Oct 6, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) reacts after striking out to end the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 2/28/14

Fake Teams

Outfielders to Avoid in 2014

Justin Upton, Braves - Jasper Scherer (follow @jaspsch)

On paper, Upton had a productive season in 2013, compiling 27 home runs, 70 RBI and an .818 OPS. That’s all well and good for those who owned him last season, but there are several red flags for this upcoming season. Primarily, Upton fell off massively after his freakishly hot start. After blasting 12 homers in April, he managed just 15 more in the remaining five months, failed to bat above .300 in any given month, and hit .211 and .226 in May and June, respectively. Also concerning is Upton’s propensity to strike out; he did so 161 times in 2013. That all-or-nothing approach proved costly at times, and doesn’t lend much confidence going forward. Finally, Upton projects to bat second in the Braves lineup this season, meaning those hitting in front of him when the lineup swings back around areDan Uggla (.309 OBP in 2013), brother B.J (.268 OBP), the pitcher’s spot and Jason Heyward (respectable .349 OBP despite a .254 AVG). In other words, Upton won’t have a ton of RBI opportunities.



Rant Sports

Atlanta Braves’ Dan Uggla To Be Better In 2014

He’s never been a good average hitter, ever. He’s known for his absolute monster home runs. Oh, and his very large arms for any baseball player, much less a second baseman. Over the past few seasons, he’s been known as a waste of money and a bust.

Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla is far from those last two characteristics. Just flip on the TV and watch the man play. In his three seasons with the team, there are few times that you will see him not give 110 percent out on the field. With every ball in play, he busts his tail down the line and runs through the bag. Now, is that alone worth the $13 million that the team is paying him? No way.



via Ledger-Enquirer

Heyward blasts monster homer in 5-2 loss to Tigers

LAKELAND, Fla. — Jason Heyward remembers his first home run in a major league uniform, a mammoth drive against Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer in a spring-training game at Lakeland in 2010. Heyward was a rookie and Scherzer was three years away from winning the American League Cy Young Award.

Heyward did it again Thursday at Lakeland’s Joker Marchant Stadium, driving a long homer onto the metal roof of the building beyond right field that houses the Tigers’ batting cages. It was a game-tying, bases-empty shot off left-hander Duane Below in the third inning of a 5-2 Grapefruit League loss.

“I saw it leave,” Heyward said, “but I did not see it land.”




Laird day to day with lower back strain

LAKELAND, Fla. – Gerald Laird was in obvious pain as he attempted to pack his bag before leaving Joker Marchant Stadium on Thursday afternoon. But he hopes to return to action after resting his back over the next few days.

Laird exited Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Tigers after experiencing back spasms in the first inning. The Braves termed the injury a lower back strain and gave him a day-to-day status.

“It happened before, a couple years ago,” Laird said. “Once it releases, you usually don’t have any problems with it.”

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  • fireboss

    I nominate gives “110%” as the most ridiculous, over used, nonsensical expression/cliche that just won’t go away. It is simply impossible to give more than 100% of your ability because by definition 100% is all you have.

    • Mushy Peas

      I agree 110%. I always chuckle and roll my eyes every time I read or hear that as well. I’m sure that will likely be an ongoing disputation; however, I do have another comment that may or may not compete for a bit more interest or debate: I would like to officially say that I do wish all the best luck can afford Uggs this season as I’m sure most Braves fans do as well, though I’m sure there are many who wish he would simply just disappear. I’ve recently read certain statements in regards to the possibility of trading Mr. Uggla if in fact he does manage to increase his overall productivity this year. The idea being that if he can manage and sustain any sort of success this season will suddenly make him “somewhat” more of a potential candidate of interest for other clubs. Unfortunately, he’s no spring chicken (unless you are an active member of the Phillies’ organization). Even more unfortunate is the fact that he has been riding a steady wave of decline over the past few years and has certainly never proven himself to be any kind of defensive gem on the infield. My feeling is that most teams, if not all, will see any sort of increase in Uggla’s productivity as nothing more than a seasonal aberration. Despite this, as I said before, I wish him the best of luck, though honesly, I’m certain luck even has it’s price limit when it comes to good ol’ Dan. As for all those Uggla detracters, you’d best learn to love him, even if you hate him because I’m fairly certain we’ll all being seeing him in a Braves uniform for the remainder of his contract or until he’s released to make way for the up-and-comers.

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