Rowland’s #Braves crystal ball: 2016 edition

The Braves will surpass 2015’s win total by 1 game, and that’s an optimistic projection. The reason: pitching, with Shelby Miller and Alex Wood replaced by Bud Norris, J. Chacin and/or Kyle Kendrick. And no Andrelton behind them.

Regardless, they’ll finish behind the Phils and every other team in the NL Least.

On a more optimistic note, Lucas Sims, Aaron Blair and Sean Newcomb will make their big league debuts before season’s end. Though I still don’t like the Andrelton trade, Newcomb will prove to be the cream of that crop.

The Braves will sign one free agent we don’t expect. I hope it’s not Kendrick.

Oz Albies and Dansby Swanson will both reach Double-A in 2016 and the majors in 2017.

Fredi survives the year, but as far as 2017 goes it depends on who has more sway in the front office: John Hart or Bobby. Hart, according to Ken Rosenthal, is no Fredi fan. Raising expectations, as Johns Hart and Coppolella have done, may not bode well for the franchise punching bag.

Hector Olivera will play in LF … and 3B, a preview of his Braves career to come. He’ll hit around .260-.270 with 12 to 15 homers playing barely adequate defense at multiple positions.

For the first time since 1990, the Braves won’t reach 2 million in attendance, despite numerous ill-conceived promotions.

Company man Jim Powell will expend 9,371 minutes of air time gushing about The Mallpark, pleasing his corporate overlords, as ever.

Speaking of, we’ll hear more talk of Liberty selling the team but nothing will come of it due to concerns about the clusterfuck surrounding said Mallpark.

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2 comments

  1. Not that I’m terribly optimistic, but I think the Braves will finish ahead of the Phillies, who were even worse than the Braves last year and don’t appear to have done much to improve their club for the short or long terms.

  2. Of course, one has the question the sagacity of the front office when it is reported that the team has shown some interest in signing Céspedes. But apparently, to do so, they’d have to move Inciarte to create a spot in the outfield for him because they made the twin blunders of trading for Olivera, only to discover that he’s too crappy a fielder to play 3rd (never mind that he’s not a good enough hitter to play left) and they still owe the grossly underperforming Markakis $33 million, and nobody will take either of those stiffs at those prices. Furthermore, they’d also need to shed some salary, which means finding a taker for the either Bourn or Swisher, whom the Braves will have to pay a combined $16 million this year. (The Indians, who ate the $17.5 million left on the crappy contract the Braves gave Chris Johnson’s dead ass, will chip in $10 million for that pair.)

    Oy. Admit you screwed up and pay those two bums off and be rid of them. Platoon Olivera and Markakis, sign Céspedes, and at least pretend to be trying to field a competitive team. (And did I mention that Céspedes is a right-handed power hitter, something that the Braves organization, even after all its wheeling and dealing, seems to have in short supply?)

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