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Falconsfan567

The Official 2012 Atlanta Braves Spring Training Thread

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UPDATE:White Sox Interested in Brandon Beachy

Posted by tjzurnalistas on February 20, 2012

Posted in: Chicago White Sox. 10 comments

(2/22/12) UPDATE: The Atlanta Braves have two proposals currently circulating, they would want either A: Alexei Ramirez + Brent Lillibridge + cash or B: Gavin Floyd and Jordan Danks. Looking at the Price that the braves are putting on the Sox I HIGHLY doubt that the Sox will get this deal done. The Braves are asking a for lot of offense, like I predicted, but the price is to high for the Sox in my opinion.

(2/20/12) Reports show us that the White Sox are interested in SP Brandon Beachy. Beachy, 25 went 7-3 with a 3.68 ERA in 2011. The White Sox were reportedly interested in him during the trade deadline last year when the Sox were shopping Carlos Quentin. Brandon is one of the Braves’ many talented young arms, being a hot commodity I wouldn’t be surprised if a deal came to be within the next week but these are only rumors.

If a deal were to happen the Braves would likely ask for offense or prospects like Gordon Beckham, Jordan Danks or even Alex Rios if some of his contract were eaten by the Sox. The Braves will be looking for offense this season so this could explain why they need it. They will have to trade away a little pitching to become a more balanced team.

The Tigers and Angels have also shown interest please comment and leave your thoughts More information will be posted….

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This is just off of someone's blog so take it for what it's worth but would you guys be interested in a Beachy for Ramirez and Lillibridge swap? I would certainly think about it.

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Uhhh, I mean I'd rather have Gavin Floyd out of those two deals. Ramirez is going on 31 after this year, and is an OK offensive player.

I've never been impressed by Gavin Floyd. I watch the White Sox play quite a bit because that's my brother's team and I like that Ramirez and Lillbridge both can play infield and outfield. It would really add some flexiblity to our team. They are also both solid defensive players who also would bring speed to the table. I certainly wouldn't trade Beachy to make it happen but I would trade Jurrjens to make it happen.

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Ramirez isn't the sexiest of pickups, but the guy is consistently consistent on offense. The one thing I dislike about Ramirez the most is his contract. He's signed through 2015 with salaries of 5M this year, 7M next year, 9.5M in 2014, 10M in 2015 and a 10M option for 2016. Neither offer really impresses me enough to cut ties with Beachy right now.

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Ramirez isn't the sexiest of pickups, but the guy is consistently consistent on offense. The one thing I dislike about Ramirez the most is his contract. He's signed through 2015 with salaries of 5M this year, 7M next year, 9.5M in 2014, 10M in 2015 and a 10M option for 2016. Neither offer really impresses me enough to cut ties with Beachy right now.

Yeah that's too much for a utility player.

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Yeah that's too much for a utility player.

the salaries for this year and next year would be fine, but the Sox would probably have to eat most of the remainder for me to like any deal for him.

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Wow. Have you guys seen Gordon Beckham's numbers? I knew he had steady gone the wrong direction but I didn't realize it was this bad.

2009 – .270/.347/.460/.808 – 28 2B, 14 HR, 63 RBI – 41 BB, 65 SO

2010 – .252/.317/.378/.695 – 25 2B, 9 HR, 49 RBI – 37 BB, 92 SO

2011 – .230/.296/.337/.633 – 23 2B, 10 HR, 44 RBI – 35 BB, 111 SO

Man those are so ugly numbers.

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Jack Wilson (calf strain) to miss 4-6 weeks

3:34 pm February 24, 2012, by David O'Brien

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Jack Wilson didn’t make it to Braves spring training before straining his right calf, which is expected to sideline the veteran shortstop for four to six weeks and could land him on the disabled list to start the season.

The Braves re-signed Wilson in January to serve as a utility infielder and backup to rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves can fill in for Wilson with others already on the roster or non-roster camp invitees.

Wilson was injured Tuesday during a sprint drill while working out with Pastornicky at Wilson’s home gym in Camarillo, Calif. Pastornicky went out there Jan. 18 for a planned five days of workouts, tips and one-on-one lessons from Wilson.

“It’s one of those injuries you’ve got to make sure is completely gone,” Gonzalez said, “because if you try to come back too quickly it’s going to just nag on you for the whole year. It’s just a nagging thing. So four to six weeks — we’re hoping more four than six.

“We’ve got plenty of candidates here in camp that can do that job.”

Wilson, 34, called the Braves on Wednesday to let them know of the severity of his injury. The team didn’t announce it until Friday after he and

Pastornicky arrived in camp on full-squad reporting day. The first full-squad workout is Saturday at 1 p.m.

Gonzalez named non-roster utility infielders Josh Wilson and Drew Sutton as candidates to fill in for Wilson. Gonzalez might also ask if top shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons could stick around longer than he might otherwise before being sent to minor league camp.

“He’s exciting to watch,” Gonzalez said of the slick-fielding Simmons. The manager then joked, “Maybe run ol’ Chipper [Jones] out there every once in a while.”

The Braves also have shortstop Brandon Hicks, who is on the 40-man roster.

Wilson had the same type of injury to his left calf in 2008, and said it took three or four weeks before he could do much on it. That injury was in

Atlanta, when he played for Pittsburgh and hurt the left calf running out a single in the opening week of the season.

“The good thing is it’s at this point [of spring], so I’m not looking to miss too many games during the season,” Wilson said. “It actually feels better than the left one did at this stage. Putting weight on it’s a pretty good sign. It’s not out of the question to be playing the last three, four or five spring training games. That’s what I’m shooting for.”

He said the injury wouldn’t keep him from continuing to mentor Pastornicky.

“I’ve been working with him for the past week. He’s fine,” Wilson said. “He’s a great kid. I got to work with him a lot before this happened.

“I’ll be off of crutches the next couple of days. I’ll be going out there on the field and still talking, if he has any questions. We worked on a lot of little things, but he’s pretty polished. He didn’t need that much work.”

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Sunburn and fat jokes — rough day for Chipper

7:15 pm February 23, 2012, by David O'Brien

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – It was bad enough that Chipper Jones had an epic sunburn that made merely swinging a bat at Thursday’s workout a bit painful.

But to add insult to his pain, the Braves veteran was greeted by a couple of teammates and his manager with … fat jokes.

“I’m also fat now, from what I hear,” Jones said, smiling as he winced while taking his jersey over his sunburned arms. “I’m a little worried, this is the first time I’ve ever been called fat.”

It happened after an Associated Press photo made the rounds on the Internet, which showed the 39-year-old third baseman walking in shorts and loose-fitting sleeveless T-shirt Sunday at Champion Stadium. As the photo was snapped, a breeze blew Jones’ shirt in such a manner that he appeared to have a large spare tire around his midsection.

An Atlanta TV station, along with bloggers and others across the country, ridiculed and ranted online about what looked in the photo to be a good 40 pounds of added weight. Which was surprising to those who’ve actually seen the 6-foot-4 player in person at spring training.

“Thing is, I’m seven pounds lighter than I’ve ever been in camp, and now I’m fat,” Jones said. “I weigh 226, 227. Usually I’m 235.”

That didn’t stop Brian McCann and other Braves from razzing him after Jones returned Thursday from two days of fishing. He hadn’t heard about the photo until he got back.

“Mac’s so happy now,” Jones said, “because [at Turner Field] every time that little kid from ‘Sandlot’ comes on [the video board] before we start the game – ‘play ball!’ – I say ‘Hey, Mac!’ That little chubby kid.”

As for his sunburn, Jones said the last time he had one as bad was the last time he went fishing. Asked about sunblock, he said the only time he ever uses it is on his lips.

Waiting on Pastornicky

Only a few position players on the Braves roster had not reported early to spring training by Thursday, including rookie shortstop Tyler Pastornicky and veteran backup shortstop Jack Wilson.

Pastornicky, the only projected starter who was not in camp by Wednesday, has been working out at Wilson’s out north of Los Angeles, where Wilson has a regulation infield in his backyard.

They had planned the week of workouts and mentoring by Wilson without knowing that so many Braves position players would report as much as one week before Friday’s official reporting day for position players. The first full-squad workout is Saturday.

“I think Jack arrives this afternoon,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Thursday morning’s workout. “I’m sure Tyler will be right there with him. He probably didn’t know that he had an opportunity to work out [early at training camp].

“He went over to spend some time with Jack, and that’s fine. We’ll have plenty of time.”

Gonzalez then joked that somebody needed to get Pastornicky on Twitter, where he could have seen that the rest of the team was already at spring training.

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Braves new shortstop Pastornicky is in the house

4:36 pm February 24, 2012, by David O'Brien

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Braves got a look at their new shortstop in action Friday when Tyler Pastornicky took infield and batting practice a couple of hours after reporting to camp.

“Had a lot of fun,” said Pastornicky, 22, who fielded grounders while third baseman Chipper Jones did the same not far to his right. “I got to watch him a lot growing up. Pretty cool getting to be beside him.”

Pastornicky is penciled in as the Opening Day shortstop despite no major league experience. He hit .314 with a .359 on-base percentage, seven home runs and 27 stolen bases in 117 minor league games in 2011, including .365 with a .407 OBP in 27 games at Triple-A Gwinnett before a sprained ankle sidelined him for most of the last month.

“I’ve still got a lot of work to do, and nothing’s going to be given to me,” said Pastornicky, who hasn’t been told the job is his and will approach spring training as if he must win it. “I’ve still got to go out there and play hard and play my game.”

His uniform number is 1.

“I wore 77 last spring, so I’m working my way up,” said Pastornicky, a non-roster invitee to major league camp in 2011.

He was the last of the Braves’ projected starters to report to camp this year, because he hadn’t realized so many players would report so early. Pastornicky had previously scheduled a five-day trip to work out with veteran Braves shortstop Jack Wilson, who has a gym, batting cage and regulation infield at his home in Camarillo, Calif.

Wilson brought in a batting-practice pitcher and fungo hitter and even had a friend come over to play first base during the drills he did with Pastornicky.

Wilson, 34, has taken Pastornicky under his proverbial wing and will be his backup, once the older player recovers from a strained calf he got during one of their conditioning drills Tuesday. He’s expected to be out 4-6 weeks.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said it was no a problem having Pastornicky be the last starter to report, and was pleased that he was getting tutelage from the strong-fielding Wilson.

“I had a trip planned to visit with Jack and get some work done out there,” Pastornicky said. “You get an opportunity like that, you’ve got to take advantage of it. It was great being out there. Got some work in and learned a lot.”

The Braves’ first full-squad workout is at 1 p.m. Saturday. Their usual workouts start at 10 a.m, but are moved back three hours Saturday and Sunday so players can get physicals in the morning.

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Drew Sutton should be fine as the backup SS for a couple of weeks

Yep. I've all but given up on Brandon Hicks ever making it. Just can't hit. He's a terrific fielder but gives you absolutely nothing offensively. At least Diory hit a homerun every blue moon.

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Hicks has to be an emergency only option now he had that impressive spring last year and then did absolutely zero with the spot he earned and its not even like he has good numbers in the minors

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Yeah. 1 for 21 last year with 1 run scored. The most alarming numbers were 1 walk and 9 strikeouts in just 22 plate appearances. Adding what he did in 2010 and Brandon Hicks is 1 for 26 in the majors.

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Yeah. 1 for 21 last year with 1 run scored. The most alarming numbers were 1 walk and 9 strikeouts in just 22 plate appearances. Adding what he did in 2010 and Brandon Hicks is 1 for 26 in the majors.

To be fair, he had a lot of pop and got robbed at least 5 times.. not including like 4-5 warning track outs.

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To be fair, he had a lot of pop and got robbed at least 5 times.. not including like 4-5 warning track outs.

We must not be remembering the same player. I remember a lot of strikeouts and lazy pop outs from Hicks.

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Mike Minor Talks Role With Braves, Trade

By Ben Nicholson-Smith [February 24, 2012 at 8:28am CST]

GM Frank Wren told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Mike Minor is the “incumbent” in the competition for the Braves' final rotation spot because of his experience and left-handedness. However, Minor says he would prefer not to go to Triple-A if he fails to earn a rotation spot after pitching well.

“Then there’s no reason I shouldn’t pitch in the big leagues somewhere,” he said. “If they don’t have room for me here, then there’s no reason they shouldn’t trade me or just do something with me.”

Minor, 24, clarified his comments to manager Fredi Gonzalez and some teammates, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (Twitter links). Minor says the Braves should trade him if he hasn't earned a lasting spot in the Major Leagues by next year.

Minor owns a 4.74 ERA with 8.8 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 123 1/3 innings at the Major League level. The 2009 first rounder made 15 starts for the Braves last year and another 16 at Triple-A. He is currently vying for the fifth spot in the Braves’ rotation, along with prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado.

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Too me this is just a case of people making nothing out of something. I have no problem with this. In fact I like it. Minor shouldn't be pitching in the majors somewhere. He's earned that right IMO.

I was just looking at the stats for non-roster invitee Adam Russell. If you don't know about Russell he was traded from the White Sox to the Padres as part of the Jake Peavy trade a couple years ago and then pitched for the Rays last year. He has some good numbers like giving up only 46 hits in 86 2/3 innings but he's got more career walks [42] than strikeouts [38]. He's also only given up 3 homeruns. Last year for the Rays it was a miracle he posted a 3.03 ERA in 32 2/3 innings because he walked 20 while only having 13 strikeouts and giving up 31 hits. He would be a very good pitcher if he ever stopped walking people. But the year before with the Padres he had 5 walks and 18 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings for the Padres.

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Minor didnt mean it the way some people are taking it but Jon Heyman did report today it was not well received by members of the front office

And I can understand that. It's not the "Braves Way"

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The Braves always like as many of their young pitchers as possible to master the change-up, and manager Fredi Gonzalez noticed several throwing the pitch more effectively during the first week of workouts.

While early arriving Braves position players took batting practice against coaches with fans in the stands at Champion Stadium, Gonzalez spent the mornings roaming the backfields and watching the pitchers throw live batting practice to catchers.

“Saw some good changeups,” he said. “Even Jonny Venters was throwing some good ones.

Some of the younger kids, like [Arodys] Vizcaino and [Jaye] Chapman, have pretty good ones.”

Vizcaino, a strong candidate for a bullpen job, is one of three Braves pitchers – along with starters Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado – rated among the top 100 prospects in baseball by most experts. He impressed in a callup last season.

Chapman, 24, has risen slowly but steadily through the farm system and posted a 2.50 ERA in 52 games last season at Double-A and Triple-A, with 77 strikeouts and 31 walks in 68-1/3 innings. He had a 2.98 ERA in 43 games at Triple-A Gwinnett.

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