In no particular order:
- The weakness of the Braves' team coming into the season was presumed to be the outfield. This was a rational guess, as the Braves have struggled to get offensive production out of their outfielders for years. They have repeatedly been one Bobby Abreu short. So with the standard caveats about small sample sizes, please note that 23 games into the season, the team's three leaders in VORP are the three starting outfielders. Not offloading Jair Jurrjens when his value was inflated this winter was unfortunate, but keeping Martin Prado was certainly good.
- I turned the Braves game on the radio last night on the way home from playing soccer. Fredi was replacing Mike Minor with Chad Durbin, which meant that either Fredi had had a lobotomy during the day or the Braves were way up or way down. It turned out that they were down. And despite JIm Powell's attempts to portray Durbin in a good light by citing the fact that he had not allowed any inherited runners to score this season, Durbin gave up two hits and two unearned runs in two-thirds of an inning. His ERA sits at nine.
- Speaking of Fredi and brain work, Powell also said that Fredi has often stated that he wants the Braves to be known for their pitching. Right now, the Braves are first in the NL in runs scored and ninth in runs allowed. I'm not quite sure how Fredi's perception of the team will cause him to make mistakes during the season. I'll let you know when I'm ready to make a hasty conclusion. To quote a famous golden robot, I don't know what all this trouble is about, but I'm sure it must be your fault.
- If Albert Pujols is really entering his decline phase in the first year of a ten-year, $240M contract, then we should all say a silent prayer that Chipper has aged gracefully and that the Braves didn't pay for Andruw Jones not doing the same.