2013 MLB Preview: Atlanta Braves
Best Case Scenario
The best case scenario for the Atlanta Braves in 2013 is coach Fredi Gonzalez uses the platoon at third base with Chris Johnson and Juan Francisco perfectly, the Upton brothers push each other to preform at their highest level as major leaguers, the youngsters of Jason Heyward, Andrelton Simmons and Freddie Freeman all have career highs statically, Dan Uggla and Brian McCann come back healthy to help our already loaded lineup, and the pitching staff stays in tact and healthy. Best case, a World Series Championship is in the future for the Atlanta Braves in 2013.
Worst Case Scenario
The worst case for the 2013 Braves would be another collapse in the late months of the season. 2011 ended so poorly with the fall out in September to not making the playoffs and then in 2012 losing the Wild Card game to the Cardinals. Another failure from the Braves and skipper Fredi could and probably would lead to changes in management.
Most Likely to Happen
The most likely case for the Braves would be another solid season with many All-Stars and guys bring in some individual hardware at seasons end. I see the Braves winning 95 games or more and making a run at the World Series title. I may be a little bias but I predict them taking the WS trophy, for the first time since 1995, back to Atlanta!
Uggla, Gattis hit 3-run homers as Braves beat organization’s Future Stars 10-0
Dan Uggla and Evan Gattis each hit a three-run homer, Mike Minor threw four scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves beat a team comprised of the organization’s Future Stars 10-0 on Saturday in an exhibition game at Trustmark Park.
Chris Johnson had a solo shot for the Braves, who played their final game before Monday’s home opener against Philadelphia. Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward started the game with back-to-back doubles as Atlanta built a 5-0 lead in the first inning.
Minor gave up singles to the first two batters he faced, but then retired 11 straight. The left-hander struck out two and walked none in an encouraging outing after posting a 6.26 ERA in six spring starts.
10 bold predictions for 2013 season
2. Julio Teheran wins more games than Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum andRicky Romero.
Since 2009, Teheran has been one of the top pitching prospects of the Atlanta Braves. He was rushed through the Braves’ farm system, reaching the major leagues by age 20. However, in winter ball this year, he really took off — his pitches were working with much better command in the strike zone. He continued to impress scouts in spring training, going 3-1 with a 1.04 ERA and giving up just seven hits in 26 innings with 35 strikeouts. This could be the year that he breaks out for Atlanta. Meanwhile, Halladay looks hurt, Lincecum can’t find his fastball command and Romero was optioned to Class A.
Season of transition: Braves have high hopes after big offseason
The Braves are confident in the pitching staff, which has seen a lot of turnover the past few years. But there’s stability now, and McDowell thinks this may be one of his best groups.
“That’s the key, one through 12,” McDowell said. “There’s some ballclubs out there that have some pretty good one-two horses and a guy at the back of the bullpen. I think we have as solid a pitching staff in the National League, or for that matter Major League Baseball, that has been assembled. At the end of the year, if pitching and defense are good, you’re probably going to have a successful season.”
For that to happen, the Braves will once again have to battle the Washington Nationals, who won the NL East last year by four games over the Braves. But the altered roster has everyone in Atlanta’s camp very confident heading into the season.
“If you go position-by-position, we feel we match up very well,” Wren said. “I don’t think our guys shy away from that competition, by any means. If we continue to pitch and hit and defend and close out games like we have in the past, it’s going to be a lot of fun in Atlanta.”
Atlanta Braves expect to keep winning
That familiar face over at third base is gone.
Time for the Atlanta Braves to go through another changing of the guard.
Goodbye, Chipper Jones.
Hello, Jason Heyward and the Brothers Upton.
The Braves head into a new era with the same high expectations — make the playoffs, contend for a championship — even though Jones won’t be holding down a spot in the middle of the lineup for the first time in nearly two decades.
“When you don’t have probably the best third baseman ever, there is a big hole to fill,” said Tim Hudson, who’ll get the pitching start on opening day. “But there is a lot of young talent on this team. We’ll be good again this year and should be good for a lot more years.”