Frank Wren clarified his comments about defense today:
My point that was not completely stated was this: we don’t believe our defense will be a liability and should be better than last year. We are going to make errors, but that won’t be the overriding reason for our success or failure ultimately."
The first part about the defense not being a liability and should be better than last year is probably not true. Saying the defense is a liability is pretty strong, but I think it's a realistic concern for the Braves. With Martin Prado in a new position, Nate McLouth manning center field full time, Dan Uggla's poor defense at second base and Chipper Jones hobbling at third half the time, I would find it difficult to say these things with a straight face.
I know it's Wren's job to say this, so I can't exactly take anything from it, but I can't help myself. The Braves defense could very well determine their fate.
David O'Brien believes Derek Lowe could make the Opening Day start, according to the spring rotation announced today. He bases this on the fact that if the rotation remains the same throughout spring, it sets up Lowe for the opener. The thing is spring rotations never remain the same. But if I had to predict the opening starter, I would say Lowe.
Javy Lopez was in camp the first week as a guest coach, and he seems to have made an impact on catching prospect Christian Bethancourt.
"Javy talked to him a lot and helped him a lot," former Braves catcher and current bullpen coach Eddie Perez said. "Javy told him, 'I was stupid just like you.' When he asked what he meant, Javy explained to him that he didn't always carry himself the right way because he knew he was good and thought people should just adore him. Then he told him that he had to start working harder. And you know what, he's looked better the past three days."
Speaking of cocky kids, Bryce Harper had his first spring interview, and Ben Goessling covered it. Harper knows how to handle himself in the media, even if some of his quotes are a little out there in cocky territory.
Cliff Lee has no injury concerns with his side, according to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. It was reported that Lee was suffering from a strained side muscle, but it happened during the offseason, not this spring, and he says it is now 100 percent.