Results tagged ‘ James Parr ’

Updates on Chipper and Escobar

It’s hockey night in Pittsburgh and the fans are truly showing their colors.  Actually, some are wearing the modern black Penguins jerseys and a handful of others are sporting the blue ones that the club wore during the pre-Mario Lemieux days.

Whatever the case, I’d have to say close to 50 percent of the people I saw walking the streets this afternoon were wearing Penguins jerseys.  I didn’t see a Pirates jersey until Adam LaRoche and his buddies came out to take batting practice here at beautiful PNC Park. 

Speaking of LaRoche, the former Braves first baseman has at least delayed his traditional slow start by recording 10 hits, including three homers in his first 34 at-bats this year.  Considering that he owned a .181 career batting average in April entering this year, it’s safe to say that he’s enjoying this early production.

LaRoche’s buddy Chipper Jones is once again out of the lineup with a bruised left thumb.  The Braves third baseman has been encouraged by the fact that the swelling has decreased and he’s hoping to return to action during Sunday afternoon’s series finale against the Buccos. 

“The swelling is getting better,” Jones said. “But (the trainers) were rubbing it down today and it’s still extremely painful.”  

Having already aggravated this injury multiple times by getting jammed with pitches, Jones recognizes the importance of resting the thumb as long as necessary.  The bottom line is that he doesn’t want to deal with this throughout the season.

“If I came back too early and did it again, I’d have to miss another three to four days,” Jones said. “I just want to make sure we get it right.”

As for Yunel Escobar, he could be back to his jumping ways as early as Saturday.  When Escobar strained his abdominal muscle while doing his traditional pre at-bat jumping routine in the on-deck circle Thursday, the Braves thought he might miss three to four games. 

But Escobar took some swings in the indoor batting cage on Friday and didn’t experience any concerning discomfort.

Forget about the possibility of this episode leading Escobar to end his jumping days in the on-deck.  The talented shortstop is as stubborn as they come.

When Jo-Jo Reyes takes the mound to face the Pirates on Saturday, you’ll likely see a pitcher that doesn’t resemble the one who went 0-7 with a 7.81 ERA in his final 13 appearances (12 starts) last year.

Reyes has grown comfortable with the fact that he doesn’t have to attempt to overpower every hitter.  The more efficient 23-year-old southpaw impressed during Spring Training and tossed five solid innings before struggling through a rain-drenched sixth inning during his regular season debut for Triple-A Gwinnett last week.
    
Reversing back to the LaRoche-Jones connection, the two former Braves teammates have become heavily involved with the Buck Commander videos that are produced by noted hunter Willie Robertston. 

With assistance from their good friend Luke Bryan, the guys developed this video that shows them enjoying some of their hunting experiences.  

Did you really want Peavy?

Instead of bashing Jake Peavy when he comes to Turner Field this year, Braves fans might want to thank him for the fact that he had no desire to pitch in Atlanta. 

While watching Puerto Rico’s 11-1 win over the U.S. Dolphin Stadium last night, I started to draw comparisons between Peavy and Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington.  But I eventually concluded that  Pennington hadn’t got hit nearly as hard by Ray Lewis and the rest of the Ravens defense during this year’s playoffs. 

Had the Braves acquired Peavy via trade, they would have paid him at least $63 million over the next four seasons.   When you’re dishing out that kind of coin, you’d at least like to have some confidence that he’ll be answer the bell when you need him in big games.

While the sample size is small it’s still somewhat alarming to know that Peavy is 0-3 with a 9.53 ERA (22 2/3 innings, 24 earned runs)  in the six combined career starts he’s made during the postseason and the World Baseball Classic.

Instead of Peavy, the Braves ended up with Derek Lowe, who is 6-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 21 career postseason appearances (10 starts).   Over the course of eight days in 2004, Lowe won a Game 7 start at Yankee Stadium and tossed seven scorless innings to allow the Red Sox to clinch their first World Series in 86 years. 

When Lowe takes the mound at Disney this afternoon, he’s not going to be feeding off his “big-game” adrenaline.  But the Astros, who are 1-13-1, might look at this afternoon’s game a little different.  Frustrated by his team’s struggles, manager Cecil Cooper required every position player make the short trip across Osceola Parkway. 

After Lowe exits today’s game, Peter Moylan will continue his Sunday afternoon tradition of making a Grapefruit League appearance.   His only two previous appearances this year have occurred on Sundays. 

Before this development, the only thing linking the tatooed Australian to the NFL was the fact that his arms are as decorative as Kyle Turley’s.  

You probably best remember Turley as the Saints offensive lineup who imitated Moylan’s sidearm delivery while tossing a Jets helmet across the field during a nationally-televised game.

While pitching against the Phillies last week, Moylan looked tremendous and gave more reason to believe he might indeed be ready by Opening Day.  But the Braves will remain cautious with the right-handed reliever, who is just a little more than 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery. 

Rafael Soriano is also scheduled to make his second Grapefruit League appearance this afternoon. 

Other than finding out where Dayton will be bracketed in the NCAA tournament, I’d have to say the appearances made by Moylan and Soriano will be the most important developments of the day.

The Braves are expected to announce their next round of cuts later today or on Monday.  James Parr, who impressed with four strikeouts in 2 1/3 scoreless innings against the Marlins on Friday, has already been informed that he’s heading to Minor League camp.

“I did everything that I could do,” said a distraught Parr, who allowed one run in 7 1/3 Grapefruit League innings. 

With a little more than two weeks left before the start of the regular season, the Braves may attempt to take advantage of their pitching depth via trade.  While he might not net a return greater than a mid-level Minor League prospect, Buddy Carlyle has been receiving some attention from clubs looking to improve their bullpen. 

Anderson update:  Garret Anderson hasn’t started running yet.  But the veteran outfielder, who has been sidelined since March 6, continues to be encouraged about the improvement of his strained right calf.   It’s starting to look like he could be available for the final two weeks of the exhibition season.

Today’s lineup:
Jordan Schafer CF
Yunel Escobar SS
Kelly Johnson 2B
Matt Diaz LF
Jeff Francoeur RF
Freddie Freeman 1B
Martin Pradro 3B
David Ross C
Derek Lowe P   

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