Mar 5, 2014; Clearwater, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Brandon Beachy (37) pitches in the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Brighthouse Networks Field. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 3/6/14

Rant Sports

Atlanta Braves Spring Training: Top 5 Early Standouts

We’re nearing the one-month mark since pitchers and catchers reported to Major League Baseball Spring Training and we have already begun some preseason baseball. Now is the time of year when old faces renew themselves and new faces stake their claim on their respective franchises.

The Atlanta Braves are currently 1-6-2 entering their Thursday night matchup with the Washington Nationals. While you’d like to win, it’s important to note that Spring Training is all about the individual player and their performance. Wins and losses aren’t necessarily a true determination of how good a team is. Spring is all about working out the kinks and shaking off the rust from the offseason.

For the Braves, they’ve had several players get the rust knocked off early. Even better, a couple of those players are at positions where they need replacements, pitcher and catcher. Whenever you lose a key player, you hope for the next man up to be ready for the opportunity. For the Braves, the early going certainly says the next man up was eager for the chance.



Fake Teams

Starting Pitchers to Target in 2014

Julio Teheran, Braves - Matt Mattingly (follow @mattmattingly81)

The Braves young starter was ranked the #1 rated right-handed pitching prospect by to begin the 2012 season. Teheran struggled during the 2012 season while focusing on making adjustments to his pitching motion. The Braves allowed Teheran to return to his old mechanics in 2013, and we saw why the former top prospect was once so highly regarded. The rookie flirted with multiple no-hitters on the year while earning the label as a must-start fantasy option. After accumulating 185 innings pitched in 2013, the reigns should be completely off for this future fantasy ace in 2014. Coming in at #26 overall in our consensus SP rankings earlier this week, Teheran has the skill set to improve upon his 2013 performance, and is capable of becoming a top 15 overall fantasy SP by this time next year.




Braves’ Brandon Beachy sharp in second start

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Brandon Beachy pitched three no-hit innings in his second start since having shoulder surgery in September and B.J. Upton doubled among his two hits for the Atlanta braves, who tied the Philadelphia Phillies 2-2 Wednesday.  Beachy’s outing was a significant improvement over his first outing, when he gave up five hits and two runs in 1 2-3 innings against Houston.  Upton is trying to rebound from a horrid first season in Atlanta. He hit .184 in 126 games after signing for five years and $75 million.  Kevin Frandsen drove in Bobby Abreu in the fourth inning for the Phillies’ first run. Frandsen was 2 for 3.  Sean O’Sullivan pitched three shutout innings despite giving up three hits and a walk.

Starting time

Braves: Beachy said that his arm feels fine, a change from most of the last two seasons. Beachy had Tommy John surgery in June 2012 and a minor shoulder operation in September 2013.  “I felt better. More comfortable out there. Turned it up a little more,” Beachy said. “I don’t know what the radar gun said or anything like that, but I felt like I had my legs under me a little bit better in the third inning.”



Bleacher Report

MLB Team Needs 2014: Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves have youth, power and pitching, but they don’t come without their obvious questions.

The 2014 season will largely answer if the youth movement in Atlanta can actually take hold and yield the kind of success many fans believe it can.

Join MLB Contributor Gabe Zaldivar as he discusses a team that lost two big names in the form of Brian McCann and Tim Hudson.

Of course, they have the horses to make up for the loss of talent. EvanGattis is more than capable of providing the production on offense and defense at catcher and the pitching staff houses some of the more electric young arms in the senior circuit. Really, the various batteries should hold up to scrutiny. Still, there are a great deal of questions as it pertains to the staff ace, someone who can get the win when needed, garner innings and deal with the pressure that comes with the role.

Phillies, Braves play to 2-2 tie in Grapefruit League game

CLEARWATER, Fla. – Ryne Sandberg said Tuesday he wasn’t happy with the Phillies’ spring training record.

It’s doubtful his mood improved Wednesday after visiting Atlanta shut down the Phillies offense and rallied for a 2-2 tie.

The Phillies fell to 1-6-1 and have scored just seven runs in their past five games, all losses.

The Braves tied it in the ninth on a once-in-a-decade type play scripted for SportsCenter’s Not Top 10.



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  • Jeff Schafer

    Impressive 3 innings from Beachy yesterday

    • Chris Headrick

      Totally agree. Seemed a touch shaky at first, like he was pushing his pitches, but he settled in well. Very excited about that.

  • Mushy Peas

    I apologize ahead of time for the length. As you might assume, I didn’t have alot to do today.
    With that said, I’m not strictly all about the numbers. I don’t ignore them of course. They are essential, but not everything in baseball is quantifiable. I tend gravitate more to the strategic and psychological aspects of the game. With my eccentric thought process, one of the biggest questions that concerns the Braves this year, in my mind at least, is who will step up and become the definitive “team leader”? Please forgive the ridiculous cliché, but a team without a leader is like a ship without a rudder…..Well, no, maybe not. More like a ship with no sails. The manager steers the ship, but the clubhouse leader provides the means to sustain the positive momentum. That momentum is an essential ingredient for sucess. I know most folks say Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward are now the leaders in the clubhouse. Symbolically, I agree; however, I honestly don’t know if either are ready to suddenly assume that particular role. I think they both found comfort taking a back seat while continuing to allow their talents to develop and quietly contribute to the overall success they found last year. Freddie himself said that he never really saw himself as that kind of guy. I’m sure he may be capable in time…but now? At 24? I’m sure he’s still trying to contemplate his massive contract. As for J-Hey, who knows? At present, his main concern would be to just stay healthy. He seems like more of the leader-type, but he could be gone after 2 years. There’s still too much uncertainty there and we have to remember that he’s also only 24 years old. This shift has happened very arubtly, yet it really was no surprise. Chipper retired, but Mac and Huddy were there to keep things afloat. Anyone with any sense knew McCann was a goner after 2013. The loss of Tim Hudson was a downer. He was the veteran of the pitching staff. An important asset with all of the young guys trying to find and perfect their roles on the team. It seems like alot of people are forgetting, though (especially tv analysts), how well the team managed to perform without him for most of last season. A very hopeful sign for the future, I think. Still, no one immdiately comes to mind as the front runner of the starting pitching staff and, with the exception of Julio Teheran, none of them have a long-term deal (yet). Again, more uncertainty, and I’m still questioning the timing and length of Teheran’s contract…but that’s another story.
    At this point, the best we can hope for is that our guys can find their niche and find a way thrive as well as continuing to nuture the next up-and-comers. There is certainly no lack for potential. It’s just a matter as to whether that potential can be fully realized. I do know 2014 will definately be a fascinating season to watch. That most definately IS a certainty.

    • fireboss

      I think it’s a fair question as I too believe that since Chipper left they’ve almost been on autopilot. For what’s it;’s worth I told some folks two years ago this was Freddie’s team and he’s proven that to be true. Leaders don’t have to be vocal, it was late in Chipper’s career before he said a lot publicly and Jeter isn’t exactly the loudest in the room. Freddie is by action and example THE guy now. He’s there early, works late never gets too high or too low. When the team was challenged he was in the middle of it as much as BMac but Mac was the most vocal. This is Freddie’s fourth year and the length of his extension means he isn’t leaving. The rest of the group have to manage their own stuff while F5F is pretty consistent and in command all the time and has been for a year or more. Pitcher’s aren’t generally team leaders and while Huddy was an example for the Kids he wasn’t in the forefront of the team’s direction. As you say Jason has to focus on staying healthy, JUp can be a great player but he isn’t a team leader BJ well he has his own issues as does Uggla who has always been the blue collar do my work and what’s needed guy. CJ is just glad to be there and trying to repeat his last season is his focus. Simba is potentially a guy that could lead in 3 or 4 years but for now he too is trying to stabilize his feet. Gattis is trying to be a catcher full time and Laid isn’t a factor other than helping Gattis and on the bench. I’m not worried about F5F in that role, I think he’s made for it and if the team follows his lead and personaily we’ll be fine.