Biggest Braves questions ahead of pitchers & catchers reporting

The Morning Show w/ John & Hugh
February 12, 2019 - 2:59 pm

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Braves pitchers and catchers are set to report to a highly anticipated Spring Training. Ahead of that date this week the 929TheGame Morning Show team of John Fricke and Hugh Douglas are asking the biggest questions on the club at the moment.

WILL JOSH DONALDSON REGAIN ALL-STAR FORM AND BE A FORCE IN THE LINEUP?

JOHN: If he's 100%. Here is where I am cautious. We've heard about 'that guy' joining us before and seeing him just be... ok. Not a shot at Matt Kemp, as an example. I expect him to flourish in this line-up, in this park. That happens and the Braves have a 2-3-4 as good as any team in MLB.

WILL RONALD ACUNA JR. TAKE THE NEXT STEP OR SUFFER A 'SOPHOMORE SLUMP'?

HUGH: Nah, not gonna be a slump. He's gonna take the next step. He feeds of Albies, they feed off one and other. 

JOHN: No there won't be a 'slump'. If he takes that next step, wow. This is real and he is special. Stand by for MVP talk by mid-May. 

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IS THIS THE BREAKOUT SEASON FOR DANSBY SWANSON IN THE MAJORS?

HUGH: Yes. I surely think this is. After he bounced back and forth from the minors some he finally stuck with the big club and so I am going to say yes this is his breakout year.

JOHN: It needs to be. Alex Anthopoulos told us he expects 20+ homers now that his wrist is healthy. Will say he's already broken out defensively. He's top shelf as a fielder.

WHAT WILL THE BATTING ORDER LOOK LIKE TO START THE SEASON?

JOHN: Much as I would prefer Acuna to stay at leadoff I don't think they will start that way. I will guess it looks like this. 

1 Inciarte CF

2 Donaldson 3B

3 Freeman 1B

4 Acuna LF

5 Markakis RF

6 Albies 2b

7 Swanson SS

8 Flowers/McCann C

WILL THE CLUB MAKE A BOLD MOVE FOR A BIG NAME PITCHER BEFORE CAMP BREAKS?

HUGH: Probably Not. If they haven't by now. Dance with what brung you. 

JOHN: I am going to say yes. I still hold hope that the Braves can make a move, they have the cash to do it the problem has been how long a contract do you want to commit to? I think they can get a pitcher to take 3 years and that will mean a big addition to the staff. 

AS CONSTRUCTED RIGHT NOW, CAN THIS BRAVES TEAM WIN THE WORLD SERIES?

HUGH: No. The Braves can contend in the National League. My biggest concern in the NL East is still the Philadelphia Phillies.

JOHN: Right, we forget what allowed the Braves to coast to the title last season was, in part, the collapse of the Phillies down the stretch. While I want to believe this club can win the World Series the NL East is a 3-team race (I'm not buying the Mets and the Marlins are a disaster). Let's win the East again first.​