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Braves offseason questions: Does Ozzie Albies or Jace Peterson open the season at 2nd base?

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Albies is currently recovering from elbow surgery.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps this is more of a spring training question than an "offseason" question, but make no mistake about it: all eyes will be on Ozzie Albies and his surgically repaired elbow this winter.

Albies broke his elbow on September 7th in truly bizarre fashion.

Doctors targeted January 1st as the day Albies could resume baseball activities. Most believe he will be ready to go for spring training assuming he has no setbacks.

It's easy to forget that Albies is just 19 years old and will be 20 next opening day. He tore up Double-A, but struggled considerably in Triple-A. His success in Mississippi was also influenced by a .376 BABIP; while his BABIP has always been higher than most given his skill set, it will be near impossible to repeat that number at the higher levels.

Jace Peterson hit much better in 2016 than 2015, though his defense didn't grade out very well. He was worth 0.0 WAR in 115 games after being a 1-win guy the year before. Jace projects to be a long-term utility guy; whether or not he opens 2017 as the club's starting second baseman will be worth keeping an eye on.

There is also the service time debate. Albies would benefit from more seasoning in the minors, and keeping him in Gwinnett for a few months would give the Braves another season of contract control. John Coppolella has said contract status won't influence the front office's decision with talented players, but it would seem wise to keep Albies for another year.

My guess is the Braves take their time with Ozzie and open the year with Peterson at second, especially with Albies coming back from surgery and there being zero reason to aggressively push him.