Braves Update

So things have been going pretty good in Spring Training so far for the Braves. There have been no major injuries and no McLouthian inexplicable collapses. McLouth himself has started out hot (which may or may not mean anything, but it’s certainly more comforting than last year, when he couldn’t buy a hit), and so has Freddie Freeman, whose hitting approach has been a slight worry for me. Chipper’s ACL is coming along and he says he’s gotten to the point where he’s playing without pain — for what that’s worth. About the only real problem here is that Craig Kimbrel has lost not just the strike zone (which is to be expected from him) but also some velocity (which is not). I’d really like for him to step up and put a deathgrip on the closer job so that Jonny Venters can stay in the higher-leverage situations, but if Kimbrel can’t get people out, Venters will have to close, and the bullpen gets that much shallower.

Meanwhile, the Phillies are (again, entirely unsurprisingly) suffering from injury woes, with top prospect and heir apparent in right field Domonic Brown suffering a broken hand, from which he’ll miss at least the first month of the season. Chase Utley isn’t improving, either. It looks like the media is starting to catch on to the fact that they may have jumped the gun with regards to declaring the Phillies the best team ever constructed forever — Buster Olney has been backpedaling recently, and Jayson Stark posted an article today which is just a pure panic piece. I still think the Phillies are the favorites, if not prohibitive ones, but I’ll read anything trashing them with a smile on my face. That’s what Spring Training is all about!

Have I mentioned yet how absolutely hilarious the Mets’ financial situation is? Because it is, it totally is. The destiny of the New York Mets is to be an expensive, underachieving disappointment, so I’m quite happy to see them find their level again. Really, I’m just glad to see Mets fans resume the “woe is me” routine — they were absolutely insufferable back when the team was good in 2006 and 2007.

There’s been some talk that the Braves should pursue Jose Reyes to play shortstop in 2012 if the Mets aren’t able to resign him (or don’t have interest in doing so). I’m of mixed feelings. Reyes is obviously a good player, but he’d cost quite a bit of coin at a time when the Braves don’t have a lot to spare. Also, I hate his stupid face and would prefer to remain able to root against him. It would suck to have to pretend that his showoffiness didn’t bother me. I’d rather see what the D-Backs want for Stephen Drew. Man, when did shortstops start sucking again? It seemed like yesterday you couldn’t move for power-hitting shortstops.

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