I saw this in the print version earlier in the week, but was hoping it would be online...
With spring training about a week away, Sporting News takes a look at how teams are shaping up for the opening of camp. Here is SN's ranking of National League catchers:
2. Atlanta Braves. Brian McCann, Clint Sammons, Javy Lopez.
In 2007, Braves pitchers had a 3.87 ERA when working with McCann and a 4.96 mark with everyone else. McCann is coming off an 18-homer, 92-RBI season. Does Lopez, 37, have anything left for his return to Atlanta?
Let's hope so. :) I know I haven't written much yet about Javy's return and what it means for the Braves, mostly because I'm too excited that JAVY'S BACK to really consider what it means for the team. Also, analyses of the '08 Braves are everwhere...how could I provide a fresh perspective?
Well, maybe I can just state my opinions. :)
In the last 2.5 seasons, McCann has proven his worth to both the offense and to the pitchers' success, as mentioned by SN. He should be a staple in the lineup and behind the plate for many years to come; let's just hope he keeps the weight down and that he doesn't get too beaten up behind the plate this year.
I really like what I've seen Clint Sammons do so far, and I look forward to seeing him compete on a major league level. From what I've seen so far, though? I think he might be too good to be BMac's backup. I don't want to part with either -- is that bad?
Javy...I'll wait to see him in action before declaring he's back to 100% (keeping in mind he's a catcher in his late 30s), but I think he can provide some great value to the team. He'll be well-received back in Atlanta, and I look forward to having him around. I am a little concerned with the articles I've read in the last few weeks that make it sound like he still wants to start, not be relegated to backup. (The interview in the February 08 Chop Talk, this one in the AJC this week.) Understandable, considering his past success, but likely not possible while in a Braves uniform.
I love my catchers. Why can't we keep all three, and why can't they play every day? :D