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2008 Atlanta Braves Baseball Preview

The Atlanta Braves (84- 78) finished five games out of first place, missing the post season for the second year straight. This season, Atlanta has a chance to be tops in the NL East, but they also have the chance to be out of the running for a third season in a row.

The rotation is solid with Jim Smoltz (14- 8, 3.11 ERA, 197 SO), Tim Hudson (16- 10, 3.33 ERA, 132 SO) and Tom Glavine (13- 8, 4.45 ER, 89 SO) being one, two and three. Smoltz has a challenging fastball, a stealth slider and tricky spilt finger. He’s a money pitcher. Hudson has finesse and efficiency. He mixes his pitches well. Atlanta welcomes veteran lefty Tom Glavine. He’s smart, adaptive and tough. Lefty Chuck James (11- 10, 4.24 ERA, 116 SO) is a fly ball hurler capable of five innings per start. Closer Rafael Soriano (3- 3, 3.00 ERA, 9 SV, 70 SO, .181 BAA) had a great September and October. His fastball is effective but his slider is erratic. He gave up too many homer runs last season.

With Andruw Jones leaving for the Dodgers, Mark Kotsay from Oakland was brought in to take over. If Mark Kotsay (.214 BA, 1 HR, 20 RBI) can come back from a season of injury, he’ll get his share of hits. The Braves finished either third or fourth in just about every major offensive category. Third baseman Chipper Jones (.337 BA, 29 HR, 102 RBI), right fielder Jeff Francouer (.292 BA, 19 HR, 105 RBI) and first basemen Mark Teixeira (306 BA, 30 HR, 105 RBI) are all topnotch contributors. Catcher Brian McCann’s (.270 BA, 18 HR, 92 RBI) output fell off last season due to injury. Left fielder Matt Diaz (.338 BA, 12 HR, 45 RBI) impressed Bobby Cox in 358 at bats.

Fielding was a problem last season, with the Braves being ranked 13th in double plays. Overall, they were average in terms of fielding percentage. Catch McCann is a class act who calls a fine game and possesses refined skills.

Cox, who has 2,225 wins, returns to the Braves for his 19th season. Cox knows baseball and players and has a reputation for fairness and creating a great clubhouse feel. New GM Frank Wren has to replenish the farm system.

Read more on the Braves other NL East division opponents, New York Mets, Florida Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals.

For more info on the Braves check out the MLB official page for Atlanta.

 

2008 MLB Preview

As usual we cover and break down all 30 of the major league baseball clubs. To read about a particular team simply click on the link of the division of where the team resides. The division pages will also give a quick thumbnail on each team and are order of finish. At anytime you can return to the main baseball preview page.

08 MLB Team Previews


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