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2009 Atlanta Braves Baseball Preview

The Atlanta Braves (72- 90) have not been to the post-season since 2005. For 11 years running, from 1995- 2005, they won their division crown. The last time the club won the World Series was in 1995. This season, the Braves will finish out of the running due to the fact that they have an inadequate rotation and holes in the lineup.

Jair Jurrjens (13- 10 W/L, 3.68 ERA, .260 BAA) is a Gregg Maddux type hurler with a fastball that ranges from 90 to 96 mph. His changeup ties batters up, but his slider requires more refinement. Javier Vazquez (12- 16 W/L, 4.67 ERA, .263 BAA) can throw his fastball and late breaking slider on either side of the plate. His curve changes speeds effectively. Jorge Campillo (8- 7 W/L, 3.91 ERA, .262 BAA) uses a wealth of off-speed pitches to confuse batters. His deceptive fastball puts batters away. Lefty Jo-Jo Reyes (3- 11 W/L, 5.81 ERA, .301 BAA) needs better control to be effective. Tim Hudson (11- 7 W/L, 3/17 ERA, .239 BAA) is coming off of Tommy John surgery and won't pitch until August. The bullpen is a work-in-progress. Closer Mike Gonzalez (4.28 ERA, 14 SV, .210 BAA) is coming off of major surgery.

Josh Anderson (.294 BA, 12 RBI, 3 HR) leads off with a line drive bat and Yunel Escobar (.288 BA, 60 RBI, 10 HR), who's coming off a hammy injury, hits second utilizing his strength and quickness. Chipper Jones (.364 BA, 75 RBI, 22 HR), who dealt with numerous maladies last season, still had a great time at the plate. He's one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball. Brian McCann (.301 BA, 87 RBI, 23 HR) has plenty of pop in his bat and Casey Kotchman (.272 BA, 74 RBI, 14 HR) is a solid contact hitter. Kelly Johnson (.287 BA, 69 RBI, 12 HR) stands as a dangerous number eight man. Jeff Francouer had an off-season and this year looks to rebound by hitting closer to .330 and garnering his usual 100-plus RBI.

The infield looks fine defensively with Kotchman playing quality “D” at first and Jones being good enough at third. Short features the strong, accurate arm of Escobar and second is manned by the adequate Johnson. Behind the plate, McCann calls a good game, offers a fine target and throws well. Right field is maintained nicely by Jeff Francoeur, while Anderson plays an average center and Matt Diaz an under average left.

Bobby Cox is the Dean of MLB Managers. He's been with the Braves numerous times. First he served as manager from 1978- 1981. He returned to the organization in 1985 as the GM and then was made manager again in 1990. He is fourth overall in managerial wins with 2,327 and a winning percentage of .557. The guy knows the game inside out and he continues to be a fine motivator. GM Frank Wren has made some deals to upgrade the pitching but the staff is in no way deep enough to contend.

The problem for Atlanta is that they no longer have the pitching of John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Julian Tavarez and others. Of course Smoltz and Glavine had disappointing seasons last year. Decent hitting and fine fielding are in place. This is a club that has slowly been degenerating and looks to continue down that road. At times this season they will look fine, but they are not good or deep enough to compete throughout the season versus the Mets or the Phillies.

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.

 

2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews


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