Guys guys guys Spring training is exactly one week from today. Pitchers and catchers will report on February 15th and the rest of the players will be there on or before February 18th.There still might be another free agent signing before then so let’s not overlook that possibility. While reading the Braves page on MLB Network.com I found an update on pitcher A.J. Minter. He is a left handed relief pitcher. The Braves haven’t been this excited about a pitching prospect since Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel is now a closer for the Boston Red Soxs and he continues to be one of the best closing pitchers in baseball.
Currently Jim Johnson is the Braves closing pitcher and he was very dominating in the second half of the 2016 Atlanta Braves schedule. In case fans have forgotten the Braves were one of the hottest teams in the last few months in baseball. Jim Johnson did sign a 2 year extension with the Braves this off season. While the bullpen looks to be very solid looking towards the future is never a bad idea. It’s very possible that A.J. Minter can make the final 2017 roster. However keep in mind there is no rush to bring Minter to the major league level. Minter is currently at the AA level. He did have Tommy John’s surgery last year. He has posted very promising numbers in the minors. He currently has a 1.30 ERA and he is holding batters to a .149 batting average in 34 and 2/3 innings. Minter may need more experience but that decision is up to the Braves coaches and managers.
The Braves first Spring training game will be against the Toronto Blue Jays on February 25, 2017. The game will be available on Podcast but not on MLB Network. The Braves will have games on MLB Network for Spring training. There is a complete list under the Braves link on MLB Network.com. I already have all the dates and times on my wall calender, but that’s me and my Braves obsession. March Madness will interfere with some of the game times, but keep in mind I love baseball and like all other sports. We still have time for Braves president John Hart and General Manager John Coppolella to make a trade or signing before February 15th. The baseball grass is green and Spring is in the air, at least in Florida. The cactus league in Arizona might be ready also, but I’m focused on the Braves and the Grapefruit league. Take a deep breath Braves fans, the only thing missing are the corndogs and popcorn. GO BRAVES!!!!!