Way too early predictions for the 2015 Atlanta Braves


The Hot Stove season is officially upon us, and the next time baseball is played that means something, the Atlanta Braves will be back in contention – with a new GM, a new hitting coach, the same manager…no, no, we will not talk about that much. This is a positive piece.

This is where I try my hand at the prediction game. Our own Brad Rowland (editor of this fine site) tries his hand weekly over at the FanSided mothership with predictions, and I try to aspire to be just like BR. So, here we go.

I have five – count ’em, five – predictions for the 2015 Atlanta Braves season. And yes, I’m aware it’s only (very) early November, but I’m already ready and way too optimistic about next year.

1.) The pitching staff will see no significant injuries during the spring.

The Braves made due, pretty well actually, with a pitching staff in which they seemingly ductaped together a starting rotation. Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen should be healthy and ready to go, and the Braves will have an Opening Day rotation that very much resembles the one they envision having come the beginning of the spring.

2.) The leash on B.J. Upton is a short one, and the Braves wont be afraid to cut their losses.

B.J. Upton had a better 2014 than he did 2013 (not that that’s hard to do), bumping his average up to .208 from .184, but it still wasn’t enough, and nowhere close to what the Braves are paying him $75.25 million over five seasons to do. Atlanta made a brash, albeit needed, move last July, cutting lose of Dan Uggla (who will be polishing his World Series ring by the time Opening Day comes around next year) due to his lack of productivity.

If B.J. starts slow, he may not have a chance to turn things around (as a Brave, at least). The demise we saw last season leads to a scary thought – the window for a championship opportunity may be smaller than once thought, and B.J. in many aspects is hindering an already-power-heavy, impatient lineup. I’d be surprised if he finishes the season with Atlanta.

3.) The Braves will bring another veteran bat to bolster the bench, and it’ll fail.

More specificially, I’m thinking of Ryan Ludwick, who the Reds bought out late last week. It’ll be Ryan Doumit all over again. Wooo.

4.) The Braves will lose the season series to Miami, San Diego and Arizona, but will sweep the season series against the Giants, Cardinals and will win the season series against the Nationals.

Because the Braves are loopy, and that’s how it works. They play to the level of their competition, when the Braves are playing well, and this just makes too much sense for it not to happen.

5.) With Atlanta sitting as a third-place team by the All Star Break, Bo Porter will take over as manager over the break, placing the Braves back into the playoffs with an 87-win season.

To quote Mr. Potatohead from Toy Story – “Hey, I can dream, can’t I?” I actually just learned yesterday that Porter was brought on by the Braves (where in the world have I been?), and I loved him has a manager in Houston, and I think he could do great things with the Braves. If Fredi Gonzalez doesn’t learn how to properly manage a bullpen and put together a lineup that, you know, actually gets some momentum going (I miss the days when I could tell you the lineup each and every day. It’s a crapshoot at this point), even those in the front office who love him won’t be able to justify keeping him aboard. Again, this is more of a best-case scenario, but it’s my predictions, and I can say whatever I want.

So, here we go. We have several months for these to play out, and when they don’t, I give you full permission to rub it in my face. Until then, feel free to sound off in the comments in opposition or even support.