By: John Wickham

I am genuinely excited about the Braves chances for this upcoming season. I really like all the moves they have made and feel like that have a really good chance at not only making the playoffs but making some real noise when they get there.

I have not been able to watch many of the games because they have not been on TV, which by the way upsets me a lot. I don’t care if it is Spring Training and the starters will only play 3-5 innings, I want to watch my team. I think the Braves need to get their own TV network where all their games are on TV but the Braves are locked into a horrible TV deal for the foreseeable future. But that is a topic for another day.

I have been really in awe of the Upton brothers. They have a great combination of speed and power. The 3rd base battle has been impressive with both Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson looking like really competent players on offense and doing an okay job on the defensive side.

I really like this team’s depth. They have solid players in the outfield in Jordan Schafer, Reed Johnson and Jose Constanza backing up the team’s 3 stars. At the corners you have Freddie Freeman and then the two guys mention already at third with Chris Johnson able to play 1st base also. Up the middle you have Dan Uggla and rising star Andrelton Simmons with Ramiro Pena, Paul Yanish and Tyler Pastornicky providing quality depth. At catcher, if and when healthy, Brian McCann and then a solid backup in Gerald Laird with Evan Gattis and Christian Betancourt also.

Pitching depth is pretty solid as well. In the bullpen you have the regulars with Venters, O’Flaherty and Kimbrel. Now enter Jordan Walden, if healthy. Then also Luis Avilan, Cory Gearrin, Anthony Varraro and Christian Martinez. To me the real problem might be in the starting rotation. I like the starting 5. But it is seen in every season you will need around 8 starters for the season. Brandon Beachy should be back late June, early July so that is 6 but his innings are going to be watched very carefully coming off Tommy John surgery. Who else is there? There is Sean Gilmartin and J.R. Graham but they are young guys and I am not sure if they would be ready. The Braves do have some money in case they want to sign a guy but is there anyone out there that you would want or they could wait and see what is available at the trade deadline.

But I am going to be positive and think happy thoughts and I can’t wait to see what is in store for this season.