I haven’t updated this blog in a while, and now that I’m taking a couple of Journalism classes, it seemed that I should probably get back into this little thing called “blogging.”
Since my last entry in October, the Braves have found themselves in quite the odd situation. They have received very little praise for their off-season acquisitions, their starting rotation has certainly been weakened by the loss of Javier Vazquez (in a trade that, quite frankly, only gave us one promising prospect, who we likely aren’t going to see in the majors until at least 2012-2013.), and then the additions of Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito that, I believe, will work out better than most people believe.
The additions to the Braves offense is by far the most exciting part of their off-season. While a lot of fans have expressed concern over the additions to the lineup, I feel that the lineup has indeed been strengthened. Troy Glaus, provided that he stays healthy, will produce RBIs and home runs. Yes, he missed most of last season, but his numbers shows that he is able to consistently bounce back from injury. Not only that, but he also will provide some long overdue protection to Chipper Jones and Brian McCann. Now obviously Glaus isn’t a proven 1st baseman, but I believe he will quickly adapt to that position. He is a proven 3rd baseman, and that transition is one that someone like Glaus should be able to make by Spring Training’s end. Expect to see him bounce back by the end of Spring Training.
Another addition to the Braves roster were the deals made for Eric Hinske and Melky Cabrera. Eric Hinske will be a nice jump up offensively from the nightmare that was Greg Norton last season. I take comfort in knowing that my heart won’t sink should Hinske be put in a pinch-hitting situation with the game on the line. The guy is a proven utility man, so I believe he will provide some relief when it’s needed.
On the subject of Cabrera, his addition isn’t really a loss or a gain. If you didn’t know, Cabrera was acquired in that deal with the Yankees. You know that deal. Every Braves fan knows that deal. The deal where the Braves gave up their ace starter for Melky and 2 prospects. I suppose that my main problem with this trade, like so many others, is that I feel the Braves could have gotten a lot more out of it.
I understand the need to trade Vazquez, as trading Lowe would have been far too difficult considering the amount that he would have been owed. Still, after this deal was done, my attitude toward the whole thing was that “Frank Wren isn’t going to get the offensive power we need by shopping for the Blue Light special at K-mart.”
I suppose that this season will shape up over time. In my absolute wildest dreams, Wren surprises everyone and announces the signing of free agent Johnny Damon, but I have very little hope of that happening. It’s also a dream of mine that Jason Heyward will be major league ready by the end of Spring Training, but then again, I would prefer to leave him in AAA Gwinnett until about half-way through the season. I don’t want another Schafer, and I’m sure no one else does either. I have to admit, my division championship hopes aren’t really too high, but I do feel like the Braves could make a strong push for the Wild Card.
Speaking of Schafer, I would love it if he comes into Spring Training at full health. I still have a lot of high hopes for this guy. I imagine that a combination of Heyward, Schafer, and Diaz in the outfield could one day be one of the best in the National League.
As a side note, I’ll be using this blog a lot for a Journalism class in which blogging is required, but I may have to post on another site. If that is the case, I’ll just post to both blogs the same entry.