Freeman can only laugh about his long single

As he sat at his locker after Friday’s 11-8 win over the Nationals, Freddie Freeman could laugh about a baserunning mistake that would have drawn widespread attention had it occurred amid a much more competitive setting. 

After appearing to hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, Freeman was ruled out because he passed Joe Thurston, who who was preparing to tag up in case the ball did not clear the right field wall.

By the time the ball landed in the Braves bullpen, Freeman had passed Thurston and been ruled out.  Instead of being awarded a three-run shot, the 20-year-old first baseman was left with a two-run single. 

“Thurston was tagging and he didn’t have much room,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He went by him.  That should never happen, but it happens.”

Freeman simply said, “I can laugh about it because this is Spring Training.” 

Jurrjens update: Cox said Jurrjens will begin throwing live batting practice on Sunday.  It appears Jurrjens could make his Grapefruit League season debut on Thursday against the Yankees in Tampa.

Filling Jurrjens’ spot, Kris Medlen will start against the Astros tomorrow afternoon in Kissimmee.   

Bullpen watch:  Relievers are bound to have at least one bad outing during Spring Training.  But it’s safe to say Jesse Chavez didn’t want to have two in a span of his four days of playing games with the Braves. 

Chavez issued a pair of one-out walks and then allowed an Ian Desmond sixth-inning grand slam on Friday afternoon.   During the 2 2/3 innings he’s worked so far in Grapefruit League season, he has allowed six earned runs and issued four walks. 

While it’s not time to write Chavez off yet, there’s certainly reason to no longer consider him a favorite to win one of the final two available bullpen spots.  But the Pirates reporters who were here yesterday said the 26-year-old reliever also struggled during Spring Training last year before being a surprise addition to Pittsburgh’s Opening Day roster. 

During tomorrow’s game against the Astros in Kissimmee, Craig Kimbrel and Kyle Cofield are scheduled to pitch.   Both are strong-armed relievers who could find their way to Atlanta at some point this year.  But for now, it appears both need to work on their control at the Minor League level. 

Earlier this week an American League scout said that Coffield has a lot of potential. 

“He doesn’t know where the ball is going, but I love his stuff,” the scout said. “He reminds me of John Smoltz. But he’s got to work on his control.”



It’s Kyle Cofield, with one f.

This season is beginning where last season ended. Martin and Yuni tearing the cover off the ball with RISP. For all of you trying to drop Prado in the batting order, that’s just nuts. This guy hits everywhere he goes and I think both he and Esky are ready for breakout years. I’m not saying that just because of today either. It’s just that they each have been so consistently good for a while now. I can’t see a drop of in production at their age, rather I see better seasons in the wings. I mean Heyward as good as he may seem is gonna face some tough lefties in MLB, the likes of which he has never seen. Just like a lot of people would have thought that the Braves might have protected him for a bit longer in the high minors, I think you capitalize on his talent AND protect him lower in the order. We don’t have a shortage of proven performers at the top of our lineup. Our weakness has been the middle. McCann lead this team with 21 dingers last year. We have to improve on that. We need Chipper back in TOP form and Glaus to recover. It’s that simple. Heyward may help, but it is WAY to early to predict how his rookie season will go. We can always move him up later if Chip or Troy falters. i mean we are trying to win the National league East, much as Boston would like to think thye are in the toughest division in baseball, I have news for those Beanheads. NL East, where dreams go to die.

Glad to see spring training is warming up your skills of pessimism. Can’t wait to see you back in prime form come April!

Freddie is at fault because it is his job to watch Thurston in that situation, but Thurston made the mistake that caused the whole thing. Tagging at first on a line drive to right? There is no reason to do that in a live game. If Freddie was a vet like Chipper he would have dogged Thurston for it. Well maybe not Chipper, since it’s been years since he ran out anything, but a veteran would.
Like they say about Heyward, it’s the little things…Right now my votes are Thurston NO, and Freddie NOT YET. My 25th guy needs to be a spunky kamakazi, that is Brooks Conrad until another clear answer appears.

Viva, You thought THAT was negative???? Man you really do like it sugary sweet. I thought all that was just analysis. What part was negative? That we got no run production from the middle of the order? That just a fact, and we were ALL crying about that. D**n, I get attacked even when I am playing nice. Guess I’ll just get my horns and pitchfork out early.

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