FOXSportsSouth.com checks win with play-by-play announcer Chip Caray to discuss the latest surrounding the Braves.
FOXSPORTSSOUTH.COM: I saw tweet quoting the Nationals’ Jerry Blevins that said Freddie Freeman "doesn’t have a singular weakness." It’s really starting to look like last year was really him just scratching the surface of how good he can actually be.
CHIP CARAY: That’s the greatest part of our jobs is watching the young guys get to the league and everybody wonders who these guys, what they are and what they’re going to grow into.
We’re watching a guy like Freddie Freeman, who in my opinion is an old-school-type player, grow into a budding superstar.
Joe Simpson said it Thursday night, that you don’t want to put too much pressure on these guys, but the sky really is the limit for him.
The reason I call him old-school is that it’s so refreshing to see a player who plays the game the way it was played 100 years ago: see ball, hit ball. With so much statistical information that’s available, it’s refreshing to see a player who isn’t paralyzed by over analysis and just go out and do his thing — and quite obviously for the last two years, Freddie has done it very well.
FSS.COM: Patience is easier to prescribe than exhibit for fans after last season, but it seems as though we’re seeing pieces of what made Fredi Gonzalez put B.J. Upton at No. 2 in the lineup. What are you seeing? Certainly, the extra help he’s received from Chipper Jones doesn’t hurt.
CC: The assistance from Chipper, time will tell if that works and he spoke last night on the broadcast about the swing plan and that Upton has a hitch in his swing.
What we’ve noticed is that B.J. — again, I’m not a player, so I don’t want to delve into player speak — but what Joe has said, what Chipper has said and what I’ve seen, is that he’s been late. If your No. 2 hitter is late and is striking out a lot, that puts the breaks on what you thought your offense was going to be.
Quite frankly, when Jason Heyward was in his 0-for-22 slide and B.J. was doing what he’s doing, the Braves were not scoring runs. The first two guys, hopefully they’re making contact for the guys they’re around and moving the line forward, as Fredi Gonzalez says, to guys like Freddie Freeman and Chris Johnson.
That hasn’t really happened on a consistent basis yet and hopefully it will and, as Chipper said last night in regards to B.J., the talent is there. The guy is way too talented to struggle like this and hopefully he’ll find his stroke.
FSS.COM: The Braves have already allowed 13 steals, the most in the majors. Clearly, teams are entering with the mindset they can run. Is that from trying to test a new everyday catcher in Evan Gattis (six steals against) and one that’s not as familiar with working with the Braves pitchers and infielders in Ryan Doumit (seven)?
CC: I think sometimes we assign too much credit and too much blame to what the catchers do. Yes, they have to make good throw sand Doumit did not make a good throw to get the Mets’ Eric Young Jr. on the first attempt last night and Gattis has made a handful of high and amped-up throws behind the plate.
But you also have to put some of the blame on the pitchers. They have to do a better of job of holding runners. Some of the times to the plate have been a little slow. Aaron Harang takes a little while to get the ball to the plate; Gus Schlosser with his sidearm delivery, he’s a guy that takes a while to get the ball to the plate.
Don’t look at just what the catchers are do as far as their catching and throwing, look at how much help they’re getting on the mound. It has to work in synch.
There is a learning curve. Doumit and Gattis haven’t caught a lot of these guys and they have to learn and they have to get in synch and the have to get their timing down and there is a big advantage for the base runners.
They time stuff too and they know when to go and, sadly, they’re going.