While speaking with MLB.com, Alex Wood was full of confidence and excitement for the 2015 season. Naturally, the conversation turned to Wood's minor injury issues; Namely, the forearm tightness that brought his 2014 season to an early close. The great news here is that Wood has absolutely no worries about it and is raring to go for 2015.
"I see all this stuff, people talking about forearm injury. The thing that people don't think about, the guys that have serious injuries, it's not like the front office comes out saying Tommy John five minutes after they hurt their arm. They're going to say it's a forearm injury," he said. "But you play long enough, you know when something's serious and something's not, when it's actually just a little strain in your forearm and you need two weeks to rest. That's what it was."
"I was never worried about it at all," Wood said. "It's funny seeing all that stuff, when people asked me and talk about it, it was like, 'No. I was 180 innings deep and I just tweaked my forearm a little bit.'"
Meanwhile, Alex Wood also got to talk with the AP, and the topic of conversation here was the Braves chances for 2015, or lack thereof. While most of the team's offseason moves seem to indicate that 2015 (and probably 2016 as well) is going to be a rebuilding year, Wood isn't quite ready to punt on 2015 and is up for the challenge of helping this team turn a few heads in 2015.
"That's the great thing about baseball. You don't have to have to have nine superstars," Wood said. "We're going to play a different brand of baseball. We'll probably play a closer brand of real baseball. I guess I'm kind of old school — I guess it's the coaches I had growing up — but I think we're going to be a team that really does the small things right. Partially, because we're going to have to. But partially, because I think that's the way this team has been put together."
Also, he's totally right about being old-school. This 24-year old grandpa used the word "tomfoolery" in an interview.
As we get closer and closer to the promising days of Spring, that also means that all sorts of sports publications are going to give us their preseason thoughts on what teams have done over the winter. This time, it's USA Today's turn to do so as they've taken a deep look at the Braves, from the major league squad to the prospects to keep an eye on. It's a pretty decent primer if you haven't been paying the most attention this Winter.
So, our friends at Viva El Birdos actually had some interesting news to pass on: Turns out that the Braves initially wanted Carlos Martinez from the Cardinals, and eventually took on Shelby Miller instead since the Cardinals didn't want to let go of Martinez. So, the crew at Viva El Birdos has decided to compare the two pitchers on a "stuff" basis. Something tells me that if one or both of these two develop into great pitchers then this probably won't be the last time we see a comparison of these two pitchers.
If you want to take a trip down memory lane (and we're not talking about goign down the street to the '90s. We're talking about taking a cross-country trip to the 1800s, here.) then this is a great piece of work. CBS Sports' decided to go through the history of the Braves in order to find out what the best and worst particular moments of the franchise's extremely long history were. This ranges from the team's best trade (the John Smoltz trade), best comeback (the '96 NLCS) and the best walk-off (Sid slid), to moments that we probably want to forget (most of the years during the '80s). It's a fun look back at some of the more memorable Braves moments in history, so I'd check it out if I were you.
After a fastball to the face ended his season last September, Giancarlo Stanton is actually still recovering from those injuries. Fortunately for Stanton and the Marlins, it hasn't kept him from putting 100% into his offseason preparations. Part of that offseason prep will include getting used to a new batting helmet with a protective guard on it, which should be similar to what Jason Heyward wore after his encounter with a rogue baseball.
Coveted Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada might be signing with a major league team pretty soon after clearing one of the hurdles that's required for most Cuban players to sign: Getting government permission to do so. Here's more on the situation from SB Nation/Over The Monster's Marc Normandin:
There has been a process in place for Cuban baseball players who want to be eligible to sign in MLB. They needed to establish residency outside of Cuba -- but not in the United States -- and then apply for a specific license from the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to unblock them in MLB's eyes. Things have changed, though, with relations between the United States and Cuba improving in recent months, so the whole process might end up relatively relaxed. So, OFAC has stated that Moncada is good to go from their point of view, and with that the case, MLB has no reason to hold back his free agency any longer.