Bold Predictions

It is time for me to make some bold predictions about Atlanta’s roster next year.

Starting lineup:

1. CF Josh Anderson/Jordan Schafer
2. SS Yunel Escobar*
3. 3B Chipper Jones
4. C  Brian McCann
5. LF Rocco Baldelli/Delmon Young
6. 1B Casey Kotchman
7. RF Jeff Francoeur
8. 2B Kelly Johnson
9. SP see available starters below

*I could easily see Baldelli/Young moving up to the 2 spot and Escobar dropping down to 7 and having Kotchman and Francoeur move up to 5 and 6.

Utility Players:

1. Martin Prado
2. Omar Infante
3. Greg Norton
4. Ruben Gotay

Starting Rotation:
1. Jake Peavy
2. Jon Garland
3. Jair Jurrjens
4. Jorge Campillo/Tim Hudson when healthy will switch to the 2nd starter
5. Tommy Hanson

Setup man 1. Soriano
Setup man 2. Moylan
Setup man 3. MAYBE Smoltz
Closer: Mike Gonzalez

This is what I think Atlanta will look like next year. Not eye popping or anything, but a strong lineup nonetheless. Atlanta will be carried by a strong rotation and bullpen. They will produce runs with speed at the top and good but not great power in the middle. Sorry if you are upset that Francoeur is batting 7th, get over it. He actually deserves to bat 8th but I really like him.
Well, that’s my team for next year. Share your thoughts and comment away. 



  1. PWHjort

    The Baldelli idea doesn’t make any sense. Baldelli can’t play every day due to a mitochondrial disorder. He also doesn’t have the kind of home-run power the Braves are looking for plus I see him accepting Arbitration with the Rays or signing with them within 15 days, I don’t think he comes to Atlanta.

    Hanson’s in AA right now so he probably won’t be on the opening day active roster, though I imagine he starts in AAA and on the 40 man roster.

    I see Pat Burrell, Nady, Bay, Mags, or Jeff Kent playing LF for the Braves next season. (This Jeff Kent idea is new and I’ve never written it down before) Rotation will be something like:

    Jake Peavey
    Japanese Pitcher not named Darvi$h/AJ Burnett
    Jair Jurrjens
    John Smoltz/Mike Hampton/Tom Glavine/Jon Garland
    Jorge Campillo

    You left Greg Norton off your UT/Bench and he’s probably one of the top-3 NL pinch-hitters.

    Bullpen will probably consist of Will Ohman(wants to stay), Mike Gonzalez (hopefully Set-up role), Rafael Soriano (hopefully closing), Peter Moylan (hopefully splitting time with Soriano), Jeff Bennett (utility bullpen guy), Blaine Boyer (innings eater), and Buddy Carlyle (long-relief).

  2. Darion

    No Glavine or Smoltz? Hampton will probably be on the team next year like it or not. Switch Baldelli with Ordonez since I am 75% sure he will be a Brave next year. Gotay and Norton on Bench. Oh and Kent will retire next year. Throw in Flowers/Sammons on bench as replacement catcher. Everything else looks reasonable.

  3. hardballblog

    Well I just did a little research since I was unaware of Baldelli’s disorder. I was under the impression that he just had a few injuries. Even so, I think he would be a valuable piece off the bench. The reason I left Ohman off is because several teams will most likely out bid Atlanta by quite a bit. Ohman says he wants to stay, but most players do and then jump on the money train when a big fat contract is laid in front of them. Going back to left field I think that Jason Bay is the best fit, but I am almost certain that Boston won’t let him go. I don’t like Burrell because he is an all of nothing player which I despise. Xavier Nady is a fit but I have read that the Yankees would ask for Casey Kotchman in return. So that’s out. I don’t like Jeff Kent playing any position other than DH just because of his age. I watched a few Dodger games this year and he did not look good at all. I think he is just about done. Out of that list I think Ordonez is the most likely but I would rather go for Delmon Young and see if he can turn things around. Also Atlanta could get him for a lot less than Mags. We all know what happened to the Tigers the last time they traded with the Braves. They got screwed.

  4. Darion

    the tigers dont care. it happens all the time. they just REALLY need some pitching and dont have the money unless they trade him. Oh and we cant have peavy if we have johnson, escobar, and prado. one will get traded in that deal, maybe even two.

  5. hardballblog

    The reason I left out Smoltz and Glavine is we don’t even know if they will pitch again ever, let alone for the Braves. Don’t get me wrong, I hope they both come back. I just don’t know if they can yet, they don’t know if they can yet. With the request I added Gotay and Norton to the utility bench. The reason I’m not a huge fan of Mags is that he is 36. I’m not a fan of signing players over 35 and expecting them to put up big numbers. Plus you have to get the Tigers to agree to trade him. If I was the GM I would be terrified to trade with the Braves after that fiasco last year. Detroit got beyond screwed. I have also heard talk about a Japanese pitcher coming to Atlanta, don’t know yet so we will see. As for the backup catcher I would rather see Sammons because it is a waste to have a potential talent like Flowers sitting your bench when he could be getting traded to help the team. Thanks again for the comments.

  6. sumdumdude

    I don’t like McCann in the 4, I Think he is better at the 5 spot. Now, who to put at 4? Don’t know. Maggs at 4? maybe, but If we trade for Peavy and for Maggs does that leave the minors thin? Probably not too much because Maggs would be more of a salary dump and shouldn’t require much in compensation. If it is Peavy and Maggs then there goes most of the extra $$$ the Braves have this year? I don’t know that is why I’m asking everybody. If it does where do we find the 2nd SP that we need, Japan? How about Randy Johnson? Would he come cheap? maybe- injury prone? maybe. Lots of questions here I know but that is what makes the hot stove so fun.

  7. wisbrave

    90% of the time I agree with what you say, that’s why I have visited your site a few times. I was curious on what you thought about maybe Glavine coming out of the bullpen/long relief, get some spot starts if injuries occur, maybe returning to rotation if he gets back to full strength.
    What about Maddux coming back at the end of the rotation, his presence on the younger players especially on Parr. His price tag might be cheaper than everybody thinks, to be back with Glavine/smoltz/Hudson. All three should retire in a braves uniform.

  8. hardballblog

    Thanks wisbrave. I would like Glavine to come back. The only problem is he is not nearly as durable as he used to be. This was blatantly clear last season. A middle relief role would suit him best as I think he could go 5 or 6 innings at best. A spot start here and there wouldn’t hurt him but I don’t see him as a mainstay in the rotation. As for Maddux I think he is about done. By far one of my favorite players of all time. He can still locate the ball well, but his stuff just isn’t like it used to be. I see Maddux ending his career as a Brave, but as the pitching coach. Personally I would love to see a Maddux, Glavine, Smotlz coaching staff. Out of the three I think Smoltz has the best future as a player. If he comes back healthy he should still be able to hit 93-95 on the gun when he tries. I think he would be a nice setup man for Gonzo. Thanks for the comment.

  9. Darion

    I get what you guys are saying but I think the Braves want to get younger, not older. Maddux might retire but maybe we can sign him, but not actually use him the whole year. I think he has some stuff still in him, but not a full years supply. agree or disagree?

  10. hardballblog

    If Atlanta needs a starter at the All-Star break or if he is still a free agent I can see the Braves going after Maddux. I just don’t think he has the same stuff anymore. It pains me to say it but Maddux is at the end. If he can still pitch I don’t see him lasting the entire season. I honestly think he would help Atlanta more from the coaching staff than on the field.

  11. PWHjort

    Maddux won’t play for an east coast team. He’s got a full no-trade clause and he won’t wave it if he has to go farther than his San Diego home. He also prefers the NL, so that basically leaves San Diego, LA, and San Fransisco. Atlanta won’t be an option for him unless the above said, he comes to Atlanta in a late-July deal. I don’t know why we’d be unwilling to trade Casey Kotchman. I’d much rather have Nady/Bay than ******* Casey Kotchman. He’s a smooth-fielding, weak, WEAK hitting 1B. What are the chances the Braves trade for Granderson rather than Magglio Ordonez? He’s under team control for 3 more years, but his salary WILL go up due to arbitration. Probably not likely, but that would be great to have Granderson.

  12. hardballblog

    Granderson I think would be a great addition. But with Schafer and Hernandez on the horizon I don’t think Atlanta would trade for him. I really don’t like Mags because of his age. He has also missed time and was able to DH. He won’t have that luxury in the national league. I would rather take a chance with a younger, less productive player than on a older, more injury prone player.

  13. wisbrave

    I think Delman Young would be a low risk and probably low cost acquisition. He has decent numbers that I believe will improve, but he doesn’t have the power every wants, but will he add some speed.

  14. hardballblog

    I would much rather take a chance on Delmon Young than Mags. Another name to throw out there is Eric Byrnes. I think Arizona wasn’t happen with him last year so maybe Atlanta could wrestle him away from them. That guy plays with heart, which is what makes a great player. Not to mention he has power and speed. He was hurt most of last year so his numbers were down but he would be a good trade. He isn’t really young or anything but I like him better than Mags.

  15. wisbrave

    Eric Byrnes is an interesting option. He seems to be a aggressive player that plays heads up ball, which I like and the price to get him will probably be a better option for the Braves than Mags.
    Isn’t Josh Byrnes G.M. of the D-Backs, is there any relation with Eric Byrnes if there is that might compicate things.
    I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing back Kotsay as a fourth outfeilder.

  16. PWHjort

    We need right handed hitters, Kotsay doesn’t fix that hole. Delmon Young is under team control for 4 more years, so that’d be a tough trade. We’d have to send a Johan Santana-like package for Young and one of the Twins young pitchers which they probably won’t trade Liraino, Slowey, or Blackburn.

  17. hardballblog

    What I have heard about Young is that Minnesota has their outfield set, which doesn’t include him. They are looking for a shortstop and apparently have interest in Brent Lillibridge. I think that would be an easy deal to make. Lillibridge isn’t taking Escobar’s spot any time soon, so he is expendable.


    what other people may say i think that john wont be able to play again i wish he could but he cant !!!

    pssssssss!!!!!!!!!: someone blog me back plzz!!!

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