Wrapping up a busy day from Disney

Today was further proof that things can get a little busy when Hank Aaron arrives in camp. The Hammer expressed his appreciation for Bobby Cox, threw some love in the direction of Tommy Hanson and said that he’s reserving judgment on Jason Heyward until he sees how the 20-year-old outfielder performs at the Major League level. 

Oh yeah, he also said that he was happy with Mark McGwire’s steroid confession, but wished the admission had been made sooner. 

Before going over some of the highlights of Hank’s address, I’ll let you know that the Braves still haven’t provided confirmation that they have signed highly-regarded Dominican shortstop Edward Salcedo.

But it still appears that this deal could be confirmed in the very near future with the completion of a physical. 
 
Braves international director of scouting Johnny Almarez was in camp today and there is reason to believe that his arrival had something to do with Salcedo, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound shortstop who is regarded among the best international prospects. 

Early indications are that the Braves will be providing Salcedo with a signing bonus that is worth slightly north of $1.5 million, but less than $2 million. 

OK now to recap some of the things Aaron had to say about the Braves:

(Thoughts about Cox’s retirement at the end of this season)

“It’s going to be sad when he leaves. He’s not only been great for Atlanta, but also the game of baseball.  The game of baseball is going to miss him.”

(Thoughts about Tommy Hanson)

“This kid has the world in front of him, really. If everything stays on par and he pitches the way I think he can pitch, I think the Braves have a superstar.”

(on Heyward, who he will see for the first time during Tuesday’s first full-squad workout)

“I think he’s going to do well, but I don’t get excited until after I see them perform in the Major Leagues. Then I will try to put an opinion on what I think they can do.” 

(when asked if he could take Billy Wagner deep)

“I think my deep days are over with.   The only thing I can hit is a golf ball —  all over the place.”

Tuesday’s workout: Balls will be flying tomorrow when the position players start taking their first rounds of batting practice on the field. It will be nice to see the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Heyward take his swings. 

But if you’re looking for raw power and you’re coming to camp tomorrow make sure you watch Cody Johnson take his BP cuts. 

It’s too early to determine whether Johnson’s mighty swing will ever provide the consistency needed to make it to the Majors.  But based on what I saw during Brian McCann’s charity softball tournament in November, it’s fun to watch the powerful kid launch balls into orbit.

Also check back in tomorrow morning to get an update on Jair Jurrjens, who is planning to begin his throwing program at some point this week. 

14 Comments

Mark, as many here might know, I am not one for superfluous praise or irrational congratulation. But I have grown very fond of your “eyes and ears” relative to the team that I love past the point of reason. You do such a great job here keeping us informed and i suspect that might be the cause of some sniping by those in the other media outlets. Now enough of the warm and fuzzies, lets get down to baseball.
I am ecstatic with the thought of Jason Heyward and the upside potential that he has. I would really love to see this kid bloom into a superstar, but all of us know that that ascencion is a road frought with peril. I really hope that our coaching staff can leave this kid alone enough to do what he was apparently born to do. It’s obvious he had great early instruction and that he heeded it and developed into the prospect that he is. But the next couple months, the next couple of years and the night after a bad outing are the perils that now exist on his road. When I have coached young ballplayers, there is one thing that I know for sure. There is a time to coach and a time to get out of the kids way and let him find what works for him and how to solve some of his problems on his own. All of the great players do it. They figure where thay have gotten out of sync and try to drop back into that zone. Some look at film, some talk to other hitters, some call Dad but all of the great ones find a way to get back to what they have always done so well. This kid needs to remember what brought him to the party and stay true to what he knows. Welcome to The Show Jason.

Jon Heyman Tweeted that the Braves may be in on Garrett Anderson????? You have to be kidding me. Has Frank Wren LOST HIS FREAKING MIND?????????? Maybe we should see if we can lure Greg Norton out of retirement, too. Lets stockpile all the weak fielding National League players. This has to be a joke. Is it April yet? I guess since we lost out on the Johnny Damon 1 team sweepstakes we now are looking to regurgitate past mistakes. Please someone shake me. This has to be a nightmare.

Bill, I can assure you that Frank has not expressed any interest in bringing Garret back. In fact, I would be willing to to wear a “I love Rich Rodriguez” t-shirt every day for a year if anybody could ever prove that Frank has even contemplated this move.

Haven’t posted in awhile.

I think the team this year as promise, even though it does lack the superstardom of some other teams. We do have superstars, we just dont have a huge number of them, or they are broken or old. If Glaus is healthy, Lowe and chipper rebound(and are healthy), then I’ll eat my words.

I’m still excited. We have a real shot at knocking off the Phillies, not because they have gotten worse but because we have gotten better. A real power threat from Glaus at 1st base. A rotation that is still among the best in the majors, with an arguably better bullpen, but even if we say its the same.

Our outfield is much better, just because JF and GA are gone. Our infield, as I said, is upgraded just with Glaus, and I have to assume Chipper will do better than last year.

Anyway, I’m excited. I just wanted to check in my opinion for now. Haven’t posted in forever. Nothing groundbreaking in my post, I just figured I’d spout of another peanut gallery opinion.

Any worry that the one thing can stop Heyward from being in right on opening day is the monetary impact of bringing him up. Which isn’t a small issue, but the greedy fan in me just wants to see him play.

Ok Mark, I will concede that this “news” about GA is surely the product of silly agent season. I was just repeating what i read and voicing my somewhat less than enthusiastic opinion about the idea. And I would never make you wear a RichRod Tshirt, now a Skip Holtz T might be………..

Welcome back neverwhere.

JMF: I don’t think you have to worry about Heyward being handled the same way that Hanson was last year. The club has made it known they want him to start the year in the Majors.

Bill: Skip’s dad was born in WV, so he’s not all bad. Can we get the t-shirt to read: USF: Rich Rod called us daddy.

I also enjoy the insider info posts from Mark. It makes us feel like we have special access to that knowledge. But I do get irritated when I see too many of the same old info brought up over and over again. I realize it is hard to keep posting new quality content, but that is what we Braves fans live for.

It seems Bobby’s speech to the players today proved to be more emotional than previous years. He talked about his retirement and then let them know that he’s going to be the same fiery guy.

“I talked about retirement a little bit,”ut told them I’d be the same ol’ grumpy, ********** guy,” Cox said.

Some early news: Jurrjens is scheduled to play catch again today. He said he felt less discomfort when he played catch on Sunday. While encouraging, it won’t be good news until he says he’s not feeling a pinching sensation while throwing.

Good to see this thing getting cranked up.

Best news so far is that Damon is elsewhere.

Good to see most of the regulars returning to the blog.

Great Job Mark looking forward to your work.

i hope people arent comparing heyward to aaron?

Well Mark you bring up Rich’s name and look what happens. He makes the news with another “mistake”. Bill don’t wear Skip’s tee shirt in SC.

So Mark,

If USF was Rich’s “Daddy” and Bill Stewart was under Rich Rod. Does that make USF Stewart’s “Grandaddy”?

I’m still waiting on the calender that puts Opening Day as the first day of the year, and for any day between the World Series and beginning of Spring Training to be labeled as the “trimester of winter”.

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