It is not hard to see why the Braves will lose 93 games. It starts at the top of the lineup, where the team's leadoff duo not only will fall far short of the Mendoza line, they will both flirt with "the Melkly line," which will be coined when Melky Cabera finishes the season batting .103. It looks like McClouth will fare slightly better, hitting .118.
Not only will the middle of the lineup not have much to work with in terms of base runners, Chipper Jones, apparently, will miss 3 out of every 7 games. Omar Infante will have to start 69 games, which would not be a disaster were he not to have an OPS of .572, which these first seven games tell us he undoubtedly will.
Troy Glaus, the right-handed, middle-of-the-lineup savior who the Braves were counting on to reinvigorate the 5-whole will hit no home runs. The Braves should probably see if Craig Wilson is busy this summer. Yunel Escobar, hitting only .207 with no home runs, looks like he probably needs some more minor league seasoning. Matt Diaz will be a part-time player, but when he does play, he'll be almost a full-time out with an OPS of just .462.
There are some positives on the offensive side, of course. Martin Prado will become the first player to hit .500, so that will be exciting. As for Jason Heyward, apparently the hype was warranted because he will hit 69 home runs and drive in 208, which must be some sort of rookie record. Brian McCann will hit 46 home runs. But, that Melky line thing will cause him to only drive in 69 runs.
If you think the Braves superior pitching is going to save a struggling offense, you stopped watching the Braves Saturday, because things have changed dramatically since then. Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson and Kenshin Kawakami will all pitch well, but will not win any games. That’s right. None. No wins from three fifths of the starting rotation. Derek Lowe will set an all-time, totally unbreakable record with 46 DLWs (Derek Lowe Wins), which will help. But, poor Jair Jurrjens. Not only will he not win any games (make that four fifths of the rotation without any), unlike Hanson, Hudson and Kawakami, he will look extremely bad whilst winning none. In fact, his 8.64 ERA should get him demoted to Gwinnett or even released. Maybe the Braves could trade him to whatever beer league team Craig Wilson is playing for and fix their first base situation.
Peter Moylan will be a bright spot in the bullpen, giving up no runs all season. And, his 23 wins will give him serious Cy Young cred if voters look past 46-game-winner Derek Lowe’s 4.50 ERA. But, half those games Moylan and Takashi Saito (also finishing with a 0.00 ERA) will set up for Billy Wagner will be blown.
</sarcasm> JoJo Reyes sucks.
<sarcasm> No, this season will not be what we pictured. Watching Jason Heyward set the all-time RBI record will provide some fun moments, but when a full two thirds of the team’s wins are Derek Lowe Wins, I suspect most fans will check out by July. About the time Craig Wilson shows up.