So far, the news out of Spring Training has mostly centered around various injuries. Chipper Jones hurt his thumb making a catch last week and just returned to action yesterday. Chipper, of course, is oddly fragile/tough; he gets injured quite a bit but heals rapidly or plays through with no ill effects.
Both starting middle infielders have ankle sprains. Rafael Furcal is okay, I think, but Marcus Giles’ injury has persisted. It’s the same ankle as last year and Jeff Porter thinks it’s the same injury as well. It’s probably the biggest concern in camp right now. Nick Green — who I didn’t include in the player previews — is getting most of the action at second right now.
I don’t know what the Braves will actually do if Marcus is out for a long time. Green isn’t really that much of a prospect. He has Travis Wilson/Wes Helms “skills” — that is, he has some power but is unlikely to post a better than .300 on-base percentage and strikes out a ton. Ramon Castro looks like a better player to me, but the Braves seem to think he’s a utility player. Furcal could shift to second with Betemit playing shortstop, but Wilson’s defense is still frightening. Most likely, Mark DeRosa would play one middle infield spot with Furcal the other.
Paul Byrd has a pulled groin and is limited right now. It probably isn’t anything serious but those muscle sprains will pop up as a player ages.