Throwing it around: Bruce’s Projection, another Braves Preview, and a peek at Eric Hosmer’s bunting

We’re toying with some new formatting for our daily link dump. No guarantee that we stick with this, but seeing how it plays out as we head into a new season. But as standard with all ‘throwing it around’ posts on Diamond Hoggers, here were a few of the more interesting reads that we got to around the net today. After the jump that is.

Larry Wayne and the Young Money Crew – Red Reporter
The Reds face the Braves six times this year, going to Atlanta for a three game series in late May (the final game being aired on Sunday Night Baseball) and hosting the Braves for a three game tilt at GABP in late July. The Braves won the season series last year going 3-2 against the Reds, although that could have easily been the other way around if Dusty pulled his head out of his ass in “The Game.” I would put my money on the Braves being the odds on favorite to take the NL Wild Card, with a realistic chance of upsetting the Phillies as the division champs. They look like a 90+ win team, give or take a few depending on how things shake out. The Braves, much like the Reds, appear to be a team that is built for success in the regular season but would likely struggle in the Playoffs.

Eric Hosmer: Great hitter; atrocious bunter – The Golden Sombrero
Although Hosmer has already shown that he might be as good as advertised, he still has one major weakness: bunting. Okay, I know that he probably will never be asked to lay one down in his career — why would he? — but he certainly should still be capable of doing so. Right? (video to follow after link)

Is this a breakout season for Jay Bruce’s power? – Big League Stew
I think Bruce is very likely for a total around .270/.350/.500, with around 30 homers and sparkling defense in right field. He’ll be one of the best right fielders in the league — though Jason Heyward(notes) has much better plate discipline, he doesn’t yet have Bruce’s power — but Bruce won’t yet one of the best players in the NL. He’s well worth the $51 million, but his best years are still a couple years ahead of him.

Simple Things You Can Do To Be a Better Athlete – Next Level Ballplayer
How’s your balance? Not sure? Try this simple test: Lift one foot up so that your hamstring and calf make a 90 degree angle. When you’re ready, close your eyes and see how long you can balance before you start getting out of control (i.e., Moving your plant foot or making big movements to stabilize yourself). Do it for both legs and see where you stack up on the chart below. If you’re not able to balance 28 seconds, do this on a regular basis until you are. By taking 5 minutes a day, you will see improvement. Below are my balance attempts.

Is this the year Tim Lincecum finally breaks down? – The Crazy Crabbers
Here is what the Oriole scouts saw when they were preparing their draft board: There was a feeling that he was short, not a real physical kid, and mechanically he was going to break down, that there was enough stress on his arm, elbow and shoulder. Our scouting department kind of pushed him down because of the medical aspect.

King Felix trade speculation isn’t going away – The Hot Stone League
Even though Jack Zduriencik continues to flatly rule out a Hernandez trade, and even though Felix has the contractual right to veto a trade to the Yankees and says convincingly he’s extremely happy in Seattle, the rumors and speculation are going to continue. And if the Yankees, who have an unsettled rotation beyond C.C. Sabathia and Phil Hughes, get off to a rocky start and begin to slip behind the Red Sox in the AL East, the “go get Felix” cries among Yankee fans — and media — is going to be deafening.