The Braves announced their NLDS roster a few minutes ago. You can see it here. There aren’t many surprises.
Takashi Saito is off because his shoulder is still wonky. His replacement — Craig Kimbrel — has been pretty fantastic anyway. Jair Jurrjens is off due to his knee. There are still expectations that he would be able to pitch in the NLCS if the Braves make it that far, but at that point rust, rather than health, may be his biggest concern. I think the Braves are on a three-man rotation for the duration, with Brandon Beachy stepping in if things get out of hand.
The biggest takeaway: oh so many rookies. We’ve known that they have a lot just by watching them, but the youth of this team is really made clear when the names are all listed like that: Jason Heyward, Brooks Conrad, Craig Kimbrel, Cristhian Martinez, Brandon Beachy, Jonny Venters and Mike Dunn.
It’s also, once again, made clear how many tomato cans the Braves are relying on too: Kyle Farnsworth, Rick Ankiel, Nate McLouth and Melky Cabrera, most notable among them. Really: the Giants left Jose Guillen off their roster. There’s an argument that he’d be the second best outfielder on the Braves’ roster.
But, that’s why they play the games . . .
Lots of teams have crazy concession items and lots of them will circulate photos of the more gonzo ones in the coming week leading up to the baseball season. The Braves, however, have been one of the more aggressive players in the gimmick concession item game in recent years, and they just sent around a release talking about some of the stuff they, and their concessionaire, Delaware North, will be serving at their new ballpark, Sun Trust Park, in 2017.
Among them:a blackened catfish po boy, which is a blackened 6-ounce filet of catfish cut up among three tacos, with a cajun remoulade. Some BBQ beef brisket sliders. A double burger. An ice cream bar. They’re also going to have a regionally-inspired thing called “The Taste of Braves Country,” showcasing southern cooking from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama. Which they’re calling “Braves Country.” Accurate enough, I guess, even if some of us are old enough to remember when they aspired to be a national team. Alas.
The big item, though, is this one:
It’s called the “Tomahawk Chop” sandwich. It’s a fried pork chop with collard green slaw and white BBQ sauce. It serves four and costs $26. I’m guessing it tastes fantastic, but I think the name is pretty cringeworthy for the same reason the cheer which gives it its name is. And, given the dynamics of the Braves move to their new stadium, the choice of BBQ sauce is . . . amusing? I dunno.
Anyway, enjoy, Braves fans.
Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.
[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:
Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.
He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.
Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.