In Shelby Miller's first start of the 2014 season April 4, he faced Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez on a 2-2 count in the second inning. Alvarez had already spat on a low changeup and fouled off another behind in the count. Miller threw a belt-high fastball at 94 with little movement on the outer half, and Alvarez launched it to left field for a home run.
A day after trading Role 40+ guys in a swap that included international spending money to Atlanta, the Braves further showed their newfound commitment Monday to strengthening their near future and future further down the road in a blockbuster deal.
The Braves traded Jason Heyward and Jordan Walden to the Cardinals for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins.
The Braves announced Sunday they traded second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Cubs for right-hander Arodys Vizcaino. The Braves also dealt their fourth international signing bonus slot in exchange for the Cubs' second, third and fourth slots. All slots are for the current spending period, which gives new international director Marc Russo around seven months to work with extra money.
Perhaps there's something in the water of Lake Olmstead that develops a World Series champion.
Former Augusta GreenJacket Madison Bumgarner established himself as a postseason legend Wednesday night by throwing five shutout innings in relief, allowing just two hits and striking out four. The long-relief stint on two days rest closed out Game 7 of the World Series and gave the Giants the 3-2 win and series.
International sign, Venezuela
22 years old
2014 A: 121.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 22.4 K%, 8.8 BB%, .287 BABIP
OFP: 50; #4 starter/setup
Realistic: 40; middle relief
Fastball: 50 present; 60 future; 87-95, t96
Major league pitchers are sneaky. They adjust to what works best for them, and that includes how to approach the better hitters in each lineup. Advance scouting and data also help.
We may be seeing this in action against Justin Upton. The Atlanta Braves outfielder saw a noticeable change in pitch selection this season, and it may signal a trend for his future success.
The Atlanta Braves have an outfielder known as a chronic swing tinkerer. He's made several changes over the past few years, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
B.J. Upton has already made a couple tweaks as a Brave and made plenty more major changes in Tampa Bay. Rays fans see the tweaks he's constantly making in Atlanta and likely nod in an unsurprising way.
But the player to Upton's left is making a case to become the new king of tweaks, and it might explain the direction his bat is heading as he enters his prime.
Final stats for area professional players. The stat line combines numbers from all levels:
Tyler Colvin, North Augusta, OF, San Francisco, AAA: 50 games, .227/.278/.344, 21 R, 37 H, 9 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 11 BB, 43 K, 1 SB
Josh Whitaker, Augusta Christian, OF, Oakland, AAA-AA: 73 games, .295/.342/.488, 35 R, 83 H, 16 2B, 3B, 12 HR, 54 RBI, 20 BB, 64 K, 4 SB
Shannon Wilkerson, Augusta State, OF, Boston, AAA-AA: 130 games, .260/.309/.345, 59 R, 120 H, 25 2B, 4 3B, 2 HR, 49 RBI, 33 BB, 90 K, 12 SB
Part 1 of two-part series on the state of the Atlanta Braves and the writer's opinion on what should be done to improve the team.
No one can argue the Braves have fallen off a cliff the past few weeks. It’s a matter of a thin lineup being exposed to the fullest extent, combined with fatigue and the effort a group of humans can realistically be expected to show while losing game after game.