- 4:42 pm Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by David O'Brien
The Braves have a slugger of a catcher, Evan Gattis, whose unusual background, splendid nickname – El Oso Blanco — and circuitous path to the majors made him a budding folk hero to many fans before he played his first major league game. A catcher whose 43 homers in 723 at-bats over his first two seasons further strengthened the Paul Bunyan-esque legend.
And the Braves have a highly regarded, strong-armed rookie catcher, Christian Bethancourt, who only turned 23 last month but has already spent most of seven seasons in the minor leagues and showed promise in 30 starts in the majors. [More]
- 4:21 pm Monday, October 20th, 2014 by David O'Brien
The Braves outfield that many expected to be one of baseball’s best has been far from it in two seasons that Jason Heyward and the Upton brothers have manned it, and now the question is whether the trio has already played its last game together.
With Justin Upton and Heyward eligible for free agency after the 2015 season, and B.J. Upton two years into a five-year, $75.25 million contract the Braves are desperate to shed, there’s a chance that at least one or two of them could be moved this offseason.
Once a new general manager is in place, one of the [More]
- 6:52 pm Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by David O'Brien
They don’t have a hitting coach and, oh yeah, they don’t have a GM, at least not officially.
But the Braves are undoubtedly moving forward and shaking things up, having realigned their front office so rapidly and extensively that it’s clear the old-guard trio assigned to guide this overhaul was ready to turn the page. To leave behind the team’s recent past and rid itself of some inner-organizational stagnation or rot, depending upon whom you ask.
After general manager Frank Wren and assistant general manager Bruce Manno were fired on Sept. 22, the Braves had a news conference that day to discuss [More]
- 2:24 pm Friday, September 26th, 2014 by David O'Brien
PHILADELPHIA – While a figurative building has collapsed around them, Braves pitchers have been the room left standing, producing more quality starts than any other major league team despite getting run support that’s been almost historically awful.
And to think, it was the pitching – particularly the starting pitching – that had everyone concerned coming out of spring training, after the Braves lost Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy to season-ending elbow injuries in consecutive Grapefruit League games and then lost Gavin Floyd to another elbow injury in his ninth start, just when he was looking like he might be ready to [More]
- 2:32 pm Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by David O'Brien
Before we provide an update on the Braves’ pitiful offense and its performance during a debacle of a September that could end up being historically bad, this would be a good time to point out how impressively pitching coach Roger McDowell’s guys have held up during a trying season, not just pitching well under the circumstances – injuries and the aforementioned godawful offense – but pitching very well, period.
The Braves rank third in the NL with a 3.36 ERA. Their starters are fourth in the NL and fifth in the majors with a 3.41 ERA despite a losing record (56-59).
- 2:14 pm Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by David O'Brien
Before we get into a few perhaps telling comments and leftovers from yesterday’s Frank Wren firing and the search for a new Braves GM, let’s quickly rehash the latest chapter in a September collapse, shall we? A meltdown in which the Braves have actually played — or rather, hit — far worse than they did during the one in September 2011 collapse.
(The big difference is, they actually led the wild-card race by 8 ½ games on the morning of Sept. 6, 2011. This year they were tied with Milwaukee for the second wild-card spot by that point, and were [More]
- 2:36 pm Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by David O'Brien
Many have asked how the Braves could have gone so far off the rails this season, just one year after winning the NL East with a 96-66 record. They fell to 75-76 with Tuesday night’s loss to Washington, then saw the Nationals celebrate at Turner Field, as that game clinched the division title for Atlanta’s chief rivals.
It was not surprising that Washington clinched at Turner Field, where visiting teams have celebrated after winning postseason series, wild-card games or playoff berths on a regular basis since the joint opened for baseball 1997. That’s one bit of history the Braves will be [More]
- 2:35 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by David O'Brien
DALLAS – The Braves are back at Arlington, Texas, for the first time since 2008. Back when many Braves were still in high school and the Rangers had Josh Hamilton piling up 32 homers, 130 RBIs and a .901 OPS in his first full season in the majors. Oh, and veteran Gerald Laird mentoring and sharing time with second-year catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who had come over from Atlanta as part of the big Mark Teixeira trade the previous year (Andrus, Feliz, Harrison, etc.)
How time flies, huh?
Given the way these two teams have played lately, there might not be 15 [More]
- 11:59 am Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by David O'Brien
WASHINGTON – While plenty of other teams dread facing Stephen Strasburg, the Braves have thrived against the Nationals pitcher, whom they face today in a series finale at Nationals Park that the slumping Braves really need to win.
A matchup with Strasburg couldn’t come at a better time for a Braves team that’s 2-6 with – brace yourselves — a .166 batting average and 4.83 ERA in its past eight games. The only time the Braves had more than seven hits in that span was in a 10-inning win against the Marlins, their only win in a three-game series against a [More]
- 2:37 pm Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by David O'Brien
WASHINGTON – They got career-best seasons in 2013 from Freddie Freeman (.319 average, 109 RBIs, .897 OPS) and Chris Johnson (.321 average, 46 extra-base hits, .816 OPS), plus 50 extra-base hits including 17 homers from Andrelton Simmons, and stunning seasons from relievers David Carpenter (1.78 ERA in 56 appearances) and Luis Avilan (1.52 ERA in 75 appearances).
They got career-worst seasons in 2014 from B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla, and had to do without Jason Heyward for two months because of surgeries on his appendix and broken jaw.
So, perhaps the expectations were a bit too high when many of us [More]