2017 is still a long way away, but the Braves organizaiton took a big step towards moving into the new stadium on Thursday when they laid the ceremonial first brick at their new home. The same man who laid the first brick at Fulton County Stadium and what eventually became Turner Field also laid the first brick at SunTrust Park, so that was a very nice gesture.
Meanwhile on the field, it's clear that the team is building towards putting a competitive team on the field by the time they move into SunTrust Park, and they're doing so at the expense of the current team. The current team is one that's reminiscent of the '80s, which is to say that they aren't very good. However, one positive is that most of the organization is on board with the rebuild, and understands that this is a neccessary pain to go to in order to earn long-term gain.
Then closer Jason Grilli went down with a season-ending injury at Colorado. The Braves wound up being swept in a four-game series by the lowly Rockies.
With that, general manager John Hart raised the white flag and put everyone with a bit of value on the market. Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson were dealt to the NL East rival New York Mets. Alex Wood, Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan were shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers. In return, the Braves got nothing but prospects and some financial relief.
''We had a real competitive team,'' manager Fredi Gonzales recalled. ''We could have gone out and gotten some more pieces and kind of kept it together. But I really commend the front office for keeping the goal in mind. We've still got to build. That's the goal at the end.''
One of the reasons why the Braves are in this position is because of the deals that they've made during this season and the offseason prior to this season. As a matter of fact, three of those moves made CBS Sports' top 30 deals of the season, with the Shelby Miller/Tyrell Jenkins-for-Jason Heyward/Jordan Walden deal ranking as the second best deal of the season.
Heyward is terrific, but it's hard to imagine one year of him is worth 10 years of Miller and Tyrell Jenkins, the fine pitching prospect that went in the deal (assuming Jenkins becomes a major-leaguer). Miller actually has been excellent this year (2.62 ERA overall, tied for seventh-best in the NL), and his current run of 18 straight winless starts (with a 3.24 ERA in that period) is quite obviously not his fault. The Cardinals draft and develop so well they can afford to take chances like this.
The good news about SunTrust Park is that it's actually ahead of schedule and could be done by November 2016. The same can't be said about the pedestrian bridge that will connect the stadium to parking. It's long been rumored that the bridge won't be completed by the time the stadium opens in April 2017, which would basically make everybody's worst nightmares about traffic in that area come true.
Manny Banuelos has made it one step closer to returning to the big leagues, as the lefty was promoted to Gwinnett as his rehab assignment continues. This means that Banuelos is still on track to return to the big league squad in September.
The leaders in the NL East just keep on rolling. The Mets have now won seven straight games, and they've gotten on this roll thanks to a bit of an offensive explosion. They were down five at one point against the Phillies, but they stormed back and ended up winning the game 9-5. The Mets are now
The White Sox picked up a 4-2 victory over the Mariners last night in a ho-hum affair against two teams who aren't really going anywhere this season. Well, there was one thing that wasn't ho-hum about this game:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Some phenomenal pics from tonight's <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WhiteSox?src=hash">#WhiteSox</a> game... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Collar?src=hash">#Collar</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Untucked?src=hash">#Untucked</a> <a href="http://t.co/Jo8BhNjNMN">pic.twitter.com/Jo8BhNjNMN</a></p>— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) <a href="https://twitter.com/EricStangel/status/637096732686479361">August 28, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Those couldn't be any more '70s if they tried, and it's a good thing that after last night, they'll be staying in the '70s. With that being said, the guys over at South Side Sox are still trying to process exactly what happened with those uniforms.