You’d think the ’75 Braves played in the Astrodome, not the Launching Pad, based on their anemic offensive production. They had the fewest runs and hits in the NL and finished next-to-last in OBP and slugging and 10th in BA. Darrell Evans led the Braves in homers (22) and RBI (73). Only three other Braves reached double figures in homers (Dusty Baker, Vic Correll and Earl Williams) and they combined to hit just 41 four-baggers. The’75 Bravos didn’t have much speed, either, with Ralph Garr leading the team with 14.
The front office responded by dealing away two of their best hitters (sound familiar), in the offseason (Baker to L.A., Garr to the White Sox). They waited until June to trade Evans. The offense was as anemic as you’d expect; Darrel Chaney led the team with 20 doubles and only two Braves reached double figures in HR (Jim Wynn, 17, and Ken Henderson, 13). The ’76 Bravos were last in slugging and next-to-last in BA.
The 2015 offense may be just as bad, if not worse. Of the returning Braves, none reached 20 homers or 80 RBI in 2014. Freddie was the only starter to finish with an OBP above .300 and a slugging percentage over .400 (import Nick Markakis had a .342 OBP and .386 slugging). Free agent Nori Aoki (.349 OBP, .360 slugging) has already been mentioned as a replacement for Gattis in LF, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they also signed Jonny Gomes (.327, .330) to platoon with the former Royal. Colby Rasmus is another FA option, but he was awful in 2014, batting .225 with 29 walks and 124 strikeouts.
This may very well be your Opening Day line-up:
Chris Johnson 3B
Nick Markakis RF
At least the pitching will be solid; the ’75 and ’76 Braves finished 10th in NL ERA.