After learning that the Braves have made the first big splash of the offseason, I decided to write a blog about it.
The Braves traded away utility man, and All Star Omar Infante and Mike Dunn to the Marlins and received Dan Uggla in return.
Omar Infante is going to be one of the best hitters on the Marlins next season. He hits for a high average, gets on base a lot, and I always liked him because of the clutch hits he provided.
What will most be missed about Infante is his versatility with the glove.
It's really something that not many teams have and is hard to replace when you lose one.
Infante could play any position besides pitcher.
He can handle any outfield spot, hot corner, short, second, and when needed he can play first base, and he was the Braves emergency, emergency catcher(pretty much 4th string catcher)
Mike Dunn did have a good bit of upsided, but the Braves have several good young arms in the bullpen.
Craig Kimbrel has been noted as the right handed Billy Wagner.
Jonny Venters was dominant before he was overused last season. Give him time to develope more endurance, and he can be a very intimidating set up man to get Kimbrel into the game.
Getting Uggla filled the Braves biggest need, a run producing power hitter for the middle of the lineup.
Troy Glaus had one month doing that last season and Derek Lee never really worked out.
Uggla is gonna be a downgrade for defense, but if things go as planned, his offensive production will make up for it.
He is likely going to bat in between Chipper and McCann.
This means that Chipper is going to see more pitches to hit than he did with Troy Glaus batting behind him, and it takes a lot of pressure off of McCann's shoulders.
The Braves still need to get a center fielder, but getting Uggla this early in the off season takes away a lot of pressure off of Wren to make something happen.
As of now the projected starters would be...
C- Brian McCann
1B- Freddie Freeman
2B- Dan uggla
3B- Chipper Jones
SS- Alex Gonzalez
LF- Martin Prado
CF- Jason Heyward
RF- Matt Diaz
Assuming Jason Heyward progresses, and Freddie Freeman works out as expected, this will be a lineup to be reconed with.
The batting order I would use would be...
1. Martin Prado
2. Matt Diaz
3. Chipper Jones
4. Dan Uggla
5. Brian McCann
6. Jason Heyward
7. Freddie Freeman
8. Alex Gonzalez
The Braves lack a true leadoff man, but Martin Prado gets a lot of hits and hits for a high average. Hopefully he will walk a little bit more this season to raise his OBP.
Matt Diaz is generally used as a platoon player, but he has halfway decent speed, and can hit for a decent average, the closest thing we have to a true number 2 hitter.
Chipper has batted third for many years now, and when he is in the game, this is where he will stay.
Dan Uggla is a no brainer for cleanup man, easily has the most power on the team.
Brian McCann has lead the Braves in homers the past 3 seasons, he is a clutch hitter, and his spot shouldn't be questioned.
Jason Heyward needs to be in a better position to get RBIs than the 2 spot. He has some pop in his bat, and batting second really hurt his run production.
Freddie has a ton of power, if he shows he can hit at the big league level I would move him up.
I will leave this blog at the offense, I'll try to post another one about pitching in a couple weeks.