Monday, May 9, 2016

Braves Monday Roundup - Teheran, Carlyle, and more

(A small note to start. For regular readers, I am changing up things and dropping the 5 for Monday concept at atlantabraves.about.com. Rather, I will use Mondays to touch on something of significance or interest at that blog and move some every week tidbits (trivia, birthdays) over here.)

Before we start, here are my shameless plugs (articles I've written over the last week).
AtlantaBraves.About.com
- Julio Teheran's Turnaround - Investigating what has been different about Julio Teheran since the terrible beginning of the year.
- Should the Braves Ax Fredi Gonzalez? - It's everywhere and Fredi Gonzalez's job security seems to fall with each embarrassing loss. Should Atlanta make the move?
- Saturday Stats Pack - This week, I focus on Aaron Blair's struggles to get a dubya to begin his career, the lack of power, and how Atlanta position players rank in WAR.
- 5 Steps Toward a Better 2016 Braves Ballclub - Quick and easy changes for the Braves such as batting Freddie Freeman second, starting Tyler Flowers, and optimizing Ender Inciarte's defensive capabilities.

Walk-Off Walk
- Transaction Tuesday - Braves move around top prospects Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies while continuing to use the Danville roster as a taxi squad.
- Minor League Saturday Stats Pack - #WilliansWatch is over, Rio Ruiz is getting respect from Triple-A pitchers, and a pair of Braves pitchers dual to have the most innings without giving up a homer.
- Random Prospect Sunday - This week, I focused on Luke Dykstra. With a father like Lenny Dykstra, it can't be easy for Luke to blaze his own trail.

5 Stories You May Have Missed

Want More Fans MLB? Get Baseball in Front of the Next Generation
-Outfield Fly Rule's Micah Smith dives into a real problem for baseball - attracting new fans. One of baseball's biggest issues is getting the game in front of young viewers. As Smith says, "Blackouts, exclusive rights, late start times, these hurt the creation of new fans because they limit opportunities for sports-uncommitted youngsters to witness a fan-creating moment." Baseball is not only losing new and younger fans, it's losing the next Freddie Freeman or Aaron Blair as those guys are playing the much more appealing football and basketball. While baseball seems more interested in expansion, its these issues that will continue to plague the sport.

Four Pitchers Who Could Help the Dodgers' Rotation
-From Think Blue Planning Committee comes a fan generated list of four starters that could help their team. Julio Teheran made that list. While there is no smoke here (except that Teheran has been mentioned as a trade candidate off-and-on since last season), the Dodgers could be an intriguing option with a bevy of young pitching including Jose De Leon and Grant Holmes and interesting bats like outfielder Yusniel Diaz and catcher Austin Barnes. The Braves certainly don't need to move Teheran, but as the blog suggests, it's hard to see the Braves saying no "for the right package."

Atlanta Braves Play Chicken
-In a scathing review on the Braves and their practices, The American Spectator's John Calvin argues that the Braves should be bound by a competitive clause. He skewers Atlanta for essentially tanking, taking in massive amounts of revenue, and how their minor league teams have hurt the financial rating of the towns that now support their teams. It's an interesting view of the Braves and baseball in general.

Guest commentary: Economic development and the Atlanta Braves
-On the heels of the previous link comes this one from a local to the Naples, Florida area where Atlanta has tried to get permission to build a new spring training home. The article, which appeared in the Naples Daily News, shows just how building these stadiums - while great for the team and their fans - are not so great for the locals.

Braves, winless on replay challenges, add ex-pitcher Carlyle to help
-Let's turn the page to happier news. This week, the Braves announced that they were bringing back Buddy Carlyle - this time as replay assistant. You may remember that it was Horacio Ramirez who used to man the job, but Ramirez left to attempt to continue his baseball career. Atlanta did not immediately replace him and instead gave the added task to Rob Smith, the manager of baseball video operations. Results have not been so good on that so the Braves have now brought back Carlyle, who I previously wrote about because he was one of the few likable pitchers the Braves had in 2007.

Trivia Question
Two weeks ago, I asked, "Before 2015, when was the last time a Brave led the team in homeruns, but failed to hit 20?" @MP4 tweeted the correct answer - Bob Horner with 15 in the strike-shortened 1981. This week's question: Hunter Cervenka has now gone 14 appearances without giving up a run to begin his career. That is a new Braves record. Since 2000, what pitcher had the most scoreless games to begin his career? If you know the answer, send a tweet to @WalkOffWalk1.

Birthdays
-Happy birthday today to a trio of current farmhands and a former Brave as Ian Krol (25), Jace Peterson (26), and Aaron Harang (38) all get a year a year older. Tomorrow, May 10, will be current Brave Matt Tuiasosopo's 30th birthday and hopefully future Brave Lucas Sims' 22nd birthday. Wednesday is Kerry Ligtenberg's 44th birthday while Thursday sees Wes Helms turn 40 and the first Atlanta Braves hitter, Felipe Alou, turn 81. Moving to Saturday, El Presidente, Dennis Martinez, turns 62 and threw his last pitch as a major leaguer with the Braves in 1998. A teammate on that roster, John Smoltz, turns 49 on Sunday.

Picture of the Week
Al Bello/Getty Images

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