It is a good thing that the Spring Training games don’t really matter when the regular season comes along. In reality the only thing that matters is what happens in the first few innings. Other than that you just look at individual achievements and see which players are doing well and which ones have work to do. At least that’s what you tell yourselves when you lose badly as the Atlanta Braves did on Saturday against the New York Yankees.
Paul Maholm got the start for the Braves and looked really good in both of his innings. He drew a lot of ground balls which is always a good thing to see. Maholm could really be a big factor in the middle of the Braves starting rotation. After him, Craig Kimbrel had a good showing as well. From there it didn’t go so well. Again, since they lost, we won’t focus on the latter innings. Mainly let’s see who did what.
Maholm showed that he is well on track to begin a career year in the middle of what could be a very surprising starting rotation to everyone outside of the Braves locker room. It took Even Gattis a few minutes to settle in before his big thunderous bat picked up where it left off in the winter leagues and the minors last season. Gattis is one of those guys who somehow make the ball sound like it got hit harder.
All in all, manager Fredi Gonzalez has a few things that he can look towards. Gattis is going to make it extremely hard not to keep him on board. One concerning sight was when Chris Johnson miss-played a simple pop fly in front of home plate. Braves fans aren’t used to seeing flubs at third base. It is very early though and for now we’ll just say it bears watching next time Johnson is in there.