There's been a lot of talk about how Kevin Seitzer is trying his best to lay hands on B.J. Upton so that he can somehow get Bad Upton out of his boondoggle so that people like us can stop calling him Bad Upton. However, there's another guy who needs a bit of help after he spent most of 2013 scuffling at the plate. That man is Chris Johnson, and the BABIP God is hard at work trying to rekindle some of the magic that brought us to call him the BABIP God back in 2013. From Cory McCartney's article:
[His] drop in plate discipline last season resulted in the highest strikeout rate of his five full seasons in the majors at 26.0 -- he fanned 159 times in 611 plate appearances -- and with 23 walks he had a 3.8 rate, the lowest of his career.
"I think I just tried to do too much [last year]," Johnson said. "I think I was really worried about forcing my numbers back to where they were in 2013. Right now, I'm just focused on the process. I'm focused on getting my swing right, getting my path right and working on this new approach that Seitzer has us working on right now."
Today we've got a look at the Braves from a Philadelphia point of view. This isn't too different from all of the other preview articles on the Braves that you'll read (except for ours, which will all be super-awesome and super-special. I guarantee it.), but it does have 2 highlights: 1) It describes the duo of Julio Teheran and Shelby Miller as "exciting" and 2) It has the Braves finishing 4th. I'll give you a wild guess as to who Philly.com figures is going to finish last, though.
In his latest mailbag, Mark Bowman answered a question from a fan in Utah who was wondering if the Braves were going after Yoan Moncada. While Bowman confirmed that the Braves had shown interest in the Cuban prospect (and really, who wouldn't be interested?), he also said that it would come down to money, which means that the Braves probably aren't going to be making a run for Moncada.
In other words, if a club gives Moncada a $40 million signing bonus, the total cost would essentially be $80 million. This is why many of the industry experts believe he will end up with either the Yankees or Dodgers, a pair of teams that have the financial means to incur this risk on the unproven 19-year-old phenom.
The Crime Dog is back! The former Braves All-Star World Series Champion infielder from the '90s has come back to the organization, where he'll be attending Spring Training and working as a scout during the regular season. The Braves also brought back Greg Walker as a special assistant, just months after they fired him as the hitting coach. But who cares about that last sentence; Here's Fred McGriff trying to sell you a Tom Emanski tape while wearing a hat that's trying its best to fall off!
In case you missed it, we've kicked off the FaveBrave voting for 2015, and voting will continue for the next couple of days. Right now, Freddie Freeman is leading the way with 40% of the vote, while Andrelton Simmons has 23% of the vote. Meanwhile, B.J. Upton has 3% of the vote. 3% of you are masochists.
It's official! The news may have come a bit late, but I guess it's better than never for the career leader in Home Runs: Barry Bonds has been inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame! Of course he probably won't be getting into the Cooperstown Hall of Fame for a long while yet, but Barry Bonds is still a beloved figure out in the Bay, which means that this news isn't too surprising.
Jon Jay and the St. Louis Cardinals came to an agreement yesterday in order to avoid an arbitration hearing. The soon-to-be 30-year old outfielder will be a Cardinal for the next 2 years, earning $10.9 MM over those 2 years. Jay hit .303/.372/.378 with .336 wOBA, 3 HRs, and 115 wRC+ last season for St. Louis.