The Braves lost again (5-to-2) in a spring romp to those pesky Tigers. Luckily we don’t play those yahoos for two more days. Astros tonight, 6:05pm, Beachy on the hill.
Meds = ace: Kris Medlen pitched well in his first spring training start yesterday. The beat writers did the math, and Medlen projects to be the opening day starter for Atlanta. ESPN’s Jayson Stark says the Braves have an ace in Medlen. He starts us off with some trivia:
Well, here’s trivia question No. 1 for you: Since the 2012 All-Star break, Clayton Kershaw has the best ERA in baseball (1.92) among pitchers who have worked at least 250 innings. But can you guess who’s second (at 2.40)?
And while you ponder that one …
Here’s trivia question No. 2: Over the past eight full months of baseball (dating back to August 2012), can you name the only pitcher in either league who has won three pitcher-of-the-month awards?
Yep, both Meds.
Kimbrel vs. Eckersley: Came across this great info-graphic comparing Craig Kimbrel’s 2013 season with Dennis Eckersley’s 1992 MVP and Cy Young season. Hint: Kimbrel’s was better. Good work by @barrettself.
Be my guest: Guest instructors currently in Spring Training camp include Gene Garber and Steve Avery. Other former Braves scheduled to fill this role include Dale Murphy (March 8-15) Ryan Klesko (March 10-16) and Tom Glavine (March 21-25). Phil Niekro will also make an appearance, but his dates have not yet been set.
Prospect Q&A: Tomahawk Take has a great Q&A up with Jason Parks, the prospect writer at Baseball Prospectus. Here is a snippet:
[...] the Braves have a mix of high-ceiling dreams and low-ceiling reality in their system. I’ll give them a lot of credit for targeting toolsy Latin American types but fault them for often going cheap in drafts and popping average at best collegiate arms instead finding fruit in the high-ceiling high school ranks like in decades past. Sims was a nice piece and I would like to see more of those types and far less of the Gilmartin or Hursh types. Personally, I don’t think safety puts flags in the rafters. I don’t think drafting #4 starters in the first round puts you in October baseball. I think you have to show a little more sack and go for ceiling when its available, especially when you proven to be adept at finding gems in later rounds and in various markets.
More new stadium questions than answers: Atlanta Magazine has an interesting piece up about how the vote(s) for the new Braves stadium in Cobb County was rushed through. They quote the only county commissioner to vote against the plan:
[...] since joining the Board in 2012, I cannot recall a time where staff has been outright deterred from addressing any commissioner’s concerns during a BOC vote.
The tag line for the article is also instructive to how the plan was pushed through: “Cobb commissioners deliberate more about backyard chickens than they do about using tax dollars to build a $672 million stadium for the Braves.”
The Braves are charging ahead with the stadium, as they seem determined to build a park in Cobb County. The county coming through with the full funding could be an issue, which might shift more of the “cost burden” for the stadium onto the Braves. I could also see problems with getting everything completed on time, as law suits or other procedural delays could push the stadiums completion date back a year or two.