First round of cuts to be announced Monday

Jason Heyward isn’t the only young player who has made a solid impression during this year’s camp.  Braves manager Bobby Cox has obviously taken a liking to Craig Kimbrel,  a 21-year-old right-handed reliever who will make an appearance during this afternoon’s game against the Astros here in Kissimmee.
 
Regardless of today’s results, it appears that Kimbrel will escape the first round of cuts, which the Braves will announce on Monday.  

“We’re going to keep him around for a little while,” Cox said. “We like him a lot.”  

Check braves.com after today’s game to view more of Cox’s thoughts on Kimbrel, who could make a rapid rise to the Majors when he proves that he can consistently avoid some of the control problems that have occasionally plagued him during his two professional seasons.  

This year will mark the last time that Cox is forced to tell some Minor Leaguers that their dreams of finding a spot on the Opening Day roster have come to an end.   It’s a responsibility that he’s held during each of the past four decades and to this day he still hates having to tell a player that he’s been cut.  

“There’s no easy way to do it,” Cox said. “Some of them are obvious, but some of the later ones are tough to do.”

BRAVES LINEUP vs. ASTROS
McLouth 8
Conrad 4
Chipper 5
Glaus 3
McCann 2
Hinske 7
Infante 6
Clevlen 9
Kawakami 1

BRAVES LINEUP vs. BLUE JAYS
Cabrera 8
Prado 4
Heyward 9
Escobar 6
Diaz 7
Freeman 3
Cody Johnson DH
Ross 2
Joe Thurston 5

Kris Medlen will start for the split-squad team that is playing the Blue Jays in Dunedin today.

10 Comments

Conrad just went behind the second base bag to make another diving stab before firing a strike that beat Matsui to first base. This is the third time he has completed one of these spectacular plays behind the bag since Monday. I think it’s safe to pencil him in as the clear favorite to win the final roster spot for a position player. Chipper was lauding what he’s seen from “Brooksy” this morning.

McCann homered during his first at-bat of the season last year against Brett Myers and he just hit his first homer of this season at the expense of the former Phillies right-hander, who is now a part of the Houston rotation.

Just received a report from Dunedin: Heyward doubled into the right field gap on the first pitch that he saw this afternoon from Brandon Morrow.

Heyward has blown my mind away. The dude just hits…over and over again!!!! Do you think the Braves have the right financial resources to extend Heyward right away like the Rays did with Evan Longoria?

I think it’s time to send James Parr to the royals. Isn’t that some form of right of passage for Braves that just can’t seem to cut the mustard?

Mark, who do you think will be the first ones shipped out? Or is it unethical to speculate?

…and at what point do we make Kris Medlen the starter he’s supposed to be? It was a mistake to pay KK the insane salary he’s making, and it basically secures him the 5th starter spot that blocks Medlen from reaching his full potential.

I would hate to speculate on who will be included in the first round of cuts. Just assume this list won’t include a number of the notable names. With limited innings available, the list will likely include mostly pitchers.

Finances won’t play a part in the Heyward decision. Going into camp, it felt like there was an 85 percent chance he would be on the OD roster. I’d raise that number to 95 percent now.

McLouth struck out in his two at-bats today and has now struck out 10 times in his first 21 at-bats this year.

Ok, so Heyward doubles twice in 3 AB. This is gonna be fun. Got’s to love me some Brooks Conrad. Man this kid is something. Boy, I wish we had traded McLouth after we got Melky. We could have still got something for him. I guess since we only had Shafer as a high level OFer we didn’t want to risk it. I really think the kid is in trouble though.

By kid I meant, McLouth.

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