Atlanta Braves Notes from Day 1

ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 11: Mike Foltynewicz #26 of the Atlanta Braves reacts to being removed from the game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning at Busch Stadium on August 11, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - AUGUST 11: Mike Foltynewicz #26 of the Atlanta Braves reacts to being removed from the game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning at Busch Stadium on August 11, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /
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Today was Pitchers and Catchers reporting day… but not all of the pitchers were particularly happy.

The Atlanta Braves have opened camp at the wonderful world that’s Walt Disney World… their home for another two Springs.

Here’s a few things from camp and from around the league today:

Folty’s Furrowed Brow

So last Friday and Saturday were busy days for Mike Foltynewicz.  Arbitration trial… birth of his firstborn son.  He managed to make it to both events.  That’s a full day+.

Unfortunately, it seems Folty has been stewing about the former event over the entire weekend.  And perhaps incorrectly.

Quoting from Dave O’Brien’s piece on the subject today (subscription required):

"“It would have been nice if someone from the Braves were actually there,” Foltynewicz said as pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Tuesday. “I took a couple of days out of my schedule to go out to Arizona and go sit there. The world knows it wasn’t a big amount of money we were fighting over, but it would have been nice if they would have been there to sit with their lawyers and tell me why we don’t deserve this contract and this raise. It would have been nice.“I took time out of my day, and almost missed my son being born. It’s just a respect thing…”"

Well, I’m not entirely sure who he expected to see – Alex Anthopoulos, perhaps?  He’s not a lawyer and the arbitration trial thing isn’t his job.

But as O’Brien notes, representatives of the front office were present (I mean… come on, Mike… if they didn’t show up, you would have won by default).  Apparently the turnover at SunTrust Park has been significant enough that he simply didn’t know chief legal officer Greg Heller and operations assistant Danielle Monday… those doing the dirty work.

Now what’s stupid here is this:  Folty and wife Brittany live in Atlanta.  He’s heading to Orlando for spring Training.  The Braves’ Front Office reps are from Atlanta.  So why the heck did all of them – okay, except Brittany – have to jet out to Arizona for the arbitration hearing???

Sheesh, MLB:  could we join the 21st century?  GoTo Meeting much?  Apparently everybody except the arbitrator had to be inconvenienced for this trial.

Which – all told – probably cost everybody the $100,000 differential that Folty lost out on.

At least it sounds like Mike is gonna move on from this silliness… hopefully taking the frustration out on opposing hitters this year.

Matt’s Svelte Again – not the only one

#27 is back on the field… for the Dodgers.  But this version of Matt Kemp looks… better… than the version that limped out of Atlanta in early Fall.  But no – his departure was more about the contract and less about either his legs or his weight.

But here’s the not-quite-as-big news on him:

Honestly, I’m pulling for Kemp – he’s been too good a player over the years to fall apart like he has, so it would be nice to see him has some success in Los Angeles.  The Braves will certainly miss his bat:  that much is certain.

But for Atlanta, there’s another “loss” to consider:

Does that mean Blair will suddenly return to the form that made him a top prospect in the Arizona system before being traded to Atlanta?  Well, it’s still going to be a challenge – there’s clearly a lot of other pitchers that he will have to climb over in the process.

More from Tomahawk Take

But I would have to give Aaron the same kudos and well wishes that we had for Matt Kemp – anybody dropping significant pounds to improve themselves has my respect.

Getting into better condition can’t hurt… though the main concern I’d still have for Blair involves something that would be difficult to change at this point:  that ‘inverted W’ delivery, which you can see prominently displayed across his @Blair_Force1 twitter home page.

There are conflicting opinions about that style – whether it leads to increased injury risk or not.  Over the years, I’ve been personally trending toward the “yes, it does” camp, though I’m hardly an expert on the subject of pitching and bio-mechanics.

I will suggest that having better conditioning should help regardless – and that’s why this is a good report about Blair.

So That’s Why the Option Was Declined?

This is actually kind of interesting… and awesome:

No R.A. Dickey on the roster this year… so expect an additional break-out season for Tyler Flowers?

Next: Lots of interest in Old(er) Timmy

So the first day is in the can… and we’re just getting started on Baseball 2018.