ATLANTA -- Now that the Grapefruit League season has reached its end, it's time for the Braves to get a better feel for where they are with their rebuilding process and possibly prove to be one of this season's most surprising teams.This will be a transition season for the Braves,
ATLANTA -- Now that the Grapefruit League season has reached its end, it's time for the Braves to get a better feel for where they are with their rebuilding process and possibly prove to be one of this season's most surprising teams.
This will be a transition season for the Braves, who have the potential to vie for their first winning season since 2013. Top prospects Ronald Acuna Jr. and Mike Soroka should join Atlanta's roster at some point this year.
But with Opening Day just three days away, here is a look at how the Braves will look during this season's early stages.
Projected Opening Day lineup
- Ender Inciarte, CF
- Ozzie Albies, 2B
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Tyler Flowers, C
- Nick Markakis, RF
- Preston Tucker, LF
- Dansby Swanson, SS
- Ryan Flaherty, 3B
- Julio Teheran, P
• Inciarte doesn't take pitches or draw walks like the prototypical leadoff hitter, but he's produced a respectable .364 on-base percentage since the 2016 All-Star break.
• Arodys Vizcaino will start this season as the closer, but A.J. Minter may soon establish himself as one of the game's top relievers.
• Flowers and Kurt Suzuki will likely log equal time at catcher over the course of the season. There's a chance they'll be used on an every-other-day basis.
• Third baseman Johan Camargo (back/right oblique discomfort) could return to the lineup as early as April 6.
• Luiz Gohara (left ankle sprain) could join the rotation around the start of May.
• Long-relief candidate Chase Whitley (staph infection) could be available to join the bullpen within the next few weeks.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.