The Sports Xchange
MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - INSIDE PITCH
April was a month to remember for Justin Upton. For B.J. Upton, it was one to forget.
Rarely have two players had such different beginnings with a new team, brothers or not.
Justin, acquired in a blockbuster trade with Arizona, made the deal look very, very good. B.J., signed to a five-year deal worth $75.25 million, got off to start that cast early suspicion on whether he was really worth the money and commitment.
Talk about divergent first months. Check out these stats:
--LF Justin set a Braves record with 12 homers in April and batted .298 with 19 RBI. He had an OPS of 1.136 thanks to a .402 on-base percentage and .734 slugging mark.
--CF B.J., meanwhile, hit .143 with three homers and just five RBI, posting a line of .225/.275/.500.
About the only thing the brothers had in common was strikeouts, which were expected to be high for both. B.J. fanned 32 times and Justin struck out 30 times in April.
Things have to get better for the older brother. The younger one, meanwhile, has plenty of ammunition if he wanted to use it against those in Arizona who had apparently lost faith in him.
Justin, though, insists he isn't interested in getting back at the Diamondbacks for putting him on the trading block.
"No. You can't live that way," he said. "You can't live hoping other people fail or doing things in spite of people. I'm just not that type of person. I'm with a new team now and having fun.
"You get to a point where all that stuff is going on and you think to yourself you want to go out and have fun playing baseball. That's what I'm doing right now. I'm having fun every night no matter what happens. Just going out and enjoying playing the game every day."
MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Won two
PAST 10 GAMES: 4-6
NEXT: Nationals (Jordan Zimmerman, 4-1, 2.00) at Braves (Paul Maholm, 3-2, 3.00)
--RHP Tim Hudson not only became the third active pitcher with at least 200 victories Tuesday night, but he was 2-for-3 with a double and hit his third career homer in the 8-1 victory. The former two-way player at Auburn University is hitting .429 (6-for-14) with three RBI. Hudson (3-1) held the Nationals to three hits over seven innings, striking out six and walking two while lowering his ERA to 3.86. He's the 113th major-leaguer and the third active pitcher to reach 200 victories. "It was definitely special," he said. "I'm glad I could do it here before my family and all our fans."
--LHP Paul Maholm, who faces the Nationals for second time this season, goes into Wednesday's start having allowed 11 runs in his past 4 innings after starting the season with 25 scoreless frames. He allowed eight runs and lasted just 3 innings at Detroit on Friday in losing his second straight start. Maholm blanked the Nationals over 7 innings on April 14, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out seven in the 9-0 victory. He is 2-6 with a 4.91 ERA against Washington.
--RF Jason Heyward is still feeling weak after having his appendix removed April 22 in Denver and will not be able to resume baseball activity for at least another week. He will need a minor league rehab assignment and isn't expected back in the lineup until late May. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 21. "My goal is no later than New York at the end of May," Heyward said. "But I have to wait until my body tells me."
--RHP Luis Ayala was placed on the disabled list Tuesday retroactive to April 25 because of anxiety disorder and RHP David Carpenter was recalled from Class AAA Gwinnett to take his place in the bullpen. Ayala had made five relief appearances after being acquired from the Orioles and was 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA for the Braves. He last worked a third of an inning at Colorado last Wednesday and was charged with a run on two hits and a walk. Carpenter was 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA in six relief appearances for Gwinnett.
--LHP Jonny Venters (left elbow sprain) began his throwing program Tuesday and hopes it will lead to his return before the end of May. "It was just the first step, but my arm felt good," Venters said after tossing lightly from 60 feet. Venters went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27 after leaving a spring training game with soreness. Venters received a platelet-rich plasma injection from Dr. James Andrews on April 2 and was told not to throw for four weeks.
--C Brian McCann will play a fourth game with Class A Rome on Wednesday, then move up to Class AAA Gwinnett on Thursday to continue his minor league rehab assignment. With Rome idle on Tuesday, McCann worked out at Turner Field and caught a live batting practice by RHP Brandon Beachy, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery. McCann hopes to be ready to rejoin the Braves during a 10-game road trip that begins May 6 in Cincinnati.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Someday someone will ask him what he did in his 200th win, and he can say, 'I hit a home run.' Nothing surprises me with Huddy." -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez said, on RHP Tim Hudson becoming the 113th major-leaguer and the third active pitcher to reach 200 victories.
MLB Team Report - Atlanta Braves - ROSTER REPORT
--RHP Luis Ayala (anxiety) was placed on the disabled list April 30 retroactive to April 25 after suffering anxiety while dealing with high blood pressure. He was not with the Braves in Detroit on April 26-28 as he underwent tests.
--C Brian McCann (right shoulder surgery in October 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He began a rehab assignment with Class A Rome on April 26 and caught eight innings in a rehab game with Class A Rome on April 29. He will move up to Class AAA Gwinnett on May 2. He is expected to be ready to rejoin the Braves during a 10-game road trip that begins May 6 in Cincinnati.
--RHP Brandon Beachy (Tommy John surgery in June 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He threw live batting practice three times April 26-30, and he hoped to go on a minor league rehab assignment soon. If all goes well, he could return to the rotation in mid-June.
--RF Jason Heyward (appendectomy) underwent the procedure April 22, and he went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to that date. He was still feeling weak April 30 and will not be able to resume baseball activity until at least May 7. He will need a minor league rehab assignment and isn't expected back in the lineup until late May.
--INF Blake DeWitt (lower back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list April 20. He missed most of the second half of last season with back issues.
--SS Paul Janish (left shoulder surgery in October 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on April 15. He had his minor league rehab assignment with Gwinnett halted when he strained his oblique on April 20. He has an option remaining and likely will stay with Gwinnett after his second rehab stint unless an opening develops in Atlanta.
--RHP Cristhian Martinez (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7.
--LHP Jonny Venters (left elbow sprain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 27. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection from Dr. James Andrews on April 2 after an MRI was inconclusive. He began a throwing program April 30 and hopes it will lead to his return before the end of May.
RHP Tim Hudson
LHP Paul Maholm
RHP Kris Medlen
LHP Mike Minor
RHP Julio Teheran
RHP Craig Kimbrel (closer)
LHP Eric O'Flaherty
RHP Jordan Walden
LHP Luis Avilan
RHP Cory Gearrin
RHP Luis Ayala
RHP Anthony Varvaro
1B Chris Johnson
2B Dan Uggla
SS Andrelton Simmons
3B Juan Francisco
INF Ramiro Pena
1B Freddie Freeman
INF Tyler Pastornicky
LF Justin Upton
CF B.J. Upton
OF Reed Johnson
OF Jordan Schafer