Atlanta Braves blog 

Atlanta Braves blog by David O'Brien, baseball writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Braves Mailbag: Answers to your Braves questions

  • 1:08 pm Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by AJC Sports
Braves second baseman Dan Uggla has had some struggles at the plate and the field. (Scott Cunningham / Getty Images)

Braves beat writer David O’Brien answered reader questions today during a one-hour live Braves Mailbag, brought to you by Verizon, on ajc.com. Below, you can scan through today’s event to read O’Brien’s responses to everything from Dan Uggla’s struggles at the plate to who is his favorite Braves player.

It’s official: Braves’ Teheran to start opening day

  • 1:42 pm Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 by David O'Brien

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – He turned 23 in January and has only 34 major league starts on his resume, but Julio Teheran will be be the Braves’ opening-day starter, and he and his teammates seem happy about that.

“It’s a great honor to be the starting pitcher opening day,” Teheran said after Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gave him the news everyone anticipated, that he’ll start the March 31 opener at Milwaukee. “I just want to say thanks for the opportunity. I’ve been working hard and it’s paying off.”

Kris Medlen was the planned opening-day starter before tearing an elbow ligament March [More]

Expected opening-day starter Teheran sharp vs. Tigers

  • 4:55 pm Friday, March 21st, 2014 by David O'Brien

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Julio Teheran is in line to start opening day for the Braves, and again Friday he pitched like someone ready for the assignment.

Teheran was charged with two runs, two hits and one walk with four strikeouts in six innings of a 3-0 split-squad loss to the Tigers. He retired the first seven batters and last nine that he faced. He was perfect in four innings, and recorded 18 outs in 20 batters.

The Braves were also shut out in their other split-squad game Friday, an 8-0 loss to the Orioles in which reliever Anthony Varvaro gave [More]

Braves’ Beachy to have 2nd TJ surgery, but not by Dr. Andrews

  • 12:49 pm Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by David O'Brien

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – The Braves’ spring of maddening misfortune continued Thursday with the announcement that Brandon Beachy would have Tommy John elbow surgery Friday, the pitcher’s second ligament-reconstruction surgery and third overall elbow surgery in just 21 months.

The surgery will be done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers team physician, rather than Dr. James Andrews, who did Beachy’s previous Tommy John surgery in June 2012 as well as his arthroscopic procedure in September to remove a bone chip. Andrews, considered a foremost practitioner of Tommy John surgery, performed the procedure Tuesday on Braves pitcher Kris Medlen, also Medlen’s [More]

Medlen has 2nd Tommy John surgery

  • 10:10 am Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 by David O'Brien

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Braves pitcher Kris Medlen faces another rehabilitation period of at least 12 months after having Tommy John elbow surgery Tuesday for the second time in four years. And frankly, the odds that he’ll pitch again at peak level are not very good.

Medlen, 28, had the ulnar-collateral ligament reconstruction procedure, commonly referred to as Tommy John surgery for the second time in 41 months by Dr. James Andrews, who also did his August 2010 surgery.

“He had the surgery and everything went well,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Wednesday after getting an update  from a team trainer.

Medlen [More]

Braves’ Gattis had knee surgery in October

  • 4:27 pm Friday, March 14th, 2014 by David O'Brien

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Braves catcher Evan Gattis hadn’t caught consecutive games this spring until Thursday, and now we know why: He had knee surgery in October, and the team has been careful with his workload behind the plate.

Gattis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had arthroscopic surgery to remove what he called a dime-sized bone chip that had been “floating around” in his knee right knee since around 2006, the year he had knee surgery known as the OATS procedure, when he was in junior college.

In that invasive procedure, plugs of healthy cartilage and bone are moved from [More]

Braves’ Beachy might need another Tommy John surgery

  • 11:45 am Friday, March 14th, 2014 by David O'Brien

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Pitcher Brandon Beachy’s arm injury appears to be far worse than he and the Braves initially believed, and he could find out Monday that he needs a second Tommy John elbow surgery and another year-long rehabilitation.

The Braves face the almost unimaginable, but quite real, possibility that starting pitchers Kris Medlen and Beachy could both be told Monday when they visit Dr. James Andrews that each needs to have a second ligament-transplant surgery, aka “Tommy John” surgery. Andrews did TJ surgery on Medlen in 2010 and on Beachy in June 2012.

Medlen, the planned opening-day starter who [More]

Braves’ Garcia: I’ll be ready when bell rings

  • 6:03 pm Thursday, March 13th, 2014 by David O'Brien

JUPITER, Fla. – Freddy Garcia knows his last couple of starts haven’t exactly been confidence-boosters for Braves fans, but the veteran pitcher wasn’t worried after giving up six hits and four runs (three earned) in four innings of Thursday’s 11-0 Grapefruit League loss to the Cardinals.

“I give up a lot of runs lately, but I’m fine,” said Garcia, 37, who has allowed 12 hits and 10 runs (nine earned) in 6-2/3 innings over his past two starts. “It’s different when the bell rings (for the regular season). Spring training game are different. I just need to pitch better in my [More]

Medlen mentally prepared for 2nd major elbow surgery

  • 10:54 am Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by David O'Brien
Kris Medlen, Atlanta Braves

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Braves pitcher Kris Medlen spent the past few days coming to grips with the reality that he’s almost certainly going to need Tommy John surgery for the second time in five years, after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow in a game Sunday.

“Mentally preparing myself,” Medlen said Wednesday. “It’s something that I’ve felt before. I think I had all the answers to anybody’s questions in my head when I was walking off the mound. I never do that. When I did it before in 2010, the same thing kind of happened. Nothing’s … [More]

Braves sign Santana to bolster injury-riddled rotation

  • 8:26 am Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by David O'Brien
Ervin Santana

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Moving quickly to bolster their suddenly leaky starting rotation, the Braves signed free agent Ervin Santana to a one-year, $14.1 million contract Wednesday.

Santana, 31, was 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 211 innings last season for the Kansas City Royals, and tied for fourth in the American League with 23 quality starts (six innings or more and three earned runs or fewer allowed). The right-hander was mulling offers worth $13 million to $14 million or more from the Orioles and Blue Jays and was within perhaps a day of making [More]