The Atlanta Braves’ offense largely sputtered in 2015, as many key position players did not have a clean bill of health. Will it be any different in 2016?
Though president of baseball operations John Hart did make many calibrations to the Atlanta Braves’ roster before the start of the 2015 MLB season, the offense for the Braves did a respectable job of keeping the team competitive in the first half of the season, despite being stripped of nearly all its power in the offseason.
However, once the face of the franchise first baseman Freddie Freeman tweaked his wrist in late June against the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves’ offense became truly a shell of its former self. Runs were hard to come by and a leaky bullpen prevented Atlanta from winning almost all of their games in the second half of the 2015 MLB season.
Not only did Freeman have issues with his wrist, but rookie second baseman Jace Peterson had similar issues with his wrist from May on and newly acquired right fielder Nick Markakis had no power in 2015, as he had neck surgery before coming to the Braves from Baltimore as a free agent.
More from Atlanta Braves
- Atlanta Braves: Felix Has Already Shown Enough to Win a Rotation Spot
- Atlanta Braves Implode Late To Phillies, Cole Hamels Remains Sidelined
- Kyle Wright Shines As Folty Struggles In Atlanta Braves Loss To Red Sox
- Atlanta Braves: Grapefruit League Play Check Up
- Sean Newcomb’s Up & Down Day Against The Orioles
Though the Atlanta Braves won’t likely contend for a playoff spot again in 2016, will we see improvement in the batter’s box from our favorite baseball club this season? Will health be on Atlanta’s side in 2016?
In all honesty, the Atlanta Braves’ injuries in 2015 weren’t catastrophic to the club’s success, but they did compound to negatively affect the ball club as do most lingering injuries. Again, Atlanta doesn’t have the roster built to win games by routinely putting balls in the Turner Field bleachers, but the ability to manufacture runs by driving the ball into the gaps in the outfield could return in the Atlanta lineup in 2016.
Assuming Peterson can learn to hit a curveball, Freeman can play nearly all 162 games, and Markakis has more than three home run power, Atlanta’s offense won’t play as weakly for manager Fredi Gonzalez. That being said, a 162-game season is an absolute grind, so injuries will happen anywhere on the 25-man roster in 2016.
What should help the offense more than anything in 2016 for the Atlanta Braves is that in the rebuilding process, the pitching staff seems like it is ahead of the every day players. Having an improved pitching staff that will keep games low scoring will only aid in the offense’s confidence to manufacture runs in tight ball games. Overcoming a two-run deficit in the final frames isn’t nearly as daunting as having to put up four or more in the late innings of a ball game.
There is no guarantee that the Atlanta Braves will have a clean bill of health with their offense in 2016, but if Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, and Jace Peterson have healthier seasons than they did in 2015, then perhaps Atlanta’s offense can help the club win a few more games in 2016. Go Braves!