April 30, 2012 at 12:06 pm by David Lee under Atlanta Braves
Hoping for Another Series Win
The Braves and Pirates will face off one more time in April, as Atlanta is seeking its sixth straight series win and sixth this month. Monday’s 4-3 win assured the Braves of only one series loss in the month, that being the opening-series sweep by the Mets. Game time is 7:10 on SportSouth. James McDonald and Mike Minor will start.
Braves lineup: Michael Bourn (CF), Martin Prado (LF), Freddie Freeman (1B), Brian McCann (C), Dan Uggla (2B), Chipper Jones (3B), Eric Hinske (RF), Tyler Pastornicky (SS), Mike Minor (P).
Pirates lineup: Jose Tabata (R, RF), Josh Harrison (R, SS), Andrew McCutchen (R, CF), Casey McGehee (R, 1B), Neil Walker (S, 2B), Yamaico Navarro (R, LF), Pedro Alvarez (L, 3B), Rod Barajas (R, C), James McDonald (R, P).
Update (4:50p): Jason Heyward is sitting with what is described as soreness in his right oblique (original tweet says left, was corrected to right). Heyward says there is no tightness and believes he just needs a day or two. Obliques are nothing to fool around with, though, so I hope he doesn’t try to come back too soon. Eric Hinske takes his spot in right field.
Minor showed some fortitude in his last start against the Dodgers, giving up three runs on eight hits but not walking any and lasting six innings. It’s a game where Minor may not have had his best stuff, but it was a statement that he stayed in to last six and maintained solid control. Minor has gone at least six innings his each of his last three starts.
McDonald had a start to remember in his last time out, although the final line may not show it. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and struck out eight over seven total innings, allowing one run on one hit and walking three. McDonald had previously been unable to rack up many strikeouts, with three being his previous high over three starts. But his 16 K% isn’t far off from his career mark of 19.3%, so he just doesn’t record a ton of punch outs. He does, however, record walks, as a 10.4 BB% shows.
McDonald throws a mix of different fastballs that all pitch to contact around 90-92 miles per hour, and his best off-speed offering is a curveball that he tosses 17% of the time. According to Brooks Baseball, his curve has resulted in a whiff/swing rate of 14.29% this year, and 33.33% over his career.
Per notes, Guy Curtright writes on Jason Heyward’s stolen base numbers, and Brian McCann and Chipper Jones being back in the lineup on Sunday.
AJC quotes following Sunday’s win. Tim Hudson: “My cutter was pretty good today. Nothing was great, but my cutter was pretty good, especially in on lefties. My location on my fastball wasn’t exactly how I wanted it but it was good enough. Between that and mixing in some curveballs and mixing in some splits, I was able to just keep them off-balance just enough and locate just enough.”
Catcher/outfielder/mainly hitter Evan Gattis was promoted to Double-A Mississippi. Gattis was hitting .385/.468/.821 with nine home runs in 94 plate appearances for Single-A Advanced Lynchburg. At 25 years old, that’s pretty much what a 25-year-old is supposed to do at Single-A Advanced, so we’ll see how he handles Double-A.
Former Braves reliever George Sherrill will undergo Tommy John surgery. Sherrill received a $1.1 million contract from the Mariners in December.
Kevin Goldstein ranks the top 12 prospects for fantasy purposes. Andrelton Simmons comes in at No. 11, while Julio Teheran dropped out because of his start last Wednesday (Insider required).
Baseball Prospectus and Brooks Baseball have teamed up and will provide coverage using BB’s data. This is great news and is heartily endorsed by us.
The Outside Corner’s Minor League Monday mentions Julio Teheran.
MiLB.com has an article on Teheran.
Around the NL East
On Sunday, Adam Kilgore reported Mark DeRosa was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique and called up Tyler Moore. The 25-year-old outfielder was hitting .286/.364/.597 with seven home runs in 88 plate appearances for Triple-A Syracuse. He started in left field on Sunday and went 1-3 with a single.
Moore wasn’t expected to be in the lineup on Sunday, but manager Davey Johnson scratched Jayson Werth with what was labeled “a manager’s decision.”
Marlins players are criticizing the team training staff for its work.
Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports features Mets outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Matt Filippi of The Hardball Times writes his State of the NL East.
The scare of the weekend was Brian McCann’s strained intercostal muscle in his right side that forced him to exit Friday’s game early. However, he was back in the lineup on Sunday after waking up to minimal discomfort that morning, and things seem to be fine.
Keith Law reported a rumor that the Braves could be targeting high school shortstop Tanner Rahier in the first round of the draft (Insider required).
Bryce Harper was called up and made his major league debut on Saturday.