2016 MLB Opening Day Countdown: Atlanta Braves Team Preview

By: Matt Sharp

As the 2016 MLB season draws closer, we will preview every single team in the reverse regular season standings order of the 2015 season. Today we will provide analysis on the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies.

2015 Record: 67-95 | 4th in NL East

2015 Recap: 2015 was brutal. After spending an entire offseason in painful trading off of fan favorites, including Craig Kimbrel the literal night before opening day (I will never get over that) the Atlanta Braves marched brazenly into 2015 on a surprise winning streak, and then promptly fizzled and died with a 67-95 record. In 2015, the Braves became a AAA team that boasted the presence of AJ Pierzynski and Freddie Freeman. Julio Teheran struggled on the mound at times while Freddie Freeman battled injuries. Shelby Miller was the lone highlight for the Braves last season.

2016 Outlook: 2016 does not look favorable for the Braves. The good news is that the offense probably hit rock bottom last year and the bullpen looks promising, at least in comparison to last year. In the same way that a defibrillator looks promising compared to a morgue cooler, or a bottle of embalming fluid. While not adding any major firepower in the offseason, at least Freddie Freeman was not traded off, and if he is healthy, and stays healthy he should put up very good numbers. In short. IF AJ Pierzynski can maintain his 2015 form, IF Ender Inciarte has a break out year, IF Dansby Swanson and/or Mallex Smith get called up early, IF Hector Olivera lives up to all his unjustified hype, IF Jace Peterson closes up the hole in his swing, IF Erik Aybar and Adonis Garcia aren’t defensive liabilities and IF the management can get guys to pitch during the three days of the week Julio Teheran and Matt Wisler are not… well, then we might just win the Division might we? Eh, its March 20. Let a man dream…

Key Additions: Dansby Swanson, SS; Ender Inciarte, CF, Erick Aybar, SS; Jim Johnson, RP; Bud Norris, SP

Key Losses: Shelby Miller, SP; Andrelton Simmons, SS

Projected Starting Lineup:

  1. Ender Inciarte, CF
  2. Erick Aybar, SS
  3. Nick Markakis, RF
  4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  5. AJ Pierzynski, C
  6. Hector Olivera, LF
  7. Jace Peterson, 2B
  8. Adonis Garcia 3B
  9. Pitcher Spot

Projected Pitching Rotation:

1: Julio Teheran
2: Bud Norris
3: Matt Wisler
4: Williams Perez
5: Mike Foltynewicz
Closer: Jason Grilli

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