ATLANTA -- There will be plenty of intrigue as the Braves spend the next six weeks determining how to align their starting lineup and fill the final available spots in both their starting rotation and bullpen.
This uncertainty could lead to some frustration during the regular season. But for now, it simply enhances the interest surrounding Atlanta's Spring Training.
The Braves are set to welcome pitchers and catchers to camp on Friday before staging their first workout on Saturday. With this highly anticipated event quickly approaching, we extend the Spring Training preview package by projecting the looks of the lineup, rotation and bullpen.
There is an enhanced meaning to the term "projected" in relation to this year's Braves club. The bullpen's makeup will be significantly influenced by whether Jason Grilli can indeed make a successful return from a ruptured Achilles tendon at 39 years old. The rotation will assume many different looks as the Braves take advantage of a chance to test some of their top prospects at the big league level.
As for the lineup, it too will assume some different looks as players share time at three different positions -- catcher, second base and third base. Manager Fredi Gonzalez also faces the challenge of having to construct a fluid lineup with a number of left-handed-hitting pieces.