I made the decision to give myself a little break during spring training. With seemingly every sportswriter on the planet tweeting inning-by-inning score updates ad nauseam in games that don't count, I figured that it was territory that was already being thorougly covered.
But in three days, the games will start to count. And Screaming Indian is very excited about kicking off its first full regular season.
Now, despite my previous comments and overwhelming evidence that spring training performance is not useful in predicting regular season performance, there are some interesting stories that emerged from the Grapefruit League.
- Jason Heyward's .346/.469/.481 spring, which earned him a starting spot in right field. While exciting for the fans, the decision to not hold him back in AAA for a couple of weeks could prove costly down the line when he earns 'super two' arbitration status.
- The starting rotation's 68 to 13 K/BB ratio. Tim Hudson looks fully recovered and Derek Lowe appears primed for a rebound. Kenshin Kawakami had a disturbingly low strikeout total (13) in 24 2/3 innings while only walking two. It's highly unlikely that he'd be capable of sustaining a walk rate that low during the regular season.
Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA standings currently have the Braves taking the NL wild card, while CHONE has them winning the East. They'll need some things to go their way in order for these projections to come to fruition, but it should - if nothing else - be a very exciting season in Atlanta.