The Braves were declared the 6-5 loser in yesterday’s rain-shortened contest with the Tigers at Disney. It’s the first game of spring, so don’t try to read too much into it. The important part is that there is Braves baseball being played on actual baseball fields again.
An easy open: While we are just starting the Grapefruit League season, ESPN’s Buster Olney took a look at the toughest schedules in the early days of the regular season. His rankings give the Braves the easiest schedule in the National League for the first month and a half. Here is his breakdown:
Games vs. teams with records of .500 or better in 2013: 12 of first 40.
Home/away: 21 of first 40 are at home.
Notables: Last season, the Braves traveled a ton in the first half of the season, making early trips to the West Coast. This year, Atlanta doesn’t have its first West Coast swing until mid-May — the Braves play in only the Eastern and Central time zones through May 11 — before making a three-game swing through San Francisco.
Simba gets his gloves: Shortstop Andrelton Simmons received his Gold AND Platinum Glove trophies yesterday. They were so heavy that El Oso Blanco had to help Simmons hold them up. That’s a perfect smirk on Gattis. (Photo by beat reporter Kevin McAlpin.)
The Simba effect: If further proof is needed of Andrelton’s defensive prowess, then BaseballAnalytics.org provides more supporting evidence of the way in which Simmons changes the game with this defense. It’s a quick read and awesomely eye-opening.
A stadium with a Southern feel: The great Twitter feed MLB Cathedrals tweeted some ideas about what architectural elements the new Braves stadium might incorporate. They bring up a great point, and one I wholeheartedly agree with, that the new stadium should incorporate elements of Southern architecture. I wouldn’t go full-Savannah, but elements of a traditional Southern mansion would give the new stadium a unique feel.
New Braves park in Cobb Countly. What we know, with pictures. pic.twitter.com/ulmlOUjzMj
— MLBcathedrals (@MLBcathedrals) February 26, 2014
Solidly in the top-100: MLB’s prospect reporter Jonathan Mayo combined five top-100 prospect lists from the major prospect outlets and averaged all the rankings together. Braves consensus top prospect, RHP Lucas Sims, ranked #46, and was listed on all five lists. Catching prospects Christian Bethancourt was on all lists and ranked #82. Shortstop Jose Peraza was also listed on one list.
— Choplanta (@Choplanta) February 26, 2014