Glavine takes the mound vs. the Mets

   Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Guess who’s up and running again? FedEx package with a “new” laptop arrived a little early, actually, so I’m back in business. It’s a little bit like driving someone else’s car at the moment, but hey, at least I got wheels!

   A little background for those whom I didn’t leave hanging yesterday afternoon: my laptop crashed yesterday mid-game, mid-blog, probably mid-Jason Heyward bomb. I tried to revive it with everything but the shocking paddles, and it was a no go. So the powers that be got me a laptop down from AJC headquarters, so that I could bring you important Braves action today!

   We got Tom Glavine on the mound for the first time this spring (in a “real” game) and against his old Mets, no less. But it’ll be a chance for us to see how effect Glavine is, keeping in mind that he’s about two weeks behind everybody else in camp. He’ll be going about two innings.

   I know there has been some speculation on the blog that this might be the beginning of the end for Glavine. That the shoulder/elbow won’t be strong enough and in a couple weeks, he’ll decide to hang ‘em up. (And no, I don’t see him failing in a comeback with the Braves and deciding to go somewhere else. I don’t see the logic in that. If he can physically comeback, he’s got a place with the Braves. Why would he go somewhere else?)

   He’s got an uphill climb, there’s no doubt. This won’t be easy. But counting him out is something I’m not prepared to do yet either. The guy has got a competitive fire like, well, someone you’d expect who’s won 305 games. He won’t go down without a serious push. It’ll be interesting to see. (And who’s been to Carowinds in North Carolina? Remember the old White Lightnin’ Roller coaster, that opens with a guy on the PA going “Lightning….Strikes…..Now” and off you go! It came to mind for some reason….I think I woke up too early this morning and I’m a little punchy.)

 

   I had some time to spend around the batting cage this morning, which has basically become the Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman show, watching them pound balls over the right field fence. And then Greg Norton got in on the act. They finished a round with one pitch each to swing for the fences, and Norton got a hold of one hitting left-handed that was heading toward the right field fence.

   While it was in the air, John Schuerholz, who was among the onlookers, noticed the semi-truck moving along behind the fence in right field and got in on the act of encouraging the ball to hit the truck.

   Which it promptly did. So hey, money goes to Norton today.

   Frank Wren was by the cage as well, and I had a chance to pose him the question of what to do with some of this “surplus” talent as camp begins to wind down. You look at guys like Buddy Carlyle or Jorge Campillo, since both fill similar roles of long relief/spot starter, Josh Anderson, if he gets beat out for the center field job by Jordan Schafer, Martin Prado, who could be an every day second baseman for some other teams.

   I asked Frank if the Braves were getting some interest, or expected to.

   “I think there will be interest,” Wren said. “But at the same time, we’ve worked hard to build a surplus and to maintain it is just as important. Unless there’s a deal out there that really works well for us in terms of adding depth at another position, we’re not going to just be looking to make deals because guys have interest in our players. If we do make deals, we’re really focused on guys that can give us depth in another area.”

   What do you guys think some of those areas are? Shortstop? Third base for the future?

   So either that, or a really special prospect.

   “And frankly, those deals are hard to make,” Wren said.

  

   Chipper is feeling better by the way. He’s had back-to-back days of good batting practice. He’s hoping to back in there on Tuesday night, when the Braves play the Pirates. Bobby Cox might choose to give him a couple of days after that, but we’ll see. (We go to Port St. Lucie tomorrow; there’s an off day Monday.)

   “I was able to extend it out to the point where I felt like I could be aggressive,” Jones said of his bp. “Being able to swing 90-100 percent.”

  

   Kris Medlen is supposed to pitch today for the first time since March 12. He caught the bug that’s going around camp now, and lost six pounds. He’s back healthy though and will make a push at making this pen.

   He’s a real pleasant guy and somebody I get a kick out of talking to and watching bop around. He’s got a ton of energy. I’m starting to see why the Braves brass wanted to see if by moving him to a starter’s role last year in Mississippi it would help slow him down a little bit. He seems to do everything fast, including answer reporter’s questions!

   “My main problem is rushing,” Medlen said. “That’s in life, I guess. I’m constantly moving.”

   And yes, he confirmed, he was a major fidget-er in the classroom.

   “I was the worst student,” Medlen said. “I really was.”

   He played shortstop in junior college and his manager now is starting to see that he probably needed to do that just to give himself something to do when he wasn’t pitching (he closed in college).

   “He’s full of energy, watching him sprint around,” Cox said. “He’s the type of kid who wants to play shortstop when he’s not pitching.”

   When he is pitching, he’s a quick worker, which his infielders have to love. That’s the upside. The downside, of rushing his delivery, he worked on last year in Mississippi, moving from the bullpen to the rotation.

   “It helped me out, slowing down,” Medlen said. “It helped me learn how to pitch a little bit more. Instead of throwing two pitches in an inning, you try to use all your pitches, try to make adjustments.”

    He threw mainly fastball, curveball as a reliever, but said he developed his changeup more as a starter.

 

   Following Glavine to the mound today is Campillo for three innings and Peter Moylan. Lots to keep an eye on, so let’s get it going. Oh hey, not to forget, we got Dale Murphy on the radio broadcast today. Check him out.

 

 

LINEUPS:

Braves

 

Jordan Schafer CF

Yunel Escobar SS

Kelly Johnson 2B

Brandon Jones LF

Jeff Francoeur RF

Freddie Freeman 1B

Omar Infante 3B

David Ross C

Tom Glavine P

 

Mets

 

Alex Cora SS

Jose Valentin 2B

Daniel Murphy LF

Nick Evans 1B

Bobby Kielty CF

Ryan Church RF

Eric Campbell 3B

Josh Thole C

John Maine P

410 comments Add your comment

Tom Hawk

March 21st, 2009
12:56 pm

Brandon

March 21st, 2009
1:00 pm

C’mon Tommy Boy!

Kenny Powers

March 21st, 2009
1:02 pm

Kenny Powers has joined the blog

Brandon

March 21st, 2009
1:04 pm

welcome kenny

Tom Hawk

March 21st, 2009
1:05 pm

Thats a sexy lineup.
I dread the day Bobby throws in the towel. They should have included bobby cox in the poll “Greatest Brave Ever”

cvbraves

March 21st, 2009
1:05 pm

Little stronger lineup today…instead of one regular starter, we have three.

PWHjort

March 21st, 2009
1:06 pm

Kenny Powers. Step into my office. We’re doing a f’n line!

Kenny Powers

March 21st, 2009
1:07 pm

Kenny Powers thinks Jim Powell sounds alot like Bob Uecker

PWHjort

March 21st, 2009
1:08 pm

Wow, Glavine hit 78!

Runnin

March 21st, 2009
1:08 pm

Is that a 78mph fastball or change???

Tom Hawk

March 21st, 2009
1:10 pm

I wish this game was streamed on the internet!
why are preseason games locked down? does anybody have broadcasting rights?

Jim

March 21st, 2009
1:11 pm

Can we please leave all the political discussion on the last blog!!! We come here to talk about BASEBALL.

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:11 pm

OK first pitch from Glavine is 77 for strike 1 to Alex Cora. Believe that’s his fastball. his changeup is about 71. he just got his first out on a flyout to left by leadoff man Alex Cora….keep in mind when he’s going good, he’s mid 80s. ok just hit 80 on a flyout to left by Andy Green..

Green replaced Jose Valentin in the lineup. no reason given yet.

Epinephrine

March 21st, 2009
1:12 pm

Haha imagine Gonzo or Soriano coming on to relive Glavine. 78 to 95, ouch.

Runnin

March 21st, 2009
1:12 pm

He better keep that stuff on the corners.

PWHjort

March 21st, 2009
1:13 pm

Glavine consistently hit 84 last year. And that was with a bum shoulder.

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:13 pm

he just locked up Daniel Murphy with a 79 mph fastball….call him crafty. Glavine was perfect in the first inning. 15 pitches, 11 of them for strikes.

Woogidy

March 21st, 2009
1:14 pm

Game’s on the radio, 96.1 FM if you folks want to listen in. FYI

Epinephrine

March 21st, 2009
1:14 pm

If he is already throwing 80, he’ll be fine. Once his arm and shoulder strengthen, he’ll be back up around 83-85. With his change up, that’s not a problem.

Random

March 21st, 2009
1:14 pm

PWHjort — I apologize — I misremembered your handle (”name”).

I used it in vain in this recent comment:

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2009/03/20/andersons-jogging-d-lowe-is-pitching-and-glavs-on-the-horizon/comment-page-8/#comment-30922

Bring it on. son — refute me.

Brandon

March 21st, 2009
1:14 pm

Great start Tommy.

Jim

March 21st, 2009
1:15 pm

Glavine is still building up arm strength. I expect he will top out at 83-84 when the season starts.

Runnin

March 21st, 2009
1:16 pm

Even Powell is calling the speed of the pitches. Everyone is watching the radar gun.

Interested Observer

March 21st, 2009
1:16 pm

Is Kotchman still battling the flu?

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:17 pm

yes, Kotchman has still got the flu…

Escobar just about took Maine’s head off on a shot back to the mound.

PWHjort

March 21st, 2009
1:17 pm

I don’t understand, Random.

Jim

March 21st, 2009
1:18 pm

Did Glavine face a tougher lineup in the intra-squad game than he’s facing today?

Andy K.

March 21st, 2009
1:20 pm

Carroll, how far bak have the second round of cuts been pushed because of the bug in camp?

Pat

March 21st, 2009
1:20 pm

Carroll
What happened to you yesterday?

Interested Observer

March 21st, 2009
1:21 pm

Thanks, Carroll

As for potential trade returns, I would suggest either a SS or 3B prospect depending upon where you project HIcks over the long run. Or maybe a young catching prospect we can develop over the next few years.

propp

March 21st, 2009
1:21 pm

anyone know why Tex didn’t play first for team USA?

PWHjort

March 21st, 2009
1:23 pm

Because the Yankees don’t want to let someone they just gave a 180 million dollar contract to get hurt playing the WBC. Tex understood that and politely declined to play for team USA.

Bay Area Steve

March 21st, 2009
1:24 pm

Braveheart, thanks for the response.

Random, and anyone else who wants the play-by-play: try m.mlb.com

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:25 pm

Andy K, you eager for somebody to go? I’m not sure. Think they’re taking it day by day. They’ve still got almost two weeks of camp.

Pat, my computer crashed, and I had to file a story for print on one of the Braves intern’s computer but that was it for me and access.

Glavine just gave up back-to-back singles to Kielty and Church. Not exactly smoked, but solid singles. One out in the second.

Interested Observer

March 21st, 2009
1:25 pm

Tex was too busy counting his money.

Andy K.

March 21st, 2009
1:27 pm

Haha, sorry Carroll…these position battles are killing me… Especially since the games aren’t on TV to tide me over….haven’t subscribed to MLB TV yet either.

Pat

March 21st, 2009
1:29 pm

So far so go Glavin gets out of second inning.

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:30 pm

Glavine sawed off Eric Campbell on a pop-up to short, and Josh Thole grounded out softly to second. Glavine gets out of the second inning on 19 pitches, 12 for strikes. So that’s two innings, 34 pitches. He wanted to go 45 so maybe he comes out for another, we’ll have to see.

Valentin was a stiff neck, day to day.

Runnin

March 21st, 2009
1:30 pm

Well I guess that’s it for Glavine. Not a bad outing for the pin point puffball throwing lefty. Now to see how he felt.

Pat

March 21st, 2009
1:30 pm

Carroll do u know if they have a pitch limit on Glavin?

Pat

March 21st, 2009
1:31 pm

Jones, B, singles to left

Jim

March 21st, 2009
1:31 pm

Is this the Eric Campbell that is/was a Brave minor leaguer? Why is he playing for the Mets?

Wayne in Utah

March 21st, 2009
1:32 pm

Did I hear someone mention Braveheart? Haven’t seen that moniker in a while…

Do the Mets have a different Eric Campbell than our EC??? Or did we loan him to the Mets for this game??

Thanks in advance.

Andy K.

March 21st, 2009
1:32 pm

Jim,…it’s a different Eric Campbell.

Wayne in Utah

March 21st, 2009
1:33 pm

Jim Gotcha…

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:33 pm

Francoeur centered that ball…..liner to center, runners first and third now on Maine in the bottom of the second

Bay Area Steve

March 21st, 2009
1:33 pm

Different guy, and ours is better.

Pat

March 21st, 2009
1:33 pm

Francoeur base hit man on 1st and 3rd 0 out

Bay Area Steve

March 21st, 2009
1:34 pm

Wayne, see page 7 of the last blog. He had a great post on the value of Josh Anderson.

Pat

March 21st, 2009
1:35 pm

1-0 braves sac fly

Jim

March 21st, 2009
1:35 pm

Maine has an ERA of 9 this spring. Should Anders be worried?

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:35 pm

Freeman sac fly to center, Braves up 1-0….jeff just got picked off first. put out goes 1-3-6-3 for those scoring at home…

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:36 pm

Glavine going back out for more….top of third.

Woogidy

March 21st, 2009
1:37 pm

If you’re scoring a ST game at home, I got nothing on you when it comes to fanhood. Kudos to you.

cvbraves

March 21st, 2009
1:38 pm

Impressed with Jeff’s approach this year. Seems to be dedicated to staying with it.

TexasBrave

March 21st, 2009
1:39 pm

Carroll did Jeff just get caught stealing or was he snoozing at first?

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:40 pm

that’s two easy outs to start the second, comebacker by John Maine, soft liner to third by Alex Cora.

cvbraves

March 21st, 2009
1:42 pm

Carroll: We’re in the third?

Rodney Derrick

March 21st, 2009
1:42 pm

gee, could the mets be playing rope-a-dope with tommy g…can he be this good already…maybe they think they can sucker braves into keeping hanson on the farm all year…but if glav can pick up a bit of velocity, watch out rest of league cause glavine could be back

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:43 pm

great running catch on a popup just fair inside the right field line by Kelly Johnson….that’s the third out and that’s three scoreless innings for Glavine. He only needed five pitches that inning, so he’s not even up to 45 yet. it’s 42 unofficially. but that should be it.

Pat

March 21st, 2009
1:43 pm

TexasBrave
Jeff got picked off on 1st by a good pickoff move from Maine

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:43 pm

after he hits i mean!

Supes

March 21st, 2009
1:45 pm

Jeff has turned into a singles hitter all of a sudden? It’s better than K’ing and making outs, but darn, where did all of the POWER go?

I guess would we rather have Jeff hit .265 with 25HR, 40+ doubles or do we want Jeff hitting .300+ with 15HR, 30+ doubles or so?

I hope if Jeff doesn’t hit for many HR this year, and hits for higher average/more contact, that he at least he hit 45-50 Doubles in the process and hit .300 or more with RISP.

Glad to see that Tommy G. had a good 1st start of the spring (against another team). I think he’s just as competitive as Smoltz, and it’ll take his arm falling off for him to retire at this point and walk away from baseball. I believe he’ll be the 5th starter as long as he’s healthy.

Also why trade for a minor league CATCHING prospect? They just dealt Tyler Flowers earlier this year (presumably our minor league catching prospect of the future) b/c the BRAVES believe B-Mac will be their backstop for the next 10 years. Yes I understand the need to always keep developing depth, but unless B-Mac is traded or experiences a career ending injury, no OTHER Braves catching prospect will be able to start for the ATL. Braves in the near future.

If anything, a 3B prospect (other than Hicks) is what the Braves need to really find, or focus on developing to eventually take over for Chipper in 3-4 years. Hopefully they draft someone (next year), and or can trade for someone who is 18-19 years old and can be developed properly in the farm system while Chipper gracefully exists the team.

Carol, good thing you got a new laptop. Hope the AJC gave you good one, no cheapie (yes it seems everywhere you go now…budget cuts), but a beat reporter has to have the best, right? (esp. if you blog as much as you and DOB do).

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:45 pm

don’t see that often, TG pop out on a bunt

Greg Olson Homers

March 21st, 2009
1:47 pm

CR – How were his velocities in the last two innings? Same? How come the Mets couldn’t hit it?

Jim

March 21st, 2009
1:48 pm

Did Glavine break 80 with any of his pitches?

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:48 pm

Supes, guess it’s not exactly the best cause there is some key that makes the curser just back to the left. kinda annoying, but hey, i’ll deal. just mind the typos!

two strikeouts for Schafer today vs. Maine, one looking and one swinging at a high fastball.

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:50 pm

Greg Olson, it stayed around 80 from what I saw. Don’t think he topped that. They didn’t hit it because he can put pitches on the corners and change speeds. He’s not out there throwing batting practice. There’s movement on the ball.

Daybed Wagmoe

March 21st, 2009
1:50 pm

“great running catch on a popup just fair inside the right field line by Kelly Johnson”

where was that in the 9th inning of that game against the Phillies last year?!?!?

I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.

PWHjort

March 21st, 2009
1:51 pm

Yes, he hit 80.

Tomas

March 21st, 2009
1:51 pm

Is Glavine pitching another inning or jusst one more batter?

propp

March 21st, 2009
1:51 pm

daybed-just be happy he caught the pop up

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:53 pm

bases loaded walk by Brandon Jones makes it 2-0….brings up Francoeur with bases loaded.

Daybed Wagmoe

March 21st, 2009
1:54 pm

propp – you’re right.

here’s something a bit odd — the box score on atlantabraves.com has the francoeur pick-off down as a pick-off AND a caught-stealing, or at least i think that’s how it’s counting it…so it counts for both when that happens?

Brandon

March 21st, 2009
1:54 pm

C’mon Frenchy

Frank from KS

March 21st, 2009
1:55 pm

Woogidy re: @ 1:14 p.m.

Hey, what’s the call letters for 96.1?

radoncbravesfan

March 21st, 2009
1:55 pm

way to go frenchy

Tomas

March 21st, 2009
1:55 pm

Glavine hit 80mph, Moyer hits 83mph during the season. My guess is that once the season starts Glavine will be around the mid 80’s. Frenchy 2B or 3B with the bases loaded.

cvbraves

March 21st, 2009
1:56 pm

Okay, guys, let’s hear it for Jeff!

PWHjort

March 21st, 2009
1:56 pm

3-run double for Frenchy

Tim-Braves Lifer

March 21st, 2009
1:56 pm

way to go frenchy!!! 3 run double!

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:56 pm

bases clearing double over the head of Daniel Murphy in left. smoked. took third on an errant throw home. It’s 5-0….it was a 1-2 pitch that he let loose on. end of three innings.

Kenny Powers

March 21st, 2009
1:56 pm

Kenny Powers has moved Francouer from a sell to a hold

Brandon

March 21st, 2009
1:56 pm

FRENCHY!!!!!!!

Random

March 21st, 2009
1:57 pm

propp (1:21 pm): “anyone know why Tex didn’t play first for team USA?”

Maybe ’cause he’s with the Republic of Texas, not the US?

(Thank you, Six Flags!)

Interested Observer

March 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

Supes, I don’t disagree that a 3B prospect is a higher priority. A catcher was just a suggestion. Frankly, we don’t have a lot of immediate needs, even in the prospect area. But I said catcher for a couple of reasons. First, if we get a young prospect and develop him over a few years, if nothing else, he should have decent trade value later on. Plus, I think it’s nice to have a good prospect waiting in the wings just in case (God forbid) something happens to McCann, not necessarily a career type injury but any major injury.

I’m not sure what we have in the low minors, but Sammons and Boscan don’t excite me. This year, for example, if (again God forbid) McCann suffers a major injury, we’ll have Ross catching everyday, backed up by Sammons or Boscan I assume. Contrast that to 1B. If Koctchman goes down for a long period, we can plug is Freeman. We probably wouldn’t want to go with Norton, Prado, or Norton at 1B for a long period.

Anyway, I’m not tied to a catcher, but that was my thinking.

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

It’s Medlen now. Campillo is warming up

propp

March 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

Republic of Texas could have a pretty decent team, thinking of all that pitching

Jay212033

March 21st, 2009
1:59 pm

Wow Frenchy!!!

Carroll Rogers

March 21st, 2009
2:00 pm

final line on glavine: three innings, two hits (singles), no runs, one strikeout. 42 pitches (14 balls, 28 strikes)

propp

March 21st, 2009
2:00 pm

Still like the money counting comment better though. Might keep him busy til the all-star break

Andy K.

March 21st, 2009
2:01 pm

Medlen? It says Morton on gameday….

Tomas

March 21st, 2009
2:01 pm

Chipper Jones has been right on with his opinions about Frenchy, and Andruw. Frenchy is having an excellent spring, and Andruw will be released once again. And I’m pretty sure John Smoltz will pitch great if he is able to get healthy, which I think he will.

propp

March 21st, 2009
2:01 pm

braves have got to be thin at catcher, traded Salty, Ramirez, and Flowers recently.

Brandon

March 21st, 2009
2:02 pm

Pretty Good Line for Glavine.

Andy K.

March 21st, 2009
2:04 pm

NVM, they just changed it

Jim

March 21st, 2009
2:04 pm

MLB box score has Morton pitching. Are they wrong?

Pat

March 21st, 2009
2:06 pm

I thought Jorge Campillo was supposed to pitch 2 or 3 innings after Glavin whats up with that?

Jim

March 21st, 2009
2:06 pm

Wayne and Random, if you can’t keep to baseball will you JUST SHUT UP!!!!!

propp

March 21st, 2009
2:07 pm

Campillo and Morton could pass as twins

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