The Braves have made it well-known that they’re looking to upgrade their starting pitching for the 2017 campaign. Braves beat writer Mark Bowman reported on Twitter that the Braves will be looking into pursuing knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Dickey’s spent the last four seasons with the Blue Jays and finished 2016 with an ERA of 4.46 and a FIP of 5.03 over 29 starts. Considering those stats and his age, he’ll probably come pretty cheap should the Braves decide to go after him.
As far as both development and competition were concerned, the Braves had an excellent year at the minor league level. While winning minor league games may not necessarily translate into major league success, the Braves are confident that the way they’re building for the future is the right way to go about things as far as long-term success is concerned. Baseball America recently took a look at this, and while the article is behind a paywall, it’s definitely recommended that you should read this if you can.
Meanwhile, the Braves may have a defensive gem on their hands in the form of Travis Demeritte. He’s been turning heads so far this fall, and it’s gotten to the point where Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs is pretty impressed with what he’s seen from Demeritte — especially on defense.
While his hands remain somewhat rough, Demeritte’s range and athleticism have forced me to reckon with the idea of plus-plus defense at second base — as well as to remember if I’ve ever put a 7 on a second baseman’s glove before. I don’t think I have, and I suppose it’s worth asking if such a thing even exists, as one might wonder why a 70 or 80 glove at second base couldn’t play shortstop in some capacity. I think the right concoction of skills (chiefly, great range and actions but a poor arm) can churn out a plus-plus defender there. I’d cite Ian Kinsler, Brandon Phillips and Dustin Pedroia, and Chase Utley as examples from the last eight or 10 years.
Cleveland was the center of the sports world on Tuesday night. Shorly after the NBA Champion Cavaliers received their rings, the baseball team took to the field down the street for Game 1 of the World Series. The star of the night was Corey Kluber, as the former AL Cy Young winner was in excellent form against the Cubs on the evening. He picked up nine strikeouts over six scoreless innings, and eight of those came in the first three innings. The Cubs barely had any scoring chances, while Cleveland used two dingers from Roberto Perez to propel them to a 6-0 victory on a great night for Cleveland sports.