Spring training is winding down for the Atlanta Braves and with it the final roster spots are being decided and the starters getting close stretched out for the season’s start. Here are the story lines Braves fans need to know headed into the final days of spring training.
Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey were the biggest additions to the Braves rotation this off-season and both have struggled with bloated ERA’s and missing few bats. The Braves front office and coaching staff has been adamant that they are not concerned and there is no reason for fans to be concerned. Are they right?
Spring training is often mentioned along with the words “meaningless stats” veteran players who have made the roster are only getting tuned up while young players spring stats mean everything. While there is some truth to it, it is also a confusing double standard that makes it difficult to sort out exactly which stats do and do not matter.
For Colon and Dickey it is worrisome that they have struggled in spring as much as they have but it could also be meaningless. Two forty-plus year old pitchers who know they have spots locked down have little incentive to be focused on results. Colon and Dickey may not be competing for a Cy any time soon but they are also known commodities.
On the positive side Rio Ruiz has impressed this spring though he seems to have not shot at a roster spot. Adonis Garcia has been serviceable at the hot corner but if Ruiz continues his push for a roster spot it could start to become tempting to employ Garcia as a bench player or look into trading him.
The Braves young pitching meanwhile has been under impressive and most have already been optioned to minor league camp. The Braves made a wise decision adding veteran starters in favor of counting on their young talent to soon.