Recent News

Pace of Play Rule Changes Coming to Major League Baseball

February 20th, 2015 at 11:18 AM
By Cody Fields

Nothing as extreme as a pitch clock or limiting mound visits is coming through the pipeline, but Major League Baseball is expected announce three pace of play rule changes, mlb.com reports.

Thankfully, the replay review process is already being overhauled. Last season, managers would leisurely stroll to have a chat with the umpire involved while stalling for time to allow the clubhouse replay man to evaluate whether to challenge or not. Now they have to initiate the challenge from the dugout, though it's not clear how much time they'll be given.

Secondly, MLB will finally enforce the rule requiring batters to keep at least one foot in the box between pitches unless an "established exemption" occurs. This should help cut down on between pitch rituals that turn Yankees-Red Sox games into four-hour marathons.

The final rule change will be that hitters and pitchers must be ready to play at the end of commercial breaks, though the details haven't quite been worked out.

Thankfully, the pitch clock, which baseball experimented with in last year's Arizona Fall League, will not be used at the major league level for the foreseeable future, though it will be implemented at Double-A and Triple-A games this year.

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Pitchers and Catchers Report to Atlanta Braves Spring Training

February 19th, 2015 at 6:50 PM
By Cody Fields

A new year has brought plenty of new faces to the Atlanta Braves, whose pitchers and catchers reported today to Spring Training.

After underperforming in 2014, the 2015 Braves have 17 new players on their 40-man roster. Gone are Justin Upton, Evan Gattis and Jason Heyward, replaced by Nick Markakis, Jonny Gomes and a slew of fourth outfielders.

A.J. Pierzynski was signed to a one-year deal to provide a veteran presence and to light a fire under young catcher Christian Bethancourt. Pierzynski rubbed his teammates with the Boston Red Sox the wrong way last year before being released and signing with the St. Louis Cardinals. Though signed as a backup, Pierzynski could take over a platoon or even starting role if Bethancourt continues to underwhelm.

Of course, the bigger changes among those reporting today are in the delivering end of the battery. Once again 40 percent of the starting rotation will be completely new with Shelby Miller being acquired from the Cardinals in the Heyward trade and Eric Stults, Wandy Rodriguez, Mike Foltynewicz and Manny Banuelos competing for the fifth spot in the rotation.

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John Hart Named Atlanta Braves’ President of Baseball Operations

October 23rd, 2014 at 12:33 PM
By Cody Fields

John Hart, who took over as the Atlanta Braves' interim manager last month, had no desire to become the Atlanta Braves' permanent general manager, but he did accept the position as the Braves' president of baseball operations on Thursday, the team announced.

Though Hart could effectively run the club in this role, there have been no indications whether he would do so or hire an actual GM. Hart previously won six American League Central Division titles from 1991-2000 with the Cleveland Indians and served as the Texas Rangers' GM from 2000-2002.

"I'm delighted that John Hart has agreed to accept the position of president, baseball operations," team president John Schuerholz said. "Our organization is now poised to move forward in the best possible manner to do the important work that lies ahead. John's credentials speak for themselves. He has had great success as a baseball executive and demonstrated remarkable ability to construct championship teams. We are excited by John's dynamic and positive leadership style and look forward to him leading our baseball operations."

Schuerholz canned former GM Frank Wren on Sept. 22, when the Braves were officially eliminated from playoff contention. Since Wren's dismissal, Hart, Schuerholz, and assistant GM John Coppolella have overhauled the Braves' scouting and player development departments.

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Atlanta Braves Fire GM Frank Wren

September 22nd, 2014 at 11:22 AM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves have fired general manager Frank Wren, the team announced on Twitter today.

The move comes a day after the Braves were swept by the New York Mets to put them three games under .500 and eliminated them from playoff contention. John Hart has been named interim GM but is not expected to take the job permanently.

Atlanta has sputtered to a 4-14 record in September after entering the month just 1 1/2 games out of the Wild Card race. The Braves have hit a major-league worst .202 and scored just 40 runs over the span, punctuating Wren's failed free agent signings ending with B.J. Upton but also including Dan Uggla, Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami.

Wren's assistant, John Coppolella, appears to the front runner to replace Wren.

For the time being, it seems manager Fredi Gonzalez will still be back for 2015, but rumblings continue of other impending moves, including the potential axing of hitting coaches Greg Walker and Scott Fletcher.

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Philadelphia Phillies No-hit Atlanta Braves: Video

September 2nd, 2014 at 9:47 AM
By Cody Fields

Cole Hamels and the Philadelphia Phillies combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves on Monday, highlighting the Braves' offensive woes this season. Even with five walks, they struck out 12 times in a 7-0 loss.

Jonathan Papelbon finished the game with a perfect ninth, but Hamels continued his dominance over Atlanta with seven strikeouts over six innings, despite walking five batters and hitting one with a pitch.

Fredi Gonzalez also took some heat from fans in the bottom of the ninth when he pinch-hit Jose Constanza for Justin Upton. Upton has struck out in five of his last 11 at-bats and didn't argue over the decision.

The Braves have scored one run in their last 27 innings but have somehow managed to stay 1.5 games out of the Wild Card.

Also…

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