Atlanta Braves Fan Confidence Surges, But Are There Warning Signs Ahead

The Atlanta Braves fan confidence has been on a slow path to recovery since the second week of the season. A disappointing April has given way to a resurgent May. Buoyed by the sweep of the Brewers and the series win against the Phillies, the confidence of Braves fans surged 11 points this week.

The series loss against the Cardinals two weeks ago caused the fan confidence to take a southward turn to 71% confidence after a two week recovery had it up to 75%. Little did Braves fans know as they voted on the second day of May that the one win the team had managed against St. Louis would turn into six straight, leading to an 81% confidence in the team.

The more pressing concern for the confidence level is not necessarily in the win/loss category. Some degree of confidence in the team will be lost if the injuries to outfielder Jason Heyward and/or shortstop Alex Gonzalez continue to linger and grow into a more serious injury. While the Braves have outstanding depth in the rotation and the bullpen -- as seen by Julio Teheran's debut in the rotation and the ability of the pen to make up for the loss of Peter Moylan -- there is little to no depth at most positions in the field, especially shortstop and right field.

The best Braves position player depth exists at catcher -- with David Ross as possibly the best backup in the game -- and in Martin Prado's ability to play anywhere in the infield except shortstop, with Eric Hinske filling in for him in left field. If a need arose for a replacement shortstop, center fielder, or right fielder no obvious candidate exists in the Braves system. Jordan Schafer could fill in defensively in left or center, but there's no telling if his offense has improved to the level where he could help Atlanta at the plate.

While injuries are a major concern in the back of many fans' minds, hopefully these worries are just the minor dings and dents of the usual baseball season and don't portend any major problems.

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