Bethancourt homer salvages tie for Braves

JUPITER, Fla. – Christian Bethancourt only batted once Tuesday, but that was enough for the prized catching prospect to unload on a pitch and help end the Braves’ eight-game losing streak.

Bethancourt, known more for exceptional defensive skills, hit a tying homer with one out in the ninth inning against the Marlins in a game that ended in a 2-2 tie after 10 innings and left Atlanta with a 1-10-1 record.

The Braves led 1-0 before Anthony Varvaro gave up two runs on three hits and two walks in the seventh inning. Starter Mike Minor worked four crisp innings and Kris Medlen pitched two scoreless innings before Varvaro blew the lead.

Bethancourt, 20, entered in the eighth inning and homered in the ninth off right-hander Evan Reed. Bethancourt is 4-for-10 with a double, homer and two sacrifice flies this spring, tied for the team RBI lead despite limited playing time.

“He’s one of those rare guys that he can catch and throw and is becoming more and more of an offensive player,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He’s maturing. He had a hell of an Arizona Fall League. For a guy who everybody talked about his defense, his offense is solid.”

Bethancourt had as many homers (five) in 72 at-bats in the Arizona Fall League as he had all last season in Class A ball. He hit .289 with a .304 on-base percentage in 387 total at-bats in 2011 while splitting the season between low-A Rome and high-A Lynchburg.

Hicks claimed by A’s

Infielder Brandon Hicks was waived by the Braves and claimed by Oakland. Hicks, 26, was 1-for-10 with seven strikeouts this spring, after spending most of last season at Triple-A Gwinnett and batting .252 with a .333 OBP and 18 homers in 361 at-bats.

In parts of two seasons with the major-league Braves, he was 1-for-26 with two walks and 11 strikeouts.

Braves to face Strasburg

The Braves will face Nationals fireballer Stephen Strasburg in a Wednesday night (6:05) game that’ll be shown on Fox Sports South and the MLB Network. Top prospect Julio Teheran gets the start for Atlanta.

83 comments Add your comment

Adam

March 13th, 2012
7:56 pm

Any news on why Hicks was released even though we already had 4 open spots on the 40 man roster?

barves

March 13th, 2012
8:02 pm

I’m guessing that the braves prefer Sutton over Hicks and decided to let him go if another major league team wanted him. And the A’s need help at 3rd, so he figures to find playing time.

Nice job breaking a loosing streak with a tie. Really, both teams lost. This is BASEBALL, come on.

Scottbravesfan

March 13th, 2012
8:11 pm

Bethancourt’s Obp was horrible last year.

Steve

March 13th, 2012
8:16 pm

What is a “loosing” streak? Hmmm I always thought the right word is losing.

A Place for Facts

March 13th, 2012
8:20 pm

So does this mean there’s a slot open on the 40-man? Who does it go to?

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

March 13th, 2012
8:26 pm

did heyward go another 0-4? what an impressive spring record after last year’s collapse.

Coach

March 13th, 2012
8:39 pm

Any concern about Heyward’s lack of offense so far this spring?

All winter I read about the new hitting coach working with him. Even the Golden Child – Chipper Jones, pronounced that Heyward looked like the 2010 version.

I realize its only spring training but I’m not seeing any signs to be optimistic about.

Tommy Boggs

March 13th, 2012
8:50 pm

Brandon Hicks is a good defensive infielder and hit 18 homers at triple A last year.
Did he get enough of a chance here?

Graham

March 13th, 2012
9:26 pm

Hey DOB, what’s the chance Fredi gets canned before the end of the season?

Rufio

March 13th, 2012
9:34 pm

I was surprised to read on MLB trade rumors that,the Braves have Jim Fregosi signe as a scout and he would be who the Braves would turn to if Freddi is fired.

Bill in VA

March 13th, 2012
9:39 pm

Looks like Redmond’s in line to start the opener, since he leads the team in wins!

DaveinNEPA

March 13th, 2012
9:48 pm

Based on what I’ve seen of Brandon Hicks over the last 2 seasons, I’ve felt that he was “organization filler”.
Somebody asked if he ever “had a chance here”……..IMO he never had a future here.

Thumbody Thed

March 13th, 2012
9:52 pm

Some exciting info from today: Braves were 1-10 with runners in scoring position. Braves had a measly 5 hits, in what is actually should be batting practice based on the pitches faced in spring training.

Pastornicky 0-4 BA for ST-.100 Heyward 0-4 BA .143 Freeman 0-4 BA .136

Don’t this make you wish the season started tomorrow?

House

March 13th, 2012
9:55 pm

Great to see Medlen doing so well coming off Tommy John. Really think he is going to play a major role for this team. BTW, DOB any word on how former East Coweta HS prospect Brett Butts is coming alone from his TJ?

GO Braves!!

Ralph

March 13th, 2012
10:03 pm

We were just 1 bloop single from a win today.

gumbylovespokey

March 13th, 2012
10:05 pm

loosing streak- [lewcng streeek]adj, adverb {origin: Old English los, loos, leas < Norse louse; loose, free, empty, worthless, lech, leech, lecherous, to lech freely and worthlessy} a series of events, phrases, or ideas allowed to run wild with little or no supervision

Carl M Aven

March 13th, 2012
10:06 pm

A pattern is becoming apparent re Heyward …curing ones head is harder than curing ones swing….Braves bats died last sept …..no life yet….but just spring …what do the winning teams say…just spring?

Skip

March 13th, 2012
10:35 pm

BRAVES TIE! BRAVES TIE! BRAVES TIE!

Big Chief

March 13th, 2012
10:40 pm

Hate to say it but Heyward lit the world on fire for his first 2 months only. He had the injury his rookie year and wasn’t the same after. Pitchers began to figure him out, Cox and Chipper told him to quit taking so many pitches, then last year he’s injured and Chipper of all people tell him to get back in the lineup- hurt or not. He has been a shadow of himself since.

At least Frenchy had a couple of good seasons.

phil

March 13th, 2012
10:56 pm

Blame everyone BUT Wayward…

The guy is a bust. I wish he would prove me wrong.

He hasn’t yet.

guy

March 13th, 2012
11:06 pm

Steve,
A loosing streak is when your record is 1-10-1 as the Braves are.

Ken Stallings

March 13th, 2012
11:14 pm

In truth, a tie neither is a loss nor a win. So, it punts the streak down the road another game.

I don’t remember the last spring season where the Braves looked this bad. Even when they fielded teams that lost nearly 100 games they managed to win more in spring training than this!

Nelson

March 13th, 2012
11:19 pm

IT IS ONLY SPRING TRAINING!, but what we have seen so far is the worst I remember in a Decade or more, If Wren is not worried about this, Lord have mercy on us!!!!
By the way I have tickets for next Saturday game vs. Toronto, is somedy interested on buying them?

Thumbody Thed

March 13th, 2012
11:59 pm

A famous football coach(so famous I forgot his name) once said, ” a tie in football is like kissing your sister”. Well, in baseball it’s like kissing your Mother-in-law, flush on the lips!

rc35

March 14th, 2012
12:54 am

When your highlight for the week is a tie, that’s a lowlight highlight! What is wrong with these guys?

GLE

March 14th, 2012
1:04 am

A win is a win! And nothing else is! Everything else is whatever you care to make of it but to say it’s a win is only fooling yourself. ” To thine own self be true.” Somebody smarter and a lot more important than I am said that.
At least in last September, they had 10 wins. Those 10 look pretty good right now. I haven’t seen a win in so long I’m not surre what one looks like.

Mitchell

March 14th, 2012
1:44 am

Hey, I guess even the best bullpens have to have a Scott Linebrink.

I’m just glad our Scott Linebrink isn’t Scott Linebrink.

I wrote that line myself.

Thank you! Goodnight!

tim

March 14th, 2012
6:36 am

Congratulations Liberty Media when you purchased the Braves some years ago you stated they were a tax break. Well it has taken you some time but you have managed to pull it off, there is no doubt this team will loose money in 2012 thus making them the write off you seek. I never thought it possible to put such a bad product on the field which in turn will keep people away from the ticket booth. I love my Braves and have since 1966 but I for one will not make my annual trek to Atlanta to catch a series or two this season from N. Fl,I can only assume many others will feel the same as I do.

JoeFan

March 14th, 2012
7:55 am

Ready to see the Braves turn the page on Heyward, Chipper and McCann. Time for a blockbuster trade or two. Also Medlin should be the 5th starter hands down. He more than over shadows Delgado and Teharan. When Hanson or JJ goes down or are traded than maybe one or the other of these two will finally be ready to step up.Believe Pendleton not Fregosi will replace Freddie by mid-season..

say what?

March 14th, 2012
8:05 am

Tim, I have to agree. ownership has little motivation for this team to be a winner…

I’ve tried to be poitive and patient about this team but the lack of hitting is a real concern. If there ia another week on this track, folks inside braves camp better be concerned too.

dap01

March 14th, 2012
8:21 am

Optimism is slipping away.

Bill in VA

March 14th, 2012
8:38 am

Fans are slipping away! A tie breaks a losing streak????? Surely you jest, DOB!!

It is incumbent on management to lure us to the ballpark, with a good product. That is not happening!!

Bill in VA

March 14th, 2012
8:38 am

Fans are slipping away! A tie breaks a losing streak????? Surely you jest, DOB!!

It is incumbent on management to lure us to the ballpark, with a good product. That is not happening!!

Bill in VA

March 14th, 2012
8:40 am

Sorry for the double post…Usually at this time of the spring I am hyperventillating for the real season.

Stan Holland

March 14th, 2012
8:44 am

Bill, do you know what “incumbent” means? It’s ok if you don’t, three syllable words can be tricky.

Matt

March 14th, 2012
8:51 am

Personally, I would have fired Fredi once the collapse was complete. No manager in Boston or New York would have been allowed to stick around for another go.

Durrtydogg

March 14th, 2012
8:58 am

We are in serious trouble. All of our professional teams are marginal at best. Hawks have ownership issues. Their best player wants to be traded. Their highest paid player is not a leader and has the personality of a rock. Their most efficient player is hurt. They are a team full of old, worn down veterans who have not won anything in their professional careers.
The Falcons are stuck. Their GM has put them in a position where they have no money for free agents and no draft picks to make any immediate impact or to use to make an immediate impact. They are signing guys who didnt even play in the league last year. They have to franchise a guy who they consider their best corner but yet our defense allows almost the most passing yards per game. Our running back has ran so much that he is not what he use to be. Our pass rush has never developed and relying on Bierman and Edwards is asinine.
The Braves have an ailing 3rd baseman, a first baseman with a bad knee, a 2nd baseman who you dont know what to expect, no shortstop, a right fielder who can not find himself, a centerfielder who will be gone next year and a left fielder who doesnt want to play left field. Our pitching is full of potential but no real ace. Our bullpen is the best thing about this team but they dont hit.
Fans Im sorry you have to endure professional sports in this city. Thank goodness for strip bars and nightclubs. Without them, what would this city be??

John Pappadoppagapoulas

March 14th, 2012
9:18 am

“If you build it they will come”
Build a championship team and they will come and buy eight dollar cokes and five dollar bags of peanuts and fourteen dollar parking spots and twelve dollar nachos………….

Stank Wren

March 14th, 2012
9:22 am

Things are sliding downhill fast and need to be stopped before they get out of control. Normally this time of year I am giddy with excitment about the upcoming Braves season. This year, I could really care less. I gave up my season tickets and so far it doesn’t look like I will regret it one bit. The Braves have done nothing to generate any excitment and the product that they plan on putting on the field is sub-par at best.

Coach

March 14th, 2012
9:23 am

Are we looking at a Diaz-Hinske platoon in RF or LF if Chipper goes down, and Heyward doesn’t cut it?

YIKES !

Stank Wren

March 14th, 2012
9:24 am

Ties are for soccer and hockey, not Baseball

Stank Wren

March 14th, 2012
9:28 am

The definition os stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The Braves bring back the exact same roster that folded like a card table last year and expect them to set the world on fire. Not going to happen and it a crying shame

Stank Wren

March 14th, 2012
9:28 am

The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The Braves bring back the exact same roster that folded like a card table last year and expect them to set the world on fire. Not going to happen and it a crying shame

Mr. Webster

March 14th, 2012
9:33 am

Stan, it is apparent that Bill does know the meaning of “incumbent”.
Incumbent: resting (on or upon one) as a duty or obligation.

klmbbfan

March 14th, 2012
9:39 am

Wren, what are you doing? The Braves are on the edge of becoming the laughing stock of the league. Heyward is no where near ready to play at a major league level. His swing and mechanics have not change from last year, I watched him against the Blue jays and he was just awful. And that kid you call a shortstop Pastornicky would have not even seen the field on my sons high school team. he is a absolute joke (choke). he can’t even field ground balls cleanly in warm-ups and as for his bat what bat? The kid can’t even make the throw from SS to 1B in time to get runners out. As I told Heyward as he walked back to the dugout Sunday it is going to be long year as Brave fan and a short year for him.

Preston Hannitized

March 14th, 2012
9:45 am

Thank goodness the Braves finally realized that Hicks was not a MLB player. It is only spring training, the diehards keep heckling us. But check the rest of the box scores. Most teams are regularly putting up crooked numbers. The Braves have to rely on their triple A prospect catcher to help them salvage a tie to “end” their embarrassing Grapefruit skid. Still a couple of weeks to find the stroke but really, why do we think they will suddenly become some offensive juggernaut exactly?

Inquisitive

March 14th, 2012
9:47 am

Will some investigative type person please post Heyward’s stats since the middle of 2010 ?

I seem to recall he trailed off quite a bit the 2nd half of his rookie season.

henry tn

March 14th, 2012
9:48 am

i predict the braves finish 3rd or lower in the NL east this year they have 18 tough inter league games this year i say they will be lucky to win 5 out of the 18 3 with TB 3 with TOR 3 with BAL 3 with BOS and 6 with with NYY look out they may loose more than 12 out of the 18….

joe

March 14th, 2012
9:49 am

Thanks Mr. Webster for letting “Stan” know to be sure before running your mouth.

coach joe

March 14th, 2012
9:51 am

Not good when players try to alter their normal swing(Heyward) and their normal pitching motion(Hanson) after doing both a certain way all their life…(Francouer tried this and bombed)….We need another out-fielder and Medlan needs to be in the starting rotation. H and H will be busts this year.. hate to be pesimistic…but doesn’t look good.

Go Braves… Fredi doesn’t seem to have a clue..

joe

March 14th, 2012
9:51 am

sorry..his mouth..

Bill in VA

March 14th, 2012
9:52 am

Stan Holland-8:44 am——

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/incumbent

Imposed as an obligation or duty; obligatory: felt it was incumbent on us all to help…

Apparently, Stan, 3 syllable words are completely beyond you!! I do quite well with them! I also work, so, sorry to have been so late answering your reply to me, but thanks.

Bill in VA

March 14th, 2012
9:55 am

Oh, thanks Mr. Webster, too!

joe

March 14th, 2012
10:02 am

Must agree-nothing to look forward to this year.

But if you’re interested the game will be on TV today @ 6:05 on FSSO.

Dawgdad (The Original)

March 14th, 2012
10:04 am

A tie, whoa nelly!

Speaking of Hicks, who was given several chances, whatever happened to Diory Hernandez. He was a guy who rarely got a chance to play, but when he pinch hit seemed to find a way to get a big hit. He must have offended someone like Fredi, as he was dumped last year for Hall of Famer Big stick, Julio Lugo. Does anyone know the true story?

reckingball

March 14th, 2012
10:11 am

Braves will win today. Go Braves!

ncbravesfan

March 14th, 2012
10:11 am

Hernandez signed a minor league deal with Houston

Bill in VA

March 14th, 2012
10:13 am

HOUSTON — The Astros have agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with infielder Diory Hernandez, interim general manager Dave Gottfried announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to Spring Training.

Hernandez, 27, split time between the Atlanta Braves and their Triple-A affiliate in 2011, hitting .212 in 22 games for the Braves with a home run and four RBIs. Hernandez has played second base, shortstop and third base in his Major League and Minor League career, and has also played some outfield in the Minors. He hit .201 in 79 games at Triple-A Gwinnett last season, with five home runs and 26 RBIs.

Hernandez has been in the Braves’ system since signing out of the Dominican Republic as an amateur free agent in 2002. He has appeared in 75 Major League games in his career.

Samantha

March 14th, 2012
10:51 am

Good morning, I see we still have the whiners this morning.

Durrtydogg

March 14th, 2012
11:10 am

Its always funny to me when I see posts saying people are complainers and such. Facts are facts. This city loves mediocrity and it shows by the product we put on the field, or the court. We love good guys who say hello and do things the “right” way which is wonderful to have. Unfortunately when it comes to sports, the bottom line is winning. Our teams DO NOT WIN when it matters. We are constantly berated by columnists and fans due to our lack of participation and support for our professional sports teams. But no one ever states that these teams have been terrible. They lack an edge. Its cool to have guys that smile or sign an autograph and all. The bottom line is without winning, who cares. We all want the Braves to succeed. Going 1-10-1 in SPRING TRAINING is ridiculous. By the way, Freddi, the nightmare is just beginning and your clock is about to strike twelve.

I Am a Complete Idiot

March 14th, 2012
11:32 am

The Braves will have a team ERA of 2.0 and will have a powerhouse offense with a team BA of .295. Jason alone will hit .330, drive in 140 and have 55 HRs. They will win 110 games and win the World Series in 4 straight games.

least of the east

March 14th, 2012
11:39 am

a tie is a moral victory nowadays
Hicks didn’t turn out so well for a 3rd round pick
strikes out too much-especialluy at major league level
but why worry- we are loaded at 3 B !
in fact, we are loaded at all non pitching positions

Paul

March 14th, 2012
11:41 am

What a bunch of negative nancies. Sheesh. Go root for the Yankees, crybabies.

pat

March 14th, 2012
11:41 am

Looks like the did not put the colapse behind them, it’s directly in frint of them.

pat

March 14th, 2012
11:47 am

I am not worried we lose in spring training, I am worried we still don’t hit. We don’t hit good pitching, we don’t hit bad pitching we just plain, flat can’t hit.

Maybe, just maybe, if they lose every game in spring training that will wake them up a bit…

pat

March 14th, 2012
11:52 am

“The Braves will face Nationals fireballer Stephen Strasburg…” LOL! Oh boy.

I don’t think no-hitters against the Braves should count.

b

March 14th, 2012
12:06 pm

What did “you know what” FG have to say about the day”? Duh!

alex

March 14th, 2012
12:09 pm

@paul, the yankees want to win , they pay for winners, and they win;got a problem with that. sheesh….

Samantha

March 14th, 2012
12:15 pm

If you Cant supprt your team positively then FIND ANOTHER TEAM.

Brave Hokie

March 14th, 2012
12:25 pm

It’s March 14th ~ & the Braves suck!

Paul

March 14th, 2012
12:27 pm

alex: I don’t fault the Yankees for spending to win. I have a problem with people who compare the Braves to the Yankees, though. The Yankees have a much larger market than the Braves and a far more financially lucrative media contract. The Braves spent within a budget which is dictated by revenue (which itself is hamstrung by a poor media contract).

Paul

March 14th, 2012
12:27 pm

Hokie: it’s March 14th and you’re posting a terrible comment!

Art

March 14th, 2012
12:27 pm

Can the Braves go all year and just win 90 one to nothing games as the hitters are not sure how to hit.

Reality

March 14th, 2012
12:57 pm

Without Ted Turner’s money and the SuperStation’s national audience, the Braves are now poor, mediocre and no longer relevent.

We have joined the ranks of Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Houston.

alex

March 14th, 2012
1:05 pm

@ paul, agree yet our “leadership” in fg and Wrenn are also mediocre. I’ll wait till the season starts to critique . Saw strassburg at space coast stadium, pretty good but the astros did hit him.

Nostradamus

March 14th, 2012
1:24 pm

This will be the worst Braves’ season since 1990.

Paul

March 14th, 2012
1:51 pm

Nostradamus, Reality: Come on, now. This team underachieved last year and was still on pace to win 96 games through August. They eliminated their worst SP in Derek Lowe and retained one of the better leadoff men/CF in Michael Bourn. And if you honestly think the Nats and Marlins (not to mention the LOLMets) are going to be forces with which to be reckoned… well, I’ve got some desert property that might interest you.

I guess it boils to down whether or not you believe in intangibles like a poor clubhouse mentality after last September and their losing record in ST. I, for one, don’t buy it, and neither should any of you.

Nostradamus

March 14th, 2012
4:05 pm

Paul,

My crystal ball tells me you are Frank Wren !

Tom

March 14th, 2012
4:41 pm

the braves losing streak has improved to a non winning streak with that tie, progress?????

Pink Floyd

March 14th, 2012
4:55 pm

Too bad the Braves are on TV. Now the whole world will see how pathetic they are. Strasburg will probably no hit these turkeys because they hit like a bunch of girls.

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