At least one Philly fan — Corey Seidman at Phillies Nation — fears the Feesh more. After an extensive breakdown of the two challengers’ rotations which he thinks to be more or less equal, he offers something short and pithy to make it clear where he comes down on the matter:
We’ll discuss hitting another day, but I’ll let it be known now that I
don’t trust a Braves offense relying on the aging Chipper Jones, a
has-been Troy Glaus, an undeveloped, crowned-too-early Jason Heyward, an
enigmatic Yunel Escobar, an unsustainably hot Martin Prado, and an
overrated Nate McLouth, to make it through a full season.
I’ll buy his take on the rotations — especially his righteous takedown of Derek Lowe — but I think he’s sleeping on the Braves’ offense a bit. The Braves and Marlins have had fairly similar overall production so far this year despite the fact that Atlanta has gotten zero from first base, shortstop, center field and left field. No, Jason Heyward and Martin Prado aren’t going to sport OPSes of 1.000+ all year, but the Braves have a lot of offensive upside to look forward to this season.
Ultimately all that matters is what happens on the field, of course, and today begins the first Braves-Phillies series of the season. I’m curious to see how they matchup. But I also want to know from Phillies fans: who do you think will give the team more trouble over the course of the season: Atlanta or Florida?
(thanks to resident Phillies Pfan Jonny5 for the link)
The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.
As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”
Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”
Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”
Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.
Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.
It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.
As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.