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MLB Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves’ First 2013 Spring Training Lineup Set

Fredi Gonzalez Atlanta Braves

Daniel Shirey-USATODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves open spring training play against the Detroit Tigers on Friday at 1:05 p.m. Here’s what Fredi Gonzalez‘s lineup will look like via David O’Brien of the AJC.

1. Andrelton Simmons – SS

2. Jason Heyward – RF

3. Justin Upton – LF

4. Freddie Freeman – 1B

5. B.J. Upton – CF

6. Dan Uggla – 2B

7. Juan Francisco – 3B

8. Gerald Laird – C

9. Blake DeWitt – DH

Tim Hudson – SP

Gonzalez is going with the lineup many Braves fans have been speculating about since the trade for Justin Upton. This is obviously without the injured Brian McCann. In looking at the trend of the lineup – alternating between right and left-handed hitters – McCann will likely be plugged in at the No. 6 hole and drop Uggla to No. 7. There are no real surprises with this lineup. Francisco gets the starting nod at third base over Chris Johnson with the right-hander Rick Porcello starting on the mound for the Tigers. I’d expect Francisco to get two at-bats and then Johnson to take over. Look for the regular starters to get two or three at-bats as well and for Hudson to pitch a couple innings.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is DeWitt starting at designated hitter instead of Evan Gattis. Gattis has impressed thus far with his sheer power, and the Braves will likely find a place for him on the roster. It will be interesting to see where he plays tomorrow off the bench. We could see him at catcher, outfield, the designated hitter or a combination of those spots.

Stay tuned til tomorrow for updates on the first spring training action for the Braves in 2013.