Finishing the 2013 season at the top of the National League East and extending contracts with Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward in the offseason, expectations are high for the Atlanta Braves franchise.
On paper, the loss of two people does not seem groundbreaking, but Mark Zuckerman of Nationals Insider believes these losses will hurt. Brian McCann and Tim Hudson are big shoes to fill, and Evan Gattis and Mike Minor are still inexperienced.
The Braves listed Mike Minor as their number one pitcher in the 2014 season, but his month-long stretch of inactivity may hurt his chances. Minor’s urinary tract procedure prevented him from throwing before spring training began.
Despite Gattis and Minor’s potential hardships, the Braves’ contract extensions ensure a season much like 2013. Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward and BJ and Justin Upton are expected to have a solid season and, so far, they have not shown anything less.