Medlen working on curveball, Hanson could start Sunday

Vivlamore reporting from Florida while DOB gets a few days to recharge.  We will leave his main blog up another day but here are some pregame notes before the Braves take on the Nationals this afternoon from Champion Stadium.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. –Kris Medlen doesn’t want to be a two-pitch pitcher – so he is working on his curveball.

Medlen threw “three or four” curveballs in this spring training debut Tuesday, a 5-2 loss to the Nationals at Champion Stadium. One worked in a first-inning strikeout of Ryan Zimmerman.

“I’m pretty sure he did not expect a curveball coming just because I’m mainly fastball and change-up,” Medlen said.

Medlen worked two innings and gave up three hits and an earned run, an opposite-field homer by Jayson Werth. He threw 34 pitches, 21 for strikes, and also struck out Chad Tracy.

“You can’t just coast along as a two-pitch pitcher when you throw 90 miles per hour,” Medlen said. “You have to throw a little extra in there. … Usually [catcher David Ross] can tell if my curveball is crap in the bullpen. It was breaking a little bit so we decided to work on it during the game.”

The Nationals also got to the Braves’ vaunted relievers Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters . They got a two-run double from Tracy off O’Flaherty in the third and a Mark DeRosa homer off Venters to take a 4-0 lead after four innings. Craig Kimbrel did not allow a run in his inning of work in the fifth.

The Braves (1-3) got single runs on back-to-back doubles by Brian McCann and Dan Uggla in the fourth inning and an RBI single from Matt Diaz in the sixth.

Hanson throws BP

Tommy Hanson, working his way back from a concussion, threw a second batting practice session Tuesday and he could make his spring training debut Sunday. The plan is to throw a 10-minute BP session on Thursday and then start him in place of Medlen, against the Blue Jays, according to Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.

“Hopefully if everything goes well and we don’t see any reason it shouldn’t go well,” Gonzalez said.

Hanson has not thrown from a mound since being involved in a one-car accident on Feb. 20.

Chipper still out

Chipper Jones will get a few more days to rest soreness in his thigh. The third baseman was not in the Braves lineup Tuesday against the Nationals and he is not scheduled to make the trip to Lakeland to play the Tigers on Wednesday.

“Try to get over it and ease my way back into it,” Jones said of the added time off.

Jones said he experienced soreness during the Braves’ first spring training game on Saturday. He had two at-bats, including a walk. I didn’t inform team personnel until coming out of the game.

Jones said beside rest he is doing stretching exercises.

“I’m not really concerned,” Gonzalez said. “… If it was March 15th or 18th than yes I would be. But fourth game of spring training, or miss the first week, I’m not all that concerned about it.”

Etc.

Right-hander Brandon Beachy will make his spring training debut Wednesday, starting against the Tigers. The Braves also plan to work Cory Gearrin, Todd Redmond, Jairo Asencio and Erik Cordier.

The Braves are expecting a full house for Saturday’s home exhibition against the Yankees. With other events at the same time, officials are expecting 30,000 people at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.

82 comments Add your comment

eskippy

March 6th, 2012
10:23 am

Kevin

March 6th, 2012
10:47 am

Recharge, really? We are eight days in, life must be tough having to cover baseball for a week.

RC

March 6th, 2012
10:55 am

Pretty sure pitchers and catchers reported over 2 weeks ago, and DOB hasn’t taken a day off in that entire time. If you’ve worked 10 hours days the past 14 days straight then ignore my comment. If you haven’t, then please kindly shut up.

B-F_52

March 6th, 2012
10:56 am

I wonder if the sunburn has a little bit to do with it peeling and all

B-F_52

March 6th, 2012
10:57 am

chipper’s sunburn that is

Lew

March 6th, 2012
10:59 am

Kevin – Yeah – let him work another 8 or 10 days straight without a day off. Make him earn those big bucks. Just like you, right?

B-F_52

March 6th, 2012
10:59 am

is Carol R on the IR

smalltownbravesfan

March 6th, 2012
10:59 am

looking forward to Gattis hitting!! really pulling for him to make it. He should start @ Lynchburg this year, get to Miss mid season. Gwinnett next year as a left fielder

smalltownbravesfan

March 6th, 2012
11:01 am

DOB has one of the best jobs in the world!!!

Boston Braves

March 6th, 2012
11:02 am

With Chipper it going to be good a good thing that we didn’t get rid of Prado

Larry

March 6th, 2012
11:06 am

“Try to get over it and ease my way back into it,” Jones said of the added time off.

“I’m taking a few days to get it behind me,” Jones said.

We know, Chipper! If anything is a little sore or looks odd just stay in the shade.

Maybe for one you could have some honor and integrity and not deposit those paychecks while you’re getting over your “soreness.” Wotcha think about that, Chips?”

Rufus

March 6th, 2012
11:07 am

Why is Tyler Pastornicky not starting? Shouldn’t he being seeing all the big-league pitching possible?

Marvin Mangrum

March 6th, 2012
11:12 am

Chipper has been a good one, sure has, but those days are past, pulling a thingy after two days in camp. Good grief, get rid of tha bum. 271 ba, 63 rbi, whoppee doo! I would hope the braves have at least two thers BETTER than that! Enuf already, tha freaking season has not even started!

iTiSi

March 6th, 2012
11:22 am

Hate to break it to you, DOB, but “grapefruit” is one word(as you printed in the article), so why the GFL?

E

March 6th, 2012
11:25 am

Who cares if it’s one word. You know what it means.

Billy

March 6th, 2012
11:44 am

Freeman ready for GFL debut
10:22 am March 6, 2012, by Chris Vivlamore

Ah the critical criticizers are out in force and don’t even take the time to see who they are bashing.

DOB can defend himself, but I think he has been working over 30 days without a day off. Plus working from 6 am till sometimes 2 am every day is not a great job, regardless of what you do. Even working the drive thru window, like most here, would be rough if you had to do it 7 days a week.

David O'Brien

March 6th, 2012
11:54 am

Hate to break it to you, DOB, but “grapefruit” is one word(as you printed in the article), so why the GFL? — iTiSi

Not really sure what you’re referring to, since I’m off for next few days and didn’t write the article.

David O'Brien

March 6th, 2012
12:00 pm

Pretty sure pitchers and catchers reported over 2 weeks ago, and DOB hasn’t taken a day off in that entire time. If you’ve worked 10 hours days the past 14 days straight then ignore my comment. If you haven’t, then please kindly shut up. — RC

Thanks, RC. Actually it was 16 days (from reporting day Feb. 19 through yesterday), but who’s counting? By the way, we only wish they were mere 10-hour work days. To the ballpark at 7:45, that’d get us out of there at 5:45 each day, while still light out. Wish I could say that’s happened more than once all spring.

But to your point, I’m sure that hard-working individual reading the blog and rippin’ from his own place of work this morning has put in 180-200 hours on the job the past 16 days, right? It’s all good.

Take care.

Dorothy Davis

March 6th, 2012
12:16 pm

Okay, so we are barely into Spring training games and already Chipper is hurt. He could seriously hurt this team this year by taking away an oportunity from a young healthy 3rd baseman prospect. How selfish is that? Come on Chipper, if you cannot get yourself into a sucessful season, just give it up. No one wants to see you go out a limping loser. Obviously your body is way older than your mind!Enter your comments here

Rick

March 6th, 2012
12:22 pm

“Chipper has been a good one, sure has, but those days are past, pulling a thingy after two days in camp. Good grief, get rid of tha bum. 271 ba, 63 rbi, whoppee doo! I would hope the braves have at least two thers BETTER than that! Enuf already, tha freaking season has not even started!”

FYI He led the team in SLG last season.

Rick

March 6th, 2012
12:23 pm

“He could seriously hurt this team this year by taking away an oportunity from a young healthy 3rd baseman prospect.”

And who would that be? Terdo is at least a year away from being ready.

jeffrey d

March 6th, 2012
12:24 pm

We are eight days in, life must be tough having to cover baseball for a week.

Have you taken a day off in the last 8 days?

Richard

March 6th, 2012
12:27 pm

Why does anyone care whether Chipper plays a ST game. Seriously folks, it’s his, what, 22nd ST? If he didn’t even show up until the opener, I wouldn’t give a crap.

ncgary

March 6th, 2012
12:33 pm

8 days a week

CB

March 6th, 2012
12:48 pm

I’ve taken 8 days off in last 8, worthless bum.

jay

March 6th, 2012
12:57 pm

here we go with Chipper again. We’ll be lucky to get 100 games out this dude. great Braves’ player, but at 14 million a year he’s killing this team. now by the time his contract is up we’ll have to use that money on Jair or Tommmy.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:00 pm

Mark (another one)

March 6th, 2012
1:02 pm

The negative complainers are enforce today.

To me, following the Braves is a hobby. I enjoy it, but if I miss it for a day or two, I simply catch up. The reports such as DOB do this stuff full time for a living, and when they take a day or two off, we miss them. It speaks well of their product that we need a fix every day. I’m just glad the AJC has others to fill in and keep the information flowing.

As for the news of the team, it sounds like Hanson and Freeman are over their minor injuries. Chipper knows his body and will do his best to be ready when it counts. All three of this issues are non-issues for those that follow the Braves year after year. Its funny but with some of these veterans, its more important they take bating and fielding practice than play 4-5 innings of a spring game.

BTW, I saw that KK signed in Japan. Any chance we can send Teheran to Japan? At 21 this kid is washed up. Did you read the line on his last game? ;-) . Relax people.

jay

March 6th, 2012
1:03 pm

@Richard. It’s not about him playing a ST game. It’s the fact that he’s 40 and is already ailing. He’s not taking the day off for precaution. He’s taking it off because he’s already got pains. When he said his knee was soar this summer from playing a softball game I knew we were in trouble.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:16 pm

No runs for Nats in top of first. Medlen gives up one hit with two strikeouts.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:25 pm

No runs for Braves in bottom of first. Prado with a single, Uggla with a walk.

The Atlanta Bears Are...

March 6th, 2012
1:26 pm

“Recharge, really? We are eight days in, life must be tough having to cover baseball for a week.”

Actually, this should be amended to cover Chipper instead of DOB. He played one spring game and has not seen the diamond since.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:27 pm

Werth homers for Nats to lead off second.

Joey Waddell

March 6th, 2012
1:31 pm

Chipper is hurt? That’s weird.

Scottbravesfan

March 6th, 2012
1:32 pm

You mouth breathers do realize chipper was in the top 3 in OPS last year for third basemen in the NL last year right? You do realize he led the team in OPS right? Of course not all you morons look at is batting average and RBI. You probably think a pitchers win lose record is important too? I feel bad for DOB that he has to write for these people.

Also isn’t 3 games into spring training? Settle down and quit ripping one of the top three thirdbasemen of all time.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:32 pm

Werth homer only run for Nats in second. Diaz, Heyward and Ross for Braves.

Jay

March 6th, 2012
1:36 pm

Does Chipper actually stretch and workout? I been a huge fan of his since first seeing him in 1993 callups, but dang feels like he kind of player now that does nothing to take care of his body. Just show up and try to hit (which he does rather well).

Braves should hire 2 dieticians/trainers just for Chipper alone.

ray k.

March 6th, 2012
1:39 pm

I love chipper. But his knee(s) have been an issue too frequently of late. He is already slated for a part time schedule this year as a preventative measure to accommodate his age and injuries. I have a bad feeling about the 2012 edition of our favorite game: third base/left field musical chairs. This is the Braves after all. If they’d throw Ryan Klesko and Matt Diaz out there, anything is possible.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:39 pm

Medlen done after his two innings. One earned run on three hits with two strikeouts. O’Flaherty in.

Richard

March 6th, 2012
1:46 pm

Thanks for the live updates, Chris. Keep ‘em coming, I don’t have radio coverage down here in Warner Robins.

jim

March 6th, 2012
1:48 pm

Scottbravesfan,

I will grant you OPS>>BA, but RBI + Runs scored – HR is the most telling statistic of all. At the end of the game its the runs only the runs on the board that make a difference. If you want to do it on a per game played bases, then a player’s true worth would be measured in (RBI + R – HR)/Games played.

One thing to recall also was that last year was a down year for NL 3Bmen. Wright was well below previous standards, Zimmerman got hurt, Ramirez had a down year (except when we played them), and time and injury may have caught up with Rolen. Comparing Chipper’s stats to other third basemen is not as telling as comparing them to other $15 million/year or more men or middle of he lineup hitters. The question is not whether Chipper is still good, but whether his presence offsets the possibilities that his salary prevents.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:48 pm

Nats score twice in top of third. Chad Tracy with RBI double.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:55 pm

No runs for Braves in bottom of third. Simmons was caught stealing after reaching on error.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:56 pm

Venters now in after O’Flaherty allowed two runs on two hits and a walk.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
1:57 pm

Mark DeRosa homers off Venters to lead off fourth.

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
2:01 pm

DeRosa homer only run in fourth for Nats. They lead 4-0.

David O'Brien

March 6th, 2012
2:04 pm

“Recharge, really? We are eight days in, life must be tough having to cover baseball for a week.” The Atlanta Bears Are…

Where you been, man? Keep up. Spring training began Feb. 19. Glad you could join us, though. Keep up the great contributions to our blog conversations.

Venice Jim

March 6th, 2012
2:05 pm

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
2:07 pm

Braves score on back-to-back doubles by McCann and Uggla.

bravesgrl4life

March 6th, 2012
2:09 pm

Okay, boys, gotta show up against the Nats today. Beating the Astros was good, but not all that impressive as they are so bad. Don’t let the Nats be our pesties this year.

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

March 6th, 2012
2:16 pm

Chipper hurt already? Why am I not surprized? Typical loser Chipper alwyas hurt. He 2 old to play. Time 2 retrie and let a yonger player in.

Jim Pierce

March 6th, 2012
2:22 pm

Get off Chipper’s case. At 40, he should ease into Spring training. Too old to play? lol Now that’s funny. Chipper will be there when Game one of the season arrives. It’s best he take it easy in ST. Im not worried about Chipper Jones one bit.

Venice Jim

March 6th, 2012
2:25 pm

bravesgrl4life – most people on the main blog…

Andy in Indy

March 6th, 2012
2:27 pm

DOB since you are recharging shouldn’t you get at it instead of reading the blog to find out what people are saying about you?

Chris Vivlamore

March 6th, 2012
2:29 pm

Was away for interviews. I will try to keep up with updates if there is interest.

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

March 6th, 2012
2:29 pm

U R not very smart RU Jim?

It is so oblivous that Chipper is over the hill. He spemt 2 much time injured last year and he starts this year injrued. There R beter younger players that should be palying instead of Chipper.

Nuff said!

Jim Pierce

March 6th, 2012
2:32 pm

No one better than Chipper. And I would respect your posts alot more if you would learn to spell.

Atlcracker

March 6th, 2012
2:33 pm

Steve

March 6th, 2012
2:37 pm

Mark – you said a mouthful. Don’t get the haters. That being said …

DOB .. I really appreciate all your hard work and effort, but please don’t stoop to the level of some of these posters. Your comments about cube dwellers was beneath you sir. I take offense because I have to put in those kinds of 2-3 week periods once a quarter with little to no thanks. I am willing to bet quite a few other people on here have similar work responsibilities.

I respect what you do and I love your blogs, but don’t ‘harsh my buzz’ about baseball with hateful comments .. even if some of the posters on here deserve to be smacked with one of those big foam fingers you see at the games sometimes. Granted, I don’t blame you for going off on them, but don’t be hating on cube dwellers.

Just an FYI, I rip out comments on your blogs during my lunch breaks .. if I get time to have one.

Rick

March 6th, 2012
2:39 pm

“It is so oblivous that Chipper is over the hill. He spemt 2 much time injured last year and he starts this year injrued. There R beter younger players that should be palying instead of Chipper.”

The season hasn’t started yet, so he hasn’t started the year injured. Last year he played over 120 games, which is fine. Had one stint on the DL. Even with that time off he was still 2nd or 3rd in most offensive categories for NL 3B. Who do you suggest should be playing instead of him? Terdo is not ready yet.

Mark (another one)

March 6th, 2012
2:56 pm

Last year Chipper kept playing when most people would have had the surgery. This is a team player and a hall of famer. He would love to be young again (woudn’t we all) and be able to play 150 games but that isn’t going to happen. Other than Prado, who else do we have to play third?

Stinger2

March 6th, 2012
3:03 pm

To all the Chipper bashers: Grow up and act like adults.
If you know anyone who can do better this year at 3B for the Braves name him. Chipper is doing it the right way by not taking chances on a more serious injury for games that mean nothing.Find someone else to talk your negativism about for the rest of this blog at least.

jay

March 6th, 2012
3:04 pm

man some of you guys are so blind. If Chipper was making 5-7 million then his parttime status wouldn’t be a problem because he can still hit. with that said Prado could put up similar numbers playing everyday at first compared to a 40 yr old Chipper and the Braves could spend 14 mil on a real left fielder. like I said previously Chipper’s knee was hurting him this summer after playing softball. there is no way he gives the Braves 120 games.

Weaseal

March 6th, 2012
3:35 pm

I really hope that DOB and Chipper are out enjoying the Florida day… we wants pics …golf, fishing, tattoos…Hooters shopping for vinyl …. A cold one near the beach yall deserve it- Cheers

Largo

March 6th, 2012
4:33 pm

Typical Chipper, play in one game then out for a week. And, he’s never embarrassed about it. Just keeps on stealing those millions.

Just Pat

March 6th, 2012
5:15 pm

OK…have read enough of this trash and Chipper bashing. Will try the main blog to see if the intelligent posters are there instead. *sigh*

Felix

March 6th, 2012
5:33 pm

Look now all you naysayers-at least we didn’t get shut out.

paul in richmond

March 6th, 2012
5:36 pm

Thank you Jay – your point about Jones is the correct one.
His persistent injuries are abnormal. His salary is way too high for a part time player. If he were making half that then he would be a value and many of us would not complain – especially if the other 7 million dollars could be used to add some regular pop to the lineup.

That said – there is nothing in the first four games to make a rational person think this team will be any different from last year. “SO FAR” (and I put that in quotes) they have shown nothing to get excited about.

George Washington

March 6th, 2012
5:40 pm

Two facts that annoy me and describe my concern as bashing if you’d like. A 40 yr old 3rd baseman that will be lucky to play 80 games and will receive 13 mil dollars is a downer almost equal to the fact that fredi g. is the manager. I still can’t get over that game in NY last year when the entire team “went through the motions” to end the game as soon as possible so they could hurry home. That was the beginning of the downfall and I believe they deserved the unfortunate luck. Every player should feel fortunate to be a major league player and they should give 110% every game ’cause they all count.
Thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. God Bless America.

fordcobra

March 6th, 2012
5:53 pm

Chipper the walking wounded. I can’t believe all these defenders. What he did for the Braves is great but 40 is like a 100 leave with dignity and free up payroll for the team you say you love.

Mark (another one)

March 6th, 2012
6:24 pm

Chipper played in over 120 games last year, so predictions of 80 are assuming he has a serious injury. Some muscle tightness is not serious. Is Chipper on the down side of his career? Even he says he is. He knows he will need to take more time off than a 30 year old Chipper did. However, there is nothing wrong with him playing out his contract.

The Braves and all other major league teams control a player’s compensation for the first several years of their career. Then they get paid what the team thinks their worth. If you think Chipper the entertainer (yes, baseball players are entertainers) is over paid your gribe is with the Braves Management. They’re the ones that put the incentives in his contract for performance, the same incentives that guaranteed this year’s salary.

Chipper will leave Baseball when he’s ready. Not when some blogger says he’s an embarrassment. It doesn’t work that way. Get over it. As for who will replace him, that’s a good question. The next in line is Prado, but Chipper better production when he’s playing. So, who do you add when you drop Chipper? Terdo, who hasn’t shown he can play third and was in single A?

Try living in the real world. Chipper has a contract and he will be with the Braves this year, and probably next.

Bob the Blogger

March 6th, 2012
6:40 pm

Is there any chance of getting a spell checker added to this blog?

Lobosolo

March 6th, 2012
6:52 pm

“Looser”… what tools you and Larry are… one of you can’t think and the other can’t think or spell….

B-F_52

March 6th, 2012
7:16 pm

Thank goodness for baseball,blogs,and,DO’B

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

March 6th, 2012
9:17 pm

dob can have days off —— so long as he is trying to find good barbecue for us…

LefordIV

March 6th, 2012
9:35 pm

It’s not about what Chipper USED to be, it’s what he is now! Stop confusing the issue and deal with facts. Chipper’s 13 mil plus contract is nothing but a gold watch because he ain’t worth that kind of money. At his age and with his injury history, even if he did have a decent year, it’s probably even money he wouldn’t be available if the Braves were lucky enough to make post-season. He would probably be limping around the dugout cheering for his team mates because he couldn’t take the field from some assorted injury.

Henry Aaron is a hall of famer and the best Brave of all time… but that being said…he ain’t gonna help you win TODAY!

Bill in VA

March 6th, 2012
10:07 pm

This is a young man’s game, Chipper!

?

March 6th, 2012
10:39 pm

For a novice, what’s the ‘main blog’? All I know is the DOB articles?

C G Mosley

March 7th, 2012
11:11 am

I’ll never forget the trip to see Maris and Mantle play in 1961…we were sitting in center field seats…sorry, I don’t remember anybody else who played…but they tipped their hats to us several times….my kids and grands can’t believe Ole Mawmaw saw these two stars in person… Chipper may be showing some age, but have you noticed how full the Braves’ seats are when he’s there? He pays for his salary by pulling up attendance. A lot of those fans are gonna crow to their grands that they saw the famous “Chipper”in person! Stop the bellyaching!

Braves rooter

March 7th, 2012
12:04 pm

As a braves fan for years I have loved watching Chipper play but for the last several years I have grown tired of his running mouth of other injured players and lack of playing when we need him the most. He should have retired 3 years ago and its time he passed on his broken body bench seat to a younger guy who can get the job done. Love you Chipper but its time to hang up the cleats.

Time to change back

March 7th, 2012
12:06 pm

What, Chipper injured and hes not even a week into spring training? No, who would have thought?

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