Dodgers @ Braves April 19, 2016: Not your father’s Braves

The Braves have fallen hard and fast. It was less than three years ago Don Mattingly had Paco Rodriguez walk Reed Johnson to get to Jason Heyward. It was less than three years ago Craig Kimbrel sat in the bullpen while Juan Uribe hit one of the most memorable home runs in Dodger history.

Dodgers
Braves
4:10 p.m. PT
Atlanta
2B
Utley
RF
Markakis
SS
Seager
2B
Castro
3B
Turner
1B
Freeman
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Garcia
RF
Puig
LF
Francoeur
C
Grandal
C
Flowers
LF
Kendrick
SS
Aybar
CF
Pederson
CF
Smith
P
Wood (L)
P
Perez (R)

Now, Atlanta is a shell of its former self and are in a full rebuilding mode (the correct move for that franchise). Nick Markakis is off to a nice start this season, but his signing before last season still doesn’t make sense. Erick Aybar is around until Aug. 1 at the latest, as he’ll be traded. Freddie Freeman has lots of money after signing his 9-figure deal before last season, but there isn’t a lot of help around him. Oh, and Hector Olivera is, allegedly, human garbage.

The Dodgers, which overwhelmingly won that trade, send Alex Wood to the mound for his third start of the season. I wrote about his first two starts earlier today. The lineup looks strong, as Yasmani Grandal is a massive upgrade over A.J. Ellis. That was already known, but it has shown in just the last two games. It’s refreshing.

Howie Kendrick in left field is going to be a thing until Scott Van Slyke returns. Let’s just hope his hamstring holds up. Overall, this is a really strong lineup. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by Chase Utley‘s production thus far. Corey Seager is struggling a tad, but that home run on Saturday against Javier Lopez was a thing of beauty.

One bit of prospect news:

Kyle Garlick, the Dodgers’ 25th-round draft pick last year, hit three home runs for Rancho Cucamonga on Monday night. He’s probably nothing more than organizational depth (seeing as he’s 24 and just in High-A), but three homers in a game is still three homers in a game. He’s slashing .333/.422/.692 in his first 45 plate appearances this season.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.