Francoeur catches a big one

Unable to take batting practice because of a potential rainstorm that never arrived, the Braves spent the past couple of hours rehearsing for the inevitable long rain delays that await them this year. 

Jeff Francoeur grabbed a fishing pole and threw his line into a pond that is located just outside the visitor’s clubhouse here at Osceola County Stadium and came away with 6-pound, 4-ounce largemouth bass, that was slightly bigger than Kris Medlen.

Speaking of Medlen, he’s going to pitch tonight and attempt to once again put himself in position to grab one of the final bullpen spots.   His candidacy was tarnished on Friday when he allowed the Blue Jays three runs  —  two earned — and three hits in 1 1/3 innings. 

Medlen’s odds of beginning the season in Atlanta might have already been diminished earlier today, when Rafael Soriano enjoyed a pain-free bullpen session at Disney.  The right-handed reliever will pitch here at Francoeur’s Fishing Preserve on Thursday, when the Braves conclude their Grapefruit League season against the Triple-A Astros.

Chipper Jones ended tonight’s top of the first by looking at a called third strike thrown by Russ Ortiz.  Unfortunately, the Astros found it difficult to swing and miss anything that Derek Lowe threw them during the bottom of the first inning. 

When Lowe exits tonight, Peter Moylan and Mike Gonzalez are scheduled to pitch.  There no longer seems to be reason to wonder whether Moylan will be in the bullpen when the season starts on Sunday night.

“I’m sick of reading the Braves remain hopeful that Moylan will be ready,” Moylan said. “I’m going to be ready.”

Garret Anderson is getting his first opportunity to test his right calf as an outfielder tonight.  Thanks to the fact that Lowe’s sinker didn’s sink too much during the first inning, the veteran outfielder has already had to do some running.

When Brian McCann returns to the lineup on Wednesday, he might be wearing a suit of armor.  A foul tip bruised the All-Star catcher’s right ring finer on Saturday and then when he returned to action on Monday, a foul ball left a nasty bruise just above his right knee.



Mark, when will the Braves option Gregor Blanco to AAA? I mean, he has to know by now that he’s lost the CF battle, so it’s not like they’re still deciding. (He rarely plays as of late.)

The same Russ Ortiz who went 7-22 with a 6.93 ERA during the years 2005-2007, and didn’t pitch at all last year? What’s the story behind Russ’ return? Was he injured, did he finally realize that he had to get in shape to pitch successfully, does he owe somebody a lot of money? What’s the low-down on his possible return to the major leagues?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Has Frenchy ever fished before? Pretty good catch…..

Good catch and you got to respect anyone who carries a fishing pole. I think he just proved that you never know when one might come in handy.

OK, I gotta ask. The Braves are on the road at another park. What is Frenchy doing with a fishing pole there? Did he borrow it from a local kid? Does he keep one in his bat bag?

The clubhouse guys had some fishing poles. I’m not sure how much fishing Frenchy has done in the past. But based on the excitement he showed as he was trying to bring it in, I’m going to guess he’s on the novice level.

David Ross grabbed his quad or groin when he was running to first base at the end of the last half inning. He might have been removed for precautionary reasons. But Boscan is behind the plate now.

If he carries a pole in his bat bag that would be awesome. Hey Mark, could you ask what he used for bait? If he used live bait I really wonder were he got that on short notice, but then he could be resourceful enough to barrow the grounds keeper’s tools to dig up some worms.

We really missed this version of Jeff Francoeur last season. I’m very glad he is backing to being himself and having fun. He is a winner’s winner.

Tell me Gonzo didn’t come out because he got hurt. I couldn’t care less if he got hit around.

rother, he didn’t get hurt and he said he felt great while pitching back-to-back days for the first time this year. He did have a three-strikeout outing against the Red Sox yesterday…He says he probably won’t pitch again during the exhibition season.

Lowe is downright hilarious. He said that he gave the outfielder’s water after making them run so much during the first inning. He also apologized to the infielders for advertising himself as a groundball pitcher.

Point of interest for those in the Southeast. The game is airing on CSS with Brian Jordan and Josh Caray who will be the normal broadcasters for the Gwinnett team. They’re not as animated as the Boog and Joe duo, but I’ve been impressed with Jordan’s knowledge of some of the younger guys…nice to see the farm broadcasts will be in good hands.

Carlos, “I now know who Tommy Hanson is” Lee just drilled a two-run homer off Medlen, who now can prepare to begin the season with Hanson in Gwinnett.

It is interesting to me that the one pitcher who never had an outing like Lowe had tonight (which wasn’t even that bad) was Tommy Hanson. He is truly a number one pitcher. Maybe already. He is better than Jurrjens right now, and Jair is pretty darn good. His progression has been so rapid. Having Glavine to bounce things off of and Lowe to keep him loose he is going to have a great year. He will be in Atlanta real soon.

That was not Josh Caray. It was the new radio guy for the Braves.

Yeah, I knew that was Powell but was thinkin about Caray for some reason. Either way, it was really just to give folks a heads up in the south if they wanted to see some of the other broadcasters.

ok, I just looked kris medlen on google images and brent lillibridge still has him beat. At least Medlen looks like he’s 23. Lillibridge looked like he had just been spanked by the doctor.

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