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.

Kyle Seager is in The Best Shape of His Life

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Kyle Seager had the worst year of his big league career in 2018. He hit .221/.273/.400 (86 OPS+) and saw his home run total decline for the second straight year. In response, Seager has reported back to camp in Peoria . . . in the best shape of his life.

This story about it in the Seattle Times has it all: the poor production and nagging injuries that led to a change of habits in the offseason. A new diet, new exercise routines, a focus on flexibility, the epiphany that an injury was the result of conditioning and, as the payoff, the scene on the first day of workouts when his uniform was too baggy and he had to get a new one.

The proof, of course, will not come from the eating, but in the production.