Feb 16, 2014; Lake Buena Vistas, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez stands on the field prior to spring workout at Champion Stadium.. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 2/20/14


MLB Trade Rumors

Quick Hits: Buxton, Heyward, Padres, Saunders

  • The Braves signed long-term extensions with several core players but only extendedJason Heyward through his two remaining arbitration years.  While some believe that this means Heyward’s time in Atlanta is limited, MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby writes that “the expectation is that after next season, the Heyward deal can be expanded so that he, too, will be locked up at least through the first year in the new ballpark.”  Such a deal would require extending Heyward through at least his first two free agent years, which could get very expensive for the Braves if Heyward finally breaks out into stardom, as many have predicted for the young outfielder.




Beachy keeping control in camp’s early days

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Brandon Beachy has often been described as one of those maximum-effort individuals who pushes himself to the limit on the mound, in the gym or in any other competitive environment.

But even as he attempts to distance himself from the bouts of frustration he experienced while attempting to return from Tommy John surgery last season, he plans to moderate his effort during the early days of camp and the Grapefruit League season.

Beachy has provided encouragement, as he has been able to consistently throw in pain-free fashion over the past month. Sticking to his plan on Wednesday morning, he threw his first batting-practice session of the year in a controlled manner.

“You could tell he wasn’t full bore, which is fine,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said, “but he looked good.”



Rant Sports

Atlanta Braves 2014 Spring Training Profile: Ryan Buchter

He’s spent eight years in the minor leagues and has been to Spring Training with the big league club just twice, but relief pitcher Ryan Buchter finally has a legitimate shot at making the Atlanta Braves squad for the first time in his long baseball career.

Originally a draft pick of the Washington Nationals in 2005, Buchter made his way to Atlanta via a trade with the Chicago Cubs in 2011. In 2012, he was elevated from double-A to triple-A and pitched very well in 2013. He’s got a full head of steam entering this camp and should be one to watch.

In 62 innings spanning 51 appearances at triple-A in 2013, he held a 2.76 ERA with 103 strikeouts. He held his opponents to a .132 average and even picked up four wins and five saves. In winter ball in Mexico, he continued his success with 26 strikeouts and a .69 ERA through 13 innings.



Rowland’s Office


FW and Fredi were signed to new contracts today, terms undisclosed. Wren, despite some major stumbles, is deserving. I’m not sure I’d say the same about Fredi, who tends to save his worst decisions for the games that matter most.

There was last year’s call to keep Kimbrel in the ‘pen in Game 4 of the NLDS.  A year earlier, in the Wild Card game against St. Louis, he ordered a safety squeeze by Andrelton in the 4th inning with one out, a slow-footed Freddie on 3rd and the PITCHER on deck.

Or how ’bout his decision, in Game 162 of the 2011 season, to pitch to Hunter Pence with Michael Martinez, a 28-year-old rookie with a .196 BA, on deck. Pence, as you may recall, drove in the run that eliminated the Bravos from the playoffs.

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