Earlier today, Atlanta Braves general manager John Coppolella did another #AskCoppy on the twitters. I missed the entire thing because for some reason, I had kids and they annoyed me with wanting to have family time. I mean, honestly, what kind of evil children want you to play with them, color, and hang out? My evil children.
As such, I’m going to need to catch up on the Q&A session. Maybe you’re like me and missed it, too, and I’m saving you some time by recapping. You’re welcome, by the way. Usually, I embed tweets, but for the sake of my sanity, I’d rather we just do a quick-and-gritty recap. An Emilio Bonifacio recap, if you will.
Coppy says they are looking to improve the bullpen and hopeful that “those answers come from our farm system.” Recently, I suggested Lucas Sims and possibly Sean Newcomb as possible answers. Let them get their feet wet with bullpen work. Coppy mentioned Sims later, but only as a possibility should the Braves need a starting pitcher. He does laud his improved control and changeup.
James Loney‘s signing yesterday may not be the final pickup the Braves make to try to add depth at first base. According to Coppy, they will explore the trade market. Might they see about Christian Walker, a right-handed hitting option the Braves briefly had during spring training who is absolutely raking for Reno in the Pacific Coast League? Another option the Braves are going to look at is Carlos Franco, who was promoted to Triple-A today.
Coppy recommends Fox Bros. and Yard House if you are considering where to eat around the stadium.
The Braves are trying to add draft choices, but teams are less willing to surrender them compared to previous years. Atlanta has previously used acquired draft choices for Austin Riley and Brett Cumberland among others.
Here’s a surprise for me…Kris Medlen is still an Atlanta Brave. The Braves signed him last January, but two months later, he was released according to reports. However, a week later, his MILB page shows him assigned to extended spring training. According to Coppy, after a six shutout inning start recently in extending spring training, he’ll be headed to an affiliate soon. (7:30 edit: It’s been announced that Medlen will start this Saturday for Florida). Another veteran, Rex Brothers, could also join an affiliate very soon.
Luiz Gohara is expected to miss one start after hitting the DL with a triceps injury this week. “Precautionary” move by the Braves according to Coppy. Another prospect, Ozzie Albies, is just not ready for a callup as another question suggested moving Brandon Phillips to first. Meanwhile, Coppy wouldn’t rule out the possibility to seeing 19-year-olds Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka this season. Highly unlikely, though.
Speaking of prospects, A.J. Minter is “throwing” and the Braves are hopeful he can finally get back on the mound in a couple of weeks. On the subject of injuries at the minor league level, Coppy was asked why it can be so difficult to figure out what injuries occur to minor leaguers and he explained that HIPAA laws are a part of it. One minor leaguer’s injury was discussed, though. Kyle Kinman had Tommy John surgery and is out for the season.
Considering a big splash at third base and could use prospects to facilitate a deal. Restart the Evan Longoria-to-Atlanta rumor, guys.
OutfieldFlyRule’s Andy Harris asked how much Statcast was being used. “We definitely use it, but like everything it is just one piece of the puzzle. Lots of factors go into each decision, but it’s cool stuff.” Translation…it’s cool. These are the kind of answers that are both intriguing and disappointing. I’d like to see Coppy’s answer look more like, “It’s incredibly valuable and every decision we make involves using Statcast data in some facet.”
There’s a chance that Sean Rodriguez is going to play this year. But…it’s not likely.
On the earlier season move of bringing up Aaron Blair for a couple of days before replacing him with Matt Wisler, Coppy explained that Blair was up in case an arm was needed while Wisler was being given a chance to claim a bullpen spot, but as we know, he ultimately failed.
Coppy says Dustin Peterson will be back in a week. Guess what? He was in tonight’s Gwinnett starting lineup. On the other hand, Alex Jackson hit the DL today. No fractures, but he’s dealing with some soreness. I still haven’t seen what exactly the injury is.
So, that’s my recap. Once again, we are very lucky to have Coppy in that he’s willing to spend two-and-a-half hours answering questions to Braves fans a day after finding out his best player is gone for two months.