Braves have not decided Snitker's future

Braves have not decided Snitker's future

ATLANTA -- While the Braves have not yet committed to retaining Brian Snitker, the club's top executive expressed high praise for his current manager when asked about the possibility of the club entering the 2018 season with its third different manager in less than two full calendar years.

"Snit is one of the great gentlemen of baseball, one of the great and honored veterans of 40-plus years within one organization," Braves CEO and chairman Terry McGuirk said. "He's the kind of guy to me, if you're ever going to build monuments of people, he'd be a guy. There's just nothing about his demeanor and the way he appreciates the game that I don't appreciate and value."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Byrd is training for his race vs. The Freeze

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Byrd is training for his race vs. The Freeze

 Paul Byrd was never known for his speed. Beyond having a mid-80s fastball, Byrd was also known for his methodical and old-school motion. He'll need to change those habits, as the 46-year-old ex-hurler has been training to face Atlanta's The Freeze on Sunday. 

And how is he getting in shape? Why, that's easy: With a "Rocky"-style training montage. 

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Braves edge Nationals behind Dickey, Albies

Braves edge Nationals behind Dickey, Albies

ATLANTA -- R.A. Dickey bid adieu to Atlanta fans with an impressive effort and the Braves used a two-run fourth inning to beat Tanner Roark and the Nationals, who saw their bid for the National League's best record weakened in Thursday night's 3-2 loss at SunTrust Park.

The Nationals now sit 4 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the battle to earn home-field advantage throughout the NL postseason. They were baffled by Dickey, who retired 20 of the first 22 batters faced and ended up allowing just two runs over eight innings.

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Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta and covered the Nationals on Thursday.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey wins final home start for childhood team

Dickey wins final home start for childhood team

ATLANTA -- R.A. Dickey will get at least one more opportunity to step on a mound and enrich a 15-year career that was fueled by his love for the Braves while growing up in Nashville.

But the veteran knuckleballer still allowed himself to be somewhat sentimental as he attempted to harness the emotions he felt after helping the Braves claim a 3-2 win over the Nationals on Thursday night at SunTrust Park.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lineup changes delay Nats-Braves game

Lineup changes delay Nats-Braves game

ATLANTA -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker entered Thursday night's 3-2 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park planning to rest most of his regulars during the final couple of innings. He certainly didn't anticipate the confusion this would create when he opted to make six lineup changes before the bottom of the eighth.

The game was delayed for eight minutes as Baker talked to his coaches and home-plate umpire Nic Lentz in an attempt to properly align his lineup. He was forced to make a series of adjustments once Sammy Solis entered from the bullpen and stepped on the mound before Lentz had been informed of the double-switch element to the lineup changes.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Surprising Suzuki sets career high in homers

Surprising Suzuki sets career high in homers

ATLANTA -- As the Braves assessed the catching position this past winter, they toyed with the idea of pairing Anthony Recker with Tyler Flowers before ultimately deciding in January to end Kurt Suzuki's long stint on the free-agent market.

Nearly nine months after signing a one-year deal to serve as Atlanta's backup catcher, Suzuki has positioned himself to be one of the most attractive catchers available as a free agent this winter. The easygoing veteran has reinvigorated his career with an unexpected power surge, culminated when he set a new career-high home run total during Wednesday night's 7-3 loss to the Nationals at SunTrust Park.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Albies, Gio shared a warm embrace

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Albies, Gio shared a warm embrace

There are times when the players on the field are able to put the competition aside and show love for one another (or even for the fans watching). For example, on Wednesday night, Felix Hernandez and Adrian Beltre displayed their friendship in a unique and playful way, and Erick Aybar recently embraced a fan after he realized he wasn't going to make a play on a ball that landed in the stands:

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Fan gets super-excited about catching homer

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Fan gets super-excited about catching homer

As one gets older, one often becomes less excitable. Many of the events that were sources of emotional highs in our youth -- birthdays, concerts, a vacation -- become commonplace over the years. Some things, however, never lose their ability to excite.

During Freddie Freeman's first-inning home run in the Braves' Wednesday loss to the Nationals, one fan showed that catching a baseball at the ballpark is one of those experiences that always produces excitement:

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Sims solid vs. Nats, but bullpen falters in loss

Sims solid vs. Nats, but bullpen falters in loss

ATLANTA -- The Nationals took advantage of a struggling Braves' bullpen as they erupted for six runs in the eighth inning of a 7-3 victory on Wednesday at SunTrust Park. The Nationals are now within 3 1/2 games of the Dodgers for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

"They lost command of the strike zone and helped us out there," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "It is easy to be patient when they are not near the strike zone. We capitalized on it and usually you are going to get hits after that."

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Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta who covered the Nationals on Wednesday.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Pipeline Inbox: Projecting Braves' 2020 rotation

Jim Callis answers fans' questions about baseball's future stars

Pipeline Inbox: Projecting Braves' 2020 rotation

With the regular season winding down, I figured I'd check in on my big league predictions from April.

The good news: I projected the Red Sox, Indians, Astros, Nationals, Cubs and Dodgers as division winners, and it looks like I'll go 6-for-6. The bad news: I had the Rangers, Mariners, Giants and Mets as my Wild Card teams, and they all sport a losing record and have been eliminated from postseason contention. 

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Suzuki tries to frame pitch that fooled him

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Suzuki tries to frame pitch that fooled him

A premise of pitch framing -- a catcher's ability to present pitches so that they are more likely to be called strikes -- is that the catcher knows where the pitch is going in advance. During Wednesday's 7-3 loss to the Nationals, Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki showed what framing a pitch looks like when the catcher gets confused by the pitch:

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Promising Gohara flashing top-flight stuff

Promising Gohara flashing top-flight stuff

ATLANTA -- Luiz Gohara's bid to subdue the Nationals' offense for the second time in less than a week faded in the face of reminders of how significantly his challenges have enhanced since he started this season in Class A Advanced.

But in the process -- pitching into the seventh inning of Tuesday night's 4-2 loss to the Nationals at SunTrust Park -- Gohara made yet another strong impression and showed why he might be the most physically gifted pitching prospect the Braves have brought to Atlanta during a rebuilding process that has been highlighted by high-quality young arms.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves bats stifled in opener with Nats

Braves bats stifled in opener with Nats

ATLANTA -- Ryan Zimmerman reached 100 RBIs for the first time since 2009 as the Nationals continued to tune up for the postseason with a 4-2 win over the Braves on Tuesday night at SunTrust Park. The Nationals moved within 4 1/2 games of the Dodgers for home-field advantage in the playoffs.

"One hundred [RBIs] is kind of the benchmark that everyone tries to get to in a season," Zimmerman said. "…It is nice to be able to stay healthy and to be apart of this lineup. It is hard to drive in 100 runs if you don't have other good players on your team."

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Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta who covered the Nationals on Tuesday.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves get go-ahead for new spring facility

Braves get go-ahead for new spring facility

ATLANTA -- The Braves have gained the approval necessary to begin construction of their new Spring Training facility in North Port, Fla.

The North Port City Commission met Tuesday afternoon and voted to approve the development agreement regarding the Spring Training facility the Braves plan to begin constructing next month.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will 2018 be a rebuilding year?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman fields fans' questions

Inbox: Will 2018 be a rebuilding year?

Does the front office view 2018 as a year of development for the young players or do you expect them to make moves in order to contend?
-- @timhall89

Ownership and some executives might be tempted to make a big splash via free agency or a trade this winter in an effort to not only avoid what would be a fifth straight losing season, but to also possibly make a run toward the postseason.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After adjustments, Teheran finishing strong

After adjustments, Teheran finishing strong

ATLANTA -- As Julio Teheran's struggles extended into August, he began focusing on the opportunity to end this season much like he did in 2015, when he concluded a frustrating campaign with an encouraging finish that gave him confidence heading into what proved to be a successful '16 season.

Teheran's inconsistencies over the past few years have been maddening. But the Braves' veteran has consistently shown resolve in the face of adversity. He has made some encouraging steps over the past month, and when seemingly destined for disaster again during the first inning of Sunday's 5-1 loss to the Mets, he minimized damage and managed to construct a respectable outing.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Soroka on list of prospects with soaring stock

Soroka on list of prospects with soaring stock

On Monday, we took a look at hitters who made the biggest leap forward in terms of prospect status in 2017. Now it's time to turn attention to the mound.

The pitchers on this list all turned in terrific seasons to jump much more firmly on the radar, pitching across multiple levels, often very young for the league they were in at the time. Some have gone from off the Top 100 prospects list to firmly on it, while others have leapt from the end of the list up close to the top.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves can't pick up Teheran in loss to Mets

Braves can't pick up Teheran in loss to Mets

ATLANTA -- Jose Reyes tripled and the Mets took advantage of Julio Teheran's shaky control as they constructed a two-run first inning and rode Robert Gsellman's strong start to a 5-1 win over the Braves on Sunday afternoon at SunTrust Park.

"We just had a good series and I was glad to see that," Mets left fielder Brandon Nimmo said. "I was glad to win the series as those guys are talented over there."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta who covered the Mets on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman closing in on another 30-HR campaign

Freeman closing in on another 30-HR campaign

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman will never know what might have happened had a fractured wrist not halted the MVP-caliber season he was producing through this campaign's first six weeks. The lingering effects of the injury caused him to recently feel weaker than normal. But as the finish line nears, Freeman is starting to look like one of baseball's best offensive threats once again.

Though Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom was dominant throughout the seven innings he completed during Saturday's 7-3 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park, he was not able to subdue Freeman, who highlighted his eighth multi-hit performance of the month with a seventh-inning solo shot -- his third home run in the past five games.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Acuna tops list of prospects whose stock soared

Acuna tops list of prospects whose stock soared

The prospect landscape is always changing, with players seeing their stock rise and fall over the course of any season. The 10 hitters listed below made the biggest jumps forward in 2017, with many not even on the Top 100 Prospects list to start the year rankings, but now all firmly on the list, from the top 10 on down. On Tuesday, we'll take a look at the pitchers who moved up the most.

Ronald Acuna, OF, Braves' No. 1/MLB No. 6
Acuna began the year just off of the Top 100, much to the chagrin of Braves fans, but that slight was corrected in the early stages of the 2017 season. He then proceeded to make the Minor Leagues look easy, going from the Class A Advanced Florida State League all the way up to Triple-A, all at the age of 19. After finishing with a .325/.374/.522 line to go along with 21 homers and 44 steals, Acuna should hit Atlanta at age 20.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dickey struggles as Braves fall to Mets

Dickey struggles as Braves fall to Mets

ATLANTA -- Norichika Aoki notched two of the six doubles allowed by the Braves and Gavin Cecchini recorded a career-best three hits as the Mets added to R.A. Dickey's recent struggles and snapped an eight-game road losing streak with Saturday night's 7-3 win at SunTrust Park.

"It was good for us to capitalize tonight on opportunities that we didn't last night," Mets first baseman Dominic Smith said. "It is always good when we are able to do that."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta who covered the Mets on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Newcomb sharp as Braves hold off Mets

Newcomb sharp as Braves hold off Mets

ATLANTA -- Sean Newcomb provided a glimpse of how effective he can be with his entire arsenal working, while Rafael Montero was unable to stall the Braves' two-run fifth inning on their way to a 3-2 win over the Mets on Friday night at SunTrust Park.

Lane Adams delivered a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to support Newcomb, who allowed two runs and notched eight strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings to earn his third career win and first since Aug. 20. The rookie left-hander displayed an effective fastball, curveball and changeup as he struck out five straight batters after allowing Dominic Smith's game-tying double with one out in the fourth.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta and covered the Mets on Friday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inciarte eyes 200-hit season with Braves

Center fielder is 12 shy of milestone with 16 games left

Inciarte eyes 200-hit season with Braves

ATLANTA -- Ender Inciarte has already positioned himself to enter the offseason feeling pretty good about the possibility of landing a second consecutive Gold Glove Award. But over this season's final two weeks, he will be chasing another lofty goal -- the seventh 200-hit season in Atlanta Braves history.

Inciarte's challenge was slowed by a jammed left thumb on a headfirst slide into first base during Tuesday's win over Nationals. But he took another step toward the milestone Friday night, when he delivered a key hit -- a game-tying fifth-inning single -- during the Braves' 3-2 win over the Mets at SunTrust Park.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Acuna visits Atlanta after tearing up Minors

Outfielder among top prospects honored at SunTrust Park

Acuna visits Atlanta after tearing up Minors

ATLANTA -- All eyes were on Ronald Acuna as he interacted with some of his future teammates in the Braves' clubhouse and toured his future office with Atlanta's other top Minor League performers, who were honored at SunTrust Park on Friday night.

Before their series opener against the Mets, the Braves recognized their Pitcher and Player of the Year from each Minor League affiliate. Double-A Mississippi's Mike Soroka was recognized as the organization's Pitcher of the Year, and to nobody's surprise, Acuna was named the organization's Player of the Year.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mutombo does finger wag at Braves game

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Mutombo does finger wag at Braves game

NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo's was known for his defense, his earth-shattering blocks and, of course, the "Not in my house," finger wagging he would do following said blocks. Mutombo, who played five of his best seasons with the Atlanta Hawks,was spotted at the Braves game during Atlanta's 3-2 victory over the Mets on Friday.

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Camargo threw with a young fan in the stands

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Camargo threw with a young fan in the stands

The way we get to witness ballplayers interact with young fans tends to melt your heart. Sometimes they'll do something as simple as reaching out via social media, or even make a young fan's day like Joey Votto did when he gave away his jersey and bat during this precious moment

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