March 15, 2010

2010 Bold Predictions

Spring is a great time of year for every baseball fan because we all have hope. Every team is in it. Hell, even Pirates fans are looking at their young players, hoping they can finally put together a winning season.  (Sorry, Pirates fans, I don’t mean to hate)

Will the Braves, in Bobby Cox’s final season, get back to the playoffs? How many ejections will he add to his record? Will the off-season moves work out? Well, here are some things that will happen this year:

Jair Jurrjens will win 20 games. After finishing the season with a career best 2.60 ERA and only 14 wins to show for it, the Braves will have a better offensive season and it will benefit Jurrjens more than anyone. He should have had at least 22 wins last season, but his bad luck will end this season and will finally get the attention he greatly deserves.

Jason Heyward will win 2010 NL ROY. The Braves are giving Heyward every chance to win a starting spot on this year’s roster and they really need him to—and he will. Though he has less than 300 Minor League at-bats, Heyward has the poise, confidence and ability to be a big-time player in MLB and will do it sooner, rather than later.

Troy Glaus will hit 25 HRs. After an injury-plagued season in which Glaus played just 14 games, his shoulder is finally 100% healthy. Tony LaRussa had Glaus on the Cardinals’ playoff roster, so that tells me that even last October his shoulder was in good enough shape to contribute in a big spot. I mean come on, if LaRussa has confidence in Glaus, who can argue? The guy invented baseball!

Yunel Escobar will make the 2010 All-Star Team. With a full season hitting down in the Braves’ order, Escobar will get more chances to drive in runs—something he excels at. After posting career highs with 14HRs 76RBI 262B 89R Escobar will continue to evolve into a bona fide threat at the plate. He will finally gain recognition after being overshadowed by the other NL East shortstops.

Chipper Jones will rebound. 2009 was Chipper’s worst offensive season in his 15-year career. The good news was that he didn’t go on the DL— the bad news is that he was so worn down that he wasn’t his productive self. This season he will stay relatively healthy and will be given plenty of rest. Eric Hinske can spell Chipper at 3B when he needs some rest.

Derek Lowe will finish with an ERA below 4.00. After a disappointing first year in Atlanta, Lowe will rebound with a strong showing in 2010. While a good portion of Lowe’s 4.67 ERA was due to a handful of starts, he still didn’t live up to his contract. Lowe has spent a good part of the off-season working on his mechanics and believes he has found the flaw that caused so many problems last year. There are no hard feelings after all the trade talk and D-Lowe will be the pitcher the Braves expected when they inked him to that 4-year $60 Million deal.

Billy Wagner will save 40 games. Wagner appeared in just 17 games in 2009 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but looked very impressive in September. I saw first-hand as Wagner made his debut in New York against the Braves and just dominated. Every batter looked like Greg Norton as Wagner mowed down one hitter after another for both the Mets and Red Sox. Wagner has not only rehabbed his elbow, but (similar to Tim Hudson) has gained more strength in his shoulder than hes had in over 10 years. Wagner will fit in great with Atlanta as a solid closer.

The Braves will make the Playoffs. The NL East title will once again belong to the Philadelphia Phillies, but the Braves will earn the Wild Card spot and will give Bobby Cox a chance to go out on top. I would love to say the Braves will dethrone the Phils, but they just look too strong. Not only did they keep their core players together, they added Roy Halladay. Roy Freakin’ Halladay! It just doesn’t look like they are going to fall this season, but the Braves will beat out Arizona and Milwaukee to gain a spot in the 2010 Post-Season.

The Mets will lose 82 games. They will also lead the league in DL time—again. Carlos Beltran is supposedly going to miss the first month of the season. I have news for you folks, he is going to miss a hell of a lot more than that! Beltran isn’t going to return to the Mets lineup until June. One of Jason Bay’s shoulders will likely become unattached, Jose Reyes will pull a hamstring dancing at the Latin Quarter (if his thyroid level is ever back to normal) and Keith Hernandez will miss time with a damaged scalp after leaving his Just for Men on for more than 5 minutes.

Bobby Cox will swear at Angel Hernandez. I wanted to make sure I got at least one right. Angel is one of Bobby’s arch nemeses and has thrown him out more times than I’m sure he would care to remember. Plus, I’m sure Bobby’d drop an F-bomb on the Pope if he called-out a Brave on a borderline pitch.

Well, there you have it—10 things that will happen during the 2010 season. Am I crazy? (Well yes, but that’s why I am self-medicated). I’d love to hear opinions on these predictions or anything else Braves

Follow me on Twitter @ BRAVEinNY.

Until Next time…Go Braves!

 

 

9 Responses to “2010 Bold Predictions”

  1. 1
    Princess Leah Says:

    Again, very funny stuff on the Mets. I like it all! Go Braves!

  2. 2
    Bubdylan Says:

    Good stuff, Matt. Just For Men joke cracked me up.

    Like the predictions. Here is their order of likelihood for me, most likely to least:

    1. Braves Will Make the Playoffs. Wildcard for me.
    2. Chipper Will Rebound. Highly likely to me.
    3. Mets lose 82. Potential for disaster up there is high.
    4. Yunel Makes Allstar team. Pretty bold, considering competition. But I say yes.
    5. D Lowe’s ERA under 4.00
    6. Glaus hits 25
    7. Heyward ROY (this and all above I find likely enough)

    8. Jurrjens wins 20. (That’s a big number, but here’s hoping.)
    9. Wags saves 40. (Would be pleasantly surprised)

    10. Bobby curses ump. (Bobby doesn’t use foul language.)

    Go Braves!!!

  3. 3
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Bub- I loved reading your feedback! I honestly think the most likely one is Glaus hitting 25 bombs. Maybe its the paint fumes, but I think he is going to have a HUGE year.

    Also, I’d like to add one more… Kenshin Kawakami….15 wins. (Gotta be fumes).

  4. 4
    Coach Says:

    Boy, You have some pretty bold predictions there, LOL!, but I like them and they are rather achievable predictions. I think Hudson has worked his butt of to have a dominating year, he should win in the neighborhood of 15 games. Will Escobar make the allstar team? I really hope he does, but I still think that he might be overshadowed by players like Hanley and Rollins. Don’t get me wrong, I hope that he really has a breakout year and hits 20-25 homers with 90+ Rbi’s and hit 300+. If Wags stays healthy, he will undoubtly save 40+ games, he loves playing for Bobby and would love nothing more than send him out a winner. He has not only brought leadership and chemistry to the club, but has also brought with him that “Blue-Collar” ethic that improves team chemistry, he is a gamer. Chipper will have a better year with more protection at the plate with Glaus in the lineup (This season can’t be any worse than last year, unless he’s hurt). Glaus will have a good season going into a contract offseason, he has alot to prove to people in terms of his health goes, but he will put up 20-30 homers and drive in 90-100 runs. If he does those things and have a decent average, you can tip your cap to Frank Wren on this move. Bobby will get tossed 8 times this year. He protects his players to no end, and will certainly be the heavyweight champ in games tossed, and hold that record until Dinosaurs roam the earth again. I would like to further state that Bobby does cuss like a sailor! If you guys can read his lips when he argues, lol, I don’t think that a manager says fart that many times arguing with the ump! Our overall team is vastly improved. Our Bench will be one of the best in the majors, our rotation will be one of the best, and our lineup will be formidable with “The Freak” in the lineup. I’ve never seen anyone take such pride in hitting balls into parking lots damaging windshields and sunroofs, now that takes a special person. I know the Braves aren’t counting on him to put up huge numbers, but I feel that he will be the difference maker of the team this year.

  5. 5
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Coach, I can’t agree with you more. As long as the guys stay healthy (which is tough for 162 games) I see no reason why the Braves won’t have a great year.

    2 more weeks…

  6. 6
    Danny Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with your optimism, Brave in NY!

    I like that you pointed out Chipper’s lack of rest from last year. I think he can be at his best playing around 115 games. I have really lit up every time I have read about how hard he supposedly worked this off-season. I can see him eventually performing more like a #3 hitter again!

    Coach, I predict 18 tosses for Bobby! I think he will really let it all out this year and set his record on an even higher shelf.

    Here it is! Tommy Hanson. . . 20 wins!!!! I think he is about to really break out!

    2. more. slow. weeks.

  7. 7
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Danny,

    Tommy Hanson, 20 Wins? Why not? He was dominant last year. My only worry is that hitters have tape on him now and will start to make adjustments. This is the year we see how good this kid really is…but I can;t argue with your prediction. As long as he gets run support, he can definitely do it.

  8. 8
    Ethan Says:

    Haha bobby does use foul language. there have been games where he yelled a curse word in the dugout and they couldnt edit it in time. Its hilarious when he does. The ROY race should be very exciting this year! JJ and Hanson should win 20. KK will have a much better season too i believe. i love escobar, he will be great this year. May i add 1 more? McCann-100 RBIs

  9. 9
    BRAVEinNY (Matt) Says:

    Ethan,

    As long as the top of the order gets on base, then 100 RBI is a very reachable number. I’m never worried about B-Mac’s hitting. He’s been the most consistant the past few years, so I like that prediction alot.

    Matt

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