Braves’ Lowe debuts in Dunedin

 Dunedin, Fla. –- We’re here in Dunedin for the debut of Derek Lowe, and the crowd brings to mind a recent description that Tampa Bay reliever Joe Nelson had for the Rays’ new spring home of Port Charlotte, Fla.: looks like a casting call for Cocoon III.

 Alright, alright it was just a joke, and not even mine. I just stole and relocated it. We don’t need missives from Dunedin residents.

 Anyway, Lowe is scheduled to go two innings today, like all Braves starters in their first outing of the spring. His Jays counterpart is none other than Roy Halladay, continuing the first-week trend of aces for the Braves.

 They faced Detroi’s Justin Verlander in their Wednesday opener, then Houston’s Roy Oswalt, Pittsburgh’s Tom Gorzelanny, and now Halladay, who might just be as good as any pitcher in the game.

  We get a lot of debate on the old blog and elsewhere about Lowe and whether he’s an “ace” or a true No. 1. My answer is that, while he’s not going to absolutely dominate as many games as a Jake Peavy or (when healthy) A.J. Burnett, the sinkerballer Lowe is capable of going pitch-for-pitch with them or any No. 1 on any given night.

 And some might suggest it’s a good bet that Lowe will average more starts, innings and perhaps even wins over the next few years than Peavy or Burnett. We’ll see.

 Anyway, the Braves paid a lot for him — $60 mill for four years, much higher than other offers he received – but they did so because they felt they had to get a legit top-of-the-rotation starter after falling short with Burnett (not to mention the Peavy epic), and he was definitely the best still on the market.

 As Bobby Cox has pointed out, the Braves were able to add three starters this winter (Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Kenshin Kawakami) without trading any of their top young pitching prospects, and losing only man-mountain catcher Tyler Flowers among their big-time prospects at any position).

  I was just on the field talking to Terry Pendleton about Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman, the two 19-year-old sluggers who’ve created a buzz in camp with their talent, advanced skills, and maturity at young ages.

  As Heyward, Freeman and SS Brandon Hicks was hitting bombs during a round of batting practice a few feet away from us, Pendleton remarked that from what he’s seen of all the young talent in the organization, the Braves’ future is bright.

  Jordan Schafer is knocking at the door. Pitcher Kris Medlen showed his live arm yesterday against Pittsburgh, a day after uber-prospect Tommy Hanson made his debut and showed off both his talent and aggressiveness.

  When Hanson hit the second batter he faced, shortstop Miguel Tejada, right after Oswalt hit the Braves’ shortstop Yunel Escobar, he impressed a whole lot of folks in his dugout.

  Hanson is 6 feet 6, but at that moment he might have been 10 feet tall in the view of some who loved seeing a 22-year-old show that kind of moxy, even if the official explanation was the pitch just got away.

 Anyway, all the young talent in the organization portending a bright Braves future was part of what agent Scott Boras used to sell Lowe on the Braves. Of course, if not for that big offer that Frank Wren made, it might not have mattered in the end.

  But to get him to Atlanta to listen to their pitch, the Boras sell was key — about their young talent and good infield and fair pitchers’ park and, of course, the presence of Bobby Cox, whom Lowe has known for years.

  Anyway, game’s starting now, so I’m gonna get this posted and we’ll fill you in on some other stuff in a while. The bare-bones notes:

 – Tom Glavine is expected to report middle of next week.

 – Most WBC guys will be leaving Sunday to report to their WBC teams, including Chipper and Brian McCann to the U.S. camp in Clearwater, Gregor Blanco (Venezuela) and Jorge Campillo (Mexico). Vazquez will report to Puerto Rico’s camp Monday.

 – OF Garrett Anderson is expected to play sometime next week.

 – The Braves will have a three-inning simulated game Monday for Vazquez and Jair Jurrjens to get their innings on regular schedule, since Monday’s an off day. Braves hitters will face them, and minor leaguers will do the fielding.

 

 

“IN SPITE OF ME” by Mark Sandman (Morphine)

 Last night I told a stranger all about you

they smiled patiently with disbelief

I always knew you would succeed

no matter what you tried

and I know you did it all

in spite of me

 

Still I’m proud to have known you

for the short time that I did

Proud to have been a step up on your way

Proud to be a part of your illustrious career

and I know you did it all

in spite of me

In spite of me

 

Late last night I saw you in my living room

You seemed so close but yet so cool

For a long time I thought that you’d be coming back to me

Those kind of thoughts can be so cruel

So cruel

And I know you did it all

in spite of me

In spite of me

552 comments Add your comment

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:28 pm

basehit right field Bautista

BuzzMEAT

February 28th, 2009
1:29 pm

is there any gameday on mlb.com because i cannot get the audio to work, with out a subscription

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:30 pm

snider singles……..

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:30 pm

Snider gets single, runners on 1st & 2nd

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:30 pm

Bautista scores, Snider to 2nd

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

Lowe gave up a couple singles through the infield in the first inning, but two of these three singles to start the second inning have been sharp hits, nothing seeing-eye about them.

No. 8 hitter Jason Lane’s RBI hit just drove in first run.

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:31 pm

safe hit to LF , scores from 2nd

0-1 Braves

Steve McP

February 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

DOB – why the delay in getting G Anderson in the line up?

Jim

February 28th, 2009
1:33 pm

What’s the lineup today?

Neon Deion

February 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

Where McCarver at?

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

Atlanta AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Schafer, CF 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .125
Johnson, 2B 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 .167
Escobar, SS 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .500
Kotchman, 1B 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .200
Diaz, DH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .143
Jones, B, LF 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250
Ross, C 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 .667
Prado, 3B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Blanco, G, RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .333
Totals 7 0 2

Josh B

February 28th, 2009
1:35 pm

Schafer CF,Kelly 2B , Escobar SS, Kotch 1B, Diaz DH, Brandon Jones LF, Ross C, Prado 3B, Blanco RF

Epinephrine

February 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

Is Lowe out of options??????????????

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

Schafer, CF
Johnson, 2B
Escobar, SS
Kotchman, 1B
Diaz, DH
Jones, B,
Ross, C
Prado, 3B
Blanco, G, RF

Pat

February 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

Lowe has been getting alot of ground balls so its a good sign they are just getting through the holes

Tim McCarver

February 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

While I am a douchebag simpleton, you’re a real man Deion, a real man.

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:36 pm

Lowe is out of options

Pat

February 28th, 2009
1:37 pm

Lowe k’s last 2 guys to end the inning

Epinephrine

February 28th, 2009
1:37 pm

I was kidding

N Nine (eta35)

February 28th, 2009
1:37 pm

Ya KC. I hope the baseball GODS gives us a favorable chance. Its hard to repeat the struggles with injuries and close games(mlb record). I feel optimistic. But, wow, wouldn’t Santana be big if that sore elbow turns out a bigger issue? Muts pitching would not recover.. Maybe the REAPER gets hurt or hurts someone this year (wishful thinking)

DWW

February 28th, 2009
1:39 pm

I dont know if lowe is an ace or not, but he is one guy I always hated facing when we played against him. I’m thrilled to have him.

Chopdawg

February 28th, 2009
1:39 pm

Can’t find the game on my XM Radio! Thought XM carried ALL MLB games, #$#^&#!

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:39 pm

Lowe finished off that inning nicely, getting a popup to the catcher and two strikeouts, one looking (Marco Scutaro) and one swinging (Aaron Hill)

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

Blanoc walks

Josh B

February 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

Schafer Homers!

Steve from OH

February 28th, 2009
1:40 pm

I think you can get the game on mlb.com…that’s where I’m listening to it.

DiamondbackMac

February 28th, 2009
1:42 pm

Enter your comments here

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:42 pm

Lowe threw 24 strikes in 35 pitches, gave up a run and five hits with three strikeouts

Mark

February 28th, 2009
1:42 pm

My mlb.com feed must be behind…Haven’t heard the HR by Schaefer yet…

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:42 pm

Josh mine must be delayed cause Schafer is still hitting

scott

February 28th, 2009
1:43 pm

I met Mark Sandman and the other Morphine guys at a show at the Point years ago. It was amazing the sound that those guys could get out of a two-string bass, sax, and drums. Nice guys too. They let us hang out in the green room and drink their beer…all of it. They said they didn’t drink. Too bad about his early demise…a very talented songwriter.

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:43 pm

Schafer walked

Mark

February 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

Schafer walked…No HR…

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

BB to Schafer 1st and 2nd…. 0 out

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

Blanco walked to start third inning, Schafer up now … and he walks, too

BRAVES LINEUP: 1. Schafer, CF; 2. K.J., 2B; 3. Escobar, SS; 4. Kotchman, 1B; 5. Diaz, DH; 6. B. Jones, LF; 7. David Ross, C; 8. Prado, 3B; 9. Blanco, RF.

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:44 pm

BJ 14 pitches, 5 strikes

Josh B

February 28th, 2009
1:45 pm

Sorry guys I was channelling my inner Terrence Moore

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:45 pm

BJ Ryan throwing 80% balls

KJ at 3-1

Bubdylan

February 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

Way to work a walk after that big empty swing on first pitch, Jordan. Mature approach.

Attaboy, KJ.

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

Kelly base hit, 2 RBI

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

KJ safe hit…. scoring Blanco and a speedy Schafer

Mark

February 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

2 run double for KJ…

Christy

February 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

KJ doubled – Blanco and Schafer came in.

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

Chopdawg

February 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

What was the most-used lineup in Richmond last year, anybody got any idea?

KC

February 28th, 2009
1:46 pm

Blanco homers!!!

Just kidding.

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:47 pm

Kelly J. still hitting the lefties, two-run double to left off B.J. Ryan (not a bad lefty at that)

Scott, that’s a helluva story. What a great band they were, but Sandman obviously integral.

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:47 pm

Yunel walked

Bubdylan

February 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

Nice to see the sometimes-too-patient KJ is the guy with the base knock in this cascade of BB’s.

propp

February 28th, 2009
1:49 pm

braves seem to be taking alot more walks so far than i remember last year

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:50 pm

Kotchman just crushed a pitch foul, but not foul by much. Then grounded into a double play on next pitch.

Runner at third, Diaz up

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:51 pm

Kotchman 2-2 crushes one foul then GIDP… 2 out

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:51 pm

Kotchman hits into DP

Bubdylan

February 28th, 2009
1:51 pm

Make ‘em pay, Matty.

Ian Curtis

February 28th, 2009
1:52 pm

I predict that KJ will make his first All-Star appearance this year. Bet.

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

Diaz drove a double to LF to put Braves up 3-0.

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

Diaz 3-0 BJ RYAN throwing like a rusty gate in a hurricane…

Base hit Diaz for double

Bubdylan

February 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

And BJ Ryan has a chance to get out of it with minimal dama….

Woo Hoo!

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:53 pm

And that’s it for B.J. Ryan. What an outing.

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:54 pm

Bubdylan

February 28th, 2009
1:54 pm

3-1, right, DOB?

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:54 pm

Got some good old Dire Straits playing during the pitching change … “Check out guitar George, he knows all the chords….”

will

February 28th, 2009
1:55 pm

3-1 actually

will

February 28th, 2009
1:56 pm

you ever been to lebowski fest dave?

Bubdylan

February 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

Jooooooooooooones….

4-1

Woogidy

February 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

Wow really? Kelly Johnson an all star a 2nd with Chase and Uggla in the NL, not to mention Brandon Phillips. I’m not saying he has no shot, but name the name recognition certainly isn’t there.

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

David O'Brien

February 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

Brandon Jones greets RH Rick Bauer with a single to CF to drive in another run

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

A Lebowski fest, when and where

Ian Curtis

February 28th, 2009
1:59 pm

Kelly can build name recognition by his performance alone. Nobody knew who Marcus Giles was until his All-Star year in 03. So it’s definitely possible…but we’ll see.

Patrick

February 28th, 2009
1:59 pm

Wow, looks like whatever bug Mike Gonzalez had, he gave to Ryan

Mike

February 28th, 2009
1:59 pm

Ross strikes out looking 3 outs

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

Gee a catcher of ours DID NOT hit, check that water

Jim

February 28th, 2009
2:01 pm

Will Utley start the year on the DL?
I’m not a big Uggla fan, but even if Utley only plays for two weeks, he will be voted on to the team. If KJ puts up big numbers he could be added ahead of Uggla, Phillips or others. Uggla plays even worse defense than KJ.

will

February 28th, 2009
2:01 pm

theres one every year during the summer in louisville, ky. I also believe theres one in LA and Im sure there others, you should check it out.

Robert

February 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

Brandon Jones looks completely different this spring. Better defense and a lot better approach at the plate.

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

“Donny was a good bowler”

Alright, can you give me a website for Lebowski fest, yeah baby

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
2:05 pm

will – its okay I found 1

Hope Springs Eternal

February 28th, 2009
2:05 pm

We might just win this Grapefruit League thing

Mike

February 28th, 2009
2:05 pm

lebowskifest.com

KC

February 28th, 2009
2:07 pm

I think Ross so far this spring has already surpassed Corky Miller’s ‘08 regular season hit total.

will

February 28th, 2009
2:07 pm

“phones ringing dude”

Woogidy

February 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

DOB, just was browsing around the internet, and you probably already know this, but Willie Nelson is going to be at HOB Orlando on March 13th. ($54.50-$123 tickets) Wow! He demands a high price.

Bubdylan

February 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

“Great pitch by Boyer” says the announcer. Kewl.

KC

February 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

Robert, agreed. B.jones may go to AAA and regain some of the high standing he had within the organization a couple of years ago.

propp

February 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

probably regain high standing for B Jones for July trade bait

Frankie Knuckles

February 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

Yeah, old Willy is trying to regain his wealth. I know a guy that toked with him and his band at a concert in upstate New York. Said he was as down to earth as they come.

Woogidy

February 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

Agreed Jim, but Kelly hit nearly .400 last September to boost his numbers, and Uggla has better numbers career in the first half. My pick would be Kelly if I was picking a guy for a season. However, no one could argue, for one game you had to win, you take Uggla 100% of the time.

The GM

February 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

What is the story on Brandon Hicks? What kind of power does he have? Is he a top shortstop prospect or could he eventually play thrid? Thanks

dogsbrekky

February 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

1-2-3 up and down Schafer KKKKKs to end inning

Josh B

February 28th, 2009
2:18 pm

what is thrid?

Chopdawg

February 28th, 2009
2:18 pm

Saw Willie at Billy Bob’s Texas about 20 years ago, he rode his horse down the aisles thru the audience up to the stage

Zach

February 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

is anyone else as worried about kotchman as I am?

Jim

February 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

How did Boyer do? Who else will be pitching today?

bf bravesfan

February 28th, 2009
2:23 pm

I’m pretty comfortable with Kotch Zach its frenchy that scares me

propp

February 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

looks like Francisly Bueno is pitching next

bf bravesfan

February 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

Zach How’s mexico ?

Woogidy

February 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

Honestly, you could insert a question mark about 4 of the 8 positions in my opinion. CF, RF, LF, 1B. 1B would be at the bottom of the list for me though.

Jim

February 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

How did Boyer do? Who else is pitching today?

Frankie Knuckles

February 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

I know an Angels fan that likens Kotchman to a young Wally Joyner. Don’t know how accurate that is but this guy does know some baseball. He is fairly bitter about the Mark T trade.

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