Caray: Braves' offensive surge, Simmons hot bat; more

BY foxsports • August 2, 2013

FOX Sports South.com checks in with play-by-play announcer Chip Caray to get the latest on the Braves.

FOX SPORTS SOUTH: I think the biggest question everybody wants to know: did the Braves take the Waffle House kiosk with them on the plane?

CHIP CARAY:
Hey, Turner Field is the place where the opponents go to get eaten up. That's the best way I can describe it. It's been great, the home-field advance has been remarkable and we really saw an historic week of results and offense and pitching and defense for the Braves.

For a club that at times was head-scratching and confounding and frustrating for the last seven games we saw in every aspect of the game just how good this club can be.

Look, it's unrealistic to expect them to play like that and be as successful over the last 53 games of the season, but if they get hot like this in postseason play, what a buzz saw this Braves team could be in the playoffs.

FSS: Andrelton Simmons had two strikeouts in July and he's hit better since he moved down in the order. What is the biggest change you've seen in his approach in the last month of the season?

CC
: I just think he's putting the ball in play. He's just such a gifted, tremendous athlete. He's so athletic. I think that we take that for granted.

I've used the term a couple of times on air a couple of times and I don't think they understand the way in which we're using it, but there's an arrogance about his game defensively. By arrogance, I mean he believes he's better than the baseball, he's better than the space he has to cover and in his mind there's not a play on the field that he can't make.

He does that and what a security blanket it gives his pitching staff to know if a ball is on the ground in any area code in which Andrelton Simmons is playing, there's a real good chance that is going to be an out.

From an offensive standpoint, I just think he's growing up. He's getting bigger. He's getting stronger.

Remember, he was hurt as of last July 9 until almost the end of the season for the Braves with a bad finger. Here we are, a calendar year later, which is usually when we see young players get through the league a second time, a third time, they know how they're being pitched, they know how to play. They know what their team is trying to accomplish.

Once you get that mental aspect taken care of, when nothing is foreign or new to you, your physical talents take over and as I've said Andrelton has as many as those as anyone in the game I think.

FSS: I know you're high on another young shortstop, the Brewers' Jean Segura. But if Andrelton Simmons can continue to progress like this, do you think he can be the premier player in baseball at this position?

CC: We think he is.

Jean Segura is a great player, but he's playing on team that doesn't have playoff aspirations this year.

That's, I think, the difference. Great players who play on great teams get noticed and because they get noticed their reputation grows and when their reputation grows they enter elite status in the game.

Defensively, Andrelton Simmons is already there. On this team he doesn't have to hit 20 home runs, he doesn't have to drive in 80 RBI.

If he just keeps doing what he's doing and continues making all the plays at shortstop, then yeah, the Braves are going to have arguably the best shortstop in the National League if not the game.


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