” Wren said. “It’s hard to replace guys like Brian McCann and Tim Hudson, there’s no doubt about that. But we do think we have a good group of young players.”
Former Atlanta Braves infielder Elliot Johnson signs with Cleveland Indians
The 29-year-old Johnson served as a utility man in his limited stay with Atlanta, but he is most famously known as the starting second baseman (my goodness) for the 2013 playoff run where he unceremoniously went 1-for-15 at the plate with sub-par defense. Johnson appeared in 32 games for the Braves, and in 102 plate appearances, he put up a respectable .261/.317/.359 slash line with 8 stolen bases in 10 attempts.
#Indians have signed INF Elliot Johnson to minor league deal w/ invite to Major League Spring Training
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) January 27, 2014