Before the injuries to Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy, I thought the Braves had a good chance to repeat as National League Eastern division champions. With those injuries, my win projection on the Braves has changed.
The Braves won 96 games last season and looking at the roster and the competitive level in the National League, I was originally projecting 92 wins for the Braves this season before the injuries. I now see the Braves as an 88 win team. While this year’s edition won’t set any regular season win records, I think the excitement level will be high as the Braves will battle all season to secure a wild card slot.
I hate to concede the NL Eastern crown to the Nationals, but when you look at their starting rotation and compare it to the Braves, it is hard to believe the Braves will be able to hang with the Nattitude gang. I also think the Braves mindset will again be to stick with Uggla and B.J. long past their shelf life which will give away games.
My other concern is the Braves bullpen. Not that they won’t be good, just that they won’t be as good as they have been, which has been the best bullpen in baseball. Ian Thomas, deposed starter David Hale or Gus Schlosser, and Ryan Buchter or Atahualpo Severino don’t fill me full of confidence. How many of you had even heard of Schlosser, Thomas, Buchter or Severino before this spring?
(Do you think the Braves announcers will be pulling against Atahualpo Servino making the team so they don’t have to try and pronounce his name?)
I think the Braves will be a good team in 2014, just not a great team. How many games do you think the Braves will win this season?