Odds and ends: Heyward, Teheran, etc.

Before I get married this weekend and enjoy both a Hawaiian honeymoon and Steelers Super Bowl victory next week, I’m providing this entry full of some things I’ve heard or discussed over the past week. 

Heyward update: There didn’t seem to be much reason for concern when Jason Heyward said Wednesday that he still doesn’t have full range of motion in the left thumb that he injured in May.

“I don’t have any pain in it, but I still don’t have the full range of motion in it,” Heyward said. “I still can’t bend it anywhere close to where it was before.  I don’t know if I ever will be able to do that.  But I know it’s not holding me back from hitting.”

If he were a professional thumb wrestler, there might be some concern about Heyward’s limited range of motion.  But given that he’s still happy with the career choice he’s made at the ripe age of 21, it should simply be comforting to hear him say he’s able to swing the bat in a pain-free manner. 

Teheran, a sleeper for fifth spot?:  Two weeks ago, the Braves informed Julio Teheran that he was invited to attend his first big league camp this year.  This wasn’t a surprise.  Nor was it surprising to see the 20-year-old right-hander listed among MLB.com’s 10 best prospects. 

Teheran is one of the finest pitching prospects to ever pass through the Braves organization and they certainly don’t have any plans to rush his development. 

But based on what they’ve seen from him, there are some members of the Braves organization who believe Teheran will make it difficult for them to determine when or maybe even if they should send him to back to Minor League camp. 

Given that Teheran has had one injury-free professional season, which consisted of just 142 innings, there is very little reason to believe the Braves would begin the season with him in the Majors.  But the fact that they are at least anticipating that he will make them debate the possibility gives you a better idea about how special this kid could be.

Wishing the best for Pete: It was nice to catch up with Pete Van Wieren this week and even better to hear him say that doctors are optimistic as he nears what is scheduled to be his final round of chemotherapy treatment.  His final treatment is scheduled for Feb. 7.  

Van Wieren has been undergoing these treatments once every three weeks since learning in October that he would have to once again battle against cutaneous B-Cell lymphoma.  He battled this same condition around this time last year. 

It was discouraging to hear Van Wieren say that he won’t make it down for any portion of Spring Training this year.  But it was encouraging to learn, the proud grandfather is planning to take the grandchildren to Disney during the early days of April.

The treatments have weakened him to some degree.  But it was still great to hear the excitement in his voice when he spoke about being able to play poker and watch baseball again some time soon. 

Wide-eyed Minor Leaguers: The Braves seemed quite pleased with how their first Rookie Development Program went last week.  It was cool to see how the Minor Leaguers reacted while listening to the motivational speeches delivered by John Schuerholz and then Bobby Cox. 

I just wish I would have been in the room when the young kids looked up and saw Hank Aaron just walking through the middle of the clubhouse.  It was an unplanned part of the program.  Aaron was simply making his exit after completing an early-morning workout.

It was nice to get to talk to some of these prospects and put a face to a name.  Matt Lipka had a stronger frame than I envisioned when the Braves took him with their first selection in June.  This probably had something to do with the tales about the success he enjoyed as an All-State wide receiver in Texas. 

Lipka has spent the past couple of months working out a gym owned by former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson.  He has added some upper body mass and focused on maintaining the speed that proved so appealing to baseball scouts last year. 

Out of all the players the Braves worked out at Turner Field before last year’s Draft, there was just one that proved to be faster than Lipka. 

His name is Kyle Wren, the son of Braves general manager Frank Wren.  Kyle is projected to serve as Georgia Tech’s starting centerfielder as a true freshman this year. 

Catch you in a couple weeks.    
  

35 Comments

Hope u have a nice wedding and honeymoon but a Steelers Super Bowl may not happen but who knows. The question I have is are the Braves done signing anyone bc I just saw the Nats released Justin Maxwell do you think that they Braves may pick him up and bring him into Spring Training and maybe compete for the 4th OF spot or maybe for the Cf job?

Congrats Mark! Enjoy Hawaii. I’m excited to hear that Julio Teheran may make it tough for the Braves to send back down to the minors. Any KK updates yet?

Mark:

WOW- Congratulations. I wish you the very best. Have fun. I was down @ Turner Saturday for the meeting to meet the prospects. Very cool group of young men. How bout the Mountaineers changes? All good-I think.

Hope to see you soon . Heading to Florida to see jeff and catch a little spring training week of March 17. Again, congratulations.

Congratulations, Mr Bowman. Enjoy Hawaii. New York is a horrible sea of white that does not seem to want to relent any time soon. Also good to hear about Teheran. I’ve never seen this guy pitch so hopefully I can catch a bit on MLB TV in spring training. I would be SHOCKED if he made the rotation.
NC: No more transactions.
I’m not the biggest Packers fan, but I’m gonna have to root for Rodgers this weekend. I’ve never liked the Steelers, and it would be extra difficult to cheer on a serial rapist in the biggest football game of the year. Roethlisberger burn in hell. GO PACK!

Well, NC likes the Justin Maxwell deal, you guys must be right.

Congratulations Mark hope your’s last longer than it did for some of us. I saw Bobby in Charleston today and he said he has the itch to get ready for ST. However he said he has to realize he is not in charge anymore. Hopefully this group of prospects will produce more major league talent than the baby Braves did. The fillies getting older and the Braves with great young talent. NO NC we are not trading anyone until July.

What are the odds of Lipka being the starting shortstop in the near future? Gonzalez has this last year left and I would hope somebody new is coming in to fill the position.

Lipka will be starting his first season of single A ball in Rome this year. 2013 is as soon as they would even dream of seeing him in Atlanta unless he is just a total stud and tears up all minor league levels he touches like Andruw Jones did. It can happen, it has happened, but it is unlikely to happen. That said, it would be very exciting to see it happen. I think Tyler Pastornicky is the current plan to get from Gonzalez to the Lipka/Salcedo/Mycal Jones sweepstakes winner. If Pastornicky is the real deal, the others can move to CF (Lipka), and/or 3B (Salcedo/Jones). It’s nice to have some talent on the way.

I can’t wait for spring training….I’m so sick of seeing the NBA on ESPN…what a waste of a good game.
Who would you guys give the 5th starter role to if the regular season started today? Minor, Beachy, Teheran, someone else?

Buddy Carlyle.

Gee I was told we dont need pitching help after i said that the Braves should make a go at Galarra but the team signs a late 30s trying to catch lightining in a bottle one more time but don’t go after the young centerfielder that just got DFA that could be our 4th OF’er but no not Frank Wren he goes after a no needed pitcher umm dont the Braves have one on the roster and his name is Kenshi Kawakami.

It’s called pitching depth, you dolt. You can never have enough starters in AAA. Example: the 2008 Braves rotation implosion.
And the 5th starter will be Minor or Beachy. I would be SHOCKED if Teheran got the nod. He’s just too young.

Yeah, think of it as pitching depth for our AAA club as a long reliever / spot starter, possibly a fifth starter. The guy has poor numbers but he can eat a lot of innings. I’m guessing the spring training invite is just a stipulation in his contract.
After putting up the numbers he has, he couldn’t sign that contract and seriously expect to compete for a rotation spot with the depth the Braves have.

I think if the season started today I would give the nod to Minor. I am well aware of both pitchers performance late last season, but I think a lot of that had to do with Minor’s fatigue. IMO, having a lefty in the rotation would be our best option at this point, especially when we face Howard/Utley. However, Beachy’s performance last season makes me very comfortable with our SP situation.

Don’t forget about the return of Kris Medlen. There will be quite a logjam of starting pitching. It will be a good problem for the Braves to have. With Medlen, Minor, Beachy, major league ready and Teheran, and Viscaino waiting in the wings, the Braves will be able to make some moves before the trade deadline for a power hitting or speedy outfielder if they need one. That’s why I think things are set for now. There is enough talent on this team to keep us in the thick of things until the trade deadline. If a move needs to be made, we can make it to solidify our lineup. Or if one of our SP’s goes down with an injury (knock on wood), isn’t it nice to know we have depth and talent that can come in and make an impact.

I’ve heard that Delgado might best be suited for the bullpen, and so might Medlen. But we do have ridiculous starting depth, which is why I will be amazed if Jurjjens is on the club next year.

With Hanson and Jurjjens being represented by Scot Boras, one or both of them will be gone as soon as they hit free agency. I HATE that I just typed that… but it’s the nature of the business. I think Jurjjens is more apt to stay than Tommy. Jair grew up a Braves fan. Tommy is a long way from home in California. Who knows? They could both be Braves for a long time. I just don’t see it.

Tommy is under team control for a few years more than Jair. And with the influx of the next wave of young guys we can position the team and add to the offense by trading JJ. Hanson is the guy the team would like to have anchoring the rotation for years to come, as they hope Heyward will with the position players. A lot of contracts will be off the books after the 2012 season, and in 2013 it could easily be Hanson, Teheran, Minor, Vizcanio, Delgado/Medlen barring major injury/decline in performance. That is a very cheap rotation that would have only one big contract guy (Hanson) out of five. After this season JJ could land us a new SS/OF/3B, etc if there aren’t prospects to pick up some of that slack.

Wow, Viva used “influx” in a sentence. NSD and my Bulls are running.

Yerp, Bill. I even gots a 700 in the readin n writin section of the SATs. Look “SAT” up on wikipedia if that’s too newjack for you.

My Bull’s new baseball coach is named Prado. Is this a perfect world or what?

http://tinyurl.com/4otm8op

Craig Kimbrel our dominating new closer, zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

http://twitpic.com/3w4fzo

I hate to suggest trades, it’s just not my forte. However with the Orioles signing Vlad they have him playing DH and the former DH to CF, making a “logjam” of outfielders – including Felix Pie. So how does Pie for Brent Clevlen plus an extra minors starting pitcher we are not high on sound?

Hey would there be any chance the Braves would at least take a look at makin a run at Michael Young? He’s very versatile and can still handle the bat, would fit nice in the lineup. High contract yes, maybe put in KK? Probably not…but he would be a nice fit no? If we gave Gonzo in the deal

The Rangers would just love our $7mil #8 starter and would be even more thrilled to replace Andrus, Beltre, or Kinsler with Gonzalez. Or maybe they just want a $3mil bench guy. On the other hand, I’m sure Wren could somehow expand the $1-2mil left on our payroll to accommodate the $16mil that Young makes each of the next 3 years.

Oh, Viva – It’s not even spring training and you are already in mid-season sarcasm form. Can’t wait for what’s in store once Bill decides to come out of hiding and returns to mid-season form.

Haha I’m just really bored and pitchers and catchers report in a week!

I can smell the grass stains already. I was waiting for cheap tickets for ST opening day, but it appears that the Muts fans have no clue. They just keep going to games no matter how bad that team gets. I may have to bite the bullet and pay face for my dugout seats. Damn you New York. Bravo, I have just been rehabbing my keyboard in the off season and I am just ready to show that you are never to old to get in the game. Brooks and I have been shagging flyballs and swinging for the big fly. Chipper and I have been steppin on deer turds and jordan and I have been slurping mystery shakes.

Ya viva thts just my dream world….oh well. Lookin ahead for a second, who is in line to be the SS for 2012? I assume Lipka will be a CF soon, so maybe Simmons? Or Pastornicky? Since I think Salcedo will be a 3B so

NC – You figured out how to change your handle name, and your attempt at proper grammar is cute… but we all know it’s you… Maybe I’m wrong. OK- now I feel bad. In case it’s actually someone else – I think Pastornicky will be playing SS and they are grooming Salcedo to take over for Chipper.
Bill – hopefully you haven’t been golfing with McClouth… the golf swing does not help his upper-cut.

I would see Prado moving to 3B, Salcedo maybe at 3B, and Pastornicky going somewhere else.

Actually no bravo I’m a completely different person haha. I just saw Young and lost my mind in rosterbation. My bad.

Actually no bravo I’m a completely different person haha. I just saw Young and lost my mind in rosterbation. My bad.

Come on Bravo, he uses way too many capital letters and punctuation to be nc. And Viva, you look like you need to get a few swings in. Who knows what that last post of yours meant. Me, I am stretching out at the beach with my dog everyday in the 80 degree weather. I will be in midseason form in a couple of weeks, just when you guys are digging out of the latest snow drift. Sucks to be in SO FL in February, the girls all wear their big bikinis. Se what it says on their back, REEF!!! Wonder who they work for??

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRBz-l0wBoXcx5O7g7WtF9NM9nH1FX8ZOlLKz_BtB3DOQhqEaED

Yeah I didn’t really spend much time on that post, did I? Ha. Meant that I could see Prado or Salcedo at 3B, but more likely Prado. And I don’t see Pastornicky on the big league starting roster at any time. Salcedo won’t be ready for 2+ years so who knows.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,649 other followers

%d bloggers like this: