*Worth noting that I, Ryan , edited the heck out of this Braves Spring Training piece…I’m sure you can see what is Jonathan’s work as it’s written much, much better.
I agreed to give notes from today’s spring training game against the Orioles against my better judgment… I should have gone with my better judgment. I’m just not sure how to watch a spring training game or what to take away from it.
Braves Spring Training Notes: The Good and Bad of Travis d’Arnaud
First at-bat of the spring for d’Arnaud and he hit a no-doubter (congrats to Putter who wins the Spring Training Contest).
However, d’Arnaud had some dicey moments behind the plate while catching Newcomb. Hopefully that was just getting used to new pitchers, but I d’Arnaud about that. (that bad pun was brought to you by Ryan).
Braves Spring Training Notes: Bryce Ball the Real Deal?
Bryce Ball homered… and people are really starting to believe the Braves got a steal in the 24th round and their future DH.
Braves Spring Training Notes: Sean Newcomb and Oldcomb
Newcomb gave up two runs in the first inning, but the runs came via a broken bat infield hit, a passed ball by d’Arnaud, and a wild pitch that could’ve been handled. However, he had a very strong 1-2-3 in the 2nd, striking out the side. Here’s Newk talking about his outing.
Relief Pitching Battle Continues
- Touki: 2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1K
- Weigel: 2 IP 0 R, 1 H, 1K
- Pfeifer: 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 1K
David Lee, who’s the go-to Braves prospect guru in my opinion (and was on our podcast a few weeks back) had this to say about Touki’s outing:
Pumped 94-95 with plus movement. Had feel for all his pitches. Went after hitters. He looked confident.David Lee
However, of all the bullpen candidates, Weigel is definitely standing out right now. His stuff is just pure filth and he has the ability to throw multiple innings.
When I was a kid, I could name the starting 8 of every team in the National League. I can’t do that anymore, but Baltimore is really terra incognita. Other than Rio Ruiz (who had an excellent game, by the way) I don’t think I’d ever heard of any of them. About my only impression is that having a pitcher named Armstrong is a lot better than having a pitcher named Walk. Oh, and I saw the first Wojciechowski since Barney Miller went off the air. For all the pessimism that is sometimes exhibited on Braves Journal, imagine listening to a serious discussion about Chris Davis (I’ve heard of him, but he wasn’t there) and whether he’ll be able to contribute this year “because he’s a crucial part of the team.” It’s like we were still waiting for Mudge to produce. A team that can’t afford to cut its losses is a team that I don’t see how anybody could watch.
The Less than Spectacular Moments
Peter O’Brien got picked off second base. I suppose that hurts his chances to back up Freddie, but I’m not sure how you can stay alert in a Spring Training game. I know I didn’t. Adeiny Hechavarria made an error that wasn’t called an error, but known quantities can make errors in Spring Training, even if they aren’t called. Drew Waters struck out representing the go-ahead run to end the game, proving definitively, I suppose, that he chokes. (Drew, if you’re reading this, that’s a dig at blazon, not you.)
One thing you have to admire about Spring Training, though: no replays. Let the kids play.
Thanks for reading our Braves Spring Training Notes from Game 5. If you enjoyed this piece, check out our piece on the Bottlenecking of the Braves Pitchers at the Minor and Major League Level.