Braves Spring Training: Notes from Games 13-16

Courtesy of @680TheFan

It’s only been 3 days since our last Braves Spring Training Notes, but 4 games have passed since then as the Braves played a split-squad game yesterday. Battles for positions are getting heated and are being narrowed down by performance or lack thereof.

Braves Spring Training Notes: Starting Pitching

Sean Newcomb

Newk pitched in Sunday’s game and looked great once again, throwing 4 innings of O run, 3 hit baseball with 2 walks and 4Ks. Here’s Newk himself talking about his Spring:

Also, Sean’s father follows me and this is what he said about Sean’s offseason:

Felix Hernandez

Not to be outdueled, King Felix threw on Monday, going 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 6 hits, 2 walks, while striking out 6.

And this is downright filthy.

Mike Soroka

After Newk and Felix threw back to back days of good baseball, Mike Soroka had to remind those 2 who the ace on this team is as he went 4 innings of 1 hit baseball, walking 3 and striking out 2.

And if you really want to be impressed, listen to Soroka talk like he’s been pitching for 20 years. Interview conducted by @680theFan:

Braves Spring Training Notes: Relief Pitching

  • Will Smith– threw 1.1 inning on Sunday, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2K
  • Chris Rusin-threw 1 inning on Sunday and 1 on Tuesday, 0 runs and 1 K each outing. Seems telling that he got 2 outings in close proximity to another.
  • Patrick Weigel– threw 1 inning on Sunday, 0 runs, 1K. Still eggs on the ERA.
  • Josh Tomlin– Very Tomlin-esque outing on Sunday, 0.2 innings, 2 hits, 1 run.
  • Touki Toussaint– Piggybacked on Felix on Monday, threw 4 innings of 1 run baseball, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk and striking out 3. He looks good. He looks fixed.
  • Mark Melancon– Had a multi-inning outing on Tuesday, throwing 2 innings of shutout baseball, allowing 2 hits to go along with 2 Ks.
  • Chris Martin– In my opinion, the best reliever the Braves have, went 1 inning on Tuesday, striking out 2, and still carrying an unblemished ERA.
  • Luke Jackson– Still doing what Luke does and that is allowing baserunners and putting eggs on the scoreboard by striking out everyone. He also has an unblemished ERA.
  • Shane Greene– Would the Braves really consider cutting bait with Greene by trading him and/or just releasing him and paying him 1.5MM to walk? He gave up another run in a 1 inning outing via the long ball.
  • Grant Dayton– Dayton’s spring keeps getting worse, as he went 1.1 innings on Tuesday, giving up 4 runs, pushing his ERA to 12.71
  • Phil Pfeifer– His ERA is unblemished no more, as he allowed a run in 1.1 innings of work on Tuesday, and ERA ballooned all the way up to 1.23.
  • Tucker Davidson– He’s walked 4, hit one, and given up 5 hits, yet Tucker has a 1.42 ERA. Had a clean inning on Tuesday and reports on his stuff were good.

Braves Spring Training Notes: Hitters

Cristian Pache

If you haven’t been paying attention, Cristian Pache is a man on a mission and the word “man” shouldn’t be used lightly as he’s a 6’2, 215 pound beast now. Here’s Pache destroying a baseball on Tuesday and pushing his OPS to 863 OPS on the spring.

Austin Riley

Austin Riley continues to hit, going 2-4, 1 walk, 1 double over the course of these games. OPS now a cool 1.009. What a bum.

Drew Waters

Drew Waters is doing something extraordinary, but not good extraordinary, bad extraordinary. Between strike 3 batflips and dropping F-bombs after called strike 3’s, Waters has now struck out in 2/3 of his Spring Training at-bats. I still believe in the talent, but the separation between he and Pache as prospects is getting larger. Was Keith Law right?

Thanks for reading Braves Spring Training Notes for games 13-16! If you enjoyed this piece, you may also enjoy our piece on Braves Minor League Options.

Long Live Braves Journal!

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

73 thoughts on “Braves Spring Training: Notes from Games 13-16”

  1. Alright. Imagine you were in charge of locating an alternative ballpark for the Braves. Where would it be?

  2. Touki might be earning a spot in the pen.

    If the season started today, this would be my bullpen: Smith, Melancon, Greene, Martin, O’Day, Jackson, Pfeifer, Wright. I’d 60-day DL Walker and Hamels, and DFA Dayton. Sobotka would be my next DFA. Minter would be the next trade bait or DFA candidate.

    Rotation: Soroka, Fried, Folty, Felix, and Newcomb. When Hamels returns, I’d trade Felix unless he’s pitching like the Felix of old. My fear is that he’ll basically be Jhoulys Chacin, and we make a Chacin for McCreery-type trade. But if Felix is pitching well, I’d send Newcomb to the pen. Newcomb has earned a spot in the rotation, so if Felix were to somehow beat out Newcomb in that scenario, then we have a 97-100-win team. No doubt.

    I’d love to trade Greene to open a spot in the pen for Touki. In my scenario, Touki is on the outside looking in. We have a ton of arms. This is fun.

  3. North Port.

    I’m ready for games that matter. As Job let God be God, I’ll let AA and his gang make the roster calls.

  4. At this point, I’d rely entirely on the scouts. If Greene is just having a cold start like Acuna, let it ride. If there’s something off, I’d think about extended spring training.

  5. Reading the tea leaves, Braves are going to be willing to open a few 40-man spots as I think the LH battle in the bullpen is down to Rusin and Matzek. I don’t think there’s any way Braves open the season with 1 left out of 8.

  6. Dude, it’s a Yarn. Yarns are the new GIFs. And since the horrible, big, bad site admin got rid of the ability to post images, I’m just working with what I got. :)

  7. They’re giving Rusin plenty of opportunity. And 12 K, 0 B in 8.2 IP is a great way to stay in the conversation. Do you think they’re going to give a spot to a 33-year old journeyman?

  8. No more games, I’ma change what you call rage
    Tear this CoolToday roof off like two dogs caged
    Phil was playin’ in the beginning, the mood all changed
    He’s been chewed up and spit out and booed off stage

    All the pain inside amplified by the
    Fact that Phil can’t get by with his nine-to-
    Five and he can’t provide the right type of life for his family
    ‘Cause man, these postgame buffets don’t buy diapers
    And there’s no movie, there’s no Phil Pfeifer, this is his life
    And these times are so hard, and it’s gettin’ even harder
    Tryna mix heat and off-speed, plus teeter-totter
    Caught up between bein’ a southpaw and a prima donna

  9. Rob, you’ve been trying to make fetch happen with Yarn for years and I don’t think it’s happening…

  10. I would be perfectly happy with letting Luke Jackson go. With a 3 batter minimum rule he is guaranteed to always pitch to at least 3 batters in an inning, even if he comes in with 2 outs and the bases loaded.

  11. Well, it feels like it’s down to a 33 y/o journeyman who’s got a revamped arsenal, or a 29 y/o that has battled performance anxiety over the past 3 year after being a legit top prospect and good pitcher for the Rockies 6 years ago.

  12. Death, taxes, and the bullpen in June won’t be the same as the bullpen on Opening Day.

  13. …to say nothing of the fixture list. Germans were told yesterday by Merkle to expect two thirds of them may contract it. Someone at our end needs to start contingency planning. Biggest priority, surely, catchers – no pun intended.

  14. I need to correct my statement at 17. Luke Jackson is not guaranteed to pitch to 3 batters. If he comes on in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and 2 outs and we are winning by 1 run, he’ll only pitch to 2 batters. Also, he won’t be charged with a loss and his ERA may not be impacted. Please forgive my oversight.

  15. Governor of Georgia is taking coronavirus pandemic seriously. Just advised citizens to wash their hands like they touched a University of Florida tee shirt.

  16. @24, otherwise known as the “Villarreal corollary.”

    Varsity doin’ work today!

  17. I can live with no fans in stands for a while, but delaying the season, please no. We need baseball.

  18. I feel like postponing the start of the season would cause more issues with traveling and what not, but cash is king and they may postpone the season to avoid refunding tickets.

  19. The NBA is suspending its season. Look, I can put up with a lot of indignities – if the only way to listen to the Braves was to listen a radio feed narrated by the Nats play by play guys, I’d keep a stiff upper lip – but if they take baseball away from me, I don’t know what I’ll do. What’s the point of even having a new year if you’re not going to play baseball?

  20. Seriously, Braves Journal is the go-to spot for Ron Jeremy Mexican Lesbians. I’m glad I’m not the only one to recognize it, galezl3.

  21. I believe it is likely that they will start the season but without spectators. The revenue from the tv deals (other than the Braves…) should make sure of that. More people will probably watch anyway, since there won’t be too much to do if what’s happening here in Europe right now is any indication of what will happen in the States. In Switzerland, restaurants, cinemas, fitness studios are all closing down. As is the case in many other European countries.
    I’m flying out to Sweden now, which may be one of the last flights I’ll be able to take for a few weeks.
    Go Braves!

  22. I don’t think no fans is the end of the world. I do feel sorry for the Atlanta residents who had YouTube TV and now lost Fox Sports. And that’s a lot of people throughout baseball. If you have no access to the game as a fan, your cable provider dropped FS, and you’re blacked out from mlb.TV, then that just sucks. I think people ought not get married to their streaming provider nowadays, though.

    But if the NBA suspended their season because of the concern that 12-14 in the locker room at one time was a hazard, how will MLB look at 25 guys being together? The logic would suggest that MLB might have to follow suit.

  23. This is a nice interview with Donaldson. He’s very much on message, and his message is exactly as gracious as Anthopoulos’s was: he knows it’s a business, he tried to go into the offseason with no expectations of what any team would do, he’s happy where he wound up, feels nothing but gratefulness for playing in Atlanta, playing with McCann and Freeman, getting to mentor Riley. DOB tries to push him a little bit but he won’t say a bitter word.

    Good luck to the guy. Hope we beat the Twins in the World Series.

  24. SEC and AAC tournaments cancelled. MLS suspended 30 days. I think the sports world is going to be shutting down for a little while. How long that “little while” is, who knows…

  25. In my opinion, moving baseball back a month and having playoffs indoors is best case scenario as of now and I don’t want to even consider what could be worst case.

  26. I believe most who post here are 30 and up (emphasis on up), so do me a favor and be safe even if you don’t think this virus is a big deal.

    Sucks about the season possibly being suspended or shortened, though ( but I agree with it if they do it).

  27. Doc friend of mine thinks that we are looking at 6 months of a worldwide epidemic.

    Other notes from his mouth:
    •Far more widespread than we know
    •Stop Dining out
    •Spend the $ to order groceries for pickup
    •Order through Amazon, but wait 3
    days to open packages
    •No, this isn’t political

  28. Stay safe, everyone. Things are bad here in Seattle and it’s sadly going to get worse. Stock up on what you need, wash your hands, and pick up some reading or video game habits to dull the pain of waiting even longer for baseball.

  29. If you are in area where it has not hit yet be ready, peoples behavior is a bit extreme.

  30. So how does this effect the positional battles? I can’t see Culberson opening the year in Atl now and I’m not so sure about King Felix.

  31. The only thing I can compare this to in my 31 years is 9/11 and the days thereafter.

    Manfred wouldn’t suspend the Astros so the baseball gods summoned the coronavirus.

  32. I was in Boston the day they issued a citywide shelter in place order while they tried to catch the Boston Marathon bomber. That was eerie — streets empty, business dead, for a full day. Literally, not kidding, the only business that did well was Dunkin’ Donuts, because, well, it’s Boston, and most of the people who were out and about were police.

    But that was just one day. Never been through anything like this.

  33. Guys and gals, as the “Chief Moderator” here, I can say that while we’ve had content nearly every dadgum day this offseason, with the news of today and the cancellation of everything that seems newsworthy, I’m at the mercy of the regular Braves Journalers.

    I’m giving free range to entertain us. Whether you’ve ever written here, or have just been lurking, we need something that takes our mind off of the epidemic that’s rocking our world combined with the lack of sports that’ll leave us with little to discuss.

    Email me at cothrjr at gmail dot com if you’re interested in filling in the gaps until baseball begins.

  34. I might take you up on that, Ryan C., I have a personal braves topic ( nothing statistical) that might be fun to reminisce about. I’ll have to make an outline and see if I have enough to go with.

  35. I wonder if they will shorten the season or play later. Though if this lingers and more games are postponed beyond 2 weeks, it would probably be shortened.

  36. In times of high anxiety I like to listen to Gang of Four, the most anxiety-ridden band in the world (and one of the best).

    (RIP Andy Gill)

  37. Sorry to hear that it has hit the US now as well. Stay safe, and let’s all meet for a Braves game when this is all over.

  38. Topics for pieces now that baseball is on hold:

    •Favorite Band of All-Time
    •Favorite Movie of All-Time
    •Most Embarrassing Moment of My Life

    We could make it an entire series and whoever wants to participate can send me their piece(s).

    Who would enjoy this?

  39. Actually, if I recall correctly, my comment when Citi Field opened was that the official team motto was changing to, “Urine the big leagues now!” as an homage to the late, much lamented Shea. The Marlins on the other hand…

  40. I don’t really have an opinion on the tenor of the posts, but I hope we can still talk about baseball. There’s so much Braves history to talk about. It’s the oldest franchise in sports, after all.

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