Guestposter Matthew Avery gives us a Rumblings and Grumblings-style take on the Braves' Spring Training so far. Remember, spring training stats don't matter...
Seeing so much of Omar Infante in CF makes me wonder if Cox is considering making him the primary backup in CF. Or alternatively, platooning him with Josh Anderson. On the surface, this would seem like a good plan, except for the inescapable fact that Infante isn't a very good outfielder, let alone CF.
You know, since Anderson really isn't very good against LHP, you might be able to get away with starting Infante in the OF against a southpaw provided you've got a guy like Derek Lowe on the mound, where the defensive value of your center fielder is minimized. Not saying it's a great idea, but if you REALLY want to see Infante in CF in a major league game, that'd be the time and way to do it.
And speaking of CF, Schafer's hit the ball well thus far, but 6 Ks in 17ABs (vs only 1 walk) is a pretty strong signal that he needs more time in the minors.
Frenchy's been walking. Frenchy hasn't been striking out. Frenchy's been doing little else. I like the idea of him walking, but until he proves he can do it while hitting the ball with more authority than Gregor Blanco, he'll be less useful to the team than the Venezuelan CF.
It really is nice to hear everyone gush about Heyward and Freeman and the like, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here. They'll both start the year in High-A, and if they do extremely well, might get a taste of AA. But don't look for either until the end of 2010 at the absolute earliest, and 2011 or 2012 is more realistic.
I'm starting to get mildly excited about Casey Kotchman, though spring training numbers aren't enough to wallpaper over the memories from last year of him pulling grounders down the 1B line to start double plays and kill rallies.
Eric O'Flaherty looks to have the inside track for the LOOGY job. Hey, at least he's not Jeff Ridgway.