Wagner sees bright future for closer Kimbrel

Lakeland, Fla. – When the Braves fly home to Atlanta tonight, Craig Kimbrel will be with them. And even though he’ll be headed a little further up I-85 to Triple-A Gwinnett after Friday-Saturday exhibitions against the White Sox, it’s only a matter of time.

Al Kaline (left) at 19, after signing $35,000 contract in 1953. He met 20-year-old Jason Heyward this morning.

Al Kaline (left) at 19, after signing $35,000 contract in 1953. He met 20-year-old Jason Heyward this morning.

Only a matter of time — I’d guess early summer — before Kimbrel is pitching for the Braves in games that count. Then only a matter of time — I’d guess 2011 — before he’s their closer.

Current closer Billy Wagner probably wouldn’t disagree with any of that assessment. The 38-year-old lefty with 385 career saves is convinced, after observing Kimbrel for six weeks, the 21-year-old righty is the real thing.

Wagner (above) says Kimbrel has better stuff than most major leaguers

Wagner (above) says Kimbrel has better stuff than most major leaguers

“He’s got a lot more going for him than I did when I was coming up,” Wagner said. “I didn’t have a breaking ball; it was 95-99 percent fastballs. He’s got a really good breaking ball. And he’s got a good head on his shoulders.

“Hell, I’d take him right now.”

(Hey, while I’m thinking about it, another young Brave got to meet  a living legend while ago. Bobby Cox introduced Jason Heyward to Tigers great Al Kaline in the visiting manager’s office here at Joker Marchant Stadium. Pretty cool. Brought Heyward into the little office and the two chatted for a few minutes before we went in.)

Where were we?

Oh, yes…. Kimbrel has more than held his own this spring, allowing just three hits in eight scoreless innings, with six walks and 12 strikeouts. He struck out two of three batters faced in a perfect inning yesterday against Houston.

Wagner wasn’t suggesting the Braves are making a mistake sending Kimbrel to Triple-A to begin the season as the G-Braves’ closer.

The veteran was just saying that if they instead decided to put Kimbrel in the major league bullpen without any further experience — the kid has only 13-2/3 innings above Single-A — then he’d be ready to handle it.

“Personally, I think he’s ready,” Wagner said of Kimbrel, who throws almost as hard — 96-98 mph — as Wagner when he was a rookie. “I mean, he’d be there with a veteran bullpen to kind of help him. It’s not like he’s going to go out and pitch the ninth or eighth inning right away anyway. You put him in the sixth and give him innings, the guy can go out there and walk two and strike out three.

“That’s the way I did it when I first came up — just hit and miss, but you have that ability to strike three out. He’s got that ability.”

Kimbrel pitched at four minor league levels in '09 (photo Tim Evearitt)

Kimbrel pitched at four minor league levels in '09 (photo Tim Evearitt)

Rather than try to get Kimbrel work in the middle innings in a bullpen that has Peter Moylan, lefty Eric O’Flaherty, Takashi Saito and Wagner to handle the seventh through ninth innings on a regular basis, the Braves are sending Kimbrel to Gwinnett to close — with the understanding he’ll enter some games in the eighth inning, to have some longer stints to work on command of all pitches.

“If he’s lucky he’ll be able to get some mentoring to kind of grow into it,” Wagner said of the major league closer role, “instead of doing what I had to do.”

Wagner then laughed and paraphrased what he was told as an Astros rookie: “Go get ‘em … oh, and we’re trying to win.”

Wagner had been used exclusively as a starter in the minors, but was thrust into relief as a big-league rookie after a midseason 1996 callup. He had a 2.44 ERA with nine saves in 37 relief appearances for Houston that season, with 67 strikeout in 51-2/3 innings, and more walks allowed (30) than hits (28).

But he was also 24 years old, with four seasons in the minors. He had 25 starts and 150 innings in Triple-A, plus 12 starts in Double-A.

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Kimbrel has pitched in two minor league seasons and has 12 relief appearances in Double-A and two in Triple-A. His other 61 appearances were in rookie league or A-ball.

But did we mention, he’s really good? Oh, yes. No doubt.

Kimbrel won the Phil Niekro Award — speaking of Knucksie, he’s 71 today — as the Braves’ top minor league pitcher in 2009, when he had 18 saves and a 2.85 ERA in 49 appearances, with a whopping 103 strikeouts and 45 walks in 60 innings. He allowed 50 percent more walks than hits (30) last season.

Sound familiar?

“I like him,” said Wagner, who’s the same size – about 5-9 or 5-10 – as Kimbrel. “He just needs the experience, the reps, going out and pitching and pitching in situations. Stuff-wise, it’s better than most of the guys in our bullpen, and probably most of the guys in the big leagues.”

Yes, he said better than most of the guys in the major.

“It’s like most minor leaguers, they’re ready stuff-wise,” Wagner said. “It’s just the fact that they don’t have that experience. Plus, managers like people who’ve been there and done that. He’ll get his shot. He spent a lot of time around me and [Scott] Proctor, guys like that, just kind of getting a feel for it.

“We told him, like we tell ourselves: Simplify everything, don’t over-think anything, just let your ability take over. With his velocity and his makeup, he doesn’t need to try to hit spots. A lot of times when you’re young, you try to do more than you’re capable of, and that probably gets him in as much trouble as it’s gotten all of us coming up.”

Only a matter of time, folks. And I’d say sooner than later.

♣ Braves win the wild card: So says the computer at Baseball Think Factory, which ESPN’s magazine had simulate the season 100 times to predict what would happen.

The results had the Phillies winning the NL East 63.5 times, the Braves 25.5, and the Mets 10 times (obviously they did it before the latest Mets injury spree). Problem I had with it was that the Nationals won the division once and the Marlins none.

Really? The Marlins none?

Anyway, the computer had the Cardinals winning the Central and Dodgers winning the West, then the Phillies beating the Cards in one series and the Dodgers taking down the Braves in the other.

It had the Phillies over the Dodgers in the NLCS, the Red Sox over the Yankees in the ALCS, and the Sox over the Phils in the World Series.

If you missed it last week, Buster Olney also picked the Braves to win the wild card, but had the Rockies as his surprise pick to win the World Series.

Sports Illustrated also picks the Braves to finish behind the Phillies in the East and win the wild card.

Well, I hate to agree with a computer or Buster — kidding, Buster — but in regards to the NL East, I’m in agreement. I think the Braves will push the Phillies to the wire, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Atlanta win the division because of their superior pitching.

But if I was forced to pick today: 1. Phillies, 2. Braves, 3. Marlins, 4. Nationals, 5. Mets. Yes, I’m going to have to go with the Mets to finish last. I just think they’re so dysfunctional right now, and the Nats’ lineup is not bad.

I’ll do the rest of my picks later this week or weekend, including Cy Young, MVP, rookie and playoff teams in both leagues.

♣ More rankings: Boston Globe baseball scribe Nick Cafardo did his managerial rankings last week. Cox critics, you’ll probably want to skip this. If anyone has trouble clicking that link, here it is long-form: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2010/04/01/wren-confident-about-pitching-depth-glaus-power/

LINEUPS TODAY

Bravos (starters will probably get two at-bats)

  1. Cabrera LF
  2. Prado 2B
  3. Chipper 3B
  4. McCann C
  5. Glaus 1B
  6. Heyward RF
  7. Escobar SS
  8. McLouth CF
  9. Hinske DH (Jurrjens pitching)

Tigres

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Johnny Damon DH (RH Eddie Bonine pitching)
  3. Magglio Ordonez RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera 1B
  5. Don Kelly LF
  6. Brandon Inge 3B
  7. Scott Sizemore 2B
  8. Robinson Diaz C
  9. Adam Everett SS

♣ Still more lists, rankings: But this one’s a non-baseball list. So you baseball-only folks, skip to the comments. This isn’t for you.

Music that got me through spring (rental car speakers … sorry)

1. Drive-By Truckers The Big To-Do

2. Titus Andronicus The Monitor

3. Alberta Cross Broken Side of Time

4. The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights

5. Broken Bells self-titled debut

6. James McMurtry Live in Europe

7. Dale Watson Truckin’ Sessions, Vol. II

8. Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. II

Game’s about to start (they’re starting a couple minutes early actually — and expect a lot of first-pitch swings on get-out-of-Florida day). So we’ll post this.

Al+Stewart+al49

“YEAR OF THE CAT” by Al Stewart & Peter Wood

On a morning from a Bogart movie

In a country where they turn back time

You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre

Contemplating a crime

She comes out of the sun in a silk dress running

Like a watercolour in the rain

Don’t bother asking for explanations

She’ll just tell you that she came

In the year of the cat

She doesn’t give you time for questions

As she locks up your arm in hers

And you follow ’till your sense of which direction

Completely disappears

By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls

There’s a hidden door she leads you to

These days, she says, I feel my life

Just like a river running through

The year of the cat

Well, she looks at you so cooly

And her eyes shine like the moon in the sea

She comes in incense and patchouli

So you take her, to find what’s waiting inside

The year of the cat

Well, morning comes and you’re still with her

And the bus and the tourists are gone

And you’ve thrown away the choice and lost your ticket

So you have to stay on

But the drum-beat strains of the night remain

In the rhythm of the new-born day

You know sometime you’re bound to leave her

But for now you’re going to stay

In the year of the cat

548 comments Add your comment

sri

April 1st, 2010
1:12 pm

I can update PBP for a while.. Prado reached on error. nothing much else.. Mid 1st. 0-0

Josh

April 1st, 2010
1:13 pm

Josh

April 1st, 2010
1:14 pm

Dob, do the players drive to Atlanta today or fly back?

FEAR

April 1st, 2010
1:16 pm

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
1:16 pm

Jurrjens gave up a seeing-eye single through infield, then a Miguel Cabrera double to the left-field warning track. Cabrera looks awesome this spring, by the way.

toga party

April 1st, 2010
1:16 pm

Dob, do the players drive to Atlanta today or fly back?

Dude, it’s the first sentence of the blog.

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
1:20 pm

Heyward popped out to right

Mitchie-san

April 1st, 2010
1:21 pm

1. Phillies, 2. Braves, 3. Marlins, 4. Nationals, 5. Mets.–DOB

I also think the NATs will finish higher than the Mets.

Frank Robinson (Rockmart)

April 1st, 2010
1:23 pm

DOB,
I like your NL East picks. I have the Braves finishing one game ahead of the Phils, but everything else is the same. I like the Nats lineup, too. I also think their pitching will see a slight improvement, but not enough to push them over .500.

FEAR

April 1st, 2010
1:23 pm

hopefully cabera stays on the wagon

AJJ

April 1st, 2010
1:24 pm

I hope he turns into a drunk mess again

DAP

April 1st, 2010
1:25 pm

my wife and i are in section 139 for opening day.

regenerator, if you have lincecum and johnson, than id say any of those three are trade fodder. id say trade jurrjens, because you can probably get more from him, and he wont give you some of the stats that de la rosa probably will (like Ks)

TJ The Cards have that great 1,2 punch in the rotation and lineup that will take them far, but other than that do they have much?

and they play good defense. a really good offense, good pitching and solid defense, but other than that, what do they have? um….what else is there?

Jersey Gil

April 1st, 2010
1:25 pm

Toga:…I guessing some player has there own car in ST, those will drive to Atlanta some they fly back (Yes on Delta) the official Arline of The Braves, Or Not?

Steve McP

April 1st, 2010
1:26 pm

DOB – you need to let your AJC guys know that this is the blog, they still have “toes and pigs” up and this is a side item.

Moe Berg

April 1st, 2010
1:26 pm

“hopefully cabera stays on the wagon”

He has a drinking problem?

DAP

April 1st, 2010
1:26 pm

renegator, sorry about getting your name wrong.

Renegator

April 1st, 2010
1:26 pm

Hey guys,

Thanks for the tips on the fantasy baseball trade – I’ve been having a hard time deciding who to trade.

AJJ

April 1st, 2010
1:27 pm

DOB do you have any stats comparing the number of runs the braves scored this spring with Heyward batting in the front as oppsosed to the back of the line up?

CB

April 1st, 2010
1:27 pm

Frank Robinson (Rockmart)

April 1st, 2010
1:27 pm

The rest of my picks:

NL Central: Cards win, Reds are only other team above .500 (barely)
NL West: Rockies Win, D-backs win over 90 but lose WC to Phillies

AL East: Yankees win over 100, Rays win WC
AL Central: Twins win over 90, no one else wins 80
AL West: Seattle wins 90, everyone else finishes near .500

NLDS: Braves over Cards, Phils over Rox
ALDS: Mariners over Yankees, Rays over Twins
NLCS: Braves over Phils
ALCS: Mariners over Rays
WS: Braves over Mariners in a 7-game classic similar to ‘91 (only this time we win!)

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
1:28 pm

I added a poll asking how many games you think it’ll take to win the NL East this year. Go up and vote.

toga party

April 1st, 2010
1:28 pm

Great blog Dave. One question: If you see Kimbrel as the closer in 2011, what happens to Wags? Doesn’t his ~$6.5 mil option become guaranteed if he finishes 50 or 60 games?

I know it’s probably way, way too early to think about that, and having two qualified closers would be a great problem to have. I’m just wondering what your corresponding Wagner prediction is.

whensidslid92

April 1st, 2010
1:29 pm

Looking at this lineup, how do you think it’ll compare to opening day? I actually like the looks of it, but can’t believe Escobar would be our 7 hitter….

Omar

April 1st, 2010
1:29 pm

How did you become a Raekwon fan DOB?

chris

April 1st, 2010
1:29 pm

hey DOB, you think today’s lineup will be the opening day lineup come monday?

Rick

April 1st, 2010
1:30 pm

Cabrera was drunk the night before the Tigers playoff game against the Twins for the pennent last year and he looked terrible in that game .

toga party

April 1st, 2010
1:31 pm

Toga:…I guessing some player has there own car in ST, those will drive to Atlanta some they fly back (Yes on Delta) the official Arline of The Braves, Or Not?

Gil, in prior spring trainings, Dave has said that the players fly, and hire people to drive their cars back for them. I want to know how to get that job.

wheelz007

April 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

Braves win the east with a 95-67 record. Phillies take the wild card at 93-69.

thinbreakness

April 1st, 2010
1:35 pm

DOB-
90 will win the Division, but it really will not matter because the Braves are going to win 98-100.

Jersey Gil

April 1st, 2010
1:36 pm

Toga: give a call to Mclouth , he drove his car after the season end to Michigan last yr.

FEAR

April 1st, 2010
1:37 pm

Frank Robinson – wow you got it all thought out.

Poorbrave

April 1st, 2010
1:37 pm

I for one like Milky and hope he has his best year. To Well with his haters. There’s no pressure from BC and Braves like in NY. So he can relax and play.

I’m sure glad we didn’t sign Damon….but he had a beautiful wife.

TJ

April 1st, 2010
1:38 pm

DAP, The cards have good pitching? who are their 3,4,5 starters? and their bp looks unimpressive to me. Maybe I’m wrong but I see no depth.

NRBQ

April 1st, 2010
1:38 pm

Batting Heyward 6th or 7th is wasting his OBP and his speed. Plus, in the two-hole, he’ll see more strikes. Hope it doesn’t take Bobby half a season to realize this.

1eyedJack

April 1st, 2010
1:38 pm

Come on Dave, you can tell us, who do you think is going to be ROY?

Jersey Gil

April 1st, 2010
1:38 pm

Rick: Cabrera was not drunk in that Game..he was beat up by his Wife that day after all night celebration with his body.

whensidslid92

April 1st, 2010
1:39 pm

DOB–Can we not find a better picture of Wags? I know it’s from his’ days with the Mets but that picture doesn’t exactly invoke warm feelings for Braves fans.

Jersey Gil

April 1st, 2010
1:40 pm

Score please… My computer can’t connect to the radio feed today.

Moe Berg

April 1st, 2010
1:40 pm

CB–I realized after i posted. Thanks.

P'cola Brave

April 1st, 2010
1:40 pm

Heres my predictions for this year
NL East: Phillies
NL Central: Cardinals
NL West: Rockies
NL Wild Card: Braves

AL East: Yankees
AL Central: White Sox
AL West: Rangers
AL Wild Card: Red Sox

Braves over Rockies/ Phillies over Cardinals
Yanks over White Sox/ Red Sox over Rangers

Phillies over Braves/ Red Sox over Yanks

Red Sox in 6 over Phils.

whensidslid92

April 1st, 2010
1:41 pm

NRBQ–

If Heyward bats 6th he still would have Escobar behind him. Single/Walk (use of his OBP), steals 2nd, scores on a single by Esco. Not a waste of his OBP/speed. Works out nicely.

Poorbrave

April 1st, 2010
1:41 pm

Rick what Cabrera are you talking about the one with Tigers are Braves? I think you talking about the wrong Cabrera not Milky.

The Sham

April 1st, 2010
1:41 pm

Every body join me in singing Phil Niekro HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I’ll start it out with the first few words and the next person adds a word, then the next and so on! Here we go…

Happy Birthday to you…

Brian from SC

April 1st, 2010
1:42 pm

The Sham…

Are you proposing a blog sing-along?

P'cola Brave

April 1st, 2010
1:43 pm

NRBQ

Batting him 2nd takes away his ability to drive in runs. Hes a run producer. Yes hes going to get on base but his OBP isn’t that much different from Prado. You don’t want Heyward hitting 2nd trying to move runners over and bunting. You want him in the middle driving in runs. Its a waste of his ability to hit 2nd. Thats a lot of solo homeruns hitting 2nd.

GTI in Chicago

April 1st, 2010
1:43 pm

No score, bottom 3rd, I believe.

toga party

April 1st, 2010
1:45 pm

Wow, the new mlb.com scoreboard is pretty cool. It basically has a game tracker built in for each game:

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/scoreboard/

Brian Asselstine

April 1st, 2010
1:45 pm

Heyward is going to run back to Atlanta. He’s that damn good!

GTI in Chicago

April 1st, 2010
1:46 pm

Yep. End of 3, now, no score, Jurrjens pitching in and out of mild trouble.

Bill

April 1st, 2010
1:47 pm

Rick…You are talking about Miguel Cabrera with Tigers .

Milky Cabrera is not a drunk.

Herschel Talker

April 1st, 2010
1:50 pm

Nick Cafardo is a clown. Anyone who has Booby the moron at number one is clearly a fool.

sri

April 1st, 2010
1:50 pm

After 2 quick outs in the top of the 4th, BMac singles.

Rick

April 1st, 2010
1:51 pm

Poorbrave ,
I was talking about Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers . He has been doing re-hab this winter to get over his drinking problem .

toga party

April 1st, 2010
1:51 pm

Why do people keep saying Milky?

Dick Doss

April 1st, 2010
1:51 pm

yes he is talking about miguel he quit drinking this offseason

tiger297

April 1st, 2010
1:51 pm

DAP

that is the best section in the stadium

sri

April 1st, 2010
1:52 pm

Glaus strikes out swinging. 0-0 Mid 4th.

AJJ

April 1st, 2010
1:52 pm

I will trade the Drunk Cabrera for the Sober one though

StingerSplash

April 1st, 2010
1:52 pm

DBTs had a nice performance on Jimmy Fallon last night. Only reason I tuned in.
And what in hell ever happened to Al Stewart?

DAP

April 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

TJ, brad penny and kyle loshe are on the cardinals staff, and franklin has performed well as their closer. they definitely have enough pitching to compliments their offense and defense, especially front by those two aces.

ugaaccountant

April 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

I like 6th for Heyward alot more than 7th. I think this is the best configuration to try the lengthening a lineup strategy:

Melky/Diaz
Prado
Chipper

Glaus
McCann
Heyward

Yunel
McLouth
Pitcher

That lineup gives us spikes in power and OBP all over the place.

Start with your typical 1 & 2 type guys, yes Melky is typical enough. More teams have moderate speed guys than 50 steals type guys. Prado’s a pretty typical move em forward guy. Chipper is then a knock em in guy.

Now, if you’re having a good inning Glaus and McCann have the power. Or if you’re starting a new rally, Glaus and McCann both are high average guys as well. I really think Glaus is converting alot of his former power into average, unless it’s just a spring mirage.

Certainly Heyward can swing for OBP or Power. But if he comes up as a leadoff for an inning, you follow it up with Yunel a great move em forward guy and McLouth who has alot of power for an 8th spot, most NL teams are running out a glove only 8th not us though.

Plus, Nate’s a decent enough OBP guy that when he is asked to get on base with say 2 outs just to get the pitchers spot out of the way, he’ll manufacture a very acceptable success rate.

Stone

April 1st, 2010
1:53 pm

it’s so interesting reading all you random readers’ predictions.

AJJ

April 1st, 2010
1:54 pm

Chipper is less a Knockem in Guy and more of a Ground into Double play guy anymore

Josh H

April 1st, 2010
1:54 pm

Top of the 4th? This game is moving quickly…

Fischerking04

April 1st, 2010
1:55 pm

Herschel Talker, one of those people that doesn’t just play the fool one day a year.

chris

April 1st, 2010
1:55 pm

I hear the team will fly on a plane back to atlanta tonight, while heyward will fly himself like superman and get back to georgia in under a minute.

Josh

April 1st, 2010
1:56 pm

togaparty, no point in being arrogant.

Poorbrave

April 1st, 2010
1:56 pm

Sorry Rick my bad.

Space Monkey

April 1st, 2010
1:58 pm

DOB:

I have to give it to you. The last artist I expected to see in your lyrics spot is Al Stewart. I’m a big fan. I think he writes five minute movies. But if I put on one of his CDs, my friends—who like me love Americana and classic rock—run out the door. Props for your eclectic music tastes.

sri

April 1st, 2010
1:58 pm

Inge grounds out to Conrad at 3rd.
Sizemore strikes out swinging.
Diaz lines out to Escobar.
0-0 Top 5th next.

DAP

April 1st, 2010
1:59 pm

hey AJJ, chipper has always grounded into alot double plays. always. that happens to guys who dont K much. pujols grounds into a ton of double plays.

Mixxo

April 1st, 2010
2:00 pm

K.K. has to drive his Maserati back, unless he wants me to do it…..for a nominal fee of course.

Bill

April 1st, 2010
2:00 pm

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
2:01 pm

Heyward just popped out to shallow right, then Escobar lined a single up the middle that just about took the pitcher’s head off. A vicious liner. Only second hit of game for Braves.

sri

April 1st, 2010
2:01 pm

Superman pops out to second base.

Jersey Gil

April 1st, 2010
2:02 pm

sri …Thanks for the Update…keeping coming..i’m stock here in my office and some genius in IS Dept put some filter that not allow me or anyone to go to some web side.

Scout Dawg

April 1st, 2010
2:02 pm

You know what, I hope we get 97 saves from Wagner this year! But, even if we did, that wouldn’t be his best contribution to this team. Obviously this cat is going to be gold, cash money on the influence he brings to the rest of the bullpen and to the young prospects! Love the humble yet veteran soldier attitude.

NRBQ

April 1st, 2010
2:03 pm

P’Cola:

You’re right. I would like to see him in the middle of the order, but 6th-7th is not the middle. From the 2nd spot, at least, you would also take advantage of the way he works a pitcher.

I expect Bobbly will slot him seventh (with little protection). He certainly won’t bat him 4th or 5th.

At any rate, I think he’ll prosper wherever he hits. Especially if the 3-4-5 guys get on.

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
2:03 pm

Someone asked about Braves driving back. Most or all of them have their cars driven back to Atlanta for them, and the players fly.

???

April 1st, 2010
2:03 pm

is the radio broadcast online anywhere?

Braves82

April 1st, 2010
2:04 pm

IF Kimbrel is ready for the bigs, and Wags option kicks in, why not have Kimbrel serve as set-up guy to Wags. That way he can learn from Wags and also close for him from time to time for expereince and then get feedback from Wags. It would be a great way to learn with on the job training without just being thrown to the wolves.

Dang ...

April 1st, 2010
2:04 pm

Billy Wagner is a no nonsense kind of guy, so when somebody like that says you’re good, then you’re good. Kimbrel has looked very good in the short stints I’ve seen him this spring and I too think he could easily be up by mid-summer.

If we can keep Chipper/Wagner/Glaus and maybe even Saito relatively healthy this year, ……

BravesfaninWis

April 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

DOB,

How does one get a gig to drive a Braves players car back to Atlanta from Florida? Hell, I would do it for some tickets and a autograph.

VOR

April 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

I think I read that Chipper said Heyward was carrying the Braves’ cars on his shoulders… or was that their playoff hopes? I can’t remember…

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

StingerSplash: DBT were on Fallon? Damn. I fell asleep about 1 minute before Whigs on Letterman. Didn’t even know DBT was on Fallon. Literally sat down on the couch during commercial break, ready to watch Whigs, and woke up at 4 a.m.

I’m ready to get to some normalcy in my schedule. Nice 3-4 a.m. bed times and 8:30-9:30 a.m. wakeup. That’s more my speed.

Snotboogie

April 1st, 2010
2:05 pm

toga party

They have had that in-built gametracker for the last couple of years It used to be much smaller and not as “polished”. They seem to have upgraded the graphics all over their site in time for the start of the season.

McFann

April 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

Beautiful–That single gave BMac a perfect .500 average for the Spring! This was without a doubt his best Spring Training.

Now, let’s hope that on October fourth we’re able to come on here and say the same thing, changing “Spring Training” to “Season”!

…For the entire team effort! :D

sri

April 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

Escobar singles, replaced by Thurston as PR, to 2nd on wild pitch. McClouth walks. Hinske up.

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
2:06 pm

‘Chak is now pinch-running for McLouth, who walked.

Dang ...

April 1st, 2010
2:07 pm

My personal line on Heyward this season — .292/ 21/ 87

You take that with his defense and base running skills as a 20 year old any day of the week.

BravesfaninWis

April 1st, 2010
2:07 pm

IF Kimbrel is ready for the bigs, and Wags option kicks in, why not have Kimbrel serve as set-up guy to Wags.
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Basically take over Saito’s job, plus Kimbrel could close once in a while as well to give Wagner a break, or when we face a teams tough right handed batters.

thinbreakness

April 1st, 2010
2:07 pm

It’s really simple. With our starting 5 and adequate, repeat adequate offense, the Braves win 3 out of every 5 games played or 60%. 60% of 162 is 97.2. I don’t think anyone in the NL could say they have the pitching to win 3 lose 2, win 3 lose 2 throughout the season. We will not have a losing streak longer than 2 games this year and more likely will reel off winning streaks of 5-7 throughout the season.

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
2:07 pm

Braves82: Either way, Kimbrel will be on the team next year.

Jersey Gil

April 1st, 2010
2:08 pm

BravesfaninWis …yeah sure..are you going to cover the Insurance cover?
Imaging you have an accident in KK Car…that will cost you the rest of your live paid it the cost until you retired.

sri

April 1st, 2010
2:09 pm

Hinske lines into DP, caught by Cabrera at 1st and steps on bag. 0-0 Bot 5th

tiger297

April 1st, 2010
2:09 pm

I’ll drive KK’s car back to atlanta…please I won’t even charge him

AJJ

April 1st, 2010
2:09 pm

Heyward is going to get alot better pitches to hit hitting in 2nd than he is in the back of the lineup. Cabrera Prado and Chipper I think is a pretty weak 1 2 3. Prado Heyward Chipper looks alot better. i think Heyward is going to get pitched around all summer batting infront of the 2009 2010 Mclouth or in front of Diaz.

BravesfaninWis

April 1st, 2010
2:10 pm

Gil,

Most people have insurance on their vehicles to cover a accident no matter who is driving their vehicle. I have it, so I am sure millionaires like the Braves players have it as well. I take it you don’t have auto insurance?

FEAR

April 1st, 2010
2:10 pm

close game eh? haha

David O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
2:10 pm

Hinske lined out after McLouth drew a walk and Heyward popped out against lefty Fu-Te Ni.. I bring this up because last year, left-handed hitters were 7-for-62 (.113) against Ni.

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