To say the Atlanta Braves are a successful franchise would seem to be a ridiculously obvious statement. At the same time however there is very little recognition for the ability of this team to overcome big losses and other obstacles in their way. Starting from before the season even came to life there were issues to overcome. This team’s depth is something that should be talked about and modeled if possible.
Their manager Fredi Gonzalez, who is also underrated by the way, has had to lead this team over a lot of problems. The first thing they overcame was the retirement of Chipper Jones. It almost seems hard to remember at this point but one year ago Chipper was still manning his legendary position at third base. Now all they have is a guy over there named Chris Johnson who leads the national league in hitting. Not bad huh? That’s just one example.
Last season and into the off-season there was still a big problem with what to do with Tommy Hanson. At one time Hanson was the next big thing in Atlanta but that time had passed. Front office personnel got Hanson off of their hands for Jordan Walden who has been crucial in the bullpen all season long. But then he had to be crucial because the Braves lost two of the best relievers in MLB in Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters. Even with the loss of those two the Braves still have one of the best bullpens in baseball.
Remember Ramiro Pena? He was very key in a lot of situations earlier in the season and looked to be the perfect utility infielder for any National League team. He was hurt as well and the Braves have kept going by pulling guys like Paul Janish and Tyler Pastornicky from the minors. Oh and when Pastornicky also was lost for the season they just called up Phillip Gosselin who looks just as good as anyone could be in his situation.
Let us also not forget the way the starting pitching staff has reached new levels since the season ending injury to team ace Tim Hudson. It has been nothing short of amazing. This Braves team has as good of a shot at going all the way this year as any team in baseball. One of the key reasons for that has been the incredible ability of them to overcome adversity and not only survive but thrive in the face of season ending injuries to key players. They all deserve credit for it, starting with Gonzalez.