Atlanta Braves Spring Training: Notes From Games 3 and 4

After 4 games into the Atlanta Braves Spring Training, the team is 2-2 and as a fan, you should not care in the slightest. Let’s be clear on the purpose of practice games. They’re practice.

In practice, scores don’t matter. However, in practice, players should be working on making strengths stronger and weaknesses less weak. If you haven’t caught on yet, we don’t really talk about the scores when re-capping these games, because it just doesn’t matter. Now, let’s get to what does matter.

Braves Spring Training Notes: Are Grant Dayton and Chad Sobotka Playing Themselves off the 40-man?

In a piece I wrote a few days back called Braves 40-Man Roster Faces Difficult Decisions, Grant Dayton and Chad Sobotka seemed like the first DFA candidates should the Braves need 40-man roster spots for players like Felix Hernandez, Charlie Culberson, and Josh Tomlin. Since then, they’ve not helped their situations. While Sobotka found great success in his first outing, striking out 3 in 1 inning, his 2nd outing didn’t go well at all as he only pitched 0.2 innings, walking 3 and giving up 1 run. The problem has never been the stuff, but the walks, and now he’s got 4 of them in 1.2 innings pitched.

Grant Dayton escaped his first outing with no damage, but did give up 2 hits and 1 walk. His 2nd outing wasn’t so kind as he gave up 2 runs on 2 hits, and in 2 innings, he’s now given up 4 hits, 1 walk, and 2 runs.

Braves Spring Training Notes: Shea Langeliers Impresses…Again

I completely forgot that Langeliers broke his hamate bone his last year in college, which is the bone that zaps power out of a swing, and sometimes it never comes back. Well, Langeliers wants y’all to know he’s just fine, has a cannon for an arm, is a good receiver, and can still hit the bejesus out of the ball. I’m getting excited…it might be the spring training in me, but I think this guy’s got a good shot to stick behind the dish for a long time.

Mike Foltynewicz Impresses….Himself

Folty has been a Jekyll and Hyde pitcher and many were worried that he might not ever recover after the postseason debacle that was only partly his fault. On the contrary, he’s feeling healthy and confident.

Kyle Wright Drawing Rave Reviews from Coaches

Before we get started on Kyle Wright, let me remind you what Snowshine said about him in his prospect writeup:

Made real progress as the season went on in turning his 4 potentially plus pitches into actual plus pitches.

Snowshine

Wright pitched yesterday and was really good according to the internet, throwing 2 innings of shutout baseball and only allowing 1 hit (0 walks). However the real story is in the piece by Gabe Burns where his pitching coaches, Mike Soroka, and Tyler Flowers think that the coming out party for Kyle Wright is going to happen in 2020.

Chris Nunn was SCARY…in a Good Way

Chris Nunn, Pitching Ninja’s Twitter sensation that can hit triple digits, threw some absolute darts yesterday. While there was no gun, the radio guys Jim Powell and former closer Gregg Olson, said he was sitting high 90s. He hit a guy, walked a guy, gave up a hit, and escaped by striking out the side in glorious fashion. He’s a sleeper for the bullpen, but isn’t going to anywhere but AAA if he doesn’t limit baserunners.

Thanks for Reading on Braves Spring Training Games 3 & 4. If you enjoyed this piece, check out our 2019 Atlanta Braves Player Review on Mike Foltynewicz.

Long Live Braves Journal!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

47 thoughts on “Atlanta Braves Spring Training: Notes From Games 3 and 4”

  1. JC’d

    Blazon says:
    Do we know anything more about a) Freddie’s elbow?

    b) Kelsey Wingert’s quitting/not being renewed/fired?

    It is worrying that in the space of a few days on the PR front we have her absence plus the current fiasco that is the new MiLB Park and the way it is being run/administered and the people who are manning it.

    Kelsey first. You couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect candidate to be the tv face of the Braves. Intros, mid game interviews, fun and games after a home win. Always with that lovely smile, laugh, she knew her baseball, a quick learner. Everyone seemed to really like her, for good reason. She arrived as an unknown, won us over, but now has ‘left’. Why? Judging by first impressions her successor from Chicago has about as much chance to meet that standard as I do. And I’m good – only the lack of most teeth and a lovely mop of blond hair hold me back.

    Seriously. It has to be a real concern that we have had these two major PR disasters in the first week or two of the new season. Who is running the logistic and PR side of the Braves. Who didn’t stand up against that awful new name for our home park which I for one refuse to use? These things are IMPORTANT. They create an image in the public arena. They are part of our brand, what should be the friendly and smart face of our club

    Look homeward Angel
    tell us what you see.

    To repeat, any news of Freddie?

  2. thanks Ryan

    Here’s my guess on Kelsey. That she become very well known and admired throughout sports tv land as the season went on. If she has an agent he would have been fielding some calls with particular reference to finding out the terms of her contract here.

    One or more offers were made, the best one she showed the Braves and asked them to match it. End of story. Just my guess.

  3. Severino.

    As Alex has said, cruel. For him, the heck with the Yankees.

    So let’s do a trade. One, as is, for two. Newcombe, Toussaint.

    BTW, how old is he? Big contract too, likely. I’ll leave the details to you guys.

  4. I’ve long thought that Wright just needs to be shown confidence in, told he has the 5th starter job and just left alone.

  5. @blazon

    Unfortunately, this is incorrect. She was fired in December.

    I keep my sources close to my chest but Rob can verify that I’m speaking truth.

  6. DOB insinuated that someone with influence in the organization didn’t like the job she did. That could be interpreted as either:

    1) she didn’t do a good job, or
    2) someone didn’t like the access and camaraderie she had with the team.

    I think #2 is more likely which sadly doesn’t surprise me.

  7. 4—Hard to say. I don’t think he necessarily needs to be given the 5th-starter job, but it would be nice to stop shuttling him back and forth. He was a real weapon as a relief arm at VU, and I think he could be the same if given a consistent role for Atlanta. Would not be the first successful starter to begin as a successful reliever.

    I realize the glut of pitching makes it very difficult to just give him a spot in either the rotation or the ‘pen. What’s best for both Kyle and the Braves may be a trade to a team with more pitching need in exchange for something of which the Braves don’t have a surplus.

    Smart kid and coach’s son. My bet is on him to get it figured out.

  8. I intentionally left Freeman’s situation off of this list as it could lead into conversation that I would rather stay away from in regards to his injury and other matters that could get ugly.

  9. I really hope that some of the young guys are given a chance to make the team out of spring training. I would rather see Wright, Wilson or Tucker Davidson get the last two rotation spots IF they are truly better than Felix Hernandez. I just don’t think he has anything left in the tank. I would LOVE to see Patrick Weigel make the team. He has nothing left to prove in the minors. He needs to make the team instead of Tomlin, unless he has a disastrous spring. I don’t think Tomlin is awful or anything, but the Braves have invested so much in these young pitchers, it’s time to use them.

  10. @10 I agree. Tomlin had a role here last year but I also think we need to use one of the young guys instead. Same for Felix… Unless he is lock down in Florida, I would much rather see Wright or Wilson get the spot in the rotation or on the roster.

  11. @10
    I agree. The catch-22 of a rebuild is when a team is finally rebuilt, they don’t have the luxury to have long leashes on players, especially starting pitchers who have the biggest impact on a W/L. I hope one of the pitchers like Wright can solidify a spot quickly.

  12. @7

    As it would seem from what one saw every day to be pretty impossible to say she didn’t do a good job then your second hypothesis makes more sense. Still, how sad. Thanks.

  13. @9

    Ryan..would like to suggest a house standard re ‘sources’ and what one has learned from them that can be passed on to the membership…

    not who the source is, of course, understood…

    But what did you learn from him? If that is also not disclosed then what’s the point of the post? And, in that event, if you also throw in a tasty detail of what it might be about but you cannot tell more then my logic says it shouldn’t be there in the first place, kill it.

    Thanks for your help re Kelsey. If you find out more please let us know!

  14. Champions League soccer today, Real Madrid hosting Manchester City, 3pm, streamed on B/R Sports. Ideal for any cheapskates, just $2.99 for a single game purchase. Replayed this evening.

  15. I shouldn’t be, but that really disheartens me that Wingert was fired. She was a ray of sunshine on the TV screen no matter what the game outcome was.

    At least it’s not what I was actually fearing, though: Sinclair broadcasting has a negative reputation for how they change the broadcast styles and teams of sports networks they own. I figured Wingert didn’t jive with one of their henchmen.

  16. The problem is that the info that Ryan is getting is from a reliable source but, at the end of the day, it’s conjecture and unconfirmed.

    The person said that she was fired in December and said what she was fired for. It’s been all but confirmed she was fired in December, so I believe the next part too. If you put your thinking cap on, you can probably figure out what you’re not supposed to do when you’re that close to the team on a regular basis. Whatever your mind goes to (lots of options, to be fair), you can probably see that it’s possible Kelsey broke a golden rule.

    I’m not trying to be some internet tool that’s saying, “I know something y’all don’t know. Nan-ner, nan-ner,” but Ryan has some cool sources, and I don’t want to piss anyone off. One of his sources was a close, close family member of a key member of the production staff, and that was a dynamite source when Ryan had access to that person. Ryan just has that trustworthy face, I guess.

  17. If it was Sinclair she worked for then all is understandable, they are a shit outfit.

    I totally share your views on her and what she brought to every game.

  18. I’m trying hard to guess what would be ‘the golden rule’ for a tv host. Best i can come up with might be a stolen weekend with Ozzie in Cancun. After which he went 0 for 13. Or catching the boss flagrante delicto with the lady who opens the mail. Whatever, I would have pronounced her ‘not guilty’. If asked.

  19. Rob

    From what you say there would be a good chance then that Ryan could learn something relatively non sensational…whatever happened at the new Park, are they even aware of it ‘back home; are they going to do something about it, why was it allowed to happen in the first place and totally spoil the chance to have a special day for the travelling fans?

  20. I’d rather not have hard & fast rules about what people can’t pass along on the blog. After all, that’s how we got the Teixt!

    I, uh, have drawn a conclusion about what the golden rule might be and I’m not gonna spell it out, but shoot.

  21. I just knew Bryce Ball would hit an early home run in spring training. I totally forgot he had gotten a spring training invitation when I made my list…when I thought about him it was too late. Darn it.

    Someone picked Shea Langeliers #2…I didn’t know if they won or not…I couldn’t figure out the rules.

  22. Putter is indeed the winner… Well judged! A shiny new Braves Journal t-shirt. Ryan will contact you for contact info….

  23. @blazon

    There will be no rule that I’ll succumb to that you or anyone will make, and the point of the post was to pass along information that I had and to let the talk die that it was a mutual parting, or that she left for something better. However, I’ll continue to live by my own moral code. There was a reason passed to me, of which I’ll not repeat on any public platform because it cannot be verified. The firing can as it’s been made public by DOB.

  24. I’m just guessing that her conduct did not meet an expected level of professionalism with the team or with players at every hour of the day, including after hours, and it was noticed by someone higher up the chain.
    It could have been something as mundane as getting tossed/drunk on more than one occasion, or it could imaginably be something more. Maybe she is or was dating someone on the team.
    Glad Ryan is clearing up the rules thing, because y’all can’t make anyone cough up sensitive info that could compromise a source’s identity or trust. You can remove posts, but what’s the fun in that?? ;-)

  25. I was thinking she didn’t hustle to first on a ball that wound up hitting the top of the wall and not going out….

  26. I hope Bryce Ball goes off in Spring Training, then the same at AA, and becomes one of our most tradeable assets for the deadline. You couldn’t ask anymore from him.

  27. The trouble with first prospects is they are very hard to trade as no one values them very high on the trade market. The Giants would love to trade Brandon Belt, the Mets would love to trade Dom Smith, the Yankees can only wish they could have gotten something for Greg Bird. I’d love it if Ball can hit the cover off everything, but I’d love it even more if he could demonstrate the ability to play a passable LF (or even 3B). But he’s played 1B since high school.

    On a completely separate note I’m thoroughly enjoying Cool Town by Grace Elizabeth Hale, a book about Athens in the late ’70s and ’80s. Naturally, Ububba gets a few mentions.

  28. @ 25 and 28

    The word I used was ‘standards’, not rules.

    A stronger pen but one offering greater flexibility and interpretation.

  29. The lack of positional flexibility is certainly a challenge, and they’re undoubtedly worth less than prospects higher on the defensive spectrum, but there’s still a market for them. Could we deal Bryce Ball for a rental reliever at the deadline? Probably.

  30. I think Chief might be right that the Braves give the spot to Wright and stop with the yo-yo. Might be some growing pains but I don’t think he has much left to prove at Gwinnett.

  31. When they announced Wingert was let go without an explanation I immediately thought she might have gotten too “chummy” with a player.

  32. @41, My thinking is that either he’s good enough to be a MLB 5th starter, and if not, he’s a AAAA player anyway and you should probably trade him, if so.

    My long contention is that MOST, MOST ‘prospects’ are only useful in that they are ‘goods’ to be exchanged for actual proven MLB players. Obviously, your top say, 3 prospects in most orgs are more than that, but really below that line (maybe the line goes to 5 in good orgs), I think history shows that you’re better off using them toward known commodities.

    @34 Fireable

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