For the last several years we have began each day at Talking Chop with a news and links roundup. While that has served us well we want to shift that article into more of a newsletter format. No we won’t be bringing it straight to your inbox now but that is something that we are considering in the future. Thus I’d like to introduce you to what we are going to call “The Daily Chop.”
Essentially the goal has always been to provide a source of information for anyone who is wanting to find out the latest news and storylines for the Atlanta Braves. That won’t change as we will still be bringing you plenty of links except now they will be presented with a bit more commentary, opinion or analysis. The Daily Chop will remain Braves focused but we will also keep you up to date on what going on around Major League Baseball and especially the NL East.
So over the next several weeks, I will be experimenting a bit with the content and look of this series. Please let me know what you like, what you don’t like and what you want to see more of. The Daily Chop will run seven days a week at Talking Chop usually between 7-8 a.m.
While their official Division Series roster hasn’t been released, the Atlanta Braves gave some insight into what it will look like come Thursday. Brian Snitker informed reporters at Wednesday’s workout that longtime starter Julio Teheran will be left off of the NLDS roster and that the team will go with a six-man bench and 11 pitchers. At this point one has to wonder if Teheran has thrown his last pitch in an Atlanta uniform. His season largely was a surprise as he once again outperformed many of his peripheral numbers but seemed to wear down in September and struggled over his final three starts. Alex Anthopoulos will have to decide whether picking up Teheran’s $12 million option for 2020 is the correct move.
In other Braves roster news, Snitker told reporters that Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr. were not limited in any during a simulated game on Tuesday. That is good news particularly for Acuña who sat out the last four regular season games due to a sore groin. Freddie Freeman talked about his sore elbow with MLB.com’s Bill Larson and said that he should be good to go the rest of the way. He also added that offseason surgery is not something that they have discussed yet.
On a not so good note, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported that outfielder Ender Inciarte is now dealing with a right quad strain in addition to his injured hamstring and is likely done for the season. The Braves had originally ruled out Inciarte for the Division Series with the hope that he might be an option for the later rounds but that doesn’t appear to be an option any longer.
More NLDS notes
- For the Braves to pull out a win in the series, they will have to overcome a strong St. Louis pitching staff that is headlined by right-handed Jack Flaherty.
- For the most part, the Cardinals have been an underwhelming offensive team but with Paul Goldschmidt and others they simply can’t be overlooked.
- St. Louis will have second baseman Kolton Wong back in the starting lineup for Thursday’s series opener. Wong hasn’t played since September 19 due to a hamstring strain. His return will likely shift Tommy Edman over to third base and Matt Carpenter into a bench role.
- The playoff history between the Braves and the Cardinals is full of heartache if you are from Atlanta.
- The Tampa Bay Rays homered four times including two from Yandy Diaz in a 5-1 win over the Oakland A’s. Tampa advances to the ALDS against the Houston Astros.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers set their rotation for the Division Series against the Washington Nationals. Walker Buehler will get the start in Game 1. Clayton Kershaw will go in Game 2 and will be followed by Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 3. Rich Hill is a possibility for Game 4. By delaying Kershaw to Game 2 they set up the possibility of him coming out of the bullpen in a potential Game 5 situation.
- Yankees’ slugger Edwin Encarnacion took part in simulated games Tuesday and Wednesday and said he is looking forward to the playoffs.
- The Houston Astros have also announced their pitching plans for the Division Series and will line up with a murderer’s row of Justin Verlander (Game 1), Gerrit Cole (Game 2) and Zack Greinke (Game 3).
- The Cleveland Indians got a head start on the offseason picking up the $17.5 million option of right-hander Corey Kluber. The club also announced that they declined the contract options of reliever Dan Otero and second baseman Jason Kipnis. Kluber will turn 34 in April and is coming off an injury riddled season in which he posted a 5.80 ERA in seven starts before fracturing his right forearm on May 1.
- Former Yankees and Marlins manager Joe Girardi says he is ready to return to the dugout. There is already a number of managerial openings around the league with more likely to come.
- The Cincinnati Reds took a huge step forward under new pitching coach Derek Johnson. They are hoping to continue that trend by adding Driveline Baseball’s Kyle Boddy to the mix. Boddy will work with Cincinnati’s minor league pitchers in hopes of better preparing them for the big leagues. ESPN’s Jeff Passan went in depth on what Boddy’s hiring means for the changing landscape of baseball.
- New York’s Jeff McNeil had surgery to repair his broken right wrist on Wednesday. McNeil had a banner season hitting .318 with 23 home runs and a .916 OPS. He is expected to be fully recovered by the start of spring training.