As a Braves fan since birth, it’s fairly easy to be excited about the great unknown. There are many reasons to be excited for the city of Atlanta in 2017. A new football stadium for the Atlanta Falcons, Mercedes Benz Stadium. Also the new home for the Braves, SunTrust Park. Maybe it is a great time to live in Atlanta. Unless someone or something spectacular comes along, Atlanta is where I hope to live in 2017.
Looking at the Braves roster with no incoming free agents, the line up is impressive. Dansby Swanson will surely be hitting in the number 2 spot of the lineup card, followed by Freddie Freeman, and Matt Kemp. Ender Inciatre will be the 1st man at the plate. His speed can turn a routine single into a double. Watching just how many bases the Braves will steal as a team should be higher than 50. I’m sure that is a bet you can make in Las Vegas or some other sporting venue.
The pitching rotation is good, but it can be much better. Julio Teheran is the ace of the Braves pitching rotation and he will get the ball on opening day, April 3, 2017 in New York at Citi Field. Mike Foltynewicz looks to be the 2nd starter in the rotation. Aaron Blair, Matt Weber, and other Braves pitching prospects will need to earn their spot in the starting rotation. This is where the Braves front office should focus on making better. There are a few notable pitchers in free agency, and the Braves have always acquired great pitching with trades.
The Braves have power bats in their lineup with Freeman, Kemp, and Nick Markakis. However another power bat would be a welcomed addition in Atlanta. Brian McCann started his baseball career with the Braves. McCann in currently a New York Yankee, however the Yankees already have their catcher of the future. The Yankees have offered the Braves a trade however they want Foltynewicz or in Inciatre in exchange. Personally I don’t see either of those players being traded to the Yankees for McCann. There are also some big bats available in the free agent market as well.
The Braves bullpen looks intact with Jim Johnson as the closer. Other great arms, who pitched magnificently in 2016, are returning as well. If the Braves could sign a starting pitcher or two, the middle rotation is never a bad spot to end up. Remember that fact Blair or Weber. The Atlanta Braves are a team made up with great players. If individual players could stop seeking the spotlight and focus on the team instead, great things will happen in Atlanta in 2017. Brian Snitcker is the Braves manager, and we were able as fans to watch his managerial style in 2016. Snitcker always wants what is best for the team and the Atlanta Braves organization. Hopefully the player and the fans will want the same. I know I do, so hurry up April 3rd, and let’s beat the Mets as usual!