Tagged: Atlanta Braves

2010 Atlanta Braves Preview

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atlanta braves.gif2009 Record: 86-76, 3rd, NL East

2009 Prediction: 84-78, 3rd NL East

2010 Prediction: 2nd NL East

 

Impact Player: Brian McCann

Impact Pitcher: Jair Jurrjens

Top Prospect Player:
RF Jason Heyward

Top Prospect Pitcher:
RHP Julio Teheran

 

Manager: Bobby Cox, 21st Season
(1792-1315, .577)

 

Significant
Acquisitions
: 1B Troy Glaus, OF Melky Cabrera, LHP Billy Wagner, RHP Takashi
Saito

Significant Losses: 2B Kelly Johnson, OF Garret
Anderson
, 1B Adam LaRoche, UTIL Greg Norton, RHP Javier Vazquez, RHP Rafael
Soriano
, OF Ryan Church

 

After an awful 2008, the Atlanta Braves rebounded in 2009 to
win 86 games and made an inspired late season run at the Colorado Rockies for
the NL Wildcard.  They fell short and
ultimately finished 3rd in the NL East behind Philadelphia and
Florida.  Legendary manager Bobby Cox
says this will be his last year and that should be added motivation for this
young Braves team to make a run at the playoffs.  Cox is probably the most respected manager in
baseball and his players would jump through fire for him.  Even with the trading of ace Javier Vasquez to the Yankees, the
Braves have one of the best rotations in the National League with two of the
best young hurlers in all of baseball.  Can
the Braves send Bobby out a winner?

 

Pitching

jair-jurrjens.jpg

The Braves could be the only team (perhaps besides the
Phillies) that are five-deep in their rotation. 
Two young hurlers, Jair Jurrjens
and Tommy Hanson lead off the
rotation and were spectacular last season. 
Jurrjens established himself as an ace going 14-10 with a diminutive
2.60 ERA.  At only 24, Jurrjens could
take the next step toward Cy Young contention this season.  Hanson finished 3rd in NL Rookie
of the Year voting after a June call-up. 
He went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA and made some huge starts down the stretch
when the Braves were entertaining Wildcard thoughts.  A full season of Hanson could yield
unprecedented results.  Veteran Derek Lowe is back for a second season
with the Braves even though the team tried very hard to trade him in the
offseason.  There were no takers and
Atlanta shipped out Vazquez instead.  Lowe
won 15 games a year ago but had an unsettling 4.67 ERA and will turn 37 this
season.  Tim Hudson will look to get back to form after Tommy John surgery
kept him out for all of 2008.  Hudson is
one of the smartest pitchers in the game and if there’s anyone that can bounce
back from elbow surgery quickly, it’s him. 
He was activated late last year and went 2-1 with a 3.61 ERA down the
stretch.  Kenshin Kawakami‘s first year in North America was
bitter-sweet.  He had a disappointing
7-12 record, but pitched much better than that would suggest.  He had a 3.86 ERA in his first attempt at
major-league hitters and although he’s almost 35, he should be a nice 5th
option for the Braves in 2010.  If
injuries occur, there are a number of young options that can be used.  Kris
Medlen
could be one of them although he’ll start the year in the ‘pen.

 

The Braves did a lot this offseason to improve the back end
of their bullpen.  They didn’t get any
younger by signing Billy Wagner (38)
and Takashi Saito (40) but they did
get two proven arms capable of closing. 
Wagner needs only 15 saves to reach 400 for his career, which he says is
one of the reasons he didn’t retire; a motivated Wagner is difficult to bet
against.  Peter Moylan is one of the best relievers in the NL.  After missing most of 2008 with injuries,
Moylan returned last year and went 6-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 73 innings.  Manny
Acosta
and Medlen round out the ‘pen from the right side, while 25-year-old
lefty Eric O’Flaherty is back after
a solid ’09.  The long-relief job could
go to lefty Jo-Jo Reyes or a few
minor-league arms.

 

ROTATION

Age

B/T

Jair Jurrjens

24

R/R

Tommy Hanson

23/4

R/R

Derek Lowe

36/7

R/R

Tim Hudson

34/5

R/R

Kenshin Kawakami

34/5

R/R

 

 

 

BULLPEN

 

 

Billy Wagner*(CL)

38/9

L/L

Takashi Saito*

40

L/R

Peter Moylan

31

R/R

Eric O’Flaherty

25

L/L

Manny Acosta

28/9

R/R

Kris Medlen

24

S/R

Jo-Jo Reyes

25

L/L

 

 

 

POSSIBILITIES

 

 

Luis Valdez

25/6

R/R

Todd Redmond

25/6

R/R

James Parr

24

R/R

*=newly acquired

 

Lineup

brian ccann.jpg

The 2009 Braves finished 4th in the NL in batting
average and 6th in runs scored and return much of the same lineup
this season.  Nate McLouth is back for a full season with the Braves and should
play centerfield.  He will also likely
leadoff although he’s probably better suited hitting 6th.  McLouth showed his 2008 power wasn’t a fluke
by notching his second straight 20 homerun year, but his .256 average wasn’t
where the Braves want it.  He’ll need to
be better this season.  The Braves have
been linked to free agent Johnny Damon,
but will likely go with another former Yankee in leftfield in Melky Cabrera.  Cabrera had a solid year in the Bronx in 2009
hitting .274 with 13 HR and 68 RBI.  He
plays solid defense in leftfield and is quickly gaining a reputation for being
a clutch hitter.  Cabrera was the key
part of the Vazquez trade and the Braves expect big things from him.  If he strikes out less, he might also be an
option in the leadoff spot.  Matt Diaz will be the rightfielder
after going .313/.390/.488 a year ago. 
He’s mainly been used the past few years as a platoon hitter coming in
against lefties, but if the Braves don’t sign Damon, he should get a majority
of the starts in right to begin the year. 
It is very likely, however, that phenom prospect Jason Heyward will be called up at some point and if he makes the
impact many say he will, he’ll be the regular rightfielder.

 

Third baseman Chipper
Jones
was fully healthy last year for the first time in a long time, but
had perhaps his worst season.  He hit
just .264, a full 100 points less than the previous year, and had just 18
homeruns and 71 RBI.  His defense also
suffered at third and most think he’s in full decline considering he’s
38-years-old.  Yunel Escobar is ready to become the new star of the Braves infield
after a spectacular 2009.  Escobar had
the best RTot rating of any starting major league shortstop in ’09 (21.9) and
also hit .299 with 14 HR and 76 RBI.  If
he develops just a bit more power (which most think he will), he could be a
great number 3 hitter for years to come. 
Martin Prado is a solid
hitter (.307 in 2009), but is better suited defensively at third base than he
is at second.  He’ll likely move to third
if Jones gets hurt and that’s likely where he’s headed long-term.  Trot
Glaus
was signed to a one-year deal this offseason and will play first
base.  He spent almost all of ’09 on the
DL, but if he’s healthy he’s still a solid power threat.  He shouldn’t be too bad at first base given
his plus footwork.  Long-term, the Braves
are waiting on Freddie Freeman at
first, who could see time at some point this season, especially if Glaus gets
hurt or struggles.  Brian McCann is probably the best all-around catcher in the NL and
is coming off an All-Star and Silver Slugger season.  At only 26, he could still get better.

 

The bench isn’t overly deep, but could get a boost if
Heyward makes the jump to the majors, which would put Cabrera and Diaz in a
platoon situation; probably what they’re best suited for.  Right now, infielder Omar Infante heads the group and is one of the better reserve
infielders in the game.  He can also play
a little outfield.  Eric Hinske has been to three straight World Series’, but is more
of a lucky charm since he wasn’t really a big part of any of those teams; he’ll
play the corners of both the infield and outfield.  David
Ross
is a great backup catcher who can both hit and play solid defense
while Gregor Blanco will start the
year as fourth/fifth outfielder, but will likely be demoted when Heyward is
ready.  Diory Hernandez, Brooks
Conrad
or Joe Thurston could
also crack the team.  Jordan Schafer might also get a look as
an outfielder.

 

 

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Pos.

 

Age

B/T

CF

Nate McLouth

28

L/R

SS

Yunel Escobar

27

R/R

C

Brian McCann

26

L/R

3B

Chipper Jones

38

S/R

1B

Troy Glaus*(3B)

33/4

R/R

2B

Martin Prado (SS, 3B, 1B)

26

R/R

LF

Melky Cabrera*

25/6

S/L

RF

Matt Diaz

32

R/R

 

 

 

 

 

BENCH

 

 

UTIL

Eric Hinske (LF, RF, 3B, 1B)

32/3

L/R

UTIL

Omar Infante (SS, 2B, 3B, LF, RF)

28

R/R

C

David Ross

33

R/R

OF

Gregor Blanco (CF, LF)

26

L/L

INF

Diory Hernandez (SS, 2B, 3B)

26

R/R

 

 

 

 

 

POSSIBILITIES.

 

 

OF

Jordan Schafer (CF, LF)

23

L/L

RF

Jason Heyward (1B)

20/1

L/L

C

Clint Sammons

26/7

R/R

INF

Brooks Conrad (2B, SS, 3B, 1B)

30

S/R

UTIL

Joe Thurston* (2B, 3B, LF, RF)

30

L/R

OF

Brent Clevlen*

26

R/R

*=newly acquired

 

The Braves have number of young and rising stars with
Jurrjens, Hanson, McCann, Prado, Escobar, and Heyward who should be around for
a number of years.  Very shortly they
should begin another sustained run of contending that will last several years.  Expect them to be in the thick of things this
season, especially for the Wildcard.  It’s
doubtful that they have what it takes to top the Phillies this season, but they
are definitely not far off.

Final Prediction:
90-72, 2nd NL East

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Minor League Roundup

The last couple years I’ve been getting into watching Minor League Baseball more regularly…or at least following it.  It’s a lot of fun to watch the players who will be impact major leaguers in a few years.

In this entry I’ll analyze the best players in each league at the AAA level to this point in mid-May.

International League

Nolan Reimold.jpgThe best player in the IL right now by far is Orioles’ prospect outfielder Nolan Reimold.  He was just called up to the big club a few days ago and has played 3 games.  In the IL, Reimold was leading that circuit with a .394 average and sat 2nd in home runs with 9 and 5th in RBI with 27.  The Orioles drafted him in the 2nd Round (61st overall) in the soon-to-be historic 2005 draft and although he’s a late bloomer at 25-years-old (partly due to injury problems), he seems to be developing into a decent player.  He might also be a better defensive right fielder than Nick Markakis…which is difficult to do.  Yet another strong outfielding prospect for the Orioles.  One would have to think with the lack of pitching on their current team that some of that outfield depth could be used to acquire more pitching.  Then again, the Orioles have some serious pitching prospects too.  It won’t be long before there’s yet another perrennial contender in the AL East.   
Kris Medlen.jpg
The best pitcher in the IL so far is a bit of a surprise.  23-year-old Kris Medlen was a 10th round draft pick in 2006 by the Atlanta Braves and has done nothing but tie up hitters since entering pro baseball.  Between all minor league levels since being drafted, Medlen is 15-9 with a 2.42 ERA and was converted from a closer to a starter just last season.  In 2009, Medlen is 5-0 with a ridiculous 1.19 ERA and has 44 Ks in 37.1 innings of work.  Medlen was a shortstop in college but the Braves saw something special in the righthander and suddenly he’s one of their top pitching prospects.  Like Reimold, Medlen has just been called up to the major league team.  He’s set to make his Major League debut on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.  Medlen isn’t big, coming in at a pint-sized 5’10” and 180lbs, but he has a deceptive delivery and great life and movement on all of his pitches.  The Braves may have something special with him and Tommy Hanson coming up through the system.

Pacific Coast League

Jake Fox.jpgJake Fox has been the best hitter in the PCL so far this year.  Fox is a career minor-leaguer who will be 27 in a month and a half.  Fox was drafted in the 3rd round by the Cubs in 2003 and is an atrocious defensive outfielder.  He’s okay at First Base, but he would likely benefit from being traded to an organization where he could play DH.  He has tremendous power and is becoming a smart hitter; the Cubs simply have no place to play him.  He’s another Micah Hoffpauir.  You can’t dispute his numbers in the PCL this year though.  Before his callup, he was hitting .429 with 16 HR and 46 RBI, leading the PCL in all three categories.  If he gets traded to an AL team, he might be the next Jack Cust.
hochevar.jpg
In the Major Leagues, Zack Greinke has been unreal posting insane numbers.  In the PCL, it’s another member of the Royals organization that’s dominating at a surreal pace.  Luke Hochevar, who has seen some time at the Major League level going 6-12 with a 5.51 ERA in 22 starts with KC last year is dominating in AAA this season.  Just before he was called up last week, Hochevar was 5-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 6 AAA starts.  Another reason why the Royals have a bright future.

Will Jake Peavy be traded? If so, where?

jake-peavy.JPGThe talk all offseason was whether or not Jake peavy would be traded from the San Diego Padres.  The Friars were/are changing ownership and like most MLB franchises were unsure of their financial future.  Of course, the trade never happened and the Padres have broken camp with their ace in toe.  The Braves, Cubs and Yankees were all said to interested in Peavy, and why not?  He’s one of the best in the game and has a hall-of-fame trajectory. 

The deal with the Braves fell through after they refused to give up highly-touted prospect Tommy Hanson, which the Padres said was a prerequisite for a deal for Peavy.  The Yankees lost interest after they were able to sign both C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett and the Cubs were curiously unable to secure a deal.  So this begs the question, will Jake Peavy be a Padre for the entire ’09 season?

The Padres ownership situation is still in limbo and that appears to be the biggest snag as to whether or not a deal will be done.  Peavy loves San Diego but has made it clear he would prefer to play for a contender.  SO let’s play devil’s advocate.  Peavy gets traded, but where?

The Cubs
Chicago seems like the most likely destination.  They want a fifth starter and Peavy would give them the best rotation in baseball with the likes of Zambrano, Harden, Dempster, and Lilly.  The Cubs also have the minor-league talent to make a deal, but lack the true blue-chip pitching stud that the Padres want in return.  If the Cubs were to get Peavy, a third team might have to be drawn in.  That might be a further hinderance to a deal.

The Braves
If the Braves contend this year, their tune may change in regards to Tommy Hanson.  As of now, they are coming off a 90-loss season and want players like Hanson to secure a strong future.  If the Braves are contending by June or July, they might be more willing to deal Hanson to make a push well into October.  It seems as though Hanson is the only thing the Padres want from the Braves, however, so if they still refuse to deal him, Peavy won’t be a Brave.

The Yankees
Anytime a high-priced talent is on the trading block, the Yankees have to be considered a strong contender to bring him in.  They have highly-touted young pitchers in the likes of Phil Hughes, Humberto Sanchez, and Andrew Brackman and if Joba doesn’t pan out in the rotation, Peavy would put the Yanks over the top.  This one’s not impossible, especially if Joba pitches in the ‘pen or if Pettitte or Burnett hit the DL for an extended period of time.

The Red Sox
Anytime the Yankees are involved in trade talks, you can go ahead and assume that their proverbial Joneses, the BoSox are in those talks too.  Beckett, Matsuzaka, and Lester are locks in the rotation, but if Smoltz, Penny and Wakefield can’t stay healthy/effective, the Red Sox might be in the Peavy market.  The problem is that they would likely have to part with Clay Buchholz and I doubt one of the brightest minds in baseball (Theo Epstien) would give him up.  If Smoltz, Penny, and Wakefield can’t stick, it’s likely that the Sox would just give Buchholz the chance he already deserves.

The Padres
Peavy is still young and has a lot more effective years to pitch; if Padres ownership is willing to pony-up the bills and can convince Peavy that they will contend within the next year or two, there’s no reason why an extension beyond this year can’t be reached.

The Blue Jays
Not a chance in hell.  But hey, a fan can
dream, right?  Imagine how good Peavy would look in the Flashback
Friday Powder-Blues.  Pretty great right?

Anderson signs with Atlanta; Manny still sits at home

Garret Anderson has signed with Atlanta

athletes_garrett_anderson.jpgAnderson has long been one of the unsung heroes of many great teams in Anaheim over the years and should step into a Left Field platoon Matt Diaz.  Anderson will provide some much-needed pop to the middle of the Braves’ lineup.

Obviously, Atlanta needed to explore other options when Griffey signed in Seattle and Anderson should work nicely in that role.

And just one more thing before I stop writing: Manny Ramirez.

I think it’s time that the Dodgers put a deadline on him signing or not.  If I’m Joe Torre, I want to start preparing my outfielders for the season and how are you supposed to tell Juan Pierre that he’s only going to start if Manny doesn’t sign.  It’s not fair to the guys who are at camp Milwaukee+Brewers+v+Los+Angeles+Dodgers+UjVmevbDfNLl.jpg
already, waiting to see what their role will be.

Quite clearly Scott Boras thinks he’s still in a position of power with his client Ramirez.  I would argue that each day Manny doesn’t sign, he has less and less power.


Comment discussion time!  What does everyone think about this situation?  Is there a realistic possibility that Manny could sit out part of the season to get his demands?  If he does that, does he gain more or less leverage with potential suitors? 

Given the past, when I write about a player, they usually sign mere minutes after I post, rendering my writing completely useless (See Griffey).

NL Central Previews start tomorrow with the Chicago Cubs, enjoy! 

GRIFFEY!!!!!! *Falls to knees and shakes fists at the Gods*

Well, he went back to Seattle…mere minutes after I published the Braves preview, stating how I thought Griffey would be there, he signed in Seattle.  I don’t have the energy to go re-write it, so it stays.  ‘Tis the reality of writing previews when there is still a lot of movement to be had.

The Marlins will be done and up tomorrow afternoon.

OH…and thank you to Julia for adding me to her favourite blogs.  When I get some free time, I’ll add some links of my favourite MLBlogs and there’s no doubt that Julia’s will be there…even though she’s a Red Sox fan and she just quietly rooted for Scott Downs to be put on the DL.  JUUULLIIIIAAAA!!!!!  I shake my fist at thee.

’09 Preview — Atlanta Braves

atlanta-braves-logo1.jpg2008 Record: 72-90, 4th NL East
2009 Prediction: 3rd NL East

Impact Player: Brian McCann
Impact Pitcher: Jair Jurrjens
Top Prospect: Tommy Hanson, RHP

Significant Acquisitions: P Derek Lowe, P Javier Vazquez, P Kenshin Kawakami, P Boone Logan, P Eric O’Flaherty, C David Ross
Significant Losses: P Mike Hampton, P John Smoltz, P Will Ohman, P Julian Tavarez, P Chuck James, P Royce Ring, P Jorge Julio

The Braves has an awful 2008 by almost all accounts.  They finished 4th in a division that many people thought they could have won and had their worst record since 1990 finishing 72-90; only their second losing season since that year.  The Braves have some young players coming up through their system that could help them get back atop the NL East.  Although they should be a much improved team over the ’08 version, they still don’t look to have the players necessary to take down the Mets or the Phillies. 

DISCLAIMER:  Two future Hall-of-Famers in Tom Glavine and slugging outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. appear to be close to signing but have yet to do so.  Glavine is almost definately coming back; the specifics and incentives in his deal just have to be worked out, while Griffey is torn between returning to Seattle where he played for 11 years or staying close to his home in Orlando by signing with Atlanta.  Although the Glavine signing wouldn’t make too much of a difference in the ability of this team to win the East, the signing of Griffey may be a different story if he proves that he is past his injuries of ’08.  I will write this preview without Griffey, but my final prediction is very much influenced by him signing with the Braves as I believe that is where he will end up.

Pitching
The Braves did a lot to sure-up their rotation for ’09 this off-season; they finished 12th in the NL in ERA last year.  With Tim Hudson expected to miss the entire year recovering from Tommy John surgery and the loss of John Smoltz and possibly Tom Glavine, the Braves needed to make sure they weren’t going to get run over in a division with some very good pitching staffs.  Three pitchers were brought in: Derek Lowe (free-agent signing from the Dodgers), Kenshin Kawakami (free-agent signing from Japan), and Javier Vazquez (acquired in a trade with the White Sox).  Lowe and Vazquez will settle in nicely at the top of this rotation with future ace Jair Jurrgens.  Jurrgens has 20-win potential and this could be the year if he gets decent run-support from his teammates.  Kawakami has made a very nice career for himself pitching in Japan’s Central League.  He led the Chunichi Dragons to their first championship in 53 years in 2007 and is a former League-MVP and Best Pitcher award recipient.  The fifth spot is expected to be filled by Glavine when he signs, but if he doesn’t sign or gets injured, there are a number of pitchers who could fill the role.  Jorge Campillo, Jo-Jo Reyes and highly-touted prosect Tommy Hanson are just a few.  Hanson is thought of so highly in the Braves organization that they refused to include him in trade talks this winter for Padres’ ace Jake Peavy.

The bullpen wasn’t very good last year and the Braves didn’t do much to improve it this year.  Lefty Mike Gonzalez is back after saving 14 in 16 opportunities in ’08 and should be the closer.  If he faulters, set-up options Rafael Soriano and Manny Acosta could step in.  Soriano looked to be in line to receive the job last year before injuries limited him to just 14 innings.  Lefty Boone Logan was acquired in the Vazquez deal and should be the team’s main southpaw option.  Returnees Blaine Boyer, Buddy Carlyle, and Jeff Bennett will likely round out the ‘pen.

Rotation (Handedness/Age on June 30, 2009)

  • Derek Lowe (R/36)
  • Javier Vazquez (R/32)
  • Jair Jurrgens (R/23)
  • Kenshin Kawakami (R/34)
  • Jorge Campillo (R/30)

Bullpen

  • Mike Gonzalez (L/31)
  • Rafael Soriano (R/29)
  • Manny Acosta (R/28)
  • Blaine Boyer (R/27)
  • Boone Logan (L/24)
  • Buddy Carlyle (R/31)
  • Jeff Bennett (R/29)

Lineup
If Griffey doesn’t sign, the Braves will return almost exactly the same team offensively that walked off the field at the end of last year.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The weakness of this team was certainly not their hitting.  The Braves finished 3rd in batting average and 6th in runs scored last season even though they were only 14th in home runs.  The addition of Griffey would give the Braves the home run threat they are currently lacking and make them one of the better offensive teams in the National League.  In the outfield, Jeff Francoeur returns in Right and looks to rebound after a terrible year that saw him get demoted to the minors.  If he can return to his ’06-’07 form where he totaled 208 RBI, the Braves may do some damage.  Lead-off hitter of the future and now Josh Anderson should start in Center barring a terrible spring and Left-field will be Matt Diaz’s job to lose…unless of course Griffey signs, then Diaz will platoon with the slugger and start mainly against left-handers.  In the infield, Chipper Jones is back at Third coming off of one of his best seasons.  Jones hit .364 with 22 HR and 75 RBI before an injury cut his year short.  Yunel Escobar is back at short and appears as though he will be a mainstay there for years to come.  Kelly Johnson should start the year at Second.  Johnson is a converted outfielder who has adjusted well defensively to his new position and has shown some pop over the last two years with the bat.  At first base will be Casey Kotchman who was acquired in the Mark Teixeira deal last July.  Kotchman’s numbers dropped off dramatically after the trade but he should be more comfortable now that he’s set to start his first full season in Atlanta.  Catching will be the responsibility of Brian McCann.  McCann has developed into one of the best catchers in the game and might be the Braves’ best player.  He hit .301 with 23 HR and 87 RBI in 2008.

The only position-player acquisition that the Braves made in the off-season was signing backup catcher David Ross.  Outside of him the bench will feature infielders Martin Prado and Omar Infante as well as veteran utility-man Greg Norton.  Outfielder Gregor Blanco will be the team’s fourth outfielder unless Griffey signs; then you might see him in AAA.

Lineup

  • CF  Josh Anderson (L/26)
  • SS  Yunel Escobar (R/26)
  • 3B  Chipper Jones (S/37)
  • C    Brian McCann (L/25)
  • RF  Jeff Francoeur (L/25)
  • 1B  Casey Kotchman (L/26)
  • 2B  Kelly Johnson (L/27)
  • LF  Matt Diaz (R/31)

Bench

  • C    David Ross (R/32)
  • INF Martin Prado (R/25)
  • INF Omar Infante (R/27)
  • OF  Gregor Blanco (L/25)
  • UTIL Greg Norton (S/36)

Outlook
Unless they sustain catastrophic injuries, the Braves will be better this year than their 72-90 record of 2008.  The acquisitions to their starting rotation should give them the boost they need to still be in the thick of the race in the NL East into September, however, I don’t believe they have what it takes to beat both the Mets and Phillies who appear (on paper, at least)
to have much better teams.  Final Prediction:  84-78, 3rd NL East.

Come on, Griff

Okay, I’m a massive Ken Griffey Jr. fan.  But dude’s gotta make a decision here.

Griffey is still undecided about whether or not he’ll return to Seattle or play in Atlanta. 

The thing is, I’m waiting to write the Braves preview until he decides.  Of well, I’ll just write it now and update it tomorrow if he signs.

GOD, damn future-Hall-of-Famers taking their sweet-*** time.