There's an old cliche that says that 'The third time is the charm,' and apparently both the Braves and Kelly Johnson appear to subscribe to that line of thinking. There are rumblings that the two parties could end up connecting once again, with the AJC's Dave O'Brien saying that there's a "better than 50/50 chance" that Kelly Johnson will be rejoining the Braves again. KJ played 62 games with the Braves last year and hit .275/.321/.451 with 9 HRs and 111 wRC+ during that time, making him one of the lone "bright spots" on offense for the Braves last season.
Ender Inciarte will more-than-likely be an everyday outfielder for the Braves in 2016, if only because he's arguably the most talented major league-ready outfielder that the team currently has. However, if you look at Inciarte's platoon splits at the plate, one thing is clear: He does well against RHPs but struggles mightily against LHPs. He'll still get plenty of playing time due to his glove, but it's definitely something to keep an eye on going forward.
So far in his two-year MLB career, Inciarte has seen drastically different results depending on the handedness of the pitcher. Against righties (719 plate appearances), he is a .309/.345/.421 hitter. Conversely, against lefties (289 plate appearances) he is a .250/.289/.299 hitter.
Essentially, Inciarte has been as effective an offensive player as Martin Prado against righties, while turning into a Mickey O'Neil against lefties. (Yes, Mickey O'Neil was a real baseball player, and interestingly enough he also played for the Braves.)
The good news is that there are a lot more right-handed pitchers than left-handed ones. The bad news is that no one wants to have a Mickey O'Neil type of hitter taking up plate appearances — even if they only come around 28-29 percent of the time.
This should be pretty obvious, but yeah: The Braves probably aren't going to get any Hall of Fame representatives this season. With that being said, we shouldn't be all that bummed, since the past two years have been pretty good for our team in that regard. Meanwhile, former Braves such as Fred McGriff, Gary Sheffield, and Billy Wagner will be staying on the ballot, so keep an eye on that. Also, I'd like to thank the crew over at Tomahawk Take for reminding me and everybody who reads their articles that Garret Anderson once received a Hall of Fame Vote.
This evening at 6 PM EST, the Baseball Hall of Fame will reveal its election results, and we'll find out who will be entering Cooperstown later this summer as a certified living baseball legend. The crew at CBS Sports came up with 10 interesting storylines to keep an eye on, which include angles such as Ken Griffey Jr.'s vote percentage (he's getting in -- it's just a matter of whether or not he'll get a Tom Seaver-esque percentage of the vote), if anybody will be joining him, if the duo of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will make any traction on the ballot, and if an already-cluttered ballot will begin to clear soon. It'll be an interesting evening, that's for sure.
The New York Yankees stole the headlines recently when they picked up Aroldis Chapman from the Reds, and turned what was an already strong bullpen into arguably one of the best in all of baseball. However, everyone's favorite baseball villains had a goal this offseason of adding better starting pitching to their rotation, and so far, they've failed miserably. So, the crew over at Pinstripe Alley is asking the obvious question -- What gives?
Cashman would rather keep his top young talent and deal one or more of his veterans, which is why he's shopped Brett Gardner, Andrew Miller and Ivan Nova around. Nova's value is close to nil - telling the world you need starting pitching and then trying to trade a starting pitcher isn't much of a sales pitch. Miller's is higher, if the returns the Padres and Phillies received for Craig Kimbrel and Ken Giles are any indication, but Cashman's yet to receive an offer that meets his high asking price. The only close-to-MLB-ready pitcher involved in either deal was Vincent Velasquez, who went from Houston to Philly for Giles, and some scouts view him as a future reliever. It's very hard to see the Yankees getting someone they can slot in near the top of their rotation for Miller. He was among the closers in the game last year but he's still that - a closer - which means he's limited to 70 innings or so. Trading him for anything less, like prospect depth, would make the Chapman deal an even harder sell on the public relations front, since the end that the means are supposed to justify would no longer be a historically stacked pen.