Blanco starts in center

With Gregor Blanco receiving limited playing time since he’s returned from the World Baseball Classic, it’s been hard to believe the Braves when they’ve said they haven’t decided where Jordan Schafer will begin the season.  

Obviously, they cant’ exactly use the “well we want to see what Jordan can do” excuse, when they have every reason to want to see Blanco much more than he did while compiling a .676 OPS  during his rookie season last year. 

Blanco, who has registered two hits in 18 Grapefruit League at-bats, will get a chance prove himself against the Tigers this afternoon, when he starts in center and Schafer starts the game on the bench.  This is just the third start he’s made in the nine games that have been played since he returned from the Classic.

Schafer has one hit in his last eight at-bats and we’ve discussed how
important this final week would be for him.  But,
he showed enough during the previous four weeks to prove the Braves
would severely weaken their roster if they opted to start the season
with Blanco in center. 

I understand the theory about protecting future investments.  Some have
wondered how Schafer’s psyche would be affected if he were to start the
season in Atlanta and hit around .200 during the first two months. 

In response, I wonder how his psyche would be affected if the Braves approach him later this week and tell him that everything that he’s done over
the past few weeks has earned him the opportunity to gain further
seasoning in the Minors.

Had the Braves kept Josh Anderson, Schafer might have been able to live
with the fact that from a business perspective there was a better
option for the club to utilize in center.  But they didn’t and by doing
so, I think they’ve left themselves with just one option.

Ross update:  David Ross strained his right groin during Tuesday night’s game and reported to the park on Wednesday feeling some relief.  But the Braves still seem concerned about the possibility that he could start the season on the disabled list.  If this occurs, Clint Sammons will likely be on the Opening Day roster. 

“Ross is a good backup catcher,” Cox said. “He’s a good catch-and-throw guy and he’s always in the game while he’s on the bench.  He’s really a team guy.”

With Brian McCann’s bruised right knee still providing some discomfort, Sammons is behind the plate for today’s game.  McCann will likely don the catching gear again on Thursday or Friday.

Heyward still crushing:
  Durign a Double-A game in Viera yesterday, Jason Heyward went 4-for-5 with two homers and five RBIs.  The 19-year-old phenom will likely begin the season with Class A Myrtle Beach.  But don’t be surprised if  he’s with Double-A Mississippi by the time the first week of May arrives.

Justin Verlander is completing his warmup pitches and Tom Glavine is done warming up in the bullpen.  Thus it’s time for me to end this entry. 

40 Comments

i feel really bad for gregor blanco, I really do. He is a great young player who just didn’t have the stuff to beat out rookie-of-the-year candidate Jordan Schaefer (not only my opinion, check out mlb.com). He is definitely going to be a star down in Gwinnett. Mark, would I be right in guessing that today is the last game for guys like Brandon Jones, JC Boscan, and Jeff Ridgway who obviously aren’t going to be on the opening day roster?

Mark, any rumblings on which pitcher might be getting traded and if that will happen before sunday or after?

Chipper: I think the Braves plan to take everybody who is currently on the roster to Atlanta for this weekend’s exhibition games. They will make their final cuts on Friday or Saturday.

Ridgway was released last week.

Blanco recorded a bloop RBI single during his first at-bat. Hey at least he’s attempting to provide some drama….He scored on Yunel Escobar’s two-run double and the Braves have given Glavine a 3-0, second-inning lead….Glavine worked a perfect first and he’s now started his GL season with eight consecutive scoreless innings.

Having some fun, the Tigers players have exchanged jerseys and donned them for today’s game. Justin Verlander is wearing Gerald Laird’s jersey and pitching with kind of efficiency you’d expect from a veteran catcher…Casey Kotchman drilled a two-run homer off Verlander to give the Braves a 5-0 second-inning lead.

I had no idea about Ridgway, wow. Then why is he still on the website roster? Or is that just the guys who update the rosters being slow again?

wow, i really hate this live box score stuff. It doesn’t have anything on there about runs scored.

Garret Anderson is ready for the season. He’s been smacking the ball around the past three games and he just went to the warning track in left-center field to make an impressive catch.

5 days ago Verlander was unhittable. Today he gets rocked. He is a mystery that the Tigers can’t seem to figure out.

Glavine has completed the “40 year old’s Shut out”, 9 consecutive innings over how ever many days it takes!!!! Go Tommy.
Please try to get to where you can go 6 innings before the 19th. Thank you.

Blanco is really doing all he can so far today

Blanco had an RBI double in the third inning…So in two at-bats he’s recorded just as many hits as he had during his previous 18 GL at-bats…Better later than never.

The extended Spring has made it necessary to adjust Blanco’s nickname from “Mr. March” to Mr. Early April”. He pulled the same thing last season to get the nod over Anderson, then settled in to the yawn producing player he has always been when they came north. He has some tools, but just not enough to warrant playing time in Atlanta.

Chipper just drilled solo shot that hit off the top of the scoreboard in right-center. That’s two homers in less than 24 hours for the third-baseman…seriously, did you guys chuckle when you read that he’d contemplated retiring at the end of this year. How long do you think that thought was present? Thirty seconds? Seriously he wouldn’t know what to do if he wasn’t playing baseball. He loves his hunting and he loves being around the kids. But he’s not ready to even attempt to enjoy those things without the opportunity to continue playing.

Chipper seems to be one of those guys who will never get the game out of his system. The only way to get the bat away from him would be to “Pry it from his cold dead hands.” as Charlton Heston would say.
He can stay as long as he can in my book.

There are currently 13 hitters listed in the Braves box score, and 12 of the 13 are in the neighborhood of .300 or more. This team will be good.

It’s nice to hear how Heyward is doing since he left big league camp! Gwinnett is going to be exciting this season; how are the others who were in big league camp doing? Hanson, Parr, Reyes, Hicks, Freeman ect…..

WIS, what day is today? That should tell you what you need to know about that one. I could hear Orson Wells narrating that posted article.

“Mark did we sign Yu Darvish?”

- this would be more believable if it occurred on any other day but today

Ah good call, my bad LOL!!

Who’s that in RF for the Kittens?

Hey, Tommy got a cool 5 innings in. He is progressing nicely. Keep it up Tommy. Maybe we can pitch him between two hard throwers like Lowe and Vazquez to heighten the change up the other team gets to experience with Glavine.

You have to give Alex Remington credit….That gave us a good laugh here in the press box.

Liberty coming off of $120 million for 6 years, for one player? That would be the story of the century.

I was hoping Schafer would pinch hit against Rincon, so we could all have an “Enhanced” experience today.

MLB Network went High-definition today (Comcast Channel 823 in Atlanta), been watching the Marlins pound Baltimore.

Blanco is having a pretty good game actually. But I think it might be too little too late. I think competing in the classic wasn’t the right decision for someone trying to make starting center fielder. Infante and Escobar doing pretty good as well. I think Escobar is probably the most underrated shortstop in the whole d@mn league. And he is right there along with the rest of the juggernaut NL East shortstops. Rollins, Reyes, Guzman, and Ramirez. I don’t really know of another division that has that kind of talent there.

I wouldn’t call Guzman a juggernaut, but I’m with you on the other four.

I wouldn’t trade Escobar for Reyes or Guzman, but if the Marlins or Phillies wanted to swap shortstops I would hand deliver the yes in person.

i would swap for ramirez but not rollins. he is getting up there in age, and his numbers took a big dip last year. i’d rather have escobar than rollins.

Edgar Renterria seems to command the best trade material. First the Marlins get Hanley Ramirez and some other guys for him, then we get Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernadez. Wonder if the Giants signed him in hopes of trading him for someone too?

I just can’t wait for the 25-man to be released. Are we sure that Glavine isn’t going to be on the opening day roster? Because Moylan appears fine and so does Glavine. I know that we were gonna bring in another reliever to protect Moylan until 4/18 when Glavine comes back. Killing two birds with one stone. But I don’t really see the point in that anymore.

Escobar is the best kept secret in the NL, that is for sure.

Why activate Glavine if you’re not going to use him in relief? The extra roster spot gives the Braves more time to evaluate whether to keep Logan and O’Flaherty or both, and time to make decisions involving such guys as Bennett and Acosta.

Why would you activate Tommy when he won’t pitch for 2 weeks? Bring Bennett north until Glavine’s spot comes up. Then the first wave of out of options guys will be gone and it will be easier to clear waivers or trade him.

all good points, ok, makes sense now haha

Too bad the Braves aren’t home today, they could go get Rudy Darrow to dust off the Tigers in the 9th, just for fun.

leec@atlantabraves.net

Hanley went to the marlins in the Beckett trade…Edgar went to bosox as a free agent and then was traded to the braves after 1 year for andy marte…here are his career transactions

February 14, 1992: Signed by the Florida Marlins as an amateur free agent.

December 14, 1998: Traded by the Florida Marlins to the St. Louis Cardinals for Armando Almanza, Braden Looper, and Pablo Ozuna.

October 29, 2004: Granted Free Agency.

December 19, 2004: Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.

December 8, 2005: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with cash to the Atlanta Braves for Andy Marte.

October 29, 2007: Traded by the Atlanta Braves with cash to the Detroit Tigers for Jair Jurrjens and Gorkys Hernandez (minors).

I WANNA KNOW WHY BOBBY KEEPS PUTTING SCHAFER IN THE LINEUP WHEN HE IS LEADING THE NL IN STRIKEOUTS GET HIM OUT OF THE LINE UP AND SEND HIM BACK TO AA AND LET HIM WORK HIS WAY BACK UP BC JUST LIKE THEY DID ANDRUW JORDAN AINT READY MENTALLY FOR THE BIG LEAGUES.

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