I answered this question from PhilliesFlow.com in our perspective trade a couple days ago, and I wanted to take a moment to elaborate on some decisions the Braves have to make. From the article:
What do you see as the biggest decisions the Braves will make between now and the start of the season?
The fourth and fifth rotation spots are crucial. Having a solid back end of the rotation to compliment the Smoltz/Hudson/Glavine trio is something we need to know can hold their own. Be honest, a Smoltz/Hudson/Glavine/Heatlhy Hampton/Jurrjens or James rotation is about as mean as any out there. If everyone is healthy, it’s not a one-two punch. It’s a one-two-three-four punch. Now, it’ll only work for a year or so, but it could be nasty.
I think the other crucial decision is who will fill out the bullpen. We have more pitchers overall than we did last year and I think the bullpen will be stronger than it was, but we need to get our guys picked out and they need to embrace the roles they’re given. The only other key question to be answered is who will fill out the left field platoon with Matt Diaz. I think we’ll likely see Brandon Jones out there, but Josh Anderson also wants a piece of the platoon. That’ll be interesting to watch.
With Kotsay playing Center, we’re going to see some interesting competition for the left-field slots. Matt Diaz has the inside track on one half of the platoon, but we are going to see Brandon Jones (bats from the left side of the plate) try and take Willie Harris’ slot as the other half of the platoon. Of course, speedster Josh Anderson is a very talented outfielder also ready for the big time. If we throw Jones in the platoon with Diaz, we’re sending a very talented center fielder back to AAA ball. Something has got to give – we have too many outfielders given the positions we need to fill. No matter whether we end up with Anderson or Jones in the outfield, they’ll be a good compliment to Diaz.
What do you think will happen with our outfield situation? Who makes the big league team out of spring training? Will we trade some of them for bullpen help or will we keep them all on hand?
Tags: Atlanta Braves, Brandon Jones, Bullpen, Josh Anderson, Left Field, Mark Kotsay, Matt Diaz
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