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MLB Atlanta Braves

5 Atlanta Braves Storylines to Follow During Spring Training

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5 Atlanta Braves Storylines to Follow During Spring Training

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The idea of losing in the first round of the Major League Baseball Postseason only stinks right after it happens to a team. Once that same team gets to consider how well they played all offseason, they feel great coming back to Spring Training. Such is the case for the National League Eastern champion Atlanta Braves.

Every team in MLB has obstacles to overcome during the 162 game regular season. The Braves were no different last season and in fact might have had more than their fair share to get passed. Jason Heyward finally got healthy in time to jump to the leadoff spot and lead the team to great things. Then he had his jaw broken by a pitch and the flow for the Braves offense never recovered afterwards.

There were good things as well that happened like Freddie Freeman emerging as a MVP candidate for the majority of the season. He was a huge player for the Braves all year. Spring Training allows the Braves and their fans to revisit things that happened last year and imagine how they will be improved upon during this season.

Freeman will be one to watch as he hopes to continue his success into 2014. Heyward will need to be able to stay healthy and lead the batting order once again. In addition to those stories there are countless others in the spring. Here are five really good ones that we should keep a close eye on going into and through Spring Training.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5 – Will B.J. Upton Bounce Back?

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While some argue that Upton has never been a good hitter for average, what happened in 2013 is still an anomaly. Never before has he even come close to those numbers. He may not hit .300 but can he rebound in his second season in Atlanta?

Because he has a good career going and just one bad season right after a big contract, it is pretty easy to assume that he could get things back on track. The hitting coaches of the Braves claim that his swing looks much simpler and much better going into the Spring. We’ll see what happens.

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4 – Will Tommy La Stella Make the Roster?

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There has never been a ton of buzz surrounding La Stella until the 2014 MLB offseason. With the second base questions going into the offseason, his name came up as a possible second base replacement.

He is still very young and it should be noted that while he has shown all-around promise, he has only been as high as Double-A. It stands to reason that he might start the year at least in Triple-A unless he really blows everything out of the water.

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3 – What Will Happen With Dan Uggla?

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Uggla’s situation is different than Upton’s because he has not performed up to what most consider his standard for a few years now. Though he did have a decent year with power, he still needs much improvement. After being left off of the postseason roster, there are many possibilities in his future.

He could rebound and be the second baseman that the Braves always wanted him to be. Also he could have another bad year with the Braves and further complicate the second base situation. There is a small chance he could even be traded before the start of the season though the Braves don’t feel they will find the right taker for him.

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2 – Evan Gattis Gets to Fill Brian McCann’s Shoes

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The loss of McCann is a big one but certainly was not unsuspected. Still, filling his shoes in only Gattis’ second year could prove to be quite the task. It does seem after his promising rookie season that Gattis is up for the job but that would be impossible to tell for certain until we see what happens. It all starts in Spring Training as Gattis will come to came understood to be the Braves everyday catcher.

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1 – What Will the Starting Pitching Rotation Look Like?

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It can pretty well be guaranteed that Mike Minor, Kris Medlen and Julio Teheran will make the front five. In addition to them Brandon Beachy is expected to be there as long as his elbow rebounds nicely. From there it is up to Alex Wood, David Hale and Freddy Garcia to fill the fifth spot.

Garcia has the experience edge. Wood and Hale are both young but have both shown promise at the MLB level. There will be another added to the mix a little later but out of the gate it will be up to those three. Who will get it? Wood and Garcia have bullpen experience which also might come into play. Time will shortly tell.