If the pre-season was all about winning, the Braves would be in trouble. Out of all other 32 teams they sit at the very bottom with a 2-8 record through their first 10 games. That includes 6 straight losses, the most recent one being by 10 runs. Most fans choose to not worry about Spring Training games because they don’t play any effect on the regular season. In a 162 game regular season that is already said by many to be “too long”, an additional 33 Spring Training games gets overlooked by nearly everyone. That is not to say the MLB should rid of the pre-season games, watching player’s performances gives quite the insight on what to expect come opening day. The actual record doesn’t mean much, as pitchers get pulled early, and fielders get pulled to give other players opportunities to showcase what they have. Here’s the pro’s and con’s to how the Braves first 10 games went.
Pros- Julio Teheran is off to a great start. Although the sample size is slim with only 5 innings pitched, Teheran has given up 0 earned runs and 5 hits. Mike Foltynewicz has an ERA sub 2.0 and continues to show off an arm that easily hits upper 90’s. These two players are just getting started for what they should offer in upcoming games. Teheran has been reliable and will likely stay that way, and Foltynewicz is a young arm really beginning to prosper. As for hitting, Emilio Bonifacio is batting .364 and is a standout in the RBI category. The long ball has been a part of the Braves relatively hot start at the plate as they have already hit 7 homeruns. Dansby Swanson owns 1 of them, and Freddie Freeman is looking to join the home run club on the year soon. So far Freddie’s been swinging a hot stick but hasn’t quite found the distance. With an offense that’s looking like it can be more prominent than previous years, expect for Atlanta to break the trend of losing and start winning more of their Spring Training games.
Cons- With a 2-8 record you’d expect for there to be multiple mishaps. There isn’t a crazy number of things that stood out, but there’s certainly a few. 12 errors through 10 games is one of them. The fielders aren’t always tier 1 in Spring Training, but that’s no excuse for averaging over an error a game. The pitching staff has been prone to giving up big innings as well. Both Boston and Detroit have both pulled off large innings against the Braves. It’s nearly impossible to win games if you gift the other team runs, no matter how well your team’s doing at the plate. Through the first 10 games, The Braves have averaged 4.1 runs per game, but has given up 6.1. The sloppiness needs to be cleaned up before the season starts in order for Atlanta to be real contenders this year.
Next opponent: Pittsburgh Pirates 1:05pm 3/7