Braves New World: the promise of a 2019 season

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Braves New World: the promise of a 2019 season

Luke Simpson, Writer

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After opening day on Thursday, March 28th, the Braves look to repeat as NL East champs above the new-talent boost for the Phillies and Mets. The Phillies signed Bryce Harper to a 13-year, $330 million deal. The Phillies also received catcher JT Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura in trades with the Marlins and Mariners. The Mets added catcher Wilson Ramous and 2nd basemen Robinson Cano. The Nationals could still contend this year, but after losing Harper, the Nationals will take a hit. The Marlins will NOT compete this year, as they are at the beginning stages of rebuilding after being bought by a new ownership group headed by Derek Jeter.

Now here is the Braves outlook for every possession.  

Catcher  

  • Tyler Flowers signed a 1-year, $4 million deal at the end of last year and is expected to share time with newly- acquired veteran catcher Brian McCann. McCann signed a 1-year $2 million deal with McCann in the off-season to bring him back after spending time with the Yankees and Astros from 2013 to 2018. 

Pitcher 

Starters  

  • Mike Foltynewicz is expected to be the ace for the Braves, following a career year for him where he posted a 2.85 ERA.  He did not start opening day, as he experienced shoulder sourness late in spring training. The rotation will also feature Julio Teheran, Sean Newcomb, Bryce Wilson, and Kyle Wright. Mike Soraka and Kevin Gausman will start the season the DL with different injuries. 

1st base  

  • Expect to see Freddy Freeman suit up and start for the Braves just about every game in 2019. The long-time Brave said he wants to remain a Brave his whole career. The 3-time all-star is one of 3 players the Braves have who could potentially be an MVP.  

2nd base  

  • Ozzie Albies is entering his second full season in the majors, after batting .261 with 24 bombs in his first season with the Braves. The young second basemen will be a valuable asset in the lineup and in the field. 

Shortstop 

  • Dansby Swanson is coming back from a wrist surgery at the end of the regular season last year. The once Number One pick looks to improve after coming off a pretty rough season from the plate batting .238 with 14 home runs. Swanson must put together a good year or the Braves could look for a replacement for the young shortstop. 

3rd base 

  • The Braves signed veteran Josh Donaldson this off-season to a one year 23-million-dollar deal.  The once MVP looks to provide a solid bat at number two in the order. Johan Camargo started most of the games for the Braves last year and is a solid back up for short, 2nd ,and 3rd. 

Outfield  

  • In left field, the reigning rookie of the year, Ronald Acuna, will start and hit 4th. The rookie hit 26 bombs and batted .294. Acuna will could possibly be an NL MVP candidate along with Freeman and Donaldson. 
  • The center field starting spot belongs to Ender Inciarte. The gold glove winner is coming off a decent year batting .265 with 10 bombs. The speedster also stole 28 bases. In his 4th year in Atlanta, he will bat lead off.   
  • Markakis is coming off his best year as a Brave, where he batted .297 with 14 bombs and 91 RBIs. The Right fielder signed a 1-year $6-million deal this off-season and is hitting 5th in the lineup. 

Outfield Subs 

  • Matt Joyce, Charlie Culberson, and Adam Duval will all come in at different times in the season to let the starters take rest.