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2011 Braves Spring Training


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Baseball Prospectus sees the Braves finishing 2nd to Philly

6:41 pm February 17, 2011, by Mark Bradley

Pretty much everybody awarded the 2011 National League East title to the Phillies when they landed Cliff Lee to go with Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt. Now Baseball Prospectus, the best of the many numbers-heavy baseball sites, joins the queue.

Writing for ESPN Insiders, Ben Lindbergh of BP projects the Philies to make it five division titles in a row. (Link requires registration.) Interestingly enough, Lindbergh doesn’t gush. Indeed, he and his numbers project 91 victories for a team that won 97 in 2010.

As for the Braves: Mr. Lindbergh has them finishing second in the East at 87-75, which would also mark a recession. (The Braves were 91-71 last season.) He forecasts that Dan Uggla will hit 29 home runs — nothing like being exact in a prediction, eh? — and thinks the Braves should outscore the Phillies. But here are Mr. Lindbergh’s quibbles regarding the Braves, and I quote it in its entirety because they’re also two of mine.

Uggla’s arrival isn’t all good news, as the slugger isn’t known for his leather (at least not in a good way). Between his presence at the keystone, Martin Prado’s forced relocation to left field and a heavier dose of Chipper Jones at third, the Braves stand to take a hit defensively. They also figure to lose ground in the bullpen, thanks to the departures of Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, and expected regression from younger arms. Even if they don’t miss Bobby Cox, they will miss last year’s run prevention, since PECOTA [that's a Prospectus numerical projection thingy] expects them to allow more than 70 more runs than they did last season.

Mr. Lindbergh identifies starting pitcher Brandon Beachy as a Brave who could surprise and reliever Jonny Venters as one who could disappoint. (His reasoning on Venters: He doesn’t have a career history of striking out a lot of guys, although he struck out a lot of guys as a rookie.) And with that, I leave you to feel all glum as we await the first full-squad workout, which comes Saturday at Disney.

By Mark Bradley

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Are are a list of Braves spring training games on TV somewhere. I know we have fans all over so I'm going to list games that are being shown on other teams networks as well.

Thursday March 3 - Tigers - ESPN

Sunday March 6 - at Nationals - MASN, MLBN

Tuesday March 8 - Yankees - YES, MLBN

Friday March 11 - at Yankees - YES

Wednesday March 16 - Red Sox - ESPN

Friday March 18 - at Mets - MLBN

Friday March 25 - at Phillies - ESPN

Sunday March 27 - Phillies - TCN, MLBN

Tuesday March 29 - Twins - MLBN

Wednesday March 30 - Twins - MLBN

Apparantly the Braves haven't set the channel lineup for their networks yet because I can't find it anywhere.

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I'm sure the PECOTA projections have Hudson and Lowe regressing to the mean, Hanson about the same, and Jurrjens as being better than 2010 but not as good as 2009. If they low-ball the young relievers and downgrade the defense, they I can definitely see an increase of 70 runs given up.

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Well Lowe better keep up his quality starts this year. I just picked him up in the latest AFMB Fantasy Baseball League.

If you take out the first month and half of the season from last year Lowe really had a very good year last year. He made that start against the Brewers in mid May and from then on he was really good and then in September he was outstanding.

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Are are a list of Braves spring training games on TV somewhere. I know we have fans all over so I'm going to list games that are being shown on other teams networks as well.

Thursday March 3 - Tigers - ESPN

Sunday March 6 - at Nationals - MASN, MLBN

Tuesday March 8 - Yankees - YES, MLBN

Friday March 11 - at Yankees - YES

Wednesday March 16 - Red Sox - ESPN

Friday March 18 - at Mets - MLBN

Friday March 25 - at Phillies - ESPN

Sunday March 27 - Phillies - TCN, MLBN

Tuesday March 29 - Twins - MLBN

Wednesday March 30 - Twins - MLBN

Apparantly the Braves haven't set the channel lineup for their networks yet because I can't find it anywhere.

Also I know some have MLB.TV and they will show some Spring games as well. I can't remember from last year but I believe they will archive the Spring games. just like they do for regular season games. SO you can watch the game at your convenience.

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Chipper Jones said he might DH in Sunday's Grapefruit League home opener. Today he'll do his first sliding since knee surgery.

Braves are making throws from center field, and I gotta say: Schafer is putting the others to shame. Kid's got a hose for an arm.

Chipper Jones tested knee w/ sliding drill today. Passed test. Here chillaxing after.

Jurrjens is scheduled to go 2 inng vs. Mets, then relief from (not necessarily in order) Venters, O’Flaherty, Kimbrel, Martinez, Varvaro, Marek. Prospects Delgado and Oberholtzer also on trip, could get in.

Chipper Jones is using a lighter bat this year, a 33-oz that's still an oz. or two heavier than most players use, but an oz. lighter than before. “Sometimes you have to swallow your pride," he said. "If you can’t get 34 ounces around on 94 miles an hour, you’ve got to make an adjustment.”

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The battle for the 5th starters spot begins today.

This game will also give the three candidates for the fifth starter's spot a chance to heat up their competition. Rodrigo Lopez, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor are all scheduled to throw two innings. Beachy and Minor are the favorites to win this rotation battle.

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