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MLB Opening day!

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
March 30, 2023 5:23 pm

MLB Opening day!

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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March 30, 2023 5:23 pm

What’s Grant’s expectation of the pitch clock and how it may change the game? What did he see during spring training that might be an indicator? How is the Braves lineup looking, now that guys are back and healthy? Which pitcher is EVERYONE pulling for? The two challengers: Mets and Phillies, who scares him more?

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Grant McCauley, 92.9, the game in Atlanta from the Diamond Podcast. He joins us at Grant McCauley on Twitter. Opening day is here.

Juices are flowing. Games are going to be over in two hours and 30 minutes. Didn't you know that? Yeah, apparently we're in a very big hurry to get opening day over with, I guess, if we're on the news, speed it up on the clock rules. Look, first of all, I don't know how you draw any conclusions, and people have already drawn conclusions about the time of games played in spring training. I don't know if you can, because there's no pressure in a spring training game apart from the kids who are trying to make, or the men who are trying to make teams. What is your expectation of the pitch clock, which I'm told is going to change the game?

I think you're absolutely right. And something that I was thinking about as spring training wore on, it was, okay, well, let me get used to the pitch clock. And then I started thinking, well, by the time you get to the seventh inning and a spring training game, all the regulars are out, you're playing minor leaguers. You're playing guys fighting for jobs.

Sure. But you don't have any high pressure outs where the game's on the line and the relievers coming in with a base is loaded to try to get out of a jam, but Oh, you got to throw it in 20 seconds. You better hurry up. Don't step out too many times. If you're the hitter, don't throw over the, you know, all of these things are things that the pitchers have to build that muscle memory for. But I mean, I've watched a lot of relievers that they want to come in. They want to be able to breathe in that moment. They want to control that pace.

Same thing can be said for a batter. Hey, if I need to step out, cause this has taken a while and readjust the games on the line. So that I'm curious to see once we turn it all the way up to 11 with 40,000 screaming fans, what's the pitch clock going to look like? Are we going to notice it at all? Maybe we won't, but I was watching the world baseball classic at the same time. There was no pitch clock. There was a lot of electricity in those crowds and especially late in games as well. So we'll find out. I wonder, world baseball classic games, man, were something else.

Yeah. And like, I don't know if you're going to be able to capture that, especially in April in a major league game. I mean, even if we put Mets Braves on the field on April 28th, and I have no idea if they play April 28th, but let's just say, like, it's not going to compare to what we saw in the electricity in Puerto Rico versus the Dominican Republic.

It just can't even approach that. That's playoff baseball in the middle of March. And I hope we're not expecting suddenly the pitch clock. And obviously the games will be faster, but let's get to the Braves, the absolute favorites in the National League games. The Mets can spend $300 million, however they want. They were great without health, the Braves last year. How great can they be with health?

I guess it's tempered a little bit. They're not 100 percent healthy in the starting rotation right now, but pretty much their lineup's healthy. Yeah, I know the lineup looks about as good as I think any Braves lineup has really ever looked one through nine. I mean, it starts off with a dynamic player like Ronald Acuna, Jr. I think he's going to be primed for a big year being a year further removed from the knee injury, really feeling himself. I think in the Venezuelan winter league coming back in spring training, he was hitting rockets everywhere.

He was cold to start off his first couple of WBC games, but then he started to warm up. And when he came back to the team, he had a good close to his spring training. I talked to Ronald before spring training even got started about some of these rules changes.

And I know he's the guy that likes to use those wheels. So I said, do you think you'll steal more bases this year with less throws over and bigger bases and all that? He said, look, if I'm on base, I'm always looking to steal.

So one of the things I've been thinking is heck 40, 40. That's something that he's talked about openly before. And he almost did it in 2019. His hype man Ozzy, all BS has already called for him to get there this year. I think he could steal 50 basis.

He sold 29 on basically what feels like at times one leg last year. So who am I to say, but that lineup top to bottom, there's going to be, I think a speed dynamic power wise. I think the Braves could set another franchise record for home runs. You've got Austin Riley. You've got Matt Olson. Both of those guys are 40 Homer threats.

Michael Harris, the second Sean Murphy, Travis Darnell behind the plate all the way on down the list. And then you've got Eddie Rosario healthy this year. He's hit the ball really well this spring. I think he could be back to a 20 Homer threat. Marcelo Zuna could accidentally bump his way into 20 home runs. He's done that before.

This is a law. This is a very lengthy lineup with a whole lot of power and not a lot of places to go to get outs. And I think that very much so was by design by the Braves. Grant McCauley from the diamond podcast, 92, nine, the game in Atlanta covers the Braves for them.

Let me get real quick about Marcelo Zuna. I, I fully expected, and I, and I speak to a lot of Braves fans who also fully expected the Braves to cut ties with him. Um, how has that whole thing progressed? And he had, she's got some, and we don't have to get into the issues, but, um, he's obviously had some issues in his past and I really thought the Braves are going to move on, but, uh, I mean, look, I have no idea what really, what really happened. So how's that whole relationship progressing?

Yeah, it has felt like that at times. And when you get into off field troubles, the way that Marcelo Zuna did, I mean, clearly it's very polarizing, very troubling. Uh, you know, we can kind of, we're going to leave it there because I think it's been a well-documented at this point, but I will say this for Marcel in the clubhouse and amongst his teammates, he has widely been viewed as, you know, an overall net positive teammate, I believe. And from what I've seen, and when he came in this spring, I was down there and in Northport, when he first spoke to the media, you know, I think he realizes how important this year is. He put in a lot of work in the off season. He played a little winter ball.

He got his arm worked on as well. And I don't know how much left field he's going to play. He's out there for opening day against Washington. Maybe he'll be getting some starts here and there.

The Braves rise, Niska said, if he's on the roster, we're going to use them. They're just hoping for him to get somewhere back to his career norms, the two 70 hitter with, you know, home run power. And last year he just stopped walking. And that was, you want to make your problems worse when you're not getting the hits.

You're also not taking your walks. I mean, he was just not a productive player. So I think we've also reached that point where going into year three of a four year guaranteed contract, if this isn't working out this year, you can finally look at the money and say, okay, this is kind of a sunk cost.

We need to move on. It was pretty difficult to do in year one or year two of that multi-year contract, but he's been, I think, you know, saying the things he needs to say, doing the things he needs to do. Now he's got to go out there and produce. If he wants to get at bats and wants to be a part of the scene, Grant McCauley, 92-9 the game in Atlanta, Braves and Nats opening day. Real quick about the pitching staff, I guess, but it's really about starting pitching. The bullpen's always seem to have a way of figuring itself out over the course of, over the course of the season.

I'm a big fan of you kind of build a bullpen during the season because all the plans you make sometimes don't work out with those players. It's all about feel, but starting rotation, we know Fried is there. We know Strider is there, but Kyle Wright's hurt. Soroka's hamstring issue went back to the minors. I assume he'll be part of the rotation at some point.

What does it look like from your standpoint? It's been a really interesting spring because the names that you thought the guys that would call the usual suspects to get that fifth spot in rotation, they all got optioned to the minors for various reasons for Ian Anderson and Bryce elder. I think it was just, you know, they didn't show in game what the Braves needed to see in spring training to feel like they were the guy at the back end of the rotation, but your shoes are the brace first round pick in 2020 and Dylan Dodd, another left-handed pitching prospect along with Schuster. So a couple of South pause, they just went out and just threw zeros up on the board. They've missed bats.

They attack the strike zone. That's really what the Braves wanted to see. So we're going to see an early kind of opportunity for these two guys because of Kyle Wright's shoulder inflammation that he had a cortisone shot back in January.

It put him behind schedule. If Wright had been able to get on the mound about a week or 10 days earlier than he did in grapefruit league play, because he did get a couple of starts. We probably wouldn't see both these guys in rotation, but as the case is, right, should be along hopefully in the next couple of weeks. And then you're going to figure out which guy is going to be in that five spot, but you've got a world series and post-season resume like Ian Anderson sitting in triple a Bryce elder made some big starts for the Braves down the stretch last year. He looked pretty good at times.

And then Michael Soroka is a big story. I mean, can this guy get back on a major league mound in a regular season game for the first time since August of 2020, it's been a while, but the velocity was good. He did pitch and spring training games. He was optioned to Gwinnett. I would imagine he'd need three to four, maybe five more turns just to get that pitch count up, knock any rust off that he needs to.

I mean, he was very frustrated about the hamstring thing and justifiably so, but luckily it was not a major injury. And hopefully it's just a temporary setback for one of the best people in baseball that you will ever meet. Everyone is pulling for Michael Soroka, the person as much as getting back the talented pitcher on the mound for the Braves, hopefully sooner than later.

All right, grant McCall before we say goodbye, we don't have very much time at all. So, uh, the two challengers Mets and Phillies, who scares you more. I got to give credit to the Philadelphia Phillies and not because the Mets didn't spend the money to do it and not because the Mets didn't win 101 games, just like the Braves last year. But the Phillies were the team that got to the world series. And then if you're looking for it from an Atlanta perspective, they went outside and Trey Turner and Trey Turner is the biggest Braves killer of them all. Not again, Bryce Harper and Trey Turner. That's not going to be a lot of fun to deal with offensively. I think the Phillies just spent some good money.

They fortified themselves. And I think this could be a three team race all through the summer. It should be some pretty exciting baseball in the NL East, which I think may be one of the best divisions in all of baseball, 100% except for the nationals who are actively trying to lose every game. Uh, good, good luck to you. I am the, I am the Mets fan who does not hate the Braves. I absolutely kid you not. It's a rarity.

It is a rarity. Uh, smart med fans hate the Cardinals. Uh, all right. Uh, Grant, I appreciate your time. My friend, uh, 92 nine, the game in Atlanta from the diamond at grant McCauley on Twitter. Thanks. Thank you. Look forward to talking to you again.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-01 23:20:37 / 2023-04-01 23:26:21 / 6

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