Beaten Up

By: Buck Blanz news services

Coming into the season Braves fans were excited about the success that Braves Baseball has seen throughout the past few seasons and hope to continue.

Just last October, the Braves lost in a heartbreaking NLCS Game-7 against the Dodgers.

Since then, the Braves Ball-Club and its fans have had one thing on their mind, ‘get back to the NLCS (if not the World Series)’.

As most of us know by now, the Braves are one of the best teams in the National League, but the NL East is nothing to mess with this season.

Coming off of three Division Titles in a row, the fourth is shaping up to be the hardest one yet for Manager Brian Snitker and company.

Throughout the offseason, Braves fans around the country were excited to see the ball club take the field after their deepest postseason run since 2001. However, things haven’t gone according to plan for the Braves so far this season.

The Braves are around .500. Not exactly where experts expected them to be at this point either, thus sending Braves Country into panic mode, with fans beginning to blame anyone who looks the part.

Therefore, each series against a divisional opponent will only get more and more important for the Atlanta Braves as we get deeper into the season.

However, as a fellow Braves fan, I wouldn’t push the panic button just yet, for these three reasons:

Injuries: Already this season, the Braves have seen more than their fair share listed on the Injured List. The IL currently sits with 9 players that the Braves consider major contributors to the three-time division champion.

Fortunately, none of these injuries have been season-threatening so the Braves lineup should be back together in no-time.

Ronald Acuná Jr.: We’re early into this MLB season and Ronald Acuna Jr. is putting together MVP number early on.

He’s hitting over .400 and his OPS is over 1.000 along with a ton of homeruns, which all lead the league in its category while also being tied for second in RBI’s.

Since Acuna came into the MLB, he has been a spark-plug for the Braves by continuously driving in runs and making outstanding plays in right field.

Unfortunately for the Braves, they will need more than just Acuna to be able to produce runs in order to get back to the top of the division.

Pitching Bullpen: The injuries for Atlanta’s pitchers so far this season have been difficult to overcome for Atlanta’s ball club.

Injuries to three of their best pitchers in their rotation definitely hurts depth throughout the entire bullpen.

Unfortunately, that’s where the Braves are. Although the Braves came away with a 3-2 record over their most recent road-trip, they have exposed their bullpen depth early and often.

The conversation surrounding Atlanta’s bullpen coming into the season appeared to be one to have the Braves Bullpen as one of their biggest assets.

However, If the rotation continues to be shaky throughout the season. Don’t be surprised if General Manager Alex Anthopoulos makes some moves to keep the Braves in contention for the NLCS/World Series.

A large part of the early season mishaps for the Braves have been due to injury, but only time will tell if the injuries continue to be a theme throughout the entire MLB season.