Updated: Healthy Medlen gets started on new season

Vivlamore reporting from Florida. I wanted to post a blog before I made my way to the Braves complex this morning for an interview and then my way on Route 4 to Lakeland for this afternoon’s spring training game against the Tigers.

Updates below with starting lineup.

A healthy Kris Medlen returns to lend the Braves pitching staff his versatility this season. While Medlen made a spring training start on Tuesday, it appears he will soon be back in the bullpen. Tommy Hanson will likely take Medlen’s turn in the rotation on Sunday should he be fully healed from a concussion. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez disclosed the plan following Tuesday’s game and said Medlen would “piggy back” on Hanson’s outing from the bullpen.

I had some leftover details and quotes from Tuesday that I wanted to pass on.

“He is an upper-tier swing guy,” Gonzalez said. “He could be a middle of the rotation type starter. He could help you out in the bullpen in those middle innings. He could do a lot of different stuff. Usually those swing guys are 34 years old and done a little bit. Not him.”

While Medlen would prefer to start, he will go where needed most.

“I’ve accepted the fact that I could be both,” Medlen said. “I have to train for both of them just in case.”

Medlen worked two innings Tuesday and gave up three hits and an earned run, an opposite-field homer by Jayson Werth – “wind-aided” according to the right-hander. He threw 34 pitches, 21 for strikes, and also struck out Chad Tracy.

Medlen said he was “anxious” to return to the mound even after he made two appearances at the end of last season in his return from Tommy John surgery. Medlen, who had last pitched Aug. 4, 2010, pitched 2.1 innings and gave up one hit and struck out two. He threw seven pitches against the Nationals on Sept. 25 and 16 pitches against the Phillies on Sept. 28.

“It’s nice to see him come out healthy,” said Gonzalez, who praised Medlen’s Tuesday outing. “He’s going to be a big part for us.”

I have arrived at Joker Marchant Stadium. Here is today’s starting lineup vs. Tigers:

1. Michael Bourn, CF

2. Martin Prado, 3B

3. Brian McCann C

4. Dan Uggla, 2B

5. Freddie Freeman, 1B

6. Eric Hinske, DH

7. Matt Diaz, LF

8. Jason Heyward, RF

9. Tyler Pastornicky, SS

Here is the list of players who will make the trip to Sarasota for tomorrow’s game against the Orioles: Luis Avilan, Jaye Chapman, Yohan Flande, Sean Gilmartin, J.J. Hoover, Mike Minor, Christian Bethancourt, Evan Gattis, Matt Kennelly, David Ross, Jose Yepez, Freedie Freeman, Brandon Hicks, Eric Hinske, Ernesto Mejia, Tyler Pastornicky, Andrelton Simmons, Joe Terdoslavich, Josh Wilson, Michael Bourn, Jose Constanza, Todd Cunningham, Luis Durango, Stefan Gartrell, Martin Prado

1,141 comments Add your comment

SODUK

March 7th, 2012
6:23 am

First…

Thanks for the Medlen update.

DOB- How does Tyler p. look?

steve whitmire

March 7th, 2012
6:35 am

the Braves have stunk it up so far in spring training. I know it’s early and the games don’t count but coming off their awful finish last year you would hope to see a little more offense and a win or two

Braves' Nation

March 7th, 2012
6:54 am

Kris, we are pulling for you to make the starting rotation. Don’t let the “experts” pigeon-hole you into a mop up job in the bullpen. We love your tenacity and spunk.

If you aren’t given a shot to perform in Atlanta, there are other teams that would love to have you.

Couch Tater

March 7th, 2012
7:38 am

Quickly, a baseball magazine noted how Michael Bourn seldom got the green light in Atlanta.

nolie – Your response to the above was correct. From the August 15, 2011 blog…

Halfway through August, the Braves already have 12 steals in 14 attempts for the month. Among NL teams, only the Padres (26) and Dodgers (13) have more steals this month.

This turnaround is a direct result of the July 31 trade for Bourn and July 29 call-up of Constanza, a 27-year-old rookie who has hit .382 with a .414 OBP in his first 15 major league games.

Braves' Think Tank

March 7th, 2012
7:51 am

Why play a hustling, no name, upstart like Constanza when you can have a loafer like Heyward playing everyday?

flange1

March 7th, 2012
7:55 am

Thanks for the new blog Chris!

archie

March 7th, 2012
8:13 am

To me, the big story is 3rd base. It’s March 7, and Chipper is already howling about aches, pains and strains. When are the Braves (and their fans) going to wake up and realize, he’s done? If he’s hurting during the first week of spring training, does anyone seriously believe he’s going to be a factor in July and August? Who’s on third? And Chipper: please just take a bow, and stop clogging up a roster spot.

ncscoots

March 7th, 2012
8:13 am

I know it’s early and the games don’t count but

I can never understand how a “but” ever enters this sentence. That is, if one actually knows that it’s early and the games don’t count.

but coming off their awful finish last year you would hope to see a little more offense and a win or two

I think I’d prefer to see those things in the last week of ST, rather than the first.

Lemke's Knuckler

March 7th, 2012
8:16 am

Braves’ Think Tank…”Why play a hustling, no name, upstart like Constanza when you can have a loafer like Heyward playing everyday?”

I think you need to check the definition of upstart. Constanza is 28 years old and is nothing more than another Chuck Thomas. Yeah, remember him?

flange1

March 7th, 2012
8:19 am

archie,

Have you ever played a sport?

Most everyone (including 16 year old kids in perfect physical condition) have aches and pains in spring training.

It’s the nature of the beast. Folks come in decent condition and then are working HARD to be in in-season shape.

It’s the normal time to have aches and pains.

No doubt Chipper is older and even Fredi has said he is going to play in less games this year.

Remember, it is only the first week of games in Spring Training……

Juan

March 7th, 2012
8:34 am

Mr. Viviamore….Don’t get lost in Fla….They call I-4 not Route 4

Lemke's Knuckler

March 7th, 2012
8:36 am

From Bowman on mlb.com…

“A group of Braves fans have started to refer to this relief trio as The Untouchables. While they proved capable of living up to this billing most of last season, it would have been more fitting without the blemishes suffered in September. Other than saying they do not like the O’Ventbrel tag that some chose to use last year, Kimbrel, Venters and O’Flaherty are certainly not concerned about monikers.”

Wasn’t O’Ventbrel coined on this blog? If so, I’d say there’s a little naming war going on.

Lemke's Knuckler

March 7th, 2012
8:38 am

I do like The Untouchables though. I also like Earth Wind and Fire.

tiger297

March 7th, 2012
8:39 am

oh hell somebody stroking nolie’s ego

at least he will be quiet about it

Braves' Think Tank

March 7th, 2012
8:46 am

Jason Heyward is a latter day Brad Komminsk, Mike Kelly, Andy Marte and Jordan Schafer.

Remember them?

Joey

March 7th, 2012
8:53 am

Careful archie.

Chipper’s fan-boys will call you mean names for bringing up anything that slights their idol . . .

Young Man's Game

March 7th, 2012
8:59 am

Chipper, thanks for everything, but now it’s time to move over. It’s a…………

markie mark

March 7th, 2012
9:00 am

Archie and Joey…..must fans go thru this whining every spring about Chipper from you guys….and then he ends up leading the team and being in the top 5 or so in every hitting category by the end of the year, so no worries about your opinions……

markie mark

March 7th, 2012
9:03 am

and as a native of Atlanta (one of the few) I have been watching the Braves since, oh, 1966 or so……as an example, I saw games where Joe Torre was our third baseman. Chipper is kinda like Dale Murphy or Hank Aaron to most of us fans. He can hang it up, when he believes it is time to hang it up. He has earned that…..

BravePack

March 7th, 2012
9:09 am

Good Morning fellow Braves bloggers. Another day in paradise…and hopefully an all important ST Braves win to prevent a whineless blog…or at least less whineless. Is that even a word?

Bat Masterson

March 7th, 2012
9:14 am

Mean names, mean names>>>>>>>>>>>>>

CB

March 7th, 2012
9:17 am

Who’s a lazy squirrel?

Jeff R

March 7th, 2012
9:20 am

I always thought that Medlen could be an effective setup man or closer. I think Gonzalez is short-selling Medlen a little. Of course, the Braves have their everyday setup guy and closer, so Medlen needs a role and Gonzalez described it.

Jeff R

March 7th, 2012
9:22 am

“Jason Heyward is a latter day Brad Komminsk, Mike Kelly, Andy Marte and Jordan Schafer.”

Wow. All-in-one? That would make Heyward more lie Frankenstein, I think.

Chipper Jones

March 7th, 2012
9:23 am

As the annointed leader of this team and face of the organization, I, Chipper Jones, hereby issue the Phillies the following warning:

Until you WIN 14 consecutive division championships, the Braves are still the team to beat in the NL East !

Back to my golf game …

cowdogit

March 7th, 2012
9:24 am

Liberty pulled the purse strings when Wren signed Chipper and Lowe to those stupid contracts.When these contracts expire, I don’t think Frank will be around to rebuild the braves.

raleighbravefan

March 7th, 2012
9:26 am

Archie and Joey (and other Chipper haters) – Chipper will play this year, maybe next, no matter how much you whine about it. Flip side is he is still one of our best players, and we are lucky to have him for the games he is able to play.

I believe he will play 120+ games, and will be well worth what they pay him, with his value on and off the field.

Get over it….or don’t. Who cares?

A Father

March 7th, 2012
9:27 am

Medlen earned his way to the majors doing the little things right, determination is how Medlen made it to the big leagues and hopefully this setback is only a bump in the road. Good luck Medlen

Lemke's Knuckler

March 7th, 2012
9:30 am

Braves’ Think Tank…”Jason Heyward is a latter day Brad Komminsk, Mike Kelly, Andy Marte and Jordan Schafer.”

Don’t remember any of those guys finishing second in rookie of the year voting as a 21 year old. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember any of those guys doing ANYTHING at the major league level, EVER. Heyward may not end up having the career we all projected, but you’re a few years premature on the bust thing.

raleighbravefan

March 7th, 2012
9:30 am

cowdogit @9:24 – As Monk would say, “you may be right, but I don’t think so.”

Lew

March 7th, 2012
9:31 am

Ronald Millsaps – You mentioned on the other blog how Bourn wasn’t allowed to run after coming to Atlanta. Maybe youneed to actually look things up first –

Boiurn attempted to steal 46 times in Houston last year in 105 games (39 SB, 7 CS). In Atlanta he attempted to steal 29 times in 53 games (22SB, 7 CS), despite getting on base at a considerably greater rate in Houston in twice the games.

Seems to me that he ran just about as frequently as a Brave – just wasn’t quite as successful.

coach joe

March 7th, 2012
9:31 am

Medlen will be in the starting rotation by June 1…he battles…..

Go Braves..

raleighbravefan

March 7th, 2012
9:32 am

I realize that it’s “put up or shut up” time for Heyward. I firmly believe he will “put up”….and for years to come.

Rick

March 7th, 2012
9:32 am

“Ronald Millsaps – You mentioned on the other blog how Bourn wasn’t allowed to run after coming to Atlanta. Maybe youneed to actually look things up first – ”

It’s also worth noting that last season Gonzalez said he had the green light at pretty much all times.

Lew

March 7th, 2012
9:35 am

Juan – Hard to get lost on I-4 – you don’t move fast enough to miss any of the signs showing your exit.

ChipChopChip

March 7th, 2012
9:43 am

I hope Gonzalez and Wren keep an open mind when it comes to Medlen. Whatever the “ceiling” may be for Teheran and Delgado shouldn’t matter. The starting rotation coming out of spring training should be the 5 pitchers most likely to win games NOW, and I think that Medlen is still one of them.

Venice Jim

March 7th, 2012
9:46 am

you would hope to see a little more offense and a win or two

I must have dreamed that they won a game 10-5 on Monday…

Tomahawkin

March 7th, 2012
9:48 am

@LEW Co-Sign

I’m not worried at all about the S. Training sluggish start…

Its Only time For Concern if we head up To The Rotten Apple opening day weekend and Get Clowned by the NY Mess…

We need to Bust out Smoking in April because we have a Cake Schedule in April…

Our Interleague Schedule is BRUTAL if anyone has taken a look at it

Tomahawkin

March 7th, 2012
9:50 am

coach joe

“Medlen will be in the starting rotation by June 1…he battles…..”

Little Big Man MEDS, will make the Rotation out of S. Training, Bank On It…With Huddy out Fredi will opt to go with the more experienced Little Big Man MEDS, as opposed to JT (Teneran) or R-Dell (Delgado)

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
9:52 am

Good morning everyone

Lew

March 7th, 2012
9:56 am

Good morning VaBraves – One day closer to going back to work, Dude.

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
10:01 am

yep, I’m gonna apply for some other places as well. Heck I think I can update almost 15 of my older applications and such too lol. Might be able to find a side hustle in the neighborhood

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

March 7th, 2012
10:02 am

Headed to Macon next week, will try Fresh Air BBQ in Jackson. Thanks for the recommendation.

Go Medlen.

ncscoots

March 7th, 2012
10:02 am

Medlen will be in the starting rotation by June 1

Let Medlen himself tell you why that probably wouldn’t be a good thing:

“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.”

Lew

March 7th, 2012
10:03 am

Anything to keep your head above water until the tide turns for the better – and it will.

B-F_52

March 7th, 2012
10:05 am

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
10:01 am
yep, I’m gonna apply for some other places as well. Heck I think I can update almost 15 of my older applications and such too lol. Might be able to find a side hustle in the neighborhood

try UPSjobs.com

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
10:07 am

My opinion on Medlen is he should be in the bullpen, unless Teheran and Delgado stink it up the entire spring.

Don

March 7th, 2012
10:08 am

You – who talk about Chipper being one of the great players in the game, talk only about his hitting (And, no question, he WAS a great hitter – even better than he was given credit for – hitting great against the best pitchers – and in close games – and in the late innings of close games; and he may still be, for the most part, a good hitter – when he is playing.); But did I miss something – the Braves are still in the National League – are they not – where you have to play defense half of the time. He has never been a great defensive third baseman – not great range – and now his range is even more limited.

Venice Jim

March 7th, 2012
10:09 am

#Braves lineup Tues.: Bourn CF, Prado 3B, 3. McCann C, Uggla 2B, Freeman 1B, Hinske DH, Diaz LF, Heyward RF, Pastornicky SS

B-F_52

March 7th, 2012
10:13 am

Don

March 7th, 2012
10:08 am
You – who talk about Chipper being one of the great players in the game, talk only about his hitting (And, no question, he WAS a great hitter – even better than he was given credit for – hitting great against the best pitchers – and in close games – and in the late innings of close games; and he may still be, for the most part, a good hitter – when he is playing.); But did I miss something – the Braves are still in the National League – are they not – where you have to play defense half of the time. He has never been a great defensive third baseman – not great range – and now his range is even more limited

you’re “range’ is limited as well

j

March 7th, 2012
10:14 am

They are going to force Medlen to leave. He should be our 3rd or 4th starter. What is the problem with giving the kid a shot? Bobby already ruined his arm once by making him train to be a starter and releiver. Freddi is doing the exact same thing. This organization is really making me start to wonder if anyone has a clue. The TV contract will all but make it impossible for us to compete for 25 years. Either spend some money or sell the damn team.

Vinny

March 7th, 2012
10:14 am

Heyward batting 8th?! Why not 9th?

Rick

March 7th, 2012
10:16 am

“He has never been a great defensive third baseman – not great range – and now his range is even more limited.”

Although he ranks low in RF, he was second in fielding percentage among qualified 3B last season in the MLB (although granted there were only 12 total qualified 3B). And Placido Polanco was only .001 ahead of him. He was also tied for least E (6).

Duda

March 7th, 2012
10:17 am

Chiopper should be in the AL so he can DH and get 3000 career hits

richbrave

March 7th, 2012
10:18 am

Hello, is this the ‘new’ blog????????

Coach (2012 Fredi's beisbol fandango)

March 7th, 2012
10:19 am

steve whitmire

March 7th, 2012
6:35 am

the Braves have stunk it up so far in spring training. I know it’s early and the games don’t count but coming off their awful finish last year you would hope to see a little more offense and a win or two

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

REALLY?????

Beck

March 7th, 2012
10:19 am

Echoing Lemke’s Knuckler’s comments towards Braves Think Tank, I am pretty sure that Schaefer, Kelly, Marte, and Komminsk never made an All-Start team as well. Also, how can you say that Heyward loafs in the outfield? Sure, there are times I think he gets turned around out there with balls hit over him, but I don’t remember seeing him take plays off.

Tomahawkin

March 7th, 2012
10:19 am

I wonder how The Nats get a Huge TV deal where their S. Training games are televised and they have No Fans???

We on the other hande have fans everywhere yet we get little/no TV coverage in S. Training games…

Does That Stink or is it just me?

Tomahawkin

March 7th, 2012
10:21 am

Man, Chipper Has been getting Killed on these Blogs the Last 2 Weeks, OUCH!

Ease

March 7th, 2012
10:21 am

you’re “range’ is limited as well – B-F_52

Probably the best retort to a Don post. Chuckle, Chuckle…

ChrisfromSacramento,Ca

March 7th, 2012
10:22 am

Heyward Sucks. Get rid of him please!

Rick

March 7th, 2012
10:22 am

“Chiopper should be in the AL so he can DH and get 3000 career hits”

Theoretically that might be effective but I know he has said that he does not like to DH. I’d be interested to know his career stats as a DH (although obviously would be a small sample size) if they are available anywhere.

Jimmy

March 7th, 2012
10:23 am

Tomahawkin – “Does That Stink or is it just me?”

It’s just you that stinks.

Oh,and good morning. :-)

Coach (2012 Fredi's beisbol fandango)

March 7th, 2012
10:23 am

Does That Stink or is it just me?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Yea, it stinks. O for the days of TBS!!!

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
10:24 am

Tomahawkin

The Nationals are really big in my area. Including all of DC and such. There an exciting team to be a fan of right now. They have a owner willing to spend money but has good baseball people making the moves. They have alot of fans.

Fastball

March 7th, 2012
10:26 am

No surprise here. Bourne batting .100. No stolen bases. Trade him now.

ncscoots

March 7th, 2012
10:27 am

Rick, baseball-reference.com. Try Splits-Career, and you should find the positional breakdowns about the middle of the page.

Lew

March 7th, 2012
10:28 am

Why is my comment about stopping at a restaurant awaiting moderation?

Chris Vivlamore

March 7th, 2012
10:28 am

Won’t be many updates from game today folks. I have some kind of bug that is playing havoc. Sorry.

Coach (2012 Fredi's beisbol fandango)

March 7th, 2012
10:28 am

Fastball

March 7th, 2012
10:26 am

No surprise here. Bourne batting .100. No stolen bases. Trade him now.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>

You sir are a rocket scientist who missed his calling…….can I have fries with that?

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
10:29 am

I can’t believe people are still talking about Chipper playing elsewhere and such.

Chipper as a DH in his career.

121 PAs 257/331/477/808 7 HR 12 RBI 3 2B 12 BB 21 SO

Which is 140 OPS points lower than when he’s at 3B and even 130. points lower than when he played LF. Also lower than his Shortstop OPS.

Tomahawkin

March 7th, 2012
10:30 am

@Beck

“Also, how can you say that Heyward loafs in the outfield?”

Ut-Oh…

We have a New “Loaf” taking Garrett Anderson’s old nickname on here? :)

I wouldn’t call Heyward Loaf, but His defense has been Overrated in my opinion. I’m not ripping him but there were times where people on here thought he was so good playing in RF that he could be a CF…

I haven’t seen it yet in his arm or range…But then again I juess I am as well as a lot of fans are spoiled in having seen Francoeurs arm and A. Jones Gold Glove D the last 15 years…to make that evaluation…

I can’t ripp J-Hey though, He’s not making Joe Johnson type money

Rick

March 7th, 2012
10:31 am

“Rick, baseball-reference.com. Try Splits-Career, and you should find the positional breakdowns about the middle of the page.”

Ah thanks, looked there but couldn’t find it before.

Anyway in 121 PA as a DH, he has a 257/331/477 line. And his stats as a PH are even worse. What I remember him saying is that basically when he DH’s he feels less involved and focus, and it clearly affects his abilities at the plate.

Marvin Mangrum

March 7th, 2012
10:31 am

Look, its good that to some of you Chipper is a great 3rd baseman, he was always a hitter first. As a fielder if you dont touch a ball its not an error. In other words if sixty balls come within a foot of your body and you can not turn and make a play, its not an error. However if you run to short wide open and miscue on a ball, it is an error. Making plays within a foot or two of third base does not make you great, hitting 270, getting 60 rbis does not make you great, even getting 16mil to do the above does not make you great. And playing in a 110 games, does that make you great. Buy the tickets, buy the concessions, but your thoughts do not change reality. Chipper is washed up!

Soph

March 7th, 2012
10:31 am

Oh joy, Heyward’s biggest fan is back.

ncscoots

March 7th, 2012
10:32 am

[The Nats are] an exciting team to be a fan of right now.

They haven’t played a game that counts, yet. :-) That team is the girl in the high-slit cocktail dress who looks great in soft lighting. Full daylight brings reality up close and personal, though, and most times, it ain’t all that pretty.

Tomahawkin

March 7th, 2012
10:32 am

Jimmy

“Tomahawkin – “Does That Stink or is it just me?”

It’s just you that stinks.

Oh,and good morning”

OW, lol

But Whats Happenin Chief!

You know me: S.S.D.D…If you know what that means???

Tomahawkin

March 7th, 2012
10:36 am

I can’t ever recall in the 8 years I have been posting on the blog, so much Negativity towards the team before the season starts???

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
10:38 am

Marvin Mangrum

Chipper isn’t washed up… He’s still putting up solid production for a player of his age and injury history.

The last 5 years combined Chipper has Averaged

125 Games 525 PAs 303/403/507/910 75 R 19 HR 73 RBI 29 2B 77 BB 70 SO

Chipper still posted a 818 OPS last season..

None of this indicate he’s washed up. Only thing it shows is he’s gonna miss some games.

Rick

March 7th, 2012
10:41 am

Marvin,

I wouldn’t call Chipper a “great” 3B, especially at this point in his career, but as I pointed out he ranks well among 3B in most areas except range factor. He’s still a solid defensive player.

As far as hitting, he led the team in SLG last season. I’d say that’s pretty great for a 39 year old player.

Jimmy

March 7th, 2012
10:42 am

Markie Mark – “He can hang it up, when he believes it is time to hang it up. He has earned that…..”

Now see, I have a problem with that attitude. I am not advocating running Chipper out of town, but he (or anyone else) should never be put above the team. The team should come first over any individual.

I am a Braves fan. I am a Brian McCann fan. But if Brian signs with another team two years from now, my allegiance ends there.

If the production we get from Chipper is unacceptable, then something needs to be done. Unacceptable in terms of his salary.

I said it last year, but this keeps looking more like the Favre situation in Green Bay, except we don’t have a Aaron Rodgers ready for third base. Or is it more like Mantle in the spring of 1969?

Many will disagee and that is fine. But you can trade/cut anyone off this roster today and I am still a Braves fan.

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
10:43 am

I’d like to see Chipper dial the power down and rack up the hits, see him hit 300 again with a OBP close to 400.

brian

March 7th, 2012
10:45 am

agree Tomahawkin – all doom and gloom here. We of course have never witnessed a collapse like we did at the end of the offseason and then basically standing pat in the offseason.

I hope Fredi is not stubborn about keeping Medlen in the bullpen at the start of the season. If Medlen clearly outpitches Delgado and Teheran then Medlen should start the season in the rotation with Delgado and Teheran starting the year in AAA.

Rick

March 7th, 2012
10:49 am

“If the production we get from Chipper is unacceptable, then something needs to be done. Unacceptable in terms of his salary.”

He still is producing though. I don’t see the Braves offering him another contract though after 2013, and he has said recently that there is no way he will be playing after that season. He doesn’t want to end up in a situation like Smoltz or Glavine.

brian

March 7th, 2012
10:49 am

CHipper is still a very good 3B. I would love to see Chipper hit second with Bourn on base in front of him. So Chipper has lost some power – the dude is 40 years old, but he is still a natural hitter with a great eye. The Braves need Heyward to regain his form and step forward as the #3 hitter. They could go Bourn, Chipper, Heyward, Uggla, McCann, Freeman, Prado, Pastor – very tough lineup that is pretty balanced L/R with Chipper being a switch hitter.

Jimmy

March 7th, 2012
10:50 am

VaBravesFan 10:43- I agree. It’ll be a great year if we get that.

VaBravesFan

March 7th, 2012
10:50 am

The very boring offseason is why most people are freaking out about a few spring training games. Remember folks, this roster which is actually better than 2011’s had the 4th best record in baseball going into September. It was a freak collapse. So many injuries and slumps. We can win this division.
My biggest beef is that we didn’t improve our bench or add a player we can count on more if there is a major injury or slump (Prado/Chipper/Heyward)

brian

March 7th, 2012
10:51 am

Chipper will see the writing on the wall when it comes and announce his retirement effective at the end of said season. He will have his Biggio moment at Turner Field where we can all give Chipper the accolades he deserves and retire his number right then and there.

Jimmy

March 7th, 2012
10:54 am

Game time 1:05?
Someone needs to do the PBP.
Where’s VJ??

Venice Jim

March 7th, 2012
10:57 am

Hey, I posted the lineup 45 minutes ago…

Lee in S GA

March 7th, 2012
11:00 am

I can’t ever recall in the 8 years I have been posting on the blog, so much Negativity towards the team before the season starts???
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My guess would be many people still have not forgotten last September. If the team does gest off to a slow start in the regular season it will get worse.

Fred

March 7th, 2012
11:01 am

Brian, I completely agree with you about Medlen. He was an excellent starter prior to his injury, and I can’t understand why he shouldn’t occupy 1 of the 2 openings in the rotation. They should just let Minor, Delgado, and Tehran compete for the 5th spot and the others can start at AAA.

Jimmy

March 7th, 2012
11:06 am

VJ…yes you did. Sorry.
You going to be around for a little this afternoon?

Bayou Brave

March 7th, 2012
11:07 am

Jimmy @ 10:42.

Guaranteed contract & a 10/5 player. Nothing can be done.

BravePack

March 7th, 2012
11:11 am

Who’s this Chris guy? That’s alright Chris we have VJ who is an excellent PBP announcer.

Lew

March 7th, 2012
11:14 am

BravePack – Chris is DOB’s substitute for a couple of days – unfortunately, Chris has Flu LIke Symptoms today.

Venice Jim

March 7th, 2012
11:14 am

At least until 3:30 EST…

Jimmy

March 7th, 2012
11:16 am

Bayou Brave – I know nothing the Braves can do. I was thinking along the lines of Mantle.

Wait…I’m not saying run him out of town right now. I’m talking about if his body can’t handle another season. He’ll know before anyone else.

And I hear Peyton and the Colts are parting ways. News conference at noon.

Jimmy

March 7th, 2012
11:18 am

VJ – Good. Thanks brother.

Tomahawkin

March 7th, 2012
11:18 am

brian

agree Tomahawkin – all doom and gloom here. We of course have never witnessed a collapse like we did at the end of the offseason and then basically standing pat in the offseason.”

I got So P’d at the team last year because They Underachieved Badly!!!

On Paper, we had the most depth of any braves team, since the 2003 Squad…1/2 the squad either had off years or didn’t cut it altogether

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