Found February 05, 2013 on
Fox Sports South:
Last season, the Braves bullpen ranked as one of the best in baseball, featuring talented arms and one of the game's elite closers.
After the Tommy Hanson trade, which brought over strong-armed reliever Jordan Walden from the Angels, the late innings look to be in good hands this season in Atlanta. Adding Walden to the depth chart of Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craiig Kimbrel among others the Braves are feeling very confident in holding leads heading into sting training.
Pitchers and catchers are packing their bags and getting ready to head down to the Wide World of Sports next week, so the Chopcast gathered to discuss one last position group of the season preview series: The bullpen.
Here are some of the highlights (and be sure to subscribe on iTunes):
-- 1:25: Let's just cut to the chase: Is Kimbrel the best closer in baseball? After posting a season in which he saved 42 games and struck out more than half the batters he faced, how much better can the 24-year-old closer really be in 2013?
-- 6:04: If Kimbrel stays healthy, will he be up for Hall of Fame consideration? The early numbers are (obviously) there, but it takes a long, healthy career See: Rivera, Mariano and closers are not known for their longevity. Also, how big of a payday might Kimbrel be demanding in the next few years?
-- 8:40: What does the addition of Walden do for the Braves? The right-hander pitched 39 innings for the Angels last season and posted impressive strikeout-to-walk ratios, so where does he fit into Fredi Gonzalez's equation?
-- 10:40: Did the Braves get enough in the Tommy Hanson trade?
-- 15:30: Amidst the brilliance of Kimbrel and the attention to the incoming Walden, Braves lefties Eric O'Flaherty and Jonny Venters still provide plenty of innings and options for Gonzalez. Did Venters really have a down year in 2013, and how much better can he be?
-- 17:45: How might Brandon Beachy's return from Tommy John surgery in mid-June shake up the bullpen?
-- 22:00: A League of Their Own reference high fastballs.
-- 22:45: Yes or No: Is the Braves bullpen the best in baseball?
-- 25:44: With less than six days until pitchers and catchers report, it's almost time to ditch preview mode and start talking actual, on-the-field baseball in the Florida sunshine. Can't wait.
Be sure to subscribe to the Chopcast on iTunes we're 97.3 percent sure it will be the best baseball decision you make all day. SUBSCRIBE HERE
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
ATLANTA Chris Johnson knows exactly what hes getting himself into.
Growing up, Johnson, his mom, dad and sister would make the 8 -hour drive from Naples, Fla., to Atlanta to see the Braves and to see Chipper Jones.
Johnson worked with Jones father, Larry Sr., in college at Stetson and would hear about Chipper from Hatters coach Pete Dunn, Chippers godfather. Dunn, Johnson said...
The Atlanta Braves play at Disney’s Wide World Of Sports for spring training. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With the Super Bowl over, and the 2012 college football and NFL seasons in the books, we can turn our complete attention to major league baseball, and the Atlanta Braves. Sure, the NBA is still percolating, but we watch it with one eye until the playoffs start, don’t we?...
The retirement of Chipper Jones was always going to leave huge shoes to fill in Atlanta, where he not only pieced together a (future) Hall of Fame career but produced at a high rate even in his last season.
Of course, the heir apparent just two weeks ago looked to be Martin Prado, who was traded to Arizona in the seven-player deal that most notably brought Justin Upton to Atlanta...
From a friend at FOX - anyone going? :)
Former Braves manager Bobby Cox will sign autographs to benefit East Coweta Boys Basketball Feb. 8
Former Atlanta Braves Manager, Bobby Cox, will be signing autographs at East Coweta High School this Friday evening, February 8, before the East Coweta High School Indian’s game versus the Newnan High Cougars. Those interested must purchase...
ATLANTA The chrome blue rig idled in the player's parking lot at Turner Field Monday morning, slowly being loaded down with essentials both personal and professional to be transported to spring training. Seven short days remain; baseball looms.
Along with the rest of the Braves' supplies being packed and shipped down to ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando...
Kris Medlen has opening day talent
Be interesting to see how Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez sets up his starting rotation this season. He’s got three starters, arguably four, that could potentially start Opening Day.
My guess is that either Hudson, or Medlen, will be the Opening Day starter. Probably Hudson, for the simple reason that Braves managers generally give the nod to...
Expect Freddie Freeman to have a big 2013
Freddie Freeman has had a couple nice years in the major leagues. Last season in the first base position rankings, he ranked tenth in the major leagues in homers (23), sixth in RBIs (94), fifteenth in average (.259), and 12th in OPS (.796).
Those are good numbers for a player in his first two years, but the Braves need a lot more. The...
Spring training is right around the corner and, shockingly, free agent Michael Bourn still hasn’t signed on with a new club.
The latest team to show interest in the speedy outfielder is the New York Mets, according to The Star-Ledger. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said there is “ongoing discussion” with Bourn.
Since Bourn’s former team, the Atlanta Braves, sent Bourn...
As the possibility of Michael Bourn landing in Queens seems more and more like a reality, there are a faction of fans who feel Bourn wouldn’t be such a necessity, had the Mets simply resigned Jose Reyes. On the surface, they’re correct, however as is the case with everything New York Mets, there is always more to it. Its easy to compare the two players. Both center their...
According to Andy Martino of the Daily News, while the Mets remain very motivated to sign free-agent center fielder Michael Bourn, they won’t make a deal if it will cost them their first round draft pick.
It turns out that the decision about the draft pick would be in hands of an independent arbitrator, not the commissioner’s office. Here is how the process could work:
A Mets source told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe that the front office is still trying to get MLB to allow them to keep their first-round pick if they sign Michael Bourn.
They are still trying to determine whether they can convince Bourn to sign a potential backloaded deal and that they will go “all out on the compensation” if they know their pick will be protected...
The following listing rationalizes the National League's top 10batting lineups heading into spring training, with an emphasis on the six best offenses for the 2013 season.
As you'll see when scrolling down, the Braves stand atop the countdown. But this isn't some kind of charitable act for FOX Sports South teams. Bottom line: If GM Frank Wren hadn't moved heaven...