Heyward set for Grapefruit opener; Jurrjens update

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. — Last year’s Braves phenom Tommy Hanson will start and this year’s phenom Jason Heyward will play right field in Tuesday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla., weather permitting. The forecast is for rain and thunderstorms.

The Braves plan to take four lineup regulars – Brian McCann, Yunel Escobar, Martin Prado, Nate McLouth – and right-field candidate Heyward, whose car-denting and window-shattering homers have been the talk of spring training. First-base prospect Freddie Freeman, Heyward’s good friend, is also scheduled to make the trip.

The Mets will start right-hander Nelson Figueroa and use a lineup that includes new slugger Jason Bay, David Wright, Jose Reyes and former Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur.

Planned relief pitchers for the Braves include Kris Medlen, Jesse Chavez, Michael Dunn, Chris Resop, James Parr and Manny Acosta.

Jurrjens’ bullpen session “excellent”

Jair Jurrjens threw his first bullpen session of spring training Monday, and Cox termed it pain-free and “excellent,” albeit lasting only about 15 pitches per trainer’s orders.

The right-hander, hindered by shoulder inflammation in the opening 1-1/2 weeks camp, threw all fastballs Monday. His pitches had zip and good movement, Cox said.

Jurrjens could need at least three more bullpen sessions before pitching in a Grapefruit League game, but Cox believes there’s plenty of time for him to prepare for the season.

103 comments Add your comment

Adam

March 1st, 2010
6:45 pm

Not going to say it.

JJ is a key to the season, IMO.

keylargo

March 1st, 2010
6:50 pm

Humility from # 1.

# 3

March 1st, 2010
7:21 pm

#3!!1!!1!1one!1!eleven

tnt

March 1st, 2010
7:36 pm

Finally, Heyward is Freed! Now The Dynasty Officially Begins…

hoover

March 1st, 2010
7:37 pm

hoover

March 1st, 2010
7:37 pm

dangit 5th never mind

Brian in Villa Rica

March 1st, 2010
7:45 pm

Jeff Francouer for the Mets. Still can’t believe how quickly things change. Can you imagine what we could have received for him in a trade four springs ago?

Bigboi

March 1st, 2010
7:45 pm

JTH

March 1st, 2010
8:12 pm

BigBobMcCobb

March 1st, 2010
8:29 pm

BigBobMcCobb

March 1st, 2010
8:29 pm

dag nabbit so close

Matt the Brave

March 1st, 2010
8:36 pm

Dude, in the Wagner story, when the heck did Chevy ever make a F-250. As in F=FORD. Really?! C’mon man.

John

March 1st, 2010
8:39 pm

You people who do the “first” thing really are complete losers.

kevin

March 1st, 2010
8:45 pm

haha “Matt the Brave” I noticed that too….lol iv yet to see one

Bigboi

March 1st, 2010
8:55 pm

The Hawks are looking good tonight!!!!! ooooppps wrong blog

bobby cox

March 1st, 2010
8:56 pm

MCLouth/Prado/Escobar/Hayward/Diaz(LF)/McCann/Jones/Freeman/pitcher

Innocent Bystander

March 1st, 2010
9:07 pm

I’d love to see the Braves tomorrow, but I don’t have MLB Network…

The Official Skip Caray T-Shirt

March 1st, 2010
9:22 pm

The Official Skip Caray T-Shirt is available online now!

http://www.skipshirt.com

A portion of the proceeds benefits the Skip Caray Family of Charities.

atlwolf

March 1st, 2010
9:37 pm

I agree with John.

BraveMan

March 1st, 2010
9:39 pm

what time is the game????

Delbert D.

March 1st, 2010
9:45 pm

Heyward will be cheap entertainment, assuming he makes the team out of spting training. And the Braves need cheap until Chipper Jones retires.

UNCBrave

March 1st, 2010
10:26 pm

richbrave

March 1st, 2010
10:28 pm

O.K. here we go Good luck BRAVES in 2010.

thunderbull56

March 1st, 2010
10:47 pm

Cheap until Chippa retires.Start a petition, retire now or accept a trade Hoss.Hope my Chippa doggin comes back to dog me.Hope the young ones excel and hope JJ is healthy.Hope Skip comes back from the grave to call a game, bc,the rest of them are painful to listen to.Especially the FSS,SS,clowns.Used to listen to Skip after he’d been hated off TV,with TV sound muted.Only problem was a 3 to 5 second delay to satellite from radio.In Chipper’s defense, he is one of the few Braves homegrowners who GOT IT.

wjones

March 1st, 2010
11:09 pm

Brian in Villa Rica

“March 1st, 2010
7:45 pm
Jeff Francouer for the Mets. Still can’t believe how quickly things change. Can you imagine what we could have received for him in a trade four springs ago?”

IF JS had traded Frenchy after his sensational rookie half-year, he would have had to hire bodyguards round the clock.

The Grinch

March 1st, 2010
11:16 pm

Heard Billy Wagner on Buck and Kincaide today; he sounds like a pretty cool guy. Also saw him wearing that Marlboro Man outfit at Spring Training; nice to have a closer with a little panache for once. I can’t imagine how that went over in NY.

WJ

March 1st, 2010
11:32 pm

Oh boy, last on this blog as well. Cool

Sports Casualties

March 1st, 2010
11:33 pm

Glad to hear the good news on Jurrjens. As for Heyward… Just got a little lump in my pants.
http://bit.ly/b01KcK

- Robbie

Dayman

March 1st, 2010
11:33 pm

DOB or anyone, how has Moylan’s elbow been holding up?

Casey from Idaho

March 1st, 2010
11:47 pm

Sports casualties: The opperative word in your too-much-information statement is “little.”

Nan, I can...

March 2nd, 2010
1:49 am

“MCLouth/Prado/Escobar/Hayward/Diaz(LF)/McCann/Jones/Freeman/pitcher”

What is this, Playstation?

Reptillicide

March 2nd, 2010
2:36 am

wjones,

would those bodyguards have been to guard against the angry Braves fans? Or against killers hired by the GM who JS pawned Francoeur off on, after he realizes he’s been had?

Jesse Stone

March 2nd, 2010
8:39 am

I live half an hour south of Port St. Lucie. I will be shocked if today’s game is played.

last hoorah for bobby

March 2nd, 2010
8:57 am

1) McClouth
2) Prado
3) Yunel
4) Chipper
5) McCann
6) Diaz
7) Heyward
8) Glauss
9) Pitcher

That is just ridiculous on top of having excellent starting pitching. Our rotation is so good Hudson will most likely be our fourth starter! Braves take but the division this year for Bobby. GOI BRAVES!!!!!

last hoorah for bobby

March 2nd, 2010
8:58 am

i dont know how the smiley face will shades got on there

last hoorah for bobby

March 2nd, 2010
9:00 am

***WITH*** dear lord there is something wrong with me this morning

Idiots

March 2nd, 2010
9:14 am

First!!!…..oh my bad….what a buch of idiots!!!!!!

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
9:36 am

You so called Georgia brave fans that are dissing Francoer should really be asking that Terry Pendleton be canned for gross ineptitude – or do all of you just suck? Francoer is a good player, who you traded for nothing. Now many of you are running down Chipper – guess what, it would be better if you rooted for the Yankees. You support your guys, and if the management errs and trades them, you still root for them unless they play against you. This is why Atlanta is a crap hole for sports.

Rebel Fan

March 2nd, 2010
9:37 am

A new season begins today. Here’s hoping Heyward lives up to the hype that he’s been getting this offseason. Pitching will, once again, be the Main cog in the wheel. Can Lowe get back to his winning ways? Can Hudson rebound after the injury.

Atlanta Braves – 2010 NL EAST CHAMPIONS

Poorbrave

March 2nd, 2010
9:42 am

Rain , rain , rain? When will we get a break.

OldBravesBag

March 2nd, 2010
9:50 am

Bad weather is starting to roll in pretty fast….might be mostly out of the area by 1PM……..

Herschel Talker

March 2nd, 2010
9:52 am

Fire Booby Cox. Just do it.

BravesfaninWis

March 2nd, 2010
9:59 am

Anyone know the chances of today’s game being played?

Michael Castro

March 2nd, 2010
10:16 am

Is our bullpen gonna be any good this year? Although the Braves have great offensive POTENTIAL, the Braves have some question marks on offense, and they have to win the close games. The Braves bullpen over the last decade, has always made me nervous, which I guess is expected because if they weren’t inferior pitchers, they would be starting.

.

March 2nd, 2010
10:16 am

Storms all across Fla. Heavy rains

Light snow in North Atlanta.

Michael Castro

March 2nd, 2010
10:18 am

Also, whoever said NL EAST Champs doesn’t have their goals set high enough. World Series or bust!

Henry D.

March 2nd, 2010
10:18 am

McClouth
Yunel
Chipper
Glaus
McCann
Prado
Heyward
Diaz/Cabrera
Pitcher

The first comment made after the Braves signed Glaus was to have him hit cleanup behind Chipper. Diaz always seems to hit better at the lower end of the lineup, and by putting Heyward 7th, it takes some of the pressure off him to start the year.

Glen W

March 2nd, 2010
10:19 am

Paddy O (9:36 AM)

So if a single player regresses the hittinig coach should be fired? Does TP not get any credit for the progression Prado, Diaz and Escobar made last year?

Henry D.

March 2nd, 2010
10:20 am

Herschel Talker, Bobby will be fired at the end of the year.

I just have a feeling.

.

March 2nd, 2010
10:23 am

Paddy-o, Since when has Frenchy become a good player? Three yeas of crap in Atlanta.

goldenglove002

March 2nd, 2010
10:23 am

It’s pouring snow in Kennesaw. Oh why can’t I be in Florida right now?

.

March 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

Henry D….Ok we hear U…give the man a break, He’s already said this is his last year. Let it rest bro. The man deserves some respect after 20 years.

.

March 2nd, 2010
10:33 am

Not HenryD sorry Herschel Talker

K. Johnson

March 2nd, 2010
10:56 am

thunderbull56

If you have dvr you can just pause/rewind/fast forward and match the radio audio to the tv. I do it with all the Alabama football games.

Tomy Fournier

March 2nd, 2010
10:57 am

PEOPLE…FAN…PEOPLE….ARE THE SAME???…I DON’T KNOW, BUT I’M ATLANTA,S FAN….GO ATLANTA…FIRST!!!

K. Johnson

March 2nd, 2010
10:57 am

and if you don’t have dvr what are you waiting on?

In Pollack We Trust

March 2nd, 2010
10:59 am

David Pollack just tweeted that the next manager of the Braves will be Tim Spooneybarger. He said it was a done deal

Bobbymahlom

March 2nd, 2010
11:04 am

I hope the bloggers have a little patience with Hayward and give the kid a chance to show what he is capable of doing before they start beating him to deaf.
I also hate to see so many of them make up stories about Jeff Francoeur who gave us 110% every time out even when he was having a terrible time hitting the last year he was with us. Stories like he was very unpopular with his teamates was the farthest from the truth because he was one of if not the most popular players on the team both with his peers and also with the fans.
So many bloggers just write to anoy people but others are fans who write to vent their feelings when things are not going good. As long as a player gives 100% I have never booed him but if I see a guy dogging it I can’t stand that but then I blame Bobby for that and he lets too much of that go on with the exception of Andruw and Yunel.

.

March 2nd, 2010
11:13 am

about as done as his brain

dogsbrekky

March 2nd, 2010
11:16 am

would anyone hit Heyward 2nd ahead of Chipper, he would see some nice pitches that way yes ??

So excited to see the McDonough Masher / bonecrusher today… have not been this excited since I 1st saw Chipper

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
11:17 am

Ah, so Chipper improved? I think Diaz was his usual stuff. Prado & Escobar are a work in progress. For all you morons with such short Atlanta memories, of the 3 years Frenchy was here, he had two season over 100 RBI, that is GOOD. Also, he’s a local guy – how can you quit on him so quick? You need to take a lesson from Yankee fans – local guys who do good are revered in NY. Also, check you HOF members – in a 20 year career, you have between 3 and 5 “off years”. If didn’t like Francoer, your typical short sighted, what have you done for me lately bozo.

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
11:22 am

Oh,yea – last year he had 166 hits, pretty bloody good. He also consistently had over 30 2bs. He was a great rightfielder, and just because the idiots run the show in the ATL, we had to trade him. Finally, where do you want your hitting coach to excel? Helping the table setters, or making sure the run producers are firing on all cylinders? I just don’t think all that much of Pendleton.

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
11:23 am

the dot. pretty much explains his level of self awareness.

dogsbrekky

March 2nd, 2010
11:23 am

I have not been this excited about a new player since Chipper…. go bonecrsuher / McDonough Masher… woo hoo

Skip – thanks will order some shirts for the whole gang up here

Anyone like the idea of hitting Heyward at 2 ahead of Chipper…. get some nice pitches to crush yes ??

dogsbrekky

March 2nd, 2010
11:29 am

paddy O – read fangraphs and see where your mate Frenchy ranks amongst ALL 152 rated OF… projected in 2010 to be 139th out of 152… last year he ranked 61st of 62 players in WPA for rated OF with enough AB, only Vernon Wells was worse

smitty

March 2nd, 2010
11:33 am

Paddy, you watched the games he played in over the last two years? The mistake was keeping him in the lineup as long as they did. He should have stayed down in the minors after that temper tantrum he pulled when he was sent down.

bigstack19

March 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

Can’t wait for baseball season if for no other reason than to give me something other than NASCAR to watch on Sundays. Hope for the season as always. Hope rushing Heyward doesn’t mess him up. Hope Pendleton doesn’t mess him up.

Doug

March 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

Paddy O are you Francouer’s dad? He was…for several years running one of the very worst hitters among everyday regulars in the big leagues. He digressed as a fielder although he did retain an outstanding arm. As a hitter Matt Diaz is vastly superior…Heyward will make even you forget Jeffrey golden boy

ugaaccountant

March 2nd, 2010
11:47 am

And the minute he was traded, he was at least an average corner outfielder again. It was night and day, and to me it raises a ton of questions about the coaching. If Frenchy’s best value as a hitter is when he’s not being overcoached, then the simplest solution would have been to stop overcoaching him. Instead we gave him to the Mets who understood him better instantly than our staff did in years.

jim

March 2nd, 2010
11:54 am

Jeff Francouer has turned out so far to be something short of the next Dale Murphy, but something more than the next Brad Komminsk. During his 2 months with the Mets he was at least a serviceable ML outfielder. If this short sample turns out to be the norm, then the complaints against TP may be justified, or perhaps the atmosphere in Atlanta became too toxic for him. I think Paddy O is right in suggesting that the venom he seems to get on this blog is much more than is warranted.

Doug

March 2nd, 2010
11:56 am

Or maybe he overperformed for a realtivley short period and this year will return to what he is…a bad baseball player.

jim

March 2nd, 2010
11:58 am

Doug
Matt Diaz is perhaps the most unorthodox hitter in ML baseball. He may get better results than his approach would suggest, but as far as pitch selectivity is concerned, there aren’t many pitches that JF offers at that Matty would take.

Oldbravesbag

March 2nd, 2010
11:58 am

Weather has already passed Port St. Lucie….should be windy and chilly but playable if they can dry the field good enough……

Brian

March 2nd, 2010
12:18 pm

Yep…weather looks good to me. Play ball!!

Just Pat

March 2nd, 2010
12:23 pm

Oldbravesbag and Brian……THANKS for the updated weather reports! Gonna close the office down at 1:00 and go watch my beloved Braves. It’s been a LOOOOOONG winter.

smitty

March 2nd, 2010
12:24 pm

The biggest problem with Francouer is he’s a head case, no amount of coaching can fix that.

jim

March 2nd, 2010
12:25 pm

But sometimes maturity can

Marc in FL

March 2nd, 2010
12:25 pm

I live near all the central FL spring training sites… We’re gonna play some ball today folks, don’t worry.

Eric

March 2nd, 2010
12:27 pm

Here’s the line up for today’s game

1. McClouth CF
2. Prado 2B
3. Heyward RF
4. McCann C
5. Escobar SS
6. Melky LF
7. Hinske 1B
8. Infante 3B
9. M. Jones DH

jim

March 2nd, 2010
12:27 pm

DOB,
Still in the bus, car, or motorcycle headed for St. Lucie, or Are we there yet?

Just Pat

March 2nd, 2010
12:27 pm

I think JF fell victim to what a lot of kids who excel from t-ball on up do. They’ve always been better than their other teammates and expect that to continue when they hit the big leagues and they forget how much talent is out there. Just one bad day can burst their bubble and they start making a lot of unnecessary adjustments and sometimes just go from bad to worse.

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
12:29 pm

Doug – reality check – go pull up his stats. He had over 30 2b every year, never went below 70 RBI. How did Terry P help him? Is it his job to let top flight talent languish, get traded and then start producing again? If he hits 280 and has 85 RBI, he should be able to play for the Braves. also, for those who remember, Andruw Jones, how did Terry Pendleton help him? And how did he solve Chippers problems last year? I think most folks here would agree that Cox holds onto coaches too long.

Eric

March 2nd, 2010
12:30 pm

For the Mets… They had their regulars pulled after the rain this morning.

1. Jesus Feliciano LF
2. Ruben Tejada SS
3. Gary Mathews CF
4. Mike Jacobs DH
5. Mike Hessman 3B
6. Ike Davis 1B
7. Chris Coste C
8. Jason Pirdie RF
9. Luis Hernandez 2B
P. Nelson Figueroa

Herschel Talker

March 2nd, 2010
12:31 pm

Fire the old fool

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
12:32 pm

Wren thought he was done, why else trade him to an inner-division rival? Just to prove Wren’s own ineptitude? Or is Wren as much an ostrich as I think he is? Why trade Francoer to the Mets? So he can come back and haunt you 18 times a year? And you got such a fantastic producer in return. I hate to say it, but Wren is slowly turning the Braves in KC of the Georgia.

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
12:33 pm

Just Pat – and what did Terry P do to help him?

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
12:34 pm

If we finish below the Mets, we ought to fire Wren & Cox, just for shucks.

Benjamin

March 2nd, 2010
12:35 pm

My thing is, what does a major league hitting coach HAVE to tell his players, anyway?

I’ve never understood exactly why they’re needed beyond the ordinary adjustments. People act as if Terry has to go up there and hit for ‘em. If you’ve played the game 20-something years, you should know how to look for pitches and swing a bat.

Herschel Talker

March 2nd, 2010
12:35 pm

Paddy O – we ought to fire both of their sorry a$$es anyway. We don’t need any more losers around this town.

Just Pat

March 2nd, 2010
12:36 pm

Paddy O….my understanding was that he wouldn’t “accept” coaching. *shrug* Two sides to every coin, I guess.

Anders

March 2nd, 2010
12:41 pm

Heard Billy Wagner on Buck and Kincaide today; he sounds like a pretty cool guy. Also saw him wearing that Marlboro Man outfit at Spring Training; nice to have a closer with a little panache for once. I can’t imagine how that went over in NY (Grinch)

As a matter of fact Wagner is a cool guy and he was really well liked here in NY. Of course I’ve said this for a few years but guys like you never heard me because you were busy telling me what an A-hole he was and what a choke artist he was etc. Funny how things change when a guy dons the old Tomahawk. I mean even Glavine came back from Benedict Arnold status. How long before Frenchy’s back in town as the home town hero again?

Let the games begin!

Deester11

March 2nd, 2010
12:41 pm

Paddy-O, Your boy Frenchie did just as much to warrant being second-guessed as the Braves did by trading him. Many better hitters than Frenchie had to go to the minors to readjust parts of their hitting or rediscover their “stroke.” I don’t dislike the guy, but his comments and “the Braves are picking on me,” attitude didn’t endeavor himself to the Braves. Now that I said that if he has a decent career, good for him. Heyward is the successor, let’s hope the TP treatment doesn’t claim him.

I'm a tool...

March 2nd, 2010
12:43 pm

John, leave me alone. I live in my mom’s basement, sell my home-made ashtrays on the local corner, and have not had a conversation with a woman in 3 years. Attempting to be “first” is all I have to live for.

Jesse Stone

March 2nd, 2010
12:53 pm

I stand corrected on my earlier post about being shocked if the game was played today. The rain is gone. I don’t think Frenchy wouldn’t listen to coaches. I think he had too many people trying to coach him. He gets way too much venom on here. If you’ve ever met him, you know he’s a good guy.

jim

March 2nd, 2010
12:59 pm

I don’t get the criticism of Wren. He has to work within the 90 odd million dollar payroll cap. So far his major move have been –

Renteria for JJ and G. Hernandez (A)
Asconia? for Infante and Ohman (A)
Devine for Kotsay (C)
lose draft pick for Glavine (F)
Flowers et al for Vasquez becomes Flowers for Vizcaino, Dunn, Melky (TBD)
signing Lowe (B-)
signing KK (B-)
Morton & Hernandez for McLouth (B+)
JF for Church (C)
Kotchman for LaRoche (A)
lose draft pick for Wagner (TBD)
Soriano for Chavez (TBD) made best of situation?
Signing Saito (TBD)
Signing Glaus (TBD)

He has restocked the system after the Tex trade by adding Vizcaino, Dunn, and Salcedo and not trading away prospects Higher than Morton.
He improved the club that the team put on the field last year and has assembled a group this year that seems more ready to contend than last year’s team. I would give his overall performance a B+

ugaaccountant

March 2nd, 2010
1:09 pm

Here’s the line up for today’s game

3. Heyward RF

Starting him off slowly I see ;)

jwilli120

March 2nd, 2010
1:15 pm

the game is on MLB network today!!!!!! WOW

Doug

March 2nd, 2010
1:31 pm

Paddyo : RBI? Why is that the only stat you mention. How bout this : His career ops is .743…his career ops+ 92…for a good fielding middle infielder that is OK…and just OK…his last 2 1/2 seasons with the Braves his ops .670 and ops+ 74…all reflective of a disturbing downturn in production. Why? All because of TP? How has TP worked out for McCann?? what about Prado?? Escobar?? Time will tell…but my prediction is he comes in at about .720- .750 ops— no thanks

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
3:02 pm

Explain OPS. If you are trying to tell me a 100 + rbi guy is a typical 2nd base/SS, then your OPS is worthless, and which explains why good players are perceived as bad by those trending toward elitist stats.

Paddy O

March 2nd, 2010
3:04 pm

what is the OPS of McCann or better yet, Cal Ripken? Or how about Bench? What would Dale Murphy’s OPS be?

Add your comment