With Spring Training coming to a close, the boys are getting ready to head north and get the 2012 season underway. The Bravos open up the campaign Thursday on the road at Citi Field to take on the still-rebuilding New York Mets. So now that they’ve had a chance to brush away the cobwebs, and hopefully, the memory of last year’s unspeakable finale, what can we expect from our boys from this point out?
The rotation looks good, with the only question mark being the number 5 starter. It’s looking like the choice between the two rookie studs, Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado, will come down to the wire. Tommy Hanson got the opening day nod for the first time in his young career. He and Jurrjens have looked healthy and look to bounce back from the injury-ridden season they experienced last year. Hudson will be back in the rotation sometime in April, and with the addition of Livan Hernandez, we certainly have depth and experience.
Things seem to be looking up for the offense as well. Dan Uggla, Brian McCann, and Freddie Freeman have been swinging the lumber with some real authority throughout exhibition play. Jason Heyward has been showing signs of life, with glimpses of the JHey Kid’s return to his rookie form. Chipper looks to give it one more productive go-around, as the eventual Hall-of-Famer announced his retirement following the 2012 season. It looks as though rookie Tyler Pastornicky will begin the season as Atlanta’s starting shortstop, although, should he struggle, Andrelton Simmons may be nipping at his heels after a very impressive spring.
All in all, I like our club and our potential to compete. It’s a new year and a clean slate, so let’s do this Bravos!