Good morning, everyone. Hopefully, you all have some fun stuff planned for Father’s Day weekend, and I know there are a ton of sports going on. We are going to get right into the links today:
TalkingChop–Ben Duronio talks about why Andrelton Simmons is the worst choice to hit leadoff for the Atlanta Braves:
In terms of what you look for from a leadoff man, I do not see one quality that Simmons actually possesses. Those qualities are an ability to work the count, get on base, and run the bases well. Of course, there is more to it than those three factors, but specifically in leadoff men those are three attributes you would like. It is arguable that Simmons is the worst on the team at the first two and is still pretty poor at the final factor. While he is not as bad of a base runner as some players on the squad, he is a far cry from “good.”
Simmons does not strike out or walk more than 10% of the time. Having a low strikeout rate is a good thing but not if it is in coordinance with an absurdly low walk rate. He has the hand-eye coordination to make contact almost at will, and while there has been a plethora of people complaining about strikeouts this season, making contact is not always a good thing.
AJC–The Braves have scratched Beachy from his start Tuesday against the Mets due to a “minor setback”:
On the cusp of making his return from Tommy John surgery, the Braves have scratched Brandon Beachy from his highly-anticipated start Tuesday against the Mets because of elbow tenderness.
Braves general manager Frank Wren said the Braves consider this to be a minor setback, the first Beachy has experienced of any kind in his 12-month recovery from elbow surgery. They’ll rest him now and have given no immediate timetable for his return.
“We had hoped he could make this start on the doubleheader, but it wasn’t a make-or-break start obviously,” Wren said. “The most important thing is to get him healthy long term and we feel like pushing him back a little bit, giving him a little more time is the prudent thing to do.”
Beachy struggled with his command in three innings for Triple-A Gwinnett Thursday night in Rochester, walking four and allowing three runs (two earned) while throwing only 38 strikes in 69 pitches. He was examined by Braves team doctors on Friday evening at Turner Field.
NFL.com–Apparently, Steven Jackson is running around in the body of a 22 year old:
When Steven Jackson reached free agency for the first time in his career this offseason, teams told his agent they were hesitant to invest in a 30-year-old running back.
Acknowledging that aging NFL stars must “continue to evolve” or be “left behind,” Jackson points to recently inducted Hall of Famer Curtis Martin as his role model. Martin was 31 years old when he won the NFL rushing crown with 1,697 yards in 2004.”That’s a hard thing, accepting and acknowledging that,” Jackson told Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com. “I want to take great pride in changing that thinking.”
PeachTreeHoops–Kris Willis talks about the possibility of giving both Chris Paul and Dwight Howard max deals in free agency:
For those wondering if the Atlanta Hawks could sign both Dwight Howard andChris Paul to max contracts this summer the answer is yes but it would take a little work on their part as outlined by ESPN.com’s Kevin Pelton.
According to Pelton, the Hawks would have to trade Lou Williams and last year’s first round pick John Jenkins or one of this year’s first round picks without taking back any salary in return. We have already discussed a situation where Atlanta could take a European player from Europe like Giannis Antetokounmpo and sending a signed letter to the league indicating that he had no intention of playing in the NBA next season.
Atlanta would also have to renounce all of its impending free agents includingJosh Smith and Jeff Teague. They would then be left to fill out the roster with the “room exception” and minimum contracts. Paul or Howard could also agree to less than a max deal as Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh did to give themselves more room to bring in other assets but that may be a hard sell. It will be up to Ferry to convince Paul and Howard that teaming up with Al Horford and taking a little less money to fill up the roster is what it will take to potentially win a championship.