Georgia State University has big plans for Turner Field once the Braves leave

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And no, it does not involve pouring concrete over Dan Uggla where he sits and turning him into a “living memorial.” I wouldn’t object to that, but GSU is just not on the same page as me. From the AJC:

The university wants to convert The Ted into a new 30,000-seat football, soccer and track-and-field stadium and build a new baseball park, academic buildings and green space. A private team led by real estate development powerhouse Carter and Columbia Residential would build private student housing, a mixed-use campus of shops, restaurants, retail and single-family and market-rate apartment homes on a majority of the surrounding area of about 80 acres.

There’s a map in the story showing the plan. As is the case with all situations like this, it’s a huge, huge leap from proposal stage to actually turning dirt, but it does show that there is interest in the site. There are reportedly three or four other entities who have development ideas too.

Thing about plans like this one? They represent way better use of the property than the current use to which the Braves are putting it. For a lot of reasons — some innocuous and reasonable and logistics-related, some drenched with history and problematic social arrangements and attitudes — baseball fans don’t care to come to Turner Field en masse and even when they do, they don’t want to hang around. If they did there would have been more development around the place in the past 17 years.

Who knows what will ultimately happen there — redevelopments can be great or awful and it’s way to early to know how this goes –but seeing this property better serve the citizens of Atlanta than it’s serving them now would go a long, long way toward alleviating the concerns the Braves’ unexpected move out of downtown has raised.

James Paxton will “nerd out big-time” to stay healthy next year

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To the surprise of, well, very few, the Mariners didn’t make the cut for the postseason this year. While they threw their hats in the ring for a wild card berth, their pitching staff just couldn’t stay healthy, from the handful of pitchers who contracted season-ending injuries in spring training to Felix Hernandez‘s shoulder bursitis to structural damage in Hisashi Iwakuma‘s right shoulder. Left-hander James Paxton missed 79 days with a lingering head cold, strained left forearm and pectoral strain. Heading into the 2018 season, the lefty told MLB.com’s Greg Johns that he plans to “nerd out big-time” in order to prepare for a healthy, consistent run with the club.

So far, Johns reports, that entails a new diet and workout program, hot yoga sessions and blood testing. “I just think there’s more I can do,” Paxton said. “I haven’t done the blood testing before. Finding out if there’s something I don’t know about myself. It’s just about learning and trying to find what works for me.”

When healthy, the 28-year-old southpaw was lights-out for the Mariners. He helped stabilize the front end of the rotation with a 12-5 record in 24 starts and supplemented his efforts with a 2.98 ERA, 2.4 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 136 innings. Despite taking multiple trips to the disabled list, he built up 4.6 fWAR — the most wins above replacement he’s compiled in any season of his career to date. Had he not been felled by a pectoral injury in mid-August — one that came with a five-week trip to the disabled list — the club might have been been able to make a bigger push for the playoffs.

Of course, even if Paxton manages to stay healthy next season, the Mariners still have the rest of the rotation to worry about. They cycled through 17 starters in 2017 and tied the 2014 Rangers with 40 total pitchers over the course of the season. Per GM Jerry Dipoto, their top four starters (Paxton, Hernandez, Iwakuma, and Tommy John candidate Drew Smyly) only contributed 17% of total innings pitched, just a tad below the 40% average. Finding adequate big league arms and compensating for injured aces (both current and former) will be tough. Still, getting a healthy, dominant Paxton back on the mound for 30+ starts would be a huge get for the team — whether or not the postseason is in their future next year.