Glavine set to face former team

When Tom Glavine steps on the mound this afternoon to make his Grapefruit League season debut, he’ll be facing a group of guys wearing the same Mets uniform that he donned from 2003-2007.  But he won’t exactly be seeing too many familiar faces. 

Coming back from the WBC, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran have been given a chance to rest for a few more days.  Thus, the only familiar face Glavine will see today belongs to Jose Valentin. 

It’s going to be interesting to see how Glavine performs.   While completing a two-inning simulated game on Monday, it was obvious that he’s still lacking the arm strength that he’ll need to find success this year.  His velocity rivaled that of a knuckleballer’s. 

But his location was still pinpoint and he seemed to be encouraged.  Maybe not as much as the ever-positive Bobby Cox.  But still enough so that I got the sense that he still feels he’ll be able to pitch this year without having to endure embarrassment.   

Over the next few weeks we’ll gain better indication about whether Glavine will truly be ready to make his first scheduled regular season start on April 18.  The veteran southpaw, who had his left shoulder and left elbow surgically repaired in August, will turn 43 on Wednesday.

Today will also be an important one for Peter Moylan, who will be making his fourth Grapefruit League appearance.  The Australian reliever, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, still believes he’ll be in the Atlanta bullpen on Opening Day.

Garret Anderson ran a little harder today than he had yesterday, when he first tested his strained right calf.  Chipper Jones also took batting practice this morning.  Both of these guys should be able to return to action within the next four-to-five days.   

When I awoke this morning, I was in sole possession of an NCAA tourney pool that includes nearly 700 entries.  My incorrect first-round selections were Clemson, Florida State and Wake Forest.  Thanks ACC. 

But given the choice between winning this pool or having my alma mater (Dayton) beat Dave O’Brien’s alma mater (Kansas) in the second round, I’ll glady choose the opportunity to make O’Brien feel as miserable as somebody being interrogated by Jack Bauer.

Today’s Lineup

Jordan Schafer CF
Yunel Escobar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Brandon Jones LF
Jeff Francoeur RF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Omar Infante 3B
Dave Ross C
Tom Glavine P 


Valentin was a late scratch. So the only familiar face Glavine will see in today’s lineup belongs to his mound counterpart John Maine.

Glavine’s fastball is being clocked around 78-79 mph. He just hit 80 mph for the first time this afternoon. But he has retired the first two batters via fly outs to left.

Glavine painted the outside corner with a 79 mph fastball to end the inning with a strikeout of Daniel Murphy.

Bowman your udflyer96 moniker is flying high of course that could be by design. Rightly so if that’s the case, they gave a good accounting of themselves yesterday.

You and O’Brien need to work out a wager.

Good to see TommyG back toeing the rubber.

That is weird isn’t it? Brandon Jones as cleanup? Does he normally do that? I just don’t picture him as a cleanup hitter. And as far as Glavine goes. As much as I would like to see him have a good year, if he doesn’t show good here in spring training and isn’t ready for his first start he needs to go down a level and get ready in my opinion. There is no excuse of “Well he’s our franchise player, just let him play.” No we’ve done that crap before and it got us nothing good. If he isn’t ready there is no reason we should lose every fifth game when we have capable starters.

Just finished a quick look over some San Diego media outlets, says the Padres are looking for as many as 4 arms to fill their bullpen slots.

I’m sure Frank Wren has already been contacted. Though all the unpleasantness could still be lingering from the neverending Peavy talks from this past winter.

Still though would be a nice spot to move Bennett.(IMO)

Bennett could fill several roles for the Friars, long man, spot starter, middle relief capable of making a multiple inning appearance. Team barber, his uses and talents are many.

Glavine’s velocity was primarily the same while he worked around a pair of one-out singles in a scoreless second inning…I would have to say he’s looked better today than he did during Monday’s intra-squad game.

Bowman, (Radio voice Jim Powell) seems to think the next round of cuts could come Sunday or Monday.

Is that your take as well?

Be careful with any unfounded speculation as Tim Hudson could be on patrol as we speak.

david, I didn’t get a sense that the next round of cuts will come in the next two days. But I think we might get some later in the week.

That was three scoreless innings for Glavine. Excluding Ryan Church, he didn’t exactly face Major League-ready talent today. But this performance provides further reason why I’ve been saying I have more faith in Glavine than I do Kawakami.
While notching 305 career wins, Glavine has figured out how to get big leaguers out. I think it will take Kawakami some time to get adjusted to life in the Majors. The fact that he’s had trouble keeping his fastball down in the zone should provide reason for concern.

A new year has officially dawned for Jeff Francoeur. He just drilled a bases-clearing double to the left-center field wall to extend the Braves lead to 5-0.

Mark I believe Murphy is major-league ready since he will be the starter next year for the Mets. So him and Church were the only ones.

Glavine allowed two hits in three scoreless innings and recorded one strikeout. He threw 28 of his 42 pitches for strikes…Kris Medlen is pitching now and Jorge Campillo is scheduled to follow him.

You’re right Darion.

Yeah Mark your take on roster cuts seems to be spot on as usual.

Powell just said that cuts indeed were not going to happen within the next couple of days. Said that word came directly from Wren.

Mentioned something about depth with Chipper and G.Anderson hobbled and Blanco and McCann away at the WBC.

To me, the key is if Glavine, or any pitcher for that matter, can get people out IN the strike zone. At 80 mph it is very hard to do so. Last season, he could not, Jo Jo could not, etc. In my opinion, a team cannot win in the playoffs if their pitchers cannot get people out in the strike zone. If he does, the Braves are in business.
The new staff can and does, and the results have been very promising so far.

Joba went a “big” 3 1/3 innings again Today. Have any of you ever seen anything like the way the Yankees handle that kid? It’s like when you buy something you can’t afford and then spend the rest of your life being afraid to touch it. That organization is a trip. No coaching, no player development, just a big checkbook.

I wonder what people would say about Hanson and Heyward if they were in the Yankees organization…

Hanson would be hyped as the Next Doc Gooden. They actually don’t have a player they brought up that could compare to Heyward. All of the Yankee outfielders were “Store Bought”.
Same with the Red Sox, Josh Anderson is so close to what Jacoby Elsbury is that I’d never pay the difference in money to get Elsbury.
It’s just the ESPN corridor doing business as usual.

In Atlanta, Joba would be just another corn fed hayseed from Nebraska with a big arm, that’s it. The only “Jaba Rules” would be at the buffet.

After the game, Bobby commented about how good Moylan and Boyer looked…Moylan shouldn’t have been charged with a hit. Brandon Jones should have caught the soft single that was charged to him..

Anyhow, after Cox praised Moylan and Boyer, a reporter essentially said, “and Medlen looked good too?” Cox responded, “Always”…He really likes that kid.

After Medlen allowed a single in a scoreless fourth inning, Mets vice-president Tony Bernazard came around the corner and said, “Who was that who pitched for the Braves that last inning?”

Hey Mark, I think Wake messed up a lot of our brackets. But anyway, it is good to hear that Francoeur’s new swing seems to be working.

Mark, in regards to your most recent article about trading a pitcher or 2 for prospects, the 3B prospect that makes the most sense seems like Neil Walker of the Pirates. He’s a true switch-hitter that will hit for a good bit of power from both sides of the plate. He’s nearly MLB ready, but he needs to work on his defense, which continues to improve. I’m sure the organization would want him to work on his plate discipline, his biggest downfall, before he plays every day. The Pirates already have Andy LaRoche at their big club and Walker and LaRoche will both have to move over for Pedro Alvarez pretty soon, so he could be available. Plus, the Pirates need pitching like they need oxygen. It seems like a match, right?

“In Atlanta, Joba would be just another corn fed hayseed from Nebraska with a big arm, that’s it. The only “Jaba Rules” would be at the buffet.” That’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day. Though I’m pretty sure he’d be hyped nearly as much as the Yankees hype him.

Mark, how do you see the Braves’ outfield shaping up? It appears that Jeff Francoeur is back on track and looks to be the one sure thing that the team will be counting on. Garrett Anderson has yet to play but I’m pretty sure that the Braves are counting on him, too. After that, things are a bit uncertain. Matt Diaz, Brandon Jones, and Jordan Schafer are all having fine Springs, and Josh Anderson has had his moments as well. Gregor Blanco will be arriving in camp this week with the WBC drawing to a close. Obviously, all of them can’t figure in the team’s plans for 2009, which suggests that a trade may be in the offing. What’s your best guess as to who stays and who goes with just two weeks remaining before they start playing for keeps?

I was hoping that the Braves would lite up Santana, but it’s looking like this might be a low scoring game.

What a hitting machine Diaz is. He truly doesn’t care who the pitcher is (OK, or where the pitch is). He can just flat out hit.

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