Optimism for the Braves, Optimism for the Mets

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In the interests of equal time, I report good news relating to both my own team, the Braves, and my team’s quasi-nemesis, the Mets.

For the Braves, it’s FanGraph’s David Cameron opining that one of the team’s putative weaknesses — Melky Cabrera in leftfield — will actually be a positive:

He may not look like a classic corner outfielder, but Cabrera can play,
and I think Braves fans will be pleasantly surprised with what he
offers. His defense is going to be a solid plus in a corner, and he’s
not far from being a quintessential #2 hitter. Given his physical
skills and age, don’t be surprised if he locks down an outfield spot in
Atlanta for the next several years.

I’ll admit I’m worried, so it’s nice to hear one of the smartest baseball analysts in the business rocking the Melky optimism.

The Mets don’t have a smart analyst in their corner, but they do have an off-brand t-shirt shop showing an even greater optimism, and that’s not too bad seeing what they have to work with this year.

Diamondbacks sign Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.

Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?