Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Mailday 2009 Topps

Jeff, the Card Junkie sent along eight more 2009 Topps that I need.  I've received several emails over the past few days with more cards that should be coming in soon.  Once all those are in,  I think I'll be down to needing ten cards to complete the set!

Since we've all been beaten to death with '09 Topps, I'm only going to share one card.

Things are looking much more hopeful in Atlanta this year. At the same time, last year's team looked excellent, on paper, and we all know how that turned out.

Barring any unforseen tragedy, this year's starting rotation looks like it's going to be able to eat up a lot of innings and hopefully save some wear and tear on the bullpen. If the starters can hang in there for seven innings, and if Soriano and Gonzo stay healthy the bullpen will be great too.

And let's not forget about Tommy Hanson waiting in the wings. He looks close to ready for the big club. I'd like to see him start the season in Triple-A just to get a little more work in so he's ready if something happens to one of the starters. He's still young, there's no sense in working him too hard too soon. But hopefully the Braves learned their lesson after what happened with Steve Avery's career. But Hanson's two years older than Avery was when he was called up. Two extra years of maturity and experience.

Since pitching looks fairly solid for the first time in a few years, my only real concern lies in their ability to score runs. McCann is still young and I'm sure his power numbers will increase, but catcher is such a taxing position it's a bad idea to rely on him for all the production. If Chipper can avoid any lengthy time on the DL he's still able to provide some offense. The question is the outfield.

Garret Anderson should be a nice addition to the outfield. He's been a great hitter over his career. But someone's going to have to drive him in when he gets on base. Jeff Francoeur is still a big question mark out there. He's been tinkering with his stance and all indications are that he's feeling better about his swing than he did last year. But he's vital. If he fails to pick up baserunners it's going to be a challenge to win.

Centerfield is going to be interesting to watch as the Braves don't really have a typical centerfielder any more. Whoever starts is going to have to cover a lot of gruond because neither Anderson or Frenchy are speedy.

I think the Braves have a chance to compete this year. They're certainly a lot better than they were last year. It would be wonderful, but I don't see them winning the division. And since the Mets and Phillies are both looking good, the NL Wildcard may be out of Atlanta's range.

But who knows. Look at what they did in 1991. Hopefully I won't have to make as many "What's going on in Atlanta" posts this year.

Anyhoo, thanks go out to Jeff for getting me closer to finishing '09 Topps.


Jeffrey Wolfe said...

Glad to help, thanks for your cards too!