Monday, February 27, 2017

Monday Roundup: First Two Games in the Book

Not too much to recap this week as we are just two games into the Grapefruit schedule, but here we go.

BRAVES 7, Blue Jays 4

The Braves fell behind 3-0 but stormed back with a half-dozen runs split between the fourth and fifth innings to win this one. A few takeaways from this game include the Braves using what is manager Brian Snitker's hopeful opening day lineup with Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson at the top. They're followed by Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp, and Nick Markakis as the heart of the order. Finally, Brandon Phillips, Adonis Garcia and Tyler Flowers fill out the regular eight. Dustin Peterson had a pair of hits and Emilio Bonifacio, trying to win a spot on the bench, went 2-for-2 with a walk and a double. Bartolo Colon worked around some trouble in the second to go 2 innings with three hits allowed, a run, and a K. John Danks struggled and Blaine Boyer wasn't spot on either, but Mauricio Cabrera, Akeel Morris, and Luke Jackson finished the day with four combined innings, a hit, a walk, and four K's. For Morris and especially Jackson, each good outing will boost their chances to make the roster.

Who helped himself the most? Bonifacio
Who hurt himself the most? Danks

Astros 3, BRAVES 2 

Jose Ramirez has a lively arm, but with so much depth, he'll need to come to camp and impress. Sunday was not his day. He surrendered four hits in 1.2 innings, including a two-run Max Stassi homer that broke a 1-1 tie in the 8th inning. Newly acquired Christian Walker singled in uber-prospect Ronald Acuna in the ninth to cut into the deficit, but Travis Demeritte flew out to end the game. Micah Johnson got the start in center field. He went 0-for-2, but Atlanta continues to look at Johnson as a possible CF backup heading into 2017. Also in the outfield on Sunday was Dustin Peterson, who played right field after replacing Nick Markakis. Since moving away from third base two years ago, Peterson has played almost exclusively in left field outside of four games last year in center field. Increasing his defensive flexibility would help him get to the majors quicker though he did get charged with an error. Julio Teheran started and looked good despite the inconsistent Lance Diaz behind the plate. Aaron Blair struggled with location over his two innings and did give up a run, but also struck out three. Blair's slider, a potential weapon for him that he developed more last year, looked good. Eric O'Flaherty and Sam Freeman each tossed scoreless innings and Adam Kolarek threw 1.1 scoreless. All three lefties are battling to make the team as non-roster guys.

Who helped himself the most? Walker
Who hurt himself the most? Ramirez

Week's Record: 1-1
Grapefruit League Record: 1-1

Seven-day Forecast: @Tigers, vs. Cardinals, @Yankees (TV: YES), @Cardinals, vs. Red Sox, SS @ Phillies (TV: CSN) and SS vs. Marlins, @ Red Sox (TV: NESN).

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