Saturday, March 12, 2016

PANIC! Braves 2016 Preview - Infield

I'd been planning on doing a series for the upcoming season focusing on position battles and such. 

Then I checked twitter after work yesterday and probably looked alot like this guy when I read the following tweet:

Our fearless leader and only real threat in the lineup looks like he'll be on and off the shelf again this season. He had looked good thus far in Spring too, homering twice to go with a few doubles and a bunch of walks. If the injury is bad it leaves a huge hole in our lineup as well as at first base. Let's take a look at the potential replacements...

My best guess to take the job full time if Freeman were to miss significant time would be Nick Swisher.  He's getting paid alot and I doubt they find anyone to dump him on without eating around $10m.  The guy used to be good, let's take a quick glance at his 2015 stats...


Ok please don't do that to me Braves. 

Another guy who actually hit last year who should be too busy platooning all over the place is Kelly Johnson. While he could play some first, I see him platooning in left and at third. 

Maybe A.J. tries to extend his career even further by picking up a first base glove. I like those 2 options better than Swish. Hopefully Freeman is ok and this post is a overreaction later today. 

Moving onto 2nd base Jace Peterson is the heir apparent and doesn't really have any competition (yet) so he should get the nod, Guy hits righties good enough but probably isn't an everyday player. The Braves have been playing him all over the diamond this Spring however preparing him for his inevitable utility role. I've seen him at second, short, third and in left field so far. 

One of the platoon options brought in was local boy and former top prospect/rookie of the year Gordon Beckham. He will probably make the club and start at second against lefties. I expect nothing crazy but you never know, if I had to guess I'd say 50ish games with a .235 average and a solid glove. 

Maybe I shouldn't give my opinion on Bonifacio, that look is kinda scary. Whatever, I think Emilio might be the odd man out despite inking a major league deal with the club. But then again Fredi Gonzalez loves players like Boni so I'll probably be wrong. He pretty much epitomizes the "Jack of all trades, Master of none" saying from a baseball standpoint.

Aybar should get most of the starts at short this year while Dansby and Ozzie Albies season in the minors. That is unless the Cardinals wanna overpay for him and then it would probably be a combination of the 2nd base candidates along with AAAA type player Daniel Castro at short. If Aybar does stay I could see him having a decent season until he's flipped in July for a mid level pitching prospect.

Adonis Garcia is pretty much locked in at third base by default since Olivera has been moved to left. The guy showed flashes of power hitting 10 homers in less than 200 plate appearances.

If he struggles I could see Hector coming back in to play third and the team calling Mallex Smith up to play left. This could just be this fans wishful thinking though as the team seems set on Olivera in left where he's hitting really well so far in Spring.

Hopefully though Freeman is ok and plays 150+ games while hitting .320 with 25 dingers and 100 RBI, he's gonna be a Dad after all needs to make that boy proud!

Thanks for reading my ramblings,  Go Braves! 


  1. A lot of questions there for sure! BTW, I just received your package in the mail moments ago and I'm stunned by your generosity. So much awesome cardboard, I can't wait to get it scanned in and do up a thank you post.

  2. Well we certainly don't have any infield depth, that's for certain... I don't see these bats working out even IF Freeman is healthy.

    1. I'm not optimistic either friend, I got your package recently. Thanks a ton!

  3. This is definitely going to be a tough year for us. Even before most less than optimistic years there is a sense of "you never know", but not this year. I fully expect a minimum of 90 losses. If they can stay under 100 and get some good development from the young talent I will be content. Definitely can't expect much since nearly everyone on the roster will just be a place holder for another year or two until the prospects are ready.

    1. Agreed I'm holding out some optimism but 90+ losses seems inevitable... I'll still be watching