Francoeur set to face Yankees and Tiger
With the sun shining above and the Yankees in town, we have a near-perfect setting for Jeff Francoeur to begin what many would consider a near-perfect athletic experience.
After collecting a few at-bats against the WBC-depleted Yankees, Francoeur will grab his clubs to join Tiger Woods and John Smoltz for a round of golf this afternoon. With the Red Sox having the day off, Smoltz has driven to the Orlando area to enjoy this annual round with two of his closest friends.
When Kenshin Kawakami takes the mound against the Yanks today, he won’t have to deal with the likes of A-Rod, Jeter and Posada, who are all eithter preparing for the WBC or visiting a hip specialist. Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady are the only regulars in the lineup for the Bronx Bombers, who will utilize Juan Miranda as their cleanup hitter.
Glavine arrives: Tom Glavine arrived in Braves camp this morning and revealed that he’s aiming to make his first appearance in a game late next week. The 300-game winner has recently experienced some cranky discomfort with his shoulder. But he says the discomfort isn’t anything different than what he’s often had to deal with during Spring Training.
“I’ve had a little bit of crankiness now that I’ve thrown batting practice and thrown a little harder. There ‘s a little soreness with my shoulder. But I’m not surprised. I knew it was going to happen sooner or later. It’s happened every year for the last 15 years. But it’s more manageable and that’s what we were kind of hoping for.”
Glavine, who hasn’t had any problems with his surgically-repaired left elbow, doesn’t seem to concerned. He said the shoulder discomfort he’s feeling this year doesn’t compare to the discomfort he was feeling at this time last year.
The fact that Glavine is scheduled to make just two starts in April (18th and 29th) could prove to be beneficial. After pitching in the frigid temperatures at Coors Field in early April last year, he started to experience increased discomfort in his elbow and shoulder.
Impressed by Hanson: Braves announcer Don Sutton was certainly impressed after getting the chance to watch Tommy Hanson face Panama yesterday. The Hall of Fame hurler was most intrigued by the 22-year-old top prospect’s advanced maturity.
“When you look at a talent like him, after you talk to him for five minutes, you can throw his birth certificate out the window,” Sutton said. “He has the four pitches. He’s a quick learner, makes great adjustments. I just wish for him good health. I think he has a chance to be a superstar.
Thursday vs. Venezuela: Garret Anderson is expected to make his Braves debut when Derek Lowe takes the mound to face Gregor Blanco and Venezuela’s WBC team at Disney tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for 2:05 p.m. ET.
Josh Anderson CF
Yunel Escobar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Jason Heyward LF
Omar Infante 3B
David Ross C
Kenshin Kawakami P