Just a few news updates of interest to Braves fans, to keep all informed and function as a game thread for Friday’s tilt against the Sons of Shoeless Joe Jackson…
– Per Carroll Rogers in the AJC, the club anticipates having Jason Heyward and Justin Upton back in the lineup Friday night, and Fab 5 Freddie Freeman is optimistic he’ll be able to join them then or Saturday. (So much for GattisWatch ’13.)
– Professional Braves-hater Keith Law released an updated Top 50 MLB Prospects list. and managed to grudgingly slip in one Braves farmhand, Lucas Sims, at the very end:
50. Lucas Sims, RHP | Atlanta Braves (age 19) Current level: Low Class A (Rome) Preseason ranking: Unranked Sims has blown up since Atlanta moved him into the rotation after a stint in the pen to limit his innings for the year, now sitting 91-96 with a plus curveball and much-improved changeup. His walk rate dropped by nearly half when he returned to starting, and other than the lack of life on his fastball he doesn’t have any major concerns besides the usual command/control questions on any teenaged starter. He’s starting to look at least like a potential No. 3 starter, and is now the team’s best starting pitching prospect on the farm.
– From the Useless but Mildly Interesting Trivia Department, a website called Sportslogos.net did an analysis of how teams have performed in their different uniform combinations. It may or may not surprise you to learn that the Atlanta Braves top all comers at 11-1 in their weekend home cream alternates, and 12-1 if you include the smashing Atlanta Black Crackers home throwbacks they wore during a Saturday home game earlier this season (which, personally, I’d like to see them adopt as a permanent alt set or even new away uniforms, as I’ve never thought the script “Atlanta” on the current options really worked). Worst combination: the road navy blues (which are, of course, chosen by the game’s starting pitcher), in which the team sports a 9-11 record.
– According to MLB Trade Rumors, the Braves are not just focusing on lefty relievers (duh), but seriously considering a second go-round with Mike Gonzalez, currently with the Brewers.
– And finally, per the same source, Derek Lowe has decided to quietly call it a career. Which, after seventeen years and a strong hand in helping to resurrect the peaceful coexistence of the words “Boston” and “World Series champions” in the same sentence, I’d say he most definitely had. He went out with a whimper for us, but you always knew he was gonna give it every single ounce of effort he had. Thanks, Derek!
Let’s do this.