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.