LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Braves are taking their physicals this morning, which allowed David O’Brien and I to sleep late. I would like to tell you that the sleep means DOB will be less grouchy than usual today. But I’m not holding my breath. But at least he makes the coffee every morning.
(IMPORTANT UPDATE: I’m sure I just heard O’Brien singing from down the hall, “I am your baby doll.” But he insists it’s a Bootsy Collins song and he actually sang, “I’m a rock star doll baby baba.” Either way, he’s not grouchy. But I think I like grouchy better.)
Anyway, I figured this would be a good time to post answers to some of the questions to Braves that you emailed, Tweeted or posted. Not all are included, either because of redundancy, silliness or it fell into the category of: You just don’t ask somebody that.
But feel free to post more questions if you like — to general manager Frank Wren, manager Bobby Cox or players — and I’ll try to update this post later. Just post the questions on this blog.
By the way, I’ll be posting a column on Cox later today, which will run in the Sunday paper with Steve Hummer’s great centerpiece on him. Thanks.
♦ From “DamYankee” (to Bobby Cox): What does Matt Diaz have to do get 550 at-bats?
“I don’t know about 550. We’ll see how it goes. It depends on who makes the team and that kind of thing. But I wouldn’t be afraid to give him 550. He’s been great. He’s a player.”
♦ From “AJ” (to Frank Wren): What is Jo-Jo Reyes’ status on the club?
“Obviously the way things are put together right now we don’t have a spot for him in our rotation. But he’s continuing to be a viable option for us if we have injuries. He’s continuing to improve his command. That’s the biggest thing for him. If he can do that, he has the stuff to be a major league starter.”
♦ From “Dayman” (to Cox): Is Omar Infante going to get a legitimate chance to start at second?
“Prado’s our second basemen. He finished last year there. He was our MVP.”
♦ From “Dayman” (to Cox): Would he consider moving Chipper Jones down in the line up after the first couple of months if he struggles like last year?
“We’ll do anything it takes to win. Chipper would be the first one to say so. But the good thing is I won’t have to be faced with that decision
♦ From “Dayman” (to Cox): How has Peter Moylan’s elbow held up over the off season?
“Outstanding. No problems at all. He’s 100 percent.”
♦ From “Jack” (to Wren): How does Schafer figure in their plans for this year?
“Schafer for me is a wait-and-see right now right now from a health perspective. When you spend that much time in a cast, there’s atrophy. It takes a while tom get the strength back. He should be 100 percent close to opening day or shortly thereafter. He just needs to play. If we don’t have sufficient playing time for him, I would suspect he’ll go to Gwinnett and play every day and get the at-bats he missed last year. For him, the talent’s there. He just needs to play.”
♦ From “Tailback U” (to Bobby): How much input will he have in choosing the next manager?
“I don’t really want to. I’m not the one who’s going to work with him. That’s up to Frank and the guys. I mean, if they ask me I’ll tell them what I think.”
♦ From “Choppinmama” (to me): Would you speculate on a few candidates that you feel might be in the running to replace Bobby next season?
I doubt Frank Wren has a specific candidate in mind. If the Braves have a good season, my guess is that would help Terry Pendleton’s cause. If you’re looking for a few names, just for entertainment purposes, here’s three: Pendleton and Eddie Perez from the current staff, and Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez, who was popular as a Braves coach.
♦ From “Najeh Davenpoop” (to Cox): I would like to know if the Braves have given any real thought to Melky Cabrera playing every day and did they view him as a real possibility at leadoff when they dealt for him?
“We are. We’ll see how it goes. We’ve got him and Diaz, and if Heyward makes it there’s only room for so many. … He’s probably not your prototypical leadoff guy. But sure, we’ll look at it.”
♦ From “collegeballfan” (to me): List the top 10 Braves prospects and their anticipated arrival date.
How about if I just take the easy way out and provide you with this link to the just released 2010 Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list.
I’ll save you some time. Baseball America lists the following four Braves among the top 100: outfielder Jason Heyward (No. 1 overall, ETA 2010); first baseman Freddie Freeman (32nd overall, ETA 2011); right handed pitcher Julio Teheran (51st overall, ETA mid-2012); right handed pitcher Arodys Vizcaino (69th overall, mid-2012). Baseball America last ranked the top 10 prospects for each organization in November 2009. Here’s the link to details about the Braves’ top 10. Listed were:
♦ From “Give the man some credit” (to Wren): How realistic is it to think Jair Jurrjens will be locked up with a long-term contract this season?
“I don’t know. Sometimes it depends on the representative of a particular player.” (FYI: Jurrjens’ agent is Scott Boras.)
♦ From “Joey M” (to Wren): If Melky Cabrera, Jordan Schafer and Jason Heyward all have strong springs, who get’s left out? McClouth and Diaz I assume are in.
“I don’t know. A lot of it will depends on who looks like they’ll get the bulk of the playing time. That might answer the playing time. If one guy gets the bulk of the playing time, somebody else might go to the minor leagues.”
(Just added. Some questions also answered in comments section.)
♦ From “Alex” (to Troy Glaus): Did he have second thoughts about having to move to first base?
“No, not at all. The third base market wasn’t really open. So if I wanted to continue working and playing … No, seriously, I had no reservations. In the back of your mind, you always think of yourself as a third baseman. But after a while, it’s more of a when than an if.”
♦ From “LaJolla Dawg” (to Chipper Jones): Have you given any thought to how the UGA fans feel about you picking against Georgia (you were right, but that’s beside the point) on Gameday and being shown on camera in Jacksonville rooting for U of F? You live in Georgia and play for the Atlanta Braves, seems like you might be publicly biting the hand that helps to feed you. No?
“People think that I don’t like Georgia. I root for Georgia against everybody, except Florida. I’ve taken so much guff for picking Oklahoma State over Georgia on Gameday last year. I’m like, ‘You’d have a beef if you had won.’ When I bet on a game with my buddy, I’m betting with my head, not my heart. I’ve bet against Florida if I don’t think they’re gonna win. Does that not make me a true fan? I’m still rooting for them. I’m hedging my bet. I’m a Gators fan. I grew up an hour outside of Gainesville.”
But in the state of Georgia, right? “Well, I don’t want people to think that I’m not a Georgia fan. I love Mark Richt. Heck, some of my teammates in high school went to Georgia. I root for Georgia against everybody but Florida.”
Earlier posts from Braves’ camp: