Inbox: Will Jenkins join Atlanta's rotation in 2016?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from Braves fans

Inbox: Will Jenkins join Atlanta's rotation in 2016?

Braves fans seem to be more optimistic than management about this upcoming season, especially with the new lineup. Can you offer your opinion, please?
-- Lee J., Tallahassee, Fla.

While it's important to remain somewhat realistic, management seems rather optimistic about how this year's team might fare. Yes, depth could significantly strengthen the bullpen and the offense could benefit from a healthy Freddie Freeman and a consistent Ender Inciarte in the leadoff spot. But there's a reason teams place a heavy emphasis on starting pitching. And the inexperience that will exist within the Braves' rotation is reason enough to avoid becoming too optimistic about what this year's team might do.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves add reliever Torres on Minors deal

Righty posted 3.59 ERA over past 3 seasons with Mets

Braves add reliever Torres on Minors deal

ATLANTA -- Add Carlos Torres to the list of veteran relievers who will come to Spring Training as non-roster invitees aiming to earn a spot in the Braves bullpen.

Torres signed a Minor League contract and received an invitation to be a part of the Braves' big league camp. The 33-year-old right-hander could find a spot in Atlanta bullpen as a long reliever.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman among Braves aiming to rebound in '16

Freeman among Braves aiming to rebound in '16

ATLANTA -- As the Braves approach Spring Training with an improved bullpen and the hope that some of their young starters are ready to take a step forward, they understand the health of Freddie Freeman's wrist will significantly influence how successful this season proves to be.

Freeman stands as the focus of "On The Rebound," the first of five Spring Training preview stories that will appear on braves.com over the next week. Atlanta's pitchers and catchers are required to report to camp by Feb. 19.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pitchers get in last Turner Field workouts

Foltynewicz, Wisler and others will report to Orlando area by Feb. 19

Pitchers get in last Turner Field workouts

ATLANTA -- Though there was still a little chill in the air, those who passed through the Braves' clubhouse at Turner Field on Monday could certainly get the sense that the baseball season is quickly approaching.

Braves general manager John Coppolella added a couple suitcases to a group of boxes that will be placed on a moving truck that will transport most of the club's equipment to Spring Training on Friday. As Coppolella packed, pitchers Matt Wisler, Mike Foltynewicz and Williams Perez were at the stadium to complete one of their final workouts before heading to Florida. Atlanta's pitchers and catchers are required to report to Spring Training by Feb. 19, but many of them will arrive in the Orlando area a few days early to get settled before entering daily grind of the baseball season.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aaron documentary premieres on 82nd birthday

Crowd gathers at National Center for Civil and Human Rights for 'The Hammer of Hank Aaron'

Aaron documentary premieres on 82nd birthday

ATLANTA -- Hank Aaron was serenaded as he walked into the National Center for Civil and Human Rights early Friday evening. A cozy crowd had gathered within this downtown Atlanta museum for the premiere of a documentary that celebrates the undaunted determination that carried Aaron into uncharted lands of accomplishment.

But before watching this hourlong feature, some of the men and women took advantage of the chance to sing "Happy Birthday" to an appreciative Aaron, who was joined by his wife, Billye, and his longtime friend, Andrew Young, whose political and civil rights accomplishments led him to become the United States' representative to the United Nations.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wisler eager to learn from Glavine

Young righty, Hall of Famer to continue work on changeup

Wisler eager to learn from Glavine

ATLANTA -- Braves right-hander Matt Wisler is looking forward to taking advantage of a couple opportunities to discuss his changeup with Tom Glavine, who supposedly knows a thing or two about the offspeed pitch .

"He had such a great pitch," Wisler said of Glavine's changeup. "It's great to have a guy like that to work with and talk to. I think he's really trying to help me. So far, it's been a good connection."

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cox endorses Braves coach Perez as future skipper

Former catcher gaining managerial experience at Caribbean Series

Cox endorses Braves coach Perez as future skipper

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- The text from Bobby Cox was just five words, short and sweet as usual.

"Go get that Caribbean trophy," it read.

More

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Bullpen

Mix of experience, youth could make Braves' relief corps an asset in '16

Around the Horn: Bullpen

ATLANTA -- As the Braves near Spring Training with a few open spots in the bullpen, they are comforted by the depth they have compiled in an effort to avoid experiencing a repeat of the late-inning frustration they felt far too often last year.

When the Braves traded Craig Kimbrel hours before the 2015 season, they bid adieu to one of the game's best closers. But more importantly, they further eroded the already suspect depth they had in the bullpen.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Was trade for Olivera a wise move?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from Braves fans

Inbox: Was trade for Olivera a wise move?

You seem to be pessimistic about Hector Olivera from both an offensive and defensive perspective. Was that the worst trade the Braves made last year?
-- Unknown

Jason Heyward and Justin Upton weren't going to re-sign with the Braves. The only way to get rid of Melvin Upton Jr.'s contract was to include Craig Kimbrel in the deal. Evan Gattis' defensive limitations made him a better fit for the American League.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Braves making push for 'Lazarito'

Source: Braves making push for 'Lazarito'

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Cuban prospect Lazaro Robersy Armenteros Arango, known as "Lazarito," is expected to sign with a Major League team next week, and the Atlanta Braves are among the teams making a strong push to acquire the teenage outfielder.

According to industry sources, the Braves are scheduled to hold a private workout for Armenteros, 16, on Saturday at the club's academy in San Pedro de Macoris. Armenteros, ranked No. 8 on MLB.com's Top 30 International Prospects list, is expected to command a signing bonus in the $15 million to $20 million range, but that number could rise if teams get into a bidding war.

More

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Garcia brothers reunite at Caribbean Series

Adonis plays for MLB's Braves, while Jose Adolis suits up for Cuba's Ciego de Avila

Garcia brothers reunite at Caribbean Series

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- A dozen digital recorders and a handful of smart phones inched toward Adonis Garcia's face.

There were sweat beads on his brow and he was still breathing fast after sprinting from the home clubhouse at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal to the dugout to talk about a subject closest to his heart.

More

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hart revisits '98 trade talk for Big Unit

Longtime exec envisions Groundhog Day redo from Cleveland tenure

Hart revisits '98 trade talk for Big Unit

ATLANTA -- Braves president of baseball operations John Hart stands as one of the few men in this world who can say he has experienced extended success as a professional sports executive in Cleveland.

While leading the Indians to six division crowns and two American League pennants within a seven-season span from 1995-2001, Hart orchestrated a number of valuable trades, including the one that brought Marquis Grissom and David Justice to Cleveland and sent Kenny Lofton and Alan Embree to Atlanta just before the start of the 1997 season.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Foltynewicz patient in recovery from blood clot

Braves righty may begin season on DL after dealing with life-threatening issue

Foltynewicz patient in recovery from blood clot

ATLANTA -- After spending much of last summer enduring some inevitable growing pains, Mike Foltynewicz was looking forward to the chance to end his rookie season in promising fashion. Instead, the Braves' right-hander endured a sedentary September that became downright frightening when he was diagnosed with a potentially fatal blood clot, which likely will limit him through the early portion of the upcoming season.

"It was a life-threatening injury, it really was," Foltynewicz said. "So it was kind of scary to go through. But we got it taken care of and I've just put it behind me."

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves hold final FanFest at Turner Field

Braves hold final FanFest at Turner Field

ATLANTA -- In 2016 the Braves will try to send Turner Field out with a bang. They got off to a good start Saturday, when they held their annual FanFest.

With the stadium bathed in golden sunshine and temperatures sticking right around 60 degrees, fans lined up outside the gates well before the 10 a.m. ET start time.

More

Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves boast 5 prospects on '16 Top 100 list

New acquisitions Swanson (No. 8), Newcomb (No. 21) lead Atlanta's deep system

Braves boast 5 prospects on '16 Top 100 list

ATLANTA -- It will take some time before the Braves know how successful they have been with their rebuild. But it's safe to say they have already achieved their goal of transforming their farm system from one of baseball's worst to one of its best.

Further indication of this turnaround was displayed on Friday night, when MLB.com unveiled its latest Top 100 Prospects list. The Braves have five representatives, including four in the top 56. This Atlanta crop was enriched by this offseason's acquisitions of shortstop Dansby Swanson and left-handed pitcher Sean Newcomb.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McGriff making most of special assistant role

Former All-Star embraces learning ins and outs of front-office operation

McGriff making most of special assistant role

ATLANTA -- As Fred McGriff spent this past summer occasionally providing assistance to some of the Braves' youngest Minor Leaguers, he was repeatedly reminded that he is more than a decade removed from completing a banner career, within which he stood as one of baseball's most recognizable figures.

"Half of these guys weren't even born when I was playing or they were in diapers or something, so they have to go and Google you or something," McGriff said. "They come back the next day and say something like, 'Yeah, dude, I saw a highlight of you.' So that part keeps me young, just messing with these kids. At the end of the day, you just hope that you can help three or four of them to get to the big leagues and let them experience what you had a chance to do."

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Braves have familiar faces at catcher

Pierzynski re-signs; Flowers returns to the club that drafted him

Around the Horn: Braves have familiar faces at catcher

ATLANTA -- The Braves reconnected with their past to satisfy their catching needs for the upcoming season. In doing so, they reunited suburban Atlanta native Tyler Flowers with his original organization, as well as with his former White Sox teammate A.J. Pierzynski.

As this offseason began, it was quite clear the Braves wanted to re-sign Pierzynski and do whatever necessary to trade Christian Bethancourt, who entered last season with a starting role and the hope he would be Atlanta's starting catcher for many years to come.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Swanson, Albies on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 SS Prospects list

Dodgers' Seager tops list, Philly's Crawford and Brewers' Arcia next up

Swanson, Albies on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 SS Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Even with Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor and Addison Russell graduating to the big leagues, shortstop remains the glamour position for up-and-coming talent. Corey Seager, J.P. Crawford and Orlando Arcia rank among the elite prospects in the game, while Dansby Swanson, Alex Bregman and Brendan Rodgers were the first three picks in the 2015 Draft. Interestingly, the top six shortstop prospects and eight of the 10 best belong to National League clubs.

More

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

Coppolella discusses busy offseason in Q&A

Braves GM believes club has improved for 2016 and beyond

Coppolella discusses busy offseason in Q&A

John Coppolella has been one of baseball's busiest individuals, as he has engineered the massive rebuilding process the Braves began after the 2014 season. Since being named the club's general manager in October, Coppolella has remained aggressive in his attempt to fortify the farm system and set up the Braves to begin experiencing longstanding success within the near future. The 37-year-old Notre Dame graduate recently talked to MLB.com about a few topics, including some of the moves he made this offseason.

MLB.com: Has the offseason evolved much like you had anticipated after meeting with all of your scouts and staff members in October?

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will new lineup boost Atlanta's offense?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from Braves fans

Inbox: Will new lineup boost Atlanta's offense?

It seems that on-base percentage was about average for the Braves in 2015. However the RBI total and slugging percentage were the worst in the league. What do you think the new lineup will do to address these trends?
-- Lee J., Tallahassee, Fla.

The Braves ranked ninth among 15 National League teams in on-base percentage and last in both slugging percentage and total RBIs. If they are going to get a little more "instant offense," courtesy of an improved slugging percentage, they need to hope that Freddie Freeman's wrist remains healthy and Nick Markakis proves stronger during his second season after undergoing neck surgery.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Riley makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 3B Prospects list

Rangers' Gallo grabs top spot, Boston's Devers leaps to No. 2

Riley makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 3B Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Kris Bryant, Joey Gallo, Miguel Sano and Maikel Franco claimed four of the top five spots on last year's list of the top third-base prospects, and together they combined to hit 64 big league home runs in 2015. Gallo retained rookie eligibility and headlines this year's crop of top prospects at the hot corner, which, as a whole, stand out more for overall hitting ability than power. And as it's so often the case with young third basemen, only time will tell how many of these guys will be able to remain at the position long term.

More

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves getting leg up on 2016 Draft research

Atlanta has 4 of the first 80 selections, including No. 3 overall

Braves getting leg up on 2016 Draft research

ATLANTA -- With the beginning of the college baseball season around the corner, the Braves have started to pinpoint some of the impact players they could target with the third overall selection in the 2016 Draft.

Braves scouting director Brian Bridges welcomed approximately 30 of his scouts to Turner Field earlier this week to analyze some of the Draft prospects and discuss what the club will attempt to accomplish with four of this year's first 80 selections, including three of the first 44.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez eyeing Venezuelan Winter League title

Braves' bullpen coach trying to lead Tigres de Aragua to Caribbean Series

Perez eyeing Venezuelan Winter League title

Before coming to Spring Training to resume his duties as the Braves' bullpen coach, Eddie Perez will experience the thrill of battling for the Venezuelan Winter League championship.

Perez gladly accepted an opportunity this year to manage the Tigres de Aragua, the club that he fervently followed throughout his childhood. The experience was enriched on Wednesday night when Aragua claimed a 10-3 win over La Guaira in Game 7 of the semifinal series.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Starting pitching

Mound questions abound for Braves as Spring Training nears

Around the Horn: Starting pitching

ATLANTA -- Over the past month, the Braves have been lauded for the significant return they gained in exchange for Shelby Miller. But now they will have to spend the next few months dealing with a suspect starting rotation that includes Julio Teheran and a whole lot of uncertainty.

If shortstop Dansby Swanson, outfielder Ender Inciarte and pitcher Aaron Blair all live up to the expectations that were set when they were acquired from the D-backs in exchange for Miller, then this will be a trade that will be celebrated in Atlanta for many years to come. But the immediate consequences could prove painful for the Braves as they spend the next couple of seasons watching their top prospects endure inevitable growing pains.

More

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Newcomb, Allard make MLB Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

Dodgers' Urias again takes top spot, but Rays' Snell closes gap

Newcomb, Allard make MLB Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2016 Top 100 Prospects list on Friday, Jan. 29, on MLB.com. The Top 50 will be revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Just how high in demand is left-handed pitching? Six of the 10 pitchers on this year's Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects list are relatively recent acquisitions by their organization. Two come via the 2015 Draft, but four of the southpaws on this list have been traded. Three of those four deals happened at last July's Trade Deadline.

More

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For this year only, Trade Deadline to be Aug. 1

Adjustment made because July 31 falls on a Sunday

For this year only, Trade Deadline to be Aug. 1

This is a leap year, and for Major League Baseball, it will mean a one-day leap in the annual non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The non-waiver Trade Deadline this season will be moved to Aug. 1 from the traditional July 31 -- which in 2016 falls on a Sunday. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET, and on July 31, there are seven games scheduled to begin between 1-1:30, five between 2-3:30 and three at 4. There are only eight games on Aug. 1, all of which are night games.

More

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Braves embrace time of change for club

President Schuerholz optimistic about young talent, excited about new ballpark

Braves embrace time of change for club

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Atlanta Braves are in a good place. That's the one thing everyone in the organization can say for sure now. There's more work to be done, but there's an inner confidence about what has already been done and even more about what's ahead.

"It took courage to do something like this," Braves president John Schuerholz said Wednesday morning at MLB's quarterly Owners Meetings. "When you've won as much as we have and when you're expected to win, this has been a new experience."

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.