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Atlanta Braves Payroll in 2014 + Contracts Going Forward Part 1

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season.  When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins.  With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014.  Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash - to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves.  Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again.  These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

It would be one thing if B.J. Upton were the only player on the Braves who had an abysmal season. When you add the injuries and the season of Dan Uggla to Upton worst year of his career, it is actually amazing this team ended with 96 Wins. With the club losing Brian McCann, Paul Maholm and Tim Hudson, they will need Upton and CO. to rebound for the team to contend again in 2014. Upton has to get back to 20/20 years for powers and steals, and at least hit to 85% of his career 3 slash – to justify the contract doled out by the Atlanta Braves. Uggla must correct his vision problems and get back to raking again. These 2 guys are the #2 and #3 paid guys on the squad in 2014 behind Justin Upton.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org. Depth Chart/Payroll Expert)

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The ‘Tomahawk Choppers’ have 2 players that are killing them for Free Agent signings this winter.

B.J. Upton is only in the 2nd year of his 5 YRs/$75 MIL – and underachieving Dan Uggla  is still on the  books for 2 more years.

Between these 2 gentleman, they will bring down $26.25 MIL in 2014.  The Braves are hoping for more than under the ‘Mendoza Line’ Batting Averages – and an occasional big fly.

The Braves are also headed to Arbitration with Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and Craig Kimbrel.  This is certainly bound to cost the organization a pretty penny.

In fact, those 3 players will likely exceed the amount of the B.J Upton and Uggla contracts.

Craig Kimbrel 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics Parental Guidance Is Advised:

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The Atlanta Braves State Of The Union – Fall 2013: Part 1

2013 was not an easy road traveled either. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

2013 was not an easy road traveled for Atlanta. The Braves suffered so many injuries and set backs this season that I think a lot of us almost forget about the ones that happened earlier on in the year. Johnny Venters never even threw a regular season pitch this year and he has been our premiere set up man. Eric O’Flaherty threw his last pitch somewhere around the middle of May against this very Dodger team at Turner Field.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

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At the point after Eric O’Flaherty went down, many of us Braves fans began to panic and wonder how Fredi Gonzalez would get the ball to arguably the best closer

in all of baseball Craig Kimbrel. What happened after that? The Braves would still go on to post the best bullpen ERA in all of baseball and on top of that set a franchise record for the same mark.

Jason Heyward missed significant time as did Brian McCann. Freddie Freeman spent a couple of weeks on the disabled list and still drove in over 100 runs on the season.

BJ Upton and Dan Uggla struggled throughout most of the 2013 season and BJ was one of the players expected to make a huge impact when he signed with the Braves this winter and it just never happened.

Other players stepped up and young players assumed roles that were well beyond the original expectations of them in 2013.

No one panicked and no one quit and as a fan I am appreciative of the heart and effort this team always put forth.

The Dodgers Celebrate winning the NLDS Series versus Atlanta (At Turner Field)

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Braves May Have The Medicine To Cure The “Blue Flu”

The Braves are National League Eastern Division champions and for that they deserve a large amount of recognition. When you think back to the start of Spring Training and look all of those “expert” predictions that said the Washington Nationals would win the East this year you have to realize that despite the busy off season activity the Braves were still labeled as under dogs in their own division.

The Braves are National League Eastern Division champions and for that they deserve a large amount of recognition. When you think back to the start of Spring Training and look all of those “expert” predictions that said the Washington Nationals would win the East this year you have to realize that despite the busy off season activity the Braves were still labeled as under dogs in their own division.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

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Despite injuries and struggles on the offensive end from highly paid players such as BJ Upton and Dan Uggla the Braves still manged to dominant the Eastern Division.

By “dominate” I mean they were in 1st place every single day of the season except for April 4th and they held at least an 8 game lead every single day for the final 60 of the season. If that’s not dominance I don’t know what is.

Besides the incredible season – and all that was achieved, the Braves did fail to secure the number one seed in the National League for the post season – which would have secured them home field throughout the playoffs and allowed them to play the winner of the Wild Card “play in game.” rather then having to face the Dodgers in the N.L.D.S.

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Is A Chief Needed For The Braves Young Rotation?

At first thought of Freddy Garcia stepping any where near the hill to start a playoff game, may have fans cringe at the thought, but keep in mind of his prior playoff pedigree.  In a spot start or pinch, the wily veteran chucker may be up for the challenge.  The 36 Year Old from Venezuela holds a 6 - 3 record - with a 3.28 ERA in 10 Game Starts, and in particular was 3 - 0, with a 2.14 ERA for the 2005 World Champion White Sox.  Could he channel some of his experience for Atlanta if called upon?

At first thought of Freddy Garcia stepping anywhere near the hill to start a playoff game, may have fans cringe at the thought, but keep in mind of his prior playoff pedigree. In a spot start or a pinch, the wily veteran chucker may be up for the challenge. The 36 Year Old from Venezuela, holds a 6 – 3 record – with a 3.28 ERA in 10 Post Season Game Starts, and in particular was 3 – 0, with a 2.14 ERA for the 2005 World Champion White Sox. Could he channel some of his experience for Atlanta if called upon?

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

Freddy Garcia, nicknamed the “chief” has recently been called up from the minor leagues to add some relief to the Atlanta bullpen.

At first I was very skeptical of the move and didn’t really see it as being anymore then an inexpensive way to eat up innings down the stretch while the team sits on a large division lead.

Then when Garcia began to see minor league action and couldn’t seem to get anyone out I became even more convinced that this deal wouldn’t amount to anything.

Well we all know how quickly things can change in Major League Baseball and today’s zeros can become tomorrow’s hero’s in the blink of an eye.

Freddy Garcia hurls a SO versus the Nationals 5/30/2013

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The Braves Keep On ‘Chopping’ Despite Several Key Injuries

The Braves have been falling by the wayside to injury since the 1st part of the year.  They have lost Venters, O'Flaherty. Hudson and now Heyward for a 2nd time.  If you couple that with lackluster performances from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, then this team has overachieved to the fullest with the rest of the choppers!

The Braves have been falling by the wayside to injury since the 1st part of the year. They have lost Venters, O’Flaherty. Hudson and now Heyward for a 2nd time. If you couple that with lackluster performances from Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton, the injury time on the DL for Brian McCann, Brandon Beachy – and even Evan Gattis, plus the retired Chipper Jones having been departed from the 2012 squad, then this team has overachieved to the fullest with the rest of the choppers!  Atlanta currently owns the best record in the MLB – with a 77 – 50 mark, 14 games clear of the 2nd place Washington Nationals in the NL East. Also, please stop inadvertently injuring our players New York Mets!

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

The word “injury” has plagued this 2013 Braves team all season long.

The injury bug didn’t take long to hit as Jonny Venters the teams premier set up man was unable to throw a single pitch this regular season.

Then it was Eric O’Flaherty who was hit with a season ending injury. At this point in time it was about mid May and many were in panic mode over what would become of this feared and revered Atlanta Braves bullpen.

It wouldn’t take too long to find out the answer to that question. After a little mixing and matching Fredi Gonzalez found the right guys to plug into those critical 7th/8th inning roles and they have been nothing short of spectacular.

Jason Heyward Hit In The Face – Not For The Weak Of Heart, You Have Been Warned!

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Braves Trade Deadline Talk

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Sunday, July.07/2013

The Brothers Upton are not living up to expectations.  With the exception of an MVP type like April, Justin Upton is hitting right where B.J. Upton has for the year.

The Brothers Upton are not living up to expectations. With the exception of an MVP type like April, Justin Upton is hitting right where B.J. Upton has for the year.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

I’m sometimes hesitant to even put out an article about the trade deadline because the last thing the internet needs is more rumors and theories floating around, most of which never even come close to materializing.

However there is something to be said about the anticipation of the trade deadline as it’s almost the summer version of the winter meetings in which it allows teams to make that one final push towards their ultimate goal of winning a World Series.

And while some fan bases will have renewed hope or further reassurance that their team is in it to win it, other fan bases will suffer the harsh reality that their team is no longer a contender and that they will be more or less packing it in for the rest of the season.

Over the winter meetings the Braves put themselves in kind of tricky spot, possibly without even realizing it.

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2 And A Hook Podcast Ep #8: Dodgers (Puig Especially), White Sox + Braves Talk With Awesome Guests!

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Thursday, June.20/2013

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast

MLB reports and The Benchwarmers Show present 2 and A Hook Podcast.

‘2 And A Hook’ is an expression from Baseball:  ‘Throw the guy 2 Fast balls and then a Hook’ (AKA Curve Ball, Wiggly one, Chair etc..)

By James Acevedo – Host (Podcast Veteran )

On today’s show, brought to you by MLB Reports (www.mlbreports.com) & yours truly The Bench Warmers, I talked with MLB Reports Braves correspondent Bob McVinua (www.braveschoptalk.wordpress.com) about the Atlanta Braves season so far, what’s to come for them the rest of the season plus other things…

Then I talked to MLB Reports Dodgers correspondent Enrique Rivera about their phenom Yasiel Puig, if the Dodgers somehow can get back in the playoff race amongst other issues…

Also I interviewed MLB Reports White Sox correspondent Brian Madsen about the White Sox offensive struggles, is their farm system producing any future ball players & other stuff…also I do my Stats & Facts segment as usual so check out this baseball podcast that talks baseball like it outta be!!! SPREAD THE WORD!! Thank you all for your support!!!

People in this Podcast:

Bob McVinua (MLB Reports Guest Braves Correspondent – About 9 Minutes in and a 21 Minute Segment)

Enrique Rivera (MLB Reports LA Dodgers Correspondent – 31 Minute Mark and a 15 Minute Segment) 

Brian Madsen (MLB Reports White Sox Correspondent- 53 Minutes In and a 17 Minute Segment) 

(Stats and Facts done by James at the 1 Hour and 10 Minute Mark for 20 Minutes and for the 1st 9 Minutes.)

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Braves Schedule Sets Them Up For Smooth Sailing

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Sunday, June.16/2013

The Braves have only gone 4 - 6 in the last 10 games, however this team has a great schedule ahead of them, a 5.5 Games lead on the Nationals, 51 Games remaining at home, while only playing 43 on the road.  That and they play in the worst Division in the National League

The Braves have only gone 4 – 6 in the last 10 games, however this team has a great schedule ahead of them, a 5.5 Games lead on the Nationals, 51 Games remaining at home, while only playing 43 on the road. That and they play in the worst Division in the National League.  Atlanta is 15 – 6 versus their NL East counterparts – and have 55 Games left against the Mets, Marlins, Phillies and Nats out of the last 94 contests.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

Sometimes when a team is scuffling a little bit the fan base needs some reason for optimism. Now of course players are supposed to focus on the game and opponent at hand and not look too far away.

However I’m not a player so it’s perfectly fine for me to look ahead at the Braves schedule and what I see is nothing but smooth sailing ahead for Captain Fredi Gonzalez.

Now no game on a schedule can be counted as a win and on any given day anyone can beat anyone in Major League Baseball. I know the arguments against my point but I’d still much prefer to play a soft stretch in my schedule while I’m struggling a little bit then a difficult one.

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We’re A 1/3 Of The Way Home: 10 Braves Questions To Ponder For The Last 2/3

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Friday, May.31/2013

The Braves have entered the 1/3rd part of the NL East atop of the Division,  The Nationals and Phillies have struggled, while the franchise has seen more ups and downs.  Even with B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward having poor numbers (other than Uggla's power,) the club may really take off if these guys get aboard the train.

The Braves have entered the 1/3rd part of the NL East atop of the Division, The Nationals and Phillies have struggled, while the franchise has seen more ups and downs. Even with B.J. Upton, Dan Uggla and Jason Heyward having poor numbers (other than Uggla’s power,) the club may really take off if these guys get aboard the train.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

I can’t believe it’s already the end of May and that baseball season is almost a 1/3 of the way over already. It’s been a fun two months and I’ve enjoyed cheering for and stressing over these Bravos for the past almost 60 days.

I thought that this was a good time to assess what I think the Braves have and what they don’t have. And moving forward what this team will have to do in order to be successful.

As usual I don’t want to bore anyone with stats, I may throw a few in there for reference points but I’ll try not to over load anyone. I can’t stand the fact that you can’t even read an article on baseball without it looking like a math problem.

Past the Read Entry Tag – or youtube clip – as there are the 10 questions to be answered in the last 108 Games.

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Braves Bullpen Burnout

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Monday, May.27/2013

Isn't it funny who times change, the Braves used to be the model franchise when it came to health of their Pitching Staff.  Now it seems that every year there are a couple of guys going down with Tommy John Surgery.  What is going on?

Isn’t it funny who times change, the Braves used to be the model franchise when it came to health of their Pitching Staff. Now it seems that every year there are a couple of guys going down with Tommy John Surgery. What is going on?

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

I don’t want this article to become one that is filled with stats and numbers. I don’t want to go into the details of the past season, this season or any other season. All this is about is discussing an often misunderstood entity of the game of baseball. The major league bullpens.

The topic of bullpens rarely turns into a heated debate even by baseball’s biggest fans. People are far more focused on the starting rotation and the position players that play every single day.

It’s rare for there to be a block buster bullpen signing or trade that really gets the juices of baseball fans going and the names in each bullpen are barely recognizable to most baseball fans.

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Getting Healthy Could Catch Up To The Braves

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Friday, April.26/2013

The Braves have weathered many injuries in the early season - and a slump of Jason Heywards 3 Slash Line of .121//269/.519 in 17 Games Played - with only 2 HRs and 5 RBI.  Freeman just returned from a strained oblique on Apr.23rd.

The Braves have weathered many injuries in the early season – and a slump of Jason Heywards 3 Slash Line of .121//269/.519 in 17 Games Played – with only 2 HRs and 5 RBI. Freeman just returned from a strained oblique on Apr.23rd.  The First Baseman has had a better start to his year, clutching up for 1 HR and 8 RBI in just 8 Games Played.  His 3 Slash so far is .321/.424./924.

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

It’s a very rare set of circumstances. One that not many teams in sports will ever experience. Something that appears so positive that it can’t possibly bring a negative or complicated outcome to your franchise. That circumstance is getting healthy.

Baseball teams worry about health from the moment Spring Training begins and they don’t stop worrying about it until the last pitch of October is thrown and a champion is crowned.

The Braves have had their fair share of injuries to begin this season (Jason Heyward – the latest to go down with an appendectomy) but fortunately we have plugged players in there that have been able to experience a great level of success and lead the team to what is now a 15-7 record to start the season, very impressive.

A lot of these injured players will have a home waiting for them when they return, a spot on the diamond and a place in the line up. Freddie Freeman had no trouble fitting back into the line up this  nor will Jonny Venters when he returns to the Bullpen later this year.

Braves 2013 Preview Mature Lyrics so Parental Guidance is Advised:

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A Dark Horse Is Emerging To Possibly Make The Braves Rotation

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Thursday, March.14/2013

J.R. Graham has seen some relief duty in Spring Training for the Braves - appearing in 4 games, pitching 7 IP without allowing a run. The 23 Year Old has fanned 4 batters and has 2 Saves so far.  The Braves have one of the best Bullpens in the Majors

J.R. Graham has seen some relief duty in Spring Training for the Braves – appearing in 4 games, pitching 7 IP without allowing a run. The 23 Year Old has fanned 4 batters and has 2 Saves so far. The Braves have one of the best Bullpens in the Majors

By Bob McVinua (Special Guest Braves Writer – visit his website here):

Anyone who is even somewhat familiar with the Atlanta Braves farm system has heard the name Julio Teheran. He is one of baseballs top prospects – and has been the pride of the Braves farm system for the last couple of seasons.

And while I believe Teheran is a very talented kid with a lot of up side, there has also been another name emerging in Braves camp this spring that could make for an interesting potential battle for the 5th spot in their Starting Rotation.

That young pitcher would be a guy by the name of J.R. Graham. A 6’0 tall, 185 LB – hard throwing Right Handed Pitcher. Graham may be a little less recognizable than Teheran but he has the ability to light up the radar gun – having been clocked at over 100 MPH on several occasions.

JR Graham Highlights as a Mississippi Braves pitcher

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