Wednesday, January 30, 2013

new look home team

Future hall of famer, Chipper retired. Prado, Hinske, and Delgado are with the D-Backs. Micheal Born is going to play some where besides Atlanta. Chad Durbin is a Philly. No more David Ross, he signed with Boston. And that's just the guys on last year's rooster that I can come up with off the top of my head.

This year's Atlanta Braves roster has had as much turn over as I can ever remember. Looking back, the great teams of the 90's turned over pretty slowly. The main stays (Jones, Jones, Glavin, Smoltz, Maddux) seemed to fade out one by one; allowing for some continuity form year to year. Not this year; there is a good chance that on opening day, Jason Heyward, who has three full seasons in the majors, will be the longest tenured brave in the line up. It should be McCann, but he probably won't be in the opening day line up.

If a team is going to turn over a roster, this is the way to do it. This should be a damn good ball team. With the early signing of BJ Upton, and last week's trade for his bother Justin the home team has put together the best out field in the National League. With the possible exception at 3rd the infield looks solid around the diamond. There are six guys in the lineup that should hit at least 20 home runs. With Simmons, Heyward, Upton, and Upton I think we can count on 80 stolen bases and the whole line up should be full of extra base hits.

I don't know when this was taken, but I know the numbers are
wrong. Heyward wears 22 and Freeman wears 5, but its a cool

Opening day should look something like this:  
Simmons (Short Stop)
Heyward (Right Field)
Justin Upton (Left Field)
Freeman (First Base)
BJ Upton (Center Field)
Uggla (Second)
Laird (Catcher)
Johnson (Third)
Pitcher's Spot

When McCann gets back, plug him in somewhere in the middle and that is one deep line up.

As far as the pitching staff goes, if they stay pretty well healthy all year we should be solid. Hudson, Medlen, Minor, and Maholom are all solid proven starters. Brandon Beachy is as well, and we should have him back around the break. I guess we'll find out if Teheran is the second coming that we've heard about for the last few years. (side note I forgot about the Tommy Hanson trade in the first paragraph, he's an LA Angle).  My big concern: can the starting rotation stand an early season injury? The Braves have two guys in the minors (Graham and Gilmartin) that could come up if one of the starters goes down, but they are both very young. My understanding is that they are not quite ready.

The Bull Pen should be the strength of the pitching staff once more. O'Flarherty, Venters, and  Kimbrel, enough said. Add in Jordan Walden (acquired in the Hanson trade) the Bravos should be able to play six inning games most any night they want to.

Just a quick look around the NL east
Washington Nat: - should be the toughest team for the Braves this year.
Phillies - old
Marlins - traded the whole team to Canada
Mets - not yet

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