Okay Braves fans, the bitter taste (mostly agony and tequila) is slowly starting to dissapate after the “collapse” of ’11. So … on to ’12!
If I was GM of the Braves, I would think hard of the direction we are going. We’ve got pieces, but we just need to tweak a few things.
10. Bullpen. We used and abused our three headed monster of “O’Ventbrel.” We have Medlen coming back (he looked good!) and youngsters C. Martinez, Varvaro and Viscaino look to anchor the back end. Now hear me out. Assuming there will be no takers for D. Lowe’s contract, dare we plug him in to the long reliever, emergency starter role? It’s all youngsters beside him? Just a thought.
9. Freddie Freeman. Absolutely nothing! Leave him alone; he is a stud!
8. Jason Heyward. Oh boy. Still only 22. Time to figure out that your swing is longer than a … I’ll keep this PG. Son, shorten your swing, stay healthy and get your keen eye back at the plate. Having Parrish gone can only help. If we can get this monster of potential to produce … sky is the limit.
7. Martin Prado. Okay, I’ve never had a staph infection, but obviously it sucks the life out of you. Do we turn Prado back into the super utility player, or stick with him full time in left? I say super util and, somehow, find an OBP machine to play left.
6. Michael Bourn. Love his speed. Love his D. Love his Avg. Hate Boras. But we have nothing in the pipeline for CF. Offer a three to four year extension worth about $8MM per and see what happens.
5. Brian McCann/Chipper Jones. Our leaders. Someone needs to really step up and take control of this team. I know they are lead-by-example types, but we need a visible outspoken captain to light a fire when needed. Give them enough rest to ensure the nagging type injuries don’t cripple us down the stretch.
4. Shorstop. I love A-Gon’s D. I hate his approach at the plate. Happy medium? I don’t know if Pastornicky is ready for full time D and O at the MLB level. A-Gon for one more year and bring T-Past up mid season for a taste. But boy do those DP’s and strike outs from A-Gon make me loco!
3. Dan Uggla. No brainer. Don’t suck the first half again. Nuff said.
2. Starting pitching. Hudson, Hanson (healthy?), Beachy, Delgado, Minor or Teheran. I like the vet at top, Hanson if he can put it back together and stay healthy. Trade Jurjjens if he is healthy. Beachy is solid. Use two of Delgado, Minor or Teheran. Youth movement is here folks. Condition these guys to go more than five innings please!!!!
1. Fredi Gonzalez. As I mentioned yesterday, Frank Wren and Gonzalez weren’t on the same page as far as a few personnel moves go. Wren is making it clear changes and performance need to happen or else! Fredi G needs to realize sitting in the dugout like he’s thinking about whether to order a burger or hot wings ain’t cutting the mustard. Not saying be Bobby Cox. Just show some emotion and fire your team up, or else, I have a feeling you may be next. Just sayin’.