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The Daily Chop: Positional Power Rankings, bench competition and more

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Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

When it comes to season previews, FanGraphs takes an interesting route. Their positional power rankings series does a great job of giving a position-by-position look at all 30 teams and where they stand heading into the 2021 season. The series began rolling out Monday and will continue into next week. Three positions in, the Atlanta Braves have had a great showing.

Reigning National League MVP Freddie Freeman topped the first base rankings by a wide margin on Monday and Ozzie Albies came out on top in the second base rankings in equally impressive fashion. They still have some work to do at third base where they came in at No. 25 but there is plenty of room for Austin Riley breakout in 2021.

The rest of the rankings will be rolling out over the remainder of the week.

Braves News

Ronald Acuña Jr. hit his fourth home run of the season Tuesday but the Braves came up short in a 7-6 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Huascar Ynoa allowed five hits and seven runs but only two were earned over 4 1/3 innings. Atlanta will take on the Pittsburgh Pirates Wednesday and the game can be seen via MLB Network. Ian Anderson is the scheduled starter for the Braves.

Speaking of Anderson, he is one of five sleeper Cy Young candidates for the National League according to this list from MLB.com.

Ehire Adrianza also homered in Tuesday’s loss making him 7-for-7 dating back to last Friday’s game. The streak was snapped in the ninth but the hot stretch has put Adrianza in a favorable position to grab a spot on Atlanta’s bench for Opening Day.

MLB News

Tuesday was a rough day for injuries around the league but no one was hit harder than the Toronto Blue Jays. Reliever Kirby Yates will likely undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season. Additionally, outfielder George Springer has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 oblique strain. The team is still hopeful that Springer will be ready for Opening Day. Starter Robbie Ray is also dealing with a bruised elbow but again the team is hopeful that he will be ready for the start of the season.

Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. left Tuesday’s game due to left shoulder discomfort. Tatis fielded a ball in the hole and short and then made the long throw across to retire Reds infielder Jonathan India. The throw appeared awkward and Tatis appeared to have some discomfort. He was escorted off the field by the team trainer and manager Jayce Tingler.

Rockies starter Kyle Freeland left Tuesday’s game against the Athletics in the third inning due to a left shoulder strain. Freeland was clearly in pain as he exited the playing field.

The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh examines whether or not the Dodgers could challenge the single-season wins record this season.

The Milwaukee Brewers are expecting to utilize reliever Josh Hader in a traditional ninth inning closer role this season.

The Houston Astros have reportedly made an extension offer to right-hander Lance McCullers Jr.

The Minnesota Twins optioned outfield prospect Alex Kirilloff to the alternate training site Tuesday ending his bid to make the Opening Day roster.

MLB.com has a list and location of every team’s alternate training site.