Knock on wood

Could Spring Training be going any better for the Bravos?

Chipper smacked his sixth double and third homer Thursday against the Nats. His 11 RBI lead the team and his knee hasn’t been an issue.

“I have no pain in the knee whatsoever. I feel like I turned the corner about 2½ weeks ago,” Jones said after the 7-6 victory.

And, ho-hum, two more hits for Nate, now batting .367 with a .525 OBP. Jay Hey and Freddie also went deep.

The pitching has been equally stellar. Huddy tossed five scoreless frames tonight, and outside of one spotty performance by JJ, the starters have been consistently excellent.

Even Kenshin threw two shutout innings Thursday.

It wasn’t a great night for Jordan Schafer and Scott Proctor, however. Schafer was hitless in three AB’s (dropping his spring BA to .170) and committed two errors, while Proctor allowed five earned in two innings. Gwinnett, here they come.

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9 Comments on Knock on wood

  1. charlesad // March 18, 2011 at 10:30 am //

    My loudest knock is for J-Hey staying healthy. I’m a little concerned about his nagging injuries.

  2. Jack Straw // March 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm //

    Being a pessimist by nature, the result of growing up an Atlanta Braves fan in the 70s, the better we play the more worried I am. If we stay healthy, Phillies fans will have a long, hard, disappointing summer.

  3. rankin' rob // March 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm //

    From Jon Heyman in SI: While the Braves’ pitching looks terrific, one scout worries about their defense. That scout also said rookie Freddie Freeman “doesn’t look great” at first base. Freeman’s rep is that he is smooth with great hands but alltime slow (almost to the degree of Bengie Molina).

    Read more:

  4. charlesad // March 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm //

    With Uggla, Chipper and McLouth, defense certainly could be an issue. But I choose not to worry too much about it just now. Freeman looks good at first, from what I’ve seen. So what if he’s slow? Most first basemen are slow. McGriff ran like he was dragging a manhole cover.

  5. charlesad // March 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm //

    Come to think of it, I’m not sure the Braves won’t be better defensively this year than last, when they were middle-of-the-pack. I think Prado will be an upgrade over Diaz. McLouth, though no Andruw, is an upgrade over Melky. And Freeman will probably be better than Glaus/Lee. Plus, I suspect Gonzalez will return to form and improve over last year. So you downgrade a bit at second and upgrade at three spots, I think you come out ahead. An average defensive team should be good enough with what should be a good offense and excellent pitching staff.

  6. Tokyokie // March 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm //

    I’d like to see Hernandez, Lucas and Ramirez get the spots on the bench so that we have a good fielding infielder (Hernandez) and a pretty good defensive outfielder (Ramirez) and a utility guy who’s at least capable (Lucas). But we’ll probably get Mather (who’s not much defensively and a horror as a backup CF) and Conrad (who’s just not any good fielding) instead of Ramirez and Lucas.

  7. The E’s were back for Conrad today. I don’t know if he can hit enough to make up for his defense. Maybe we can send him to the AL for an outfielder. If we keep him, he needs to be that guy who hits for the pitcher and isn’t considered a fielder. Jerry Williard? Thorman? Marrero?

  8. The bench, an asset last year, looks to be one of this team’s few liabilities.

  9. rankin' rob // March 19, 2011 at 7:24 am //

    Conrad is our bad luck charm. I know, he beat the Reds with a walk off grand slam. But he was Bill Buckner cubed in the pennant race and playoffs. That series could’ve been ours with an average performance at 2nd base. Keep him off the field at all costs.

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