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Tag:Brandon Beachy
Posted on: February 25, 2012 9:51 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2012 10:23 pm
 

Spring primer: Atlanta Braves

Chipper Jones

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Thanks to the Red Sox collapse, the Braves' September disappearing act seems to have been forgotten by everyone outside of Atlanta and St. Louis. Atlanta led the wild card race by as many as 8 1/2 games in September before conceding the final NL playoff spot to the Cardinals, going 9-18 over the last month of the season, losing their last five and 13 of their last 18. While there were rumors of big changes in the offseason, none of that materialized and the Braves head into 2012 with the same team that appeared to be headed to the playoffs before the final month of the season.

Danny Knobler's camp report: After epic collapse, inaction brings optimism | Likes, dislikes

Major additions: None
Major departures: RHP Derek Lowe, SS Alex Gonzalez, OF Nate McLouth, RHP Scott Linebrink, LHP George Sherrill

Probable lineup
1. Michael Bourn CF
2. Martin Prado LF
3. Chipper Jones 3B
4. Brian McCann C
5. Dan Uggla 2B
6. Freddie Freeman 1B
7. Jason Heyward RF
8. Tyler Pastornicky SS

Probable rotation
1. Tim Hudson
2. Tommy Hanson
3. Jair Jurrjens
4. Brandon Beachy
5. Mike Minor

Hudson's status for the beginning of the season is in doubt, which would make room for right-hander Randall Delgado

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Craig Kimbrel
Set-up: Jonny Venters, Eric O'Flaherty, Kris Medlen

Important bench players
OF Jose Constanza, 1B/OF Eric Hinske, OF Matt Diaz

Prospect to watch
In three starts and two relief appearances, Julio Teheran went 1-1 with a 5.03 ERA and only struck out 10 batters in 19 2/3 innings, while walking eight batters. But it should also be noted he was just 20. Teheran will likely start 2012 back in Triple-A, where he went 15-3 with a 2.55 ERA. The right-hander has four pitches, including a fastball in the mid-90s. He may not be an ace right away, but few pitchers in the minors have his potential.

Fantasy sleeper: Mike Minor
"His strikeout and walk rates showed he has the skills to become a top-of-the-rotation-type pitcher, and with Derek Lowe banished to Cleveland, he suddenly has a rotation spot to refine them. The Braves' decision to clear that spot for Minor this offseason should give the 24-year-old a renewed sense of purpose entering spring training. If his performance during his final nine starts last year, when he posted a 3.83 ERA with more than a strikeout per inning, was a sneak peak at what he can do with a defined role, he'll be a late-round find on Draft Day." -- Scott White [Full Braves team fantasy preview]

Fantasy bounce-back player: Jason Heyward
"He developed numbness in his shoulder in spring training and, in an effort to play through the injury, altered his mechanics. His popout rate was through the roof, which is a clear sign his swing wasn't right. With an offseason of rest and the fresh perspective of new hitting coach Greg Walker, Heyward should be in for a bounce-back season. Expecting other-worldly numbers from him would, of course, not be prudent, but even a return to his rookie form would make him a top-25 outfielder." -- Scott White [Full Braves team fantasy preview]

Optimistic outlook
Everything that went wrong last year -- Uggla's early-season struggles, Heyward's sophomore slump, manager Fredi Gonzalez's overuse of the bullpen -- goes right this year, while the young pitching studs are as advertised. If all that happens, the Braves could win the NL East. Then with their starters and relievers, the Braves would be a tough out in any series.

Pessimistic outlook
Uggla plays the entire season like he did last May (.160/.241/.260 with two home runs), Heyward's 2012 is a repeat of 2011 and Hudson, Hanson and Jurrjens have a large chunk of time on the disabled list with varying injuries. Meanwhile, the rookies the team is counting on to perform -- Pastornicky and Minor -- struggle and the veteran Jones can't hold up for an entire season at 40. There's plenty that can go wrong and with the improvements made by the Marlins, the growth of the Nationals and the Phillies' pitching, the Braves could battle with the Mets for the bottom of the division rather than searching to avenge 2011's collapse.

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Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 5:10 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Atlanta Braves

Elvis Andrus

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The Braves have seemingly always believed in developing talent from within and occasionally supplementing from the outside. It's a formula that's worked for many years and has become a blueprint for most of baseball. However, that doesn't mean they don't make mistakes from time to time, and if you're a Braves fan, you probably already rue the date July 31, 2007, already. On that day, the Braves sent Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay. The Rangers have been to two World Series since the trade and the Braves none.  

Lineup

1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Martin Prado, LF
3. Brian McCann, C
4. Chipper Jones, 3B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Freddie Freeman, 1B
7. Jason Heyward, CF
8. Kelly Johnson, 2B

Starting Rotation

1. Adam Wainwright
2. Tommy Hanson
3. Brandon Beachy
4. Matt Harrison
5. Mike Minor

Bullpen

Closer - Craig Kimbrel
Set up - Neftali Feliz, Jonny Venters, Matt Belisle, Julio Teheran, Charlie Morton
Long - Bruce Chen

Notable Bench Players

Adam LaRoche, Mark DeRosa, Rafael Furcal, Yunel Escobar, Wilson Betemit, Andruw Jones, Jordan Schafer, Tyler Flowers, Brayan Pena and Garrett Jones give this team an acceptable backup at every spot on the diamond and more. 

What's Good?

The depth is incredible -- in the pitching staff and the position players. Even if Wainwright weren't available because of his injury, the team has Chen, Morton or the rookie Teheran to step in, or they could move Feliz to the rotation without even having to look anywhere else for its closer.

What's Not?

Heyward is playing out of position in center -- it was between him and Francoeur, so I went with Heyward. Other than that? Well, Wainwright might still have been injured and the rotation is young, but talented.

Comparison to real 2011

There's no chance this team would have missed the playoffs, like their real-life counterparts did. The rotation is solid (even without Wainwright) and would have given first-year manager Fredi Gonzalez more innings, meaning he may not have run Kimbrel and Venters into the ground. The lineup has enough punch to aid that goal. Does this team win the World Series? Maybe. The rotation isn't a postseason killer -- yet, but there's certainly potential.

Next: Toronto Blue Jays

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 24, 2011 10:47 am
Edited on: September 24, 2011 11:32 am
 

On Deck: Wild cards only races left

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Rain, rain, go away: Friday night's game between the Yankees and Red Sox was rained out and will hopefully be made up on Sunday. The rain is supposed to subside by game time, so let's hope there's baseball in the Bronx on Saturday. Friday's scheduled starters, Freddy Garcia for the Yankees and Jon Lester for the Red Sox, will start on Saturday. Lester is 6-1 with a 2.67 ERA in nine career starts against the Yankees in New York, including 2-0 with a 5.25 ERA in two starts at Yankee Stadium this season. Garcia hasn't won since Aug. 29, going 0-1 with a 10.95 ERA in his last three starts, even though the one game he picked up the L in was the best of those three starts, allowing three runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Blue Jays on Sunday. Red Sox at Yankees, 4:10 p.m. ET

Kyle LohseNow or never: After Friday night's loss to the Cubs and the Braves' victory over the Nationals, St. Louis' elimination number is down to three, meaning any combination of Cardinals losses and Braves wins in the final five games gives Atlanta the wild card. A loss on Saturday could end just about any hope for the Cardinals to finish off their run to the playoffs. Kyle Lohse is charged with keeping those hopes alive. In addition to his team's need for a victory, Lohse is one win shy of matching his career-high for wins, 15 set in 2008. Lohse (14-8, 3.47 ERA) has won his last three decisions and is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA in his last four starts. The Cardinals also welcome back left fielder Matt Holliday, who has missed more than a week with a right hand injury. Cubs at Cardinals, 1:10 p.m. ET

Brandon BeachyJust Beachy: Braves rookie Brandon Beachy is 7-2 on the season, but the team has dropped each of his last three starts. Beachy has 18 strikeouts over his last two starts, but also eight earned runs in just 9 2/3 innings. Beachy beat the Nationals on Aug. 3, allowing four earned runs on seven hits in five innings of a 6-4 Braves victory. Last time out, Washington's Chien-Ming Wang went 6 2/3 innings against the Marlins, his longest outing since 2008. Wang is 3-3 with a 4.31 ERA. Braves at Nationals, 1:05 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 12, 2011 5:40 pm
 

On Deck: Rivera looks for 600th save

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Mariano RiveraOne Mo for 600: Remember when Derek Jeter's last 20 hits were breathlessly followed? It seemed like his every step was chronicled and he was fawned upon for becoming the latest member of the admittedly elite 3,000 hit club. And much of the backlash was about how it was reported that way just because it was a Yankee player. You know, it may have more to do with Jeter's popularity than the uniform. On Sunday, Mariano Rivera recorded his 599th career save and he's now just one save from becoming only the second player to ever get to 600 saves. He's two from tying the career save mark and he's three from holding it outright, unseating Trevor Hoffman. I get that a lot of the difference is about the save stat and its worthiness and its relative youth as an official statistic, but it still seems interesting that more isn't being made of one of the all-time greats getting so close to setting a record like that. Or maybe everyone just assumed he already held the record. Yankees at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET

Roy OswaltHunter PenceFamiliar faces: Philadelphia's Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence will be on familiar ground tonight as both make their first appearances at Minute Maid Park in a non-Astros uniform. Oswalt was traded to Philadelphia last season and Pence this season. Both have stepped up their game in Philadelphia, as Oswalt is 14-9 with a 2.88 ERA in his 19 starts with the Astros, while he was 6-11 with a 3.37 ERA in his last 19 starts with the Astros. Pence was liked in Houston, but in his short time in Philadelphia he's become beloved. In 38 games with the Phillies, he's hitting .320/.393/.551 with eight home runs and 24 RBI . He had 11 homers in 100 games for the Astros, while hitting .308/.356/.471. Houston can only hope neither of those two have the success that another form Astro has had in Houston -- Lance Berkman has hit .480/.519/1.160 with five homers in six games at Minute Maid Park this season and .429/.484/1.036 in eight games total against Houston. It's only fitting that former Phillie Brett Myers is on the hill for Houston. Phillies at Astros, 8:05 p.m. ET

Home sweet home: The Braves are coming off a 2-6 road trip that saw the team lose four games in the Wild Card standings to the Cardinals. The Braves are 44-28 at Turner Field this season, the third-best home record in the National League. Atlanta has nine of its final 15 games at home, while St. Louis plays 10 of its 16 remaining games on the road. The Braves will need another good start from rookie right-hander Brandon Beachy against Florida on Monday. Beachy allowed just two hits and a run in 5 2/3 innings against Philadelphia on Sept. 7, but picked up a no-decision when Atlanta's usually dominant bullpen gave up runs in the eighth and ninth innings of a 3-2 loss. Beachy's 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three starts against the Marlins this season, striking out 24 in 19 1/3 innings, but also walking 10. Marlins at Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: September 3, 2011 1:32 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Jackson heating up for Tigers



By Matt Snyder


Austin Jackson, Tigers. The young center fielder had been an offensive disappointment for much of the Tigers' season, but he started to show signs of life a few weeks ago. Now, he's flat out hot. With a 3-for-5 game in which he hit a home run, and the Tigers won 8-1, Jackson has now put together a huge five-game stretch. In those five games, he's hitting .500 with two doubles, a triple, two homers, four RBI and eight runs scored. His OPS is 1.417 in that stretch. The Tigers lineup looks a lot scarier with him swinging the bat like he can. Just ask the White Sox.

The San Francisco Giants. They went into Friday night's game trailing the Diamondbacks by six games. The D-Backs came in with a nine-game winning streak. And the defending champs came through with exactly the effort they needed. Matt Cain battled through eight innings, despite not having his best command or stuff (he walked four while only striking out three). The offense got a huge effort from July acquisition Carlos Beltran (4-for-4, triple, home run, three RBI). Put it together and mix in an all-around team effort, and you have a 6-2 Giants victory. The deficit is still five games, but there are two games left in the series at San Fran. This thing could be three games by Labor Day. Of course, if the D-Backs take the next two it's a seven-game difference. We'll see. Head-to-head series in the last month are fun.

Kevin Millwood, Rockies. I don't care if it was against the offensively-challenged Padres in the best pitcher's park in the majors, because Millwood was picked up off the scrap heap by Colorado. Thus, his seven shutout innings with eight strikeouts and zero walks in the Rockies' 3-0 win certainly bears mention here.



Andrew Miller, Red Sox. With the Clay Buchholz and Daisuke Matsuzaka injures -- not to mention how unreliable John Lackey has been -- the Red Sox lost a lot of starting pitching depth. So when Miller strung together back-to-back victories (0.77 ERA), there was hope that the former first rounder might be finally emerging. Instead, Friday night was a wakeup call. Miller coughed up five hits, four walks and six earned runs to the Rangers in just 1 1/3 innings. The outing set the tone for a 10-0 loss, as the offense was stymied by Derek Holland, who threw seven shutout innings. Meanwhile, the Yankees won, which means the Red Sox are now back to second place (by a half game).

John Danks, White Sox. The White Sox have a big opportunity this weekend, but didn't start off on the right foot Friday. They entered the three-game series trailing the Tigers by 5 1/2 games. With Justin Verlander pitching Friday, Danks was going to have to bring his A-game and keep it close. Instead, he turned in one of his worst outings of the season. The Tigers dinged him for nine hits and eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings, as the White Sox lost 8-1. The loss essentially makes the final two games of the series must-wins for the White Sox. If they lose both, they'll be 8 1/2 out. Even a split keeps them at 6 1/2 and that's tough to make up in 3 1/2 weeks -- especially when Verlander is going every fifth day for the team they're chasing.

Braves pitching staff/planning. The Braves' staff was spotted a 5-0 lead through three innings Friday, but couldn't hold it. One of the biggest issues may have been the overuse of Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel at the back-end of the bullpen. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez had told reporters he wanted to avoid using either Friday. So that means he was likely holding back from using Scott Linebrink or Eric O'Flaherty before the eighth. After starter Brandon Beachy let the Dodgers creep to within 5-3 in the sixth, Gonzalez needed to dip into his reportedly short-handed bullpen. The result was Arodys Vizcaino allowing four hits, two walks and five earned runs in the seventh -- and an 8-6 loss. The Braves' usual seventh-to-eighth-to-ninth inning bullpen combo (O'Flaherty/Venters/Kimbrel) is the best in baseball, but they've been heavily leaned upon all season. Gonzalez better get them some rest down the stretch, or Friday night's game will be a harbinger for the postseason. He'll need some combination of O'Flaherty, Venters and Kimbrel available in every game in October. Maybe try to get by with Linebrink or the starting pitcher in the seventh and use two of the three studs in the eighth and ninth to keep everyone fresh? It is worth mentioning that Peter Moylan will be back from his rehab assignment soon, so that should help alleviate some of the pressure.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 20, 2011 11:24 am
 

On Deck: Miley debuts, Wakefield tries for 200

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


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MileyTime to debut: Fortunately for Arizona, the Giants have dropped two in a row, so the three-game losing streak the Diamondbacks are on hasn't hurt too much. Still, it's not helping, and rookie Wade Miley will be assigned with a tall task in his debut: defeat Atlanta and Brandon Beachy. The 24-year-old Miley was snagged in the compensation section of the first round back in 2009 and is making his career debut after splitting the season with Double- and Triple-A. Cumulatively, Miley posted a 4.30 ERA in 22 starts, punching out 102 and walking 44. Diamondbacks vs. Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

WakefieldPaulinoStill chasing 200: For those counting, this will be the fifth start for Tim Wakefield in his pursuit of his 200th victory. Wakefield has actually pitched rather strongly over these outings, but nothing's broken his way. While 200 will be on many a person's mind on Saturday, Wakefield has more important things to worry about, such as winning the game. Boston is an half-game behind the Yankees for the division and with New York beating up on Minnesota, the Red Sox need to do the same to the Royals, who will offer up Felipe Paulino. Paulino left Houston an erratic starter for Colorado where he was converted to relief with poor results. The Royals picked him up off the scrap heap, and he's delivered with a 3.76 ERA in 13 starts and one relief apearance. Red Sox vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m. ET

TexasWhite SoxPulling away: The Rangers, fresh off taking 3 of 4 from the Angels, beat Chicago in the series opener on Friday. Chicago is suddenly five games behind first place, losers of three straight, after threatening to move into second place and give Detroit a run for their money mere days ago. Texas, meanwhile, would love to continue driving a stake through the heart of the Angels by keeping up their winning ways while Los Angeles battles the Orioles. John Danks will go up against Alexi Ogando in an intriguing matchup. Rangers vs. White Sox, 7:10 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 14, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 12:42 pm
 

On Deck: Wakefield goes for 200, Uggla for 34

On Deck


By Evan Brunell


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AngelsJaysBEST MATCHUP: Dan Haren and Brett Cecil go head-to-head as the Angels attempt to stay close to first place, slipping to three games behind after Saturday's loss. Toronto, meanwhile, is one game over .500 and would like to stay that way. It will be difficult against Haren, who has a 2.91 ERA on the season. Toronto isn't exactly a patient bunch and Haren has pinpoint control, so it might be a long day for Toronto. Angels hitters may have a long day in store, too. Left-hander Brett Cecil's 4.31 ERA on the season doesn't draw much attention, but he's been far better since returning from the minor leagues on June 30 and has been pitching well his last four starts, throwing 29 innings of a 2.17 ERA. Angels vs. Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. ET

UgglaCHASE FOR 34: At this point in Dan Uggla's hitting streak, every game is appointment-viewing. If the Brave can extend his streak to 34 games, he will be tied for the 14th longest hitting streak in baseball history. Chase Utley, Placido Polanco, Luis Castillo and Jimmy Rollins (all four, coincidentally, were teammates for Philadelphia in spring training) are the only players with longer hitting streaks since the turn of the century, and Rollins tops the list at 36. Matt Garza will try to blank Uggla the first few times around the order while Atlanta counters with Brandon Beachy. Cubs vs. Braves, 1:35 p.m. ET

WakefieldGOING FOR 200: The third time wasn't the charm for Tim Wakefield. Will the fourth be? It's the knuckleballer's fourth straight attempt at reaching 200 career wins. Seattle, with its moribund offense, is a pretty good target. Unfortunately, the Sox's own offense has been compromised by Kevin Youkilis, who has missed three of the last five games, including the first two of the Seattle series. Youk was mired in a slump prior to the injury too, so his absence as a force has been felt for some time. The Mariners counter with rookie Charlie Furbush on the mound. The lefty was acquired from Detroit in a deadline trade and is attempting to covert from relief to the rotation, which has been a bumpy road thus far. Red Sox vs. Mariners, 4:10 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeonBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: July 29, 2011 4:34 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 4:35 pm
 

On Deck: 2 hitting streaks on the line

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


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Emilio BonifacioHitting streak, Part 1:
Emilio Bonifacio heads into tonight's game in Atlanta with a  26-game hitting streak, four games shy of the longest of the season, set by Andre Ethier. Bonifacio is hitting .390/.479/.430 during the streak and not only has 39 hits, but also 17 walks. He was hitting .259 when the streak started and is now hitting .299. Bonifacio has never faced Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy (3-2, 3.58 ERA). Right-hander Clay Hensley (1-2, 2.88) starts for the Marlins. Marlins at Braves, 7:35 p.m. ET

Dustin PedroiaHitting streak, Part 2: Dustin Pedroia an eighth-inning homer to extended his streak in a loss to the Royals on Thursday and has nine homers during his 25-game hitting streak. He's hitting .404/.459//752 during the streak with 19 of his 44 hits going for extra bases. He's walked 12 times and struck out just seven times. Pedroia is 5 for 18 (.278) in his career against White Sox starter Gavin Floyd (8-9, 4.11). Boston starter Tim Wakefield is going for his 200th career victory on Friday. He's 2-1 over his last five starts despite a 7.06 ERA. Red Sox at White Sox, 8:10 p.m. ET

Erik BedardLast start in Seattle?: It won't just be Rays fans and Mariners fans watching Friday's game at Safeco Field closely, scouts and front-office folks will certainly be tuning in or showing up to see how Seattle left-hander Erik Bedard pitches. The 32-year-old left-hander is making what is probably his last start as a Mariner, but tonight's start could determine how much Jack Zduriencik gets in return for Bedard. He missed his last four starts with a sprained left knee. Bedard is 4-6 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 starts this season, including 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA in his last 11 starts. Boston is said to be the most interested in Bedard, along with the Yankees and Tigers. Rays at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com