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.
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 MLB.com 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.
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.”
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.
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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