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Filling Out the Braves 2010 Lineup Card

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With the expected signing of Troy Glaus, and the recent trade of Javier Vazquez for Melky Cabrera, the holes on the roster that the Braves entered the off-season with seem to have been filled. With that in mind, I fill out the lineup and the rest of the 25-man roster:

1. Nate McLouth, CF
2. Martin Prado, 2B
3. Chipper Jones, 3B
4. Troy Glaus, 1B
5. Brian McCann, C
6. Yunel Escobar, SS
7. Matt Diaz, RF
8. Melky Cabrera, LF

1. Tim Hudson
2. Derek Lowe
3. Jair Jurrjens
4. Tommy Hanson
5. Kenshin Kawakami

1. David Ross, C
2. Omar Infante, IF
3. Brooks Conrad, IF
4. Brandon Jones, OF
5. Mitch Jones, OF

1. Billy Wagner, LH
2. Takashi Saito, RH
3. Peter Moylan, RH
4. Eric O'Flaherty, LH
5. Kris Medlen, RH
6. Jesse Chavez, RH
7. Mike Dunn, LH

That's a pretty solid lineup with Glaus in the middle. I'm assuming the Braves will take the Tommy Hanson approach with Jason Heyward and let him get some time at triple-A first, but if he does make the team I would expect him to hit 7th between the right-handers Escobar and Diaz. But I think it's more important for Heyward to get a first footing at triple-A before he's promoted to Atlanta. With the lineup above, there's really no reason to rush Heyward. Yes, he would make it stronger, but it's pretty solid the way it is and burying Melky in the 8th spot obscures his underwhelming bat.

The rotation is strong, and of course any of those guys could be swapped around. They're all right-handed, so order is not really that important.

The bench will probably have a lot of competition, and there's still a chance the Braves could sign someone else to fill out a pinch-hitter role. As it stands we would have to rely on young players like Conrad, Jones, and Jones who don't have much experience pinch-hitting. They are also all free swingers and the Braves would probably prefer at least one other pinch-hitter who is more of a contact hitter.

The bullpen is more than solid from top to bottom. Actually, this is likely the best I've felt about our bullpen in years, and there's still some other guys who could sneak into the mix like Luis Valdez, Jeff Lyman, and Lee Hyde. Too many bullpen arms is a good problem to have.

Overall I like our 25-man roster the way it is constructed above. Glaus really solidifies the lineup for me. He was the true missing piece and the right piece to add. Now everyone just needs to stay healthy so we can put that same lineup out there for 120-plus games.