Some were prescient:
- The move to Cobb is a done deal, but the construction of Pascual Perez Memorial Stadium — and development of the surrounding Fanplex Memorial Funzone — will not go as smoothly as the hear-no-evil front office will claim.
- Gavin Floyd will start more games than Brandon Beachy but not as many as Alex Wood.
- FW and Fredi will sign contract extensions; Jay Hey and Freddie will not. (3 out of 4 ain’t bad)
- In anticipation of the Cobb relocation, we’ll hear even more of that godawful country pop crap in between innings, to the point where I start to ponder the unthinkable: Maybe “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” wasn’t so bad, after all.
- Attendance will decline.
- The Nationals will be better, prompting the Office to complain repeatedly that Doug Fister should have been a Brave.
Others, a tad optimistic:
- Evan Gattis will outhomer Brian McCann. (Gattis fell one HR short but appeared in 32 fewer games)
- Jordan Walden will become a force in the 8th; Carpenter and Avilan will regress, but not badly.
- Chris Johnson won’t be as good as he was in 2013 but won’t be as bad as his critics suggest. CJ was too consistent (never hitting lower than .273 in a month) to expect a massive drop-off. Take away a lackluster 2011 campaign and Johnson has a lifetime BA above .300.
- Freddie will be Freddie. Jay Hey will be Jay Hey, 2012 edition. J-Up will be a little better. B.J. has to be.
- Like Andrelton two years ago, Tommy LaStella will replace Tyler Pastornicky (aka Rod Gilbreath 2K) in the starting line-up before the All-Star break and hit .289, minus the stellar defense. Though he’ll be better than Uggla.
The rest, delusional:
- Ryan Butcher (103 K’s in 62 IP at Gwinnett) emerges as the top lefty out of the ‘pen..
- Dan Uggla will be traded before Opening Day. To Baltimore. The Braves will pay more of his salary than the O’s and will be better off for it.
- Andrelton will mimic Dave Concepcion’s 1974 campaign: .281-14-82, 44 BB, 79 K’s, Gold Glove Award. If you want to see a preview of Simmons’ future, look up Concepcion’s numbers.
- We’re going to like Ryan Doumit more than we think.
2015 predictions forthcoming.