New Thread. New Poll. New Season.

Touki is starting in the first Spring Training game Saturday against the Mets. Kolby Allard will also pitch. Go Braves.

My choice for the breakout is Luiz Gohara. At the end of the day, he has the highest ceiling, and if he’s healthy, In The Best Shape of His Life, and he’s a year older, I consider him to be right where he was when we called him up in September 2017 and he showed us a lot. But if you told me Mike Soroka was going to have a big year, I wouldn’t be surprised either.

162 thoughts on “New Thread. New Poll. New Season.”

  1. Despite Touki’s inability to recognize what is greatest in life (Destroying enemies, burning fields, lamentations of women, waffle fries with skin) I appreciate his willingness to stand up for his (misguided) beliefs.

  2. AAR @ 9,

    I guess that somehow this feeds into an actual data set on just how many monkeys need to randomly peck on typewriters before one of them punches out a Shakespearean sonnet.

    I believe this tends to show that human creativity is unique and can’t be created by random chance.

  3. I think splitting the difference with with Donaldson is precisely incorrect. He’ll either bomb out and edge up to 2.5 or 3 WAR, max. Or he’ll be Josh Donaldson and slap a 7-ish on you.

  4. @11, Hurts to say it, but Touki…who could possibly have any idea what will happen with that fifth spot?

    Keep Duvall’s WAR for Markakis tho, lol.

  5. I agree w/ Sam @12, I think JD will be all or nothing…here’s to spring when every team is undefeated, vets are in BSOTL, and kids have unlimited ceilings!

  6. @11 – If Ozzie can do that then this lineup looks a lot stronger than I fear. Not sure how much zips is putting that on defense. Best case is Ozzie makes a step up from “good mistake hitter” to “patient, feared hitter”.

  7. @14 – I am unsure what I am supposed to be upset about. A bog standard commercial real estate development project with relatively common funding mechanisms, half of which has already been sold to a German engineering firm, the other half of which is office space already half rented out under contract to same said German firm. All to bring just under 900 jobs averaging 100k per year to South Cobb.

    This seems like…a good thing.

  8. I’m concerned that Ozzie’s season will be closer to 2nd half Ozzie than first half Ozzie. I’m not expecting a killer year from Dansby, but I’m expecting it to be a little better than Albies’ year.

  9. @17 Some of us tire of hearing about Braves debt needing to be paid down… Like, did they stop dealing this winter because of those “phantom bonds”?

  10. 33 year old Josh isn’t likely to be 30 year old Josh. But 90%, or even 80% of that would be pretty good.

  11. @11 When I saw this, my first reaction was that someone finally respected the bullpen. I think Flowcann will do better than that – 2.5 WAR. I also think Folty could hit 4 and Newcomb 3, if things go well. I don’t think it will be Teheran that hits that 1.7 but another of the younger pitchers. The 4/5 spots in the rotation should get to 4 WAR. I am counting on the starters for 14 WAR and the bullpen for 5 to get to 19 WAR total.

    If Flowcann can hit about 2.5 then the offense should get to 28-29 WAR (assuming the bench contributes about 1-1.5 for Camargo and Kakes gets to 1.6). That would give us a team WAR of 47-48 which should be good for 94-95 wins and get us competitive for the division and a WC for sure.

    I also agree that Donaldson will be more boom or bust. But at 5 WAR seems to be the best average of the two.

    One of the things that is being understated so far is the elimination of the negatives – Flaherty, Bautista, Bourjos, Moylan, McCarthy, and other random relievers who failed last year. Cutting out the bottom of the barrel improves the team, too. If Duvall gets to 0.3-0.8 WAR as a bench player then this team doesn’t have any negatives right now.

  12. @20: Exactly. Is this a baseball team or some real estate conglomerate? Apparently it costs a lot to build this edifice.

  13. Sure enough, Braves Development Company falls under the Atlanta Braves on Why can’t I find another MLB team with a development company as part of their front office? I’ll go ahead and assume that the Braves’ debt is going further up this year as opposed to being paid down.

  14. @20 If you tire to hear about it, then stop talking about it.

    In fact, what if we all acknowledge that we would all spend more money on the team if we were the owner and let’s move on from this discussion?

  15. @26-28 Thank you!

    Play ball. Tomorrow. 7.10 pm CET (1.10 pm for most of you folks) live on Touki starting.
    Go Braves.

  16. Re: Padres, they do seem like a good trading partner. You have to think they will be in on Keuchel and also look to trade for a cheaper, controllable SP.

  17. In this year’s fantasy league everyone has to draft a general contractor and a preferred local county board member.

  18. Given his age, I wouldn’t write Maitan off just yet. I know he was being compared to Miguel Cabrera, or Chipper Jones; and he’ll maybe (very likely) never quite reach that stratosphere. He was playing minor league ball last season though at an age where other kids his age were playing for their high schools, and getting ready for prom.

  19. Marte. But at least Schuerholz turned him into 2 good years of Renteria.

    The frustrating thing about Francoeur was that he wasn’t even that great of a minor league player but he kept getting major league PAs.

  20. @34 How is Andruw Jones on a “Biggest Disappointment” list?! Is that option there as a way of saying Maitan might turn out okay?

  21. @38 That’s the truth about Francoeur. He was a Georgia kid, so I think a lot of folks wanted him to be a great prospect, and he was hyped as such. In reality, his numbers were mostly those of a fairly decent ballplayer.

    Swanson reminds me so much of him, in so many ways.

  22. The frustrating thing about Francoeur was that he wasn’t even that great of a minor league player but he kept getting major league PAs.

    Ain’t you right. .852 OPS at A+, .808 OPS in 367 PAs at AA, and then he was called up. If they handled things today the way they did back then, Austin Riley would have been in the starting lineup either towards the end of 2017 or in the first couple months of 2018 since he was a 21-year old (same age as Frenchy when he got called up) clubbing AA and AAA. But they could see Riley had flaws in his game just like Frenchy did, and we’re making better decisions going forward.

    And there’s something to be said for that. We could have called Riley up midway through last year, and that would be yet another exciting point to the trajectory of the team. But we’re not even at a point now where he’s even in the conversation to make the opening day roster. I think a lot of Braves fans just need to have a paradigm shift that the way AA is doing things is showing much, much more restraint and more understanding of what it takes to win championships than JS probably had throughout the 2000’s.

  23. Oh man, Jeff Francoeur. Ol’ Frenchie put up 3.0 fWAR in 70 games in his rookie season, then 2.9 fWAR the entire remainder of his career (1411 games). Or if you prefer: 7 fWAR in his first 3 seasons, then -1.1 fWAR over the next 9 seasons.

    What a weird, disappointing career arc.

  24. Doomed.

  25. Francouer wasn’t called up because he was great and demanded playing time. He was called up because our RF options that year made Adam Duvall look like an All Star, and the farm was devoid of OF talent in general.

  26. @44 That’s not good, especially, if as Bowman said, the discomfort has been continually ongoing, because he tweaked it doing weights a month back. It’s been over 6 months since he was initially shut down.

  27. Seriously. Go take a look at the “production” put in by Brian Jordan, Raul Mondesi and Toddy Hollandsworth for that 2005 squad. That was what drove Francouer, as well as Ryan Langerhans, being called up.

  28. That Soroka news is real bad. Pitchers survive elbow damage. Shoulder problem Tommy Hanson’s your ass.

  29. @45 Did Mondesi or Jordan start the year in RF that season? I can’t remember.

    It’s funny how, when you look back, the Braves often leave a hole in the OF somewhere.

  30. Opening Day 2005, in Miami vs the Marlins:

    Rafeal Furcal (SS)
    Marcus Giles (2B)
    Chipper Jones (3B)
    Andruw Jones (CF)
    Adam LaRoche (1B)
    Johnny Estrada (C)
    Raul Mondesi (RF)
    Brian Jordan (LF)
    John Smoltz (P)

    Smoltz got absolutely lit up, giving up 7 runs, 6 earned, in 1.2 innings.

    OF NOTE: this was Smoltz’ first start since moving from the closer role back into the rotation.

  31. Well, and that’s why you keep a lot of prospects. And we may lose another prospect before the end of Spring Training. But a lot of teams can’t lose a couple pitchers to Tommy Hanson Hamburger Syndrome, and we can.

  32. It’s been a long time, but Braves fans used to KILL Andruw Jones for not being Willie Mays. He hit .300 in 2000, when he was 23, and never again, which led to a lot of people calling him fat and lazy.

    I’d like to think Braves fans have gotten better over the years, but it’s worth remembering.

  33. I liked Oberkfell. Good defender at 2B or 3B. Used to be derisively referred to as “5-0-2-0” because that was his box score line. Didn’t pop up as much as Andres Thomas did. Had a name that made him sound like one of the munchkins. As disappointments go, he was no Mike Kelly.

  34. Mike Kelly was only a disappointment if you didn’t understand the difference between baseball and track.

  35. @57 I never saw what was so great about Marwin. One good year. Maybe another half good one and at least a couple of really bad years. People got so blinded by the fact his one good year was really good that they can’t see all the bad/risk.

    Camargo is hands down better than Marwin. He has not yet had a bad year.

  36. I hate all this Soroka doom and gloom. Doctors have said there is nothing wrong with his shoulder, just that his muscles are aligned out of the norm and he needed to do special strengthening exercises. If he tweaked it doing weight lifting then it’s not a baseball injury. Give him some time.

  37. Until such time as I see a pitcher with “shoulder issues” return and perform at a high level, I will assume “shoulder issues” are the equivalent of being hired as Spinal Tap’s drummer.

  38. This offseason became fun again once it became clear how much Bryce Harper doesn’t want to be a Phillie.

  39. Madison Bumgarner just last year came back from a motorcycle wreck where he hurt his shoulder and pitched well. But as a general rule shoulder injuries are bad news.

    In 2005 Schuerholz signed an old Mondesi and Jordan to try to squeeze out any remaining production to cover the giant holes but it didn’t work. They rushed Francoeur, and also tried Langerhans and Kelly Johnson.

  40. @62 You quote the docs saying“His muscles are aligned out of the norm” so casually, Roger. I’m not a doctor, and I’ve yet to play one on tv, but that sounds really bad. Lol. Do they have a muscle version of a chiropractor?

    I do get what you’re saying though, and it’s early.

  41. The unintended consequence of waiting out for the highest offer is that it appears to have ended up coming from Philly. You sure you want top dollar, Bruce?

  42. @72 There was a good interview on TC or AJC where Soroka explained it a lot better than me. There never was anything wrong structurally last year but he has a rare condition with how his shoulder is put together and he was given a training regimen to strengthen compensatory muscles. Sounded weird to me but he had one of those “name” surgeons telling him that. El Attrache or something like that.

  43. I just saw Manfred is implementing a pitch clock in Spring Training, and I hate it. I honestly loathe this dude, and the asinine ideas he comes up with to “improve” the game.

  44. Anybody listen to any of the many Braves podcasts that have been popping up lately? Any of them any good?

  45. Man, I was really rooting for Soroka. Such a heady kind of pitcher, which is what I like to watch. Touki is still my breakout guy. He’s got the arm, smarts, personality, and build to put something special together.

  46. Also, a spring training pitch clock is so, so dumb. Has Manfred ever been to spring training? Not getting in a hurry is the overarching theme.

  47. I can’t express how much I hate the idea of a baseball pitch clock. Rob Manfred is so stupid for chasing phantom fans who think the game is too long. If baseball seems boring to you …. maybe you don’t like baseball! And that’s fine!

  48. And without getting into too much front office moaning I will just note that signing a slightly above average switch hitter who plays every position for 2/$21 would have certainly made this team better.

  49. @77 Rob, I’m listening to Talking Chop and Braves ( They’re both not very regular. The TC podcast is okay, I guess.
    Are there any better anyone can recommend out there?

  50. I woke up at 6. I have my Braves hat on. I’ve checked the Port St. Lucie forecast. (High of 83. No rain.) Appropriate fact of the day: this game is to be played at First Data Field. 5 hours to broadcast. The entire season rides on the base established in this game. Nothing they have ever done in their lives is more important than what happens today. With Jed Lowrie already on the shelf (LOLmets doctors) the Braves have a huge advantage, although the Mets will be starting their ace: Walker Lockett. (How many pitchers in MLB history have had the first name of Walker?) Don’t blow it. Otherwise, we’re dooooomed.

  51. Who names their kid Mysterious?

    Good for you, Jonathan! Really thought about going today but… clear across the state for me. I’ve got 3 games on my list for ST.

  52. Mysterious’ given name was Frederick Mitchell Walker. (I was hoping it was Wonderful Monds Walker, and he’d changed it to Mysterious.) I didn’t meant to imply that I was going to the game. SNY coverage is as close as I get. I will be wearing the hat, however… Dale Murphy vintage.

  53. @74 El Attrache was the guy who did Brandon Beachy’s second TJS using cadaver tissue. It appears Brandon is making another attempt at a comeback. Soroka’s now admitted injury follows closely his interview where he stated everything was fine with his shoulder. Please spare us any more spring training “best shape of his career” stories.

  54. Anyone have success using a vpn to get around the damned blackout restrictions? Thinking about giving mlb some money again this year, but only if I can actually watch the games.

  55. @82 We already have a better one than Marwin; Camargo. If we could have used anything, it would have been the LH version – Dietrich. Gonzalez would have been risky, expensive, and redundant for us.

  56. @77 Like Timo, I listen to the Talking Chop guys. I feel like they’re knowledgeable. They are, as mentioned, infrequent, however.

    Atlanta Baseball Talk isn’t bad, either.

  57. @89 You refer to a “now admitted” injury as if this were a continuation of something else. For at least two months Soroka has been throwing bullpens without any issue. And this is reported as a weight room issue. I am getting tired of all the unnecessary doom and gloom over it. Current reports have Soroka still pitching during ST, see we’ll see more when that begins.

    Oh, Rob, I hope you’re right about Gohara breaking out, but I don’t think we’ll see it until late Spring/early Summer. He has to prove a lot at Gwinnett before getting another call. I would love to see two of Soroka/Touissant/Fried as 4/5 coming out of ST. Even if that means relegating Julio to the bullpen. If two of those three fail, then Julio can get slotted back in and it’s a long season.

    I also still want to see a big trade.

  58. @93 Dietrich would’ve been a great fit on this season’s club. I’m a little surprised the Braves didn’t make a play for him, unless they were just too sour on his glove work.

  59. There is Atlanta Braves baseball on my television, and that is why this is actually the most wonderful time of the year.

  60. Is it just me or does it sound like there are vuvuselas in the background? Of course it’s not, but it’s that kind of sound.

  61. I wonder how feasible it’d be for the first month or two of the season to give Sororka the home starts, and Tehran the road starts out of the 4th or 5th slot?

    One, most of Tehran’s troubles seem to be at home. So problem solved?

    Two, you limit Sororka’s workload for the season, with the shoulder.

    Maybe the work would be too sporadic, but they’d get something out of Tehran that way, if they keep him.

  62. I was listening to Chop Cast and I still listen to some of Grant McAuley’s thing, but it’s just bad, bad analysis. Chop Cast obviously is connected to the team, and Grant might as well be with how much he is in the tank for the Braves. They’re all just mouthpieces for the Braves. Nick Green, sadly, just is the former player who regurgitates batting average and RBI stats and how much someone is a “tough cookie”.

    I’ll have to give Talking Chop a listen.

  63. I wouldn’t mind seeing Adam Jones platooning with Kakes. We could play Jones and option Duvall until he heats up or not. Jones is likely to take a huge discount if not a MiL deal, should have reasonable defense not in CF, and should hit HRs at a 30/year rate. He is also a incredible clubhouse presence and very clutch hitter. He does seem to have reverse splits, though.

  64. Touki really has some unhittable stuff. The whole staff couldn’t throw strikes last year, we have a new pitching coach, and that could probably help Touki more than most.

  65. @74 El Attrache was the guy who did Brandon Beachy’s second TJS using cadaver tissue. It appears Brandon is making another attempt at a comeback. Soroka’s now admitted injury follows closely his interview where he stated everything was fine with his shoulder. Please spare us any more spring training “best shape of his career” stories.

  66. I will also give a shoutout to Atlanta Baseball Talk, not necessarily the most analytics oriented podcast but they are good guys who love the team and usually have good discussions

  67. Roger,

    The age-old debate of whether you’d want to have a great position player prospect vs. a pitching prospect was settled as Peter Alonso homered off of Touki.

  68. DOB says that Slugbauer is a converted catcher. I had not seen that he was no longer considered a catche.

  69. If you will forgive the self promotion (and even if you don’t), my son and I for the past three seasons have done a weekly podcast we called the Channel 17 podcast. As a few of you may recall, I’ve been a Braves fan since 1966; I raised my son right, and he’s been just as intense a fan as I since the early 90’s. Our weekly discussions, while focused on the past week, often make reference to Braves history. We are also fairly analytics-focused, at least for an old fart like me.

    We haven’t started up yet this season. My son, who handles the technical stuff, is having some computer issues to sort. We hope to get back at it soon.

    To be honest, though, we do this for ourselves. We live on opposite coasts and don’t see each other as much as we’d like. But we do discuss the Braves every week on the phone. He suggested a few years ago that since we have the conversation anyway, why not post it on the internets.

    Like so many here, I’m thrilled that baseball season is here again, not least because it connects me with my son.

  70. @113–you may have noticed that Bowman says they are playing Lugbauer at corner infield positions because they have increased organizational depth at catcher. Slugbear’s defense behind the plate must be really bad. The Alex Jackson experiment shows they are willing to have a lot of patience with a defensively challenged prospective catcher if they think he can hit. (Unfortunately last year Jackson forgot how to hit; let’s hope that was temporary)

  71. Like so many here, I’m thrilled that baseball season is here again, not least because it connects me with my son.

    That’s great, Tfloyd. Atlanta Braves baseball was one of the things my father and I bonded on before he passed. We always had the Braves. It’s weird how the laundry can do that.

  72. If I’m Kimbrel, arguably the best closer in the game, and I’m completely convinced that I’m worth more than what I’m being offered, then just sit. Are teams going to start offering him $1M or 2M less because he’s not going to be available for April or May. If Harper and Keuchel and Kimbrel all decided that they would just not play, that would probably be an adverse reaction that the owners did not anticipate and it would make for some really negative headlines for the whole sport. It’s all well and good until the best players aren’t on the field during meaningful games.

  73. Doomed.

    @118: It’s a special case, of course, but there was a player who wanted to play and who had an OPS of 1.045 in his last season who wasn’t offered a contract by anyone. And the fans didn’t rise up as one to complain.

  74. @119:

    Yes, and the Braves passed on him at his league minimum asking price too, even while their outfield consisted of Matt Diaz (who was on the DL due to torn cartridge in his knee), Gregor Blanco and Greg Norton.

  75. They didn’t want to offend Hammerin’ Hank or bust their own argument that he is the true home run king.

  76. @119 To this day I still find it hard to fathom how a team wouldn’t give Barry Bonds a contract to play MLB.

    @121 Diaz was a decent contributor, but still… I’m sending any of those guys to the pine if I can pencil Bonds in the lineup instead.

    @122 I’ll never understand why they (all of baseball) can’t just acknowledge Bonds as the true HR king, and put the guy in the HoF. He thrived under a system, and in an environment of their own creation. It’s both a joke, and a fallacy, that Selig is in the HoF when Bonds is not.

  77. I think Kimbrel would be crazy to sit out the entire year. If you are confident that you’re the best in the game, and will be great going forward, why not take a 1 year deal? I think GMs see Kimbrel’s size and stats from last year and don’t see value beyond 3 or 4 years. It has nothing to do with collusion or that Kimbrel has been one of the greatest of all time up until this point.

  78. @124: Additionally, this would be Kimbrel’s 10th year, which is full vesting in the MLB pension plan. There’s no way he sits.

  79. @127 Harper and the Philadelphia fans are going to be a terrible match. I’m sure it’ll be great to start, but I wonder how it’ll go when he’s in a 20 game slump, batting .230, and decides he’s not going to dive for a ball on the OF grass. Lol.

  80. @125 I don’t blame Bell in the least. The Steelers were riding that man into the ground, going year-to-year with the tag. They’d have been just fine continuing that, I’m sure, until he starts to wear a bit, when they’d kick him to the curb in a second.

    I wouldn’t blame Kimbrel if he sat, either. He’s statistically the greatest closer in the game, for his age, compared to other greats at the same age. He’s not worth just as much as Chapman per year? Then someone in a baseball management position needs to step out, and tell us the criteria they’re using to evaluate these guys.

    I get not wanting to do six years on a deal with him. If not one team in baseball offers Kimbrel the same deal Chapman has (AAV wise) though, I say bring on the player strike at the end of the CBA!

  81. @130 – if we have a player strike, get ready for the pitch clock and every other gimmick known when it is settled. A whole lot of fans will leave and never come back, just like the 90s.

    Like it or not, a player strike will devastate the game and the fanbase. MLB will react by doing things to appeal to millennials and do everything but take a look in the mirror.

  82. Maybe Kimbrel is still too fixated on a 100 Mio contract. He won’t get that from any team. It would be silly to call for a strike because Kimbrel doesn’t get what he wants.

    I’m sure if he was open for a 2-3 year deal, he’d get 15+ Mio p.a. And rightfully so. But a 100 Mio deal for him is crazy.

    I blame Kimbrel and/or his agent – not the owners.

  83. Thoughts from yesterday – Touki looked great – keep that up and he’s the 5 hole guy with a bullet (i’ll wash the dinger he gave up to Alonso). I was pretty pleased with Allard – to be sitting 90-91 in his first ST appearance is encouraging and if he gets it up a tick or two, he could still be worth something as a LOOGY or multi inning guy (or trade bait). I was actually impressed with Jackson behind the plate – he looked pretty decent and framed a couple of strikes. Now, can he hit ? Riley looked solid in the field – that won’t be an issue at all.

    Overall good to have baseball on TV again.

    Incidentally we moved from Acworth, GA to Celebration, FL this past summer so A) we’ll enjoy the last year of ST at Disney, B) we’ll take in some FireFrogs games – only made one last year and C) has anyone had any luck shifting home location on YouTube TV to Atlanta to watch the Fox Sports South for pre and post game ?

    @Rob, maybe we can meet up at a game sometime.

  84. Todd @135, I have a place in Panama City Beach and I use YouTube TV on a Roku without any problems to watch Braves games when I am there (without needing any kind of VPN). I think the policy with YouTube TV is you have to “log in” from your home address (mine is Woodstock, GA) at least once every 30 days.

  85. @137, yes Youtube TV try to enforce it but sometimes I’m not in the US for several months and I can still use the US local address using a VPN.

  86. Really not any better.

    Todd, we’re going to March 2nd @ Tigers, March 5th @ Yankees, and March 16th @ Red Sox, so we’re all over the map.

  87. @134, I think it’s not reasonable to ask Kimbrel to accept way, way less than other closers have been getting over the last few years. For heaven’s sake, Mark Melancon got $62 million in December 2016. Craig Kimbrel shouldn’t have to take less than that, and it’s not his fault if he knows he shouldn’t have to.

  88. Anyone who’s willing to speculate on something without any evidence…

    Maybe Kimbrel is still too fixated on a 100 Mio contract.

    …and then draw a conclusion based on that speculation…

    I blame Kimbrel and/or his agent – not the owners.

    …probably isn’t worth engaging with on the subject.

  89. @133 Unfortunately, this CBA offers no protections against the pitch clock. I also believe Manfred will implement it at some point, against the players will. I don’t trust him at all, and I don’t believe this Spring Training “trial” is not at all about seeing how it works, as it is about seeing how much fan backlash there is.

    I otherwise can’t really argue with what you said. Why I’d support a strike is all of that is going to take place anyway, it’ll just be at a slower pace, if things continue as is.

    The only thing the players can do is try to negotiate a CBA with some protections against it.

  90. @141

    “Anyone who’s willing to speculate on something without any evidence…”

    That’s why I added the link. Check it out again @134, Adam.

    But yes, granted I am speculating. As is everyone else at this point.

    And agreed, he should get more than Melancon – in a vacuum. The evaluation of 30+ year old closers have been changing rapidly, I guess.
    And I would love to get Kimbrel – but not for 100 Mio.

  91. @142 Without a doubt. He’s slow playing it to give them time to get used to it or accept it. Manfred has just as much skin in the game as anyone, and if this is the rule change that he wants to go with, then go with it.

    The game’s too long. Bottom line. Every sport would slow down the game when they have the ball if they could. This is the only sport where you’re actually allowed to do it. Make it stop.

  92. @144 The game isn’t too long, though. Baseball is fine, pace wise, as it is. If the argument is some people won’t pay attention to it because of the pace, then maybe baseball isn’t for them? If not, hey, cool. I don’t love basketball, but I don’t want Adam Silver to change half the rules to try to appeal to me. It’s just not my sport.

    Golf is slow. Imagine if they put a “Swing Clock” in the game.

  93. Within one and a half season’s of having a pitch clock implemented, you will not notice it at all. When’s the last time you were at a minor league game and the clock was a problem? Never. Yet it’s been there for some time.

    This is “traditionalists” bitching to hear themselves bitch.

  94. @146 100% wrong. I’ve been to a minor league game with the pitch clock, and I dislike it. If your argument for the clock is people against it are just “traditionalists complaining to hear themselves complain,” in a sport built on tradition- don’t be surprised when half a fanbase becomes alienated with the sport.

  95. Luke Jackson

    Oh Lord, there’s a name I completely forgot about and used to make me irrationally seethe in 2018.

  96. Muller and Wilson both looked fine.

    There’s no way we will need Luke Jackson in the bullpen this season, right? Right?!

  97. I’m in favor of the pitch clock *because* I’m a traditionalist. David Price can take two laps around the mound between every pitch on his own time; I wanna watch baseball.

  98. Yep, Jackson’s era of 108 is a little high. On the bright side, Wilson and Muller turned in solid debuts.

  99. There’s no way we will need Luke Jackson in the bullpen this season, right? Right?!

    Any day now the Braves will stop crying ‘poverty’ and sign Kimbrel to salvage this disappointing offseason, and Kimbrel will take the last spot previously earmarked for Jackson.

  100. If there’s even an 8-man pen, I don’t think Jackson has a spot on the roster: Vizzy, Minter, O’Day, Venters, Biddle, Winkler, Sobotka, Carle, and Freeman (9) are all ahead of him. Freeman would give you 4 lefties though. But then you have some of the starting pitching prospects and someone like Fried who really doesn’t seem to belong in the rotation or AAA’s rotation. Grant Dayton, if healthy, is also a much, much better option than Jackson. So you’re talking 11 guys ahead of him for 8 spots there.

  101. @160 What is it about people thinking that Fried doesn’t belong in the rotation. I mean really. Of all our prospects excluding Newk, none has performed as well as Fried in his rotation exposure. And when I’ve watched him, he’s been fantastic. Without the blister issues, he’d be as established as Newk. Certainly, none of Soroka, Touissant, Fried have anything left to prove at AAA. I really think that Teheran should be in the bullpen to begin the year. Soroka may need a few starts at AAA to build up his stamina. Bryse is better candidate for the bullpen.

    I also agree with you, Rob, that we have plenty of bullpen candidates and Jackson looks like he should be on a fast train out of town. Even if he was a reliable if not totally effective reliever last year. But this is where we are without making some trades. We will continue to lose functional, if not stellar, players to the waiver wire. Rio Ruiz just hit his 1st HR of the spring. I’m sure McCreery and R. Sanchez will eventually be useful pitchers. Jackson will be another and Parsons looked pretty good out there yesterday (1 IP, 2 K).

    Note: I just read’s article on the “scary” SD lineup with Machado, which had Renfroe, Myers, and Margot in the OF with Jankowski and Cordero mentioned as bench players, but not one mention of Franmil Reyes. If there is an obvious trade candidate out there, he’s the one. That trade, though, may depend upon where Keuchel lands.

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