The Braves’ season started on March 28. By this time next week, the calendar will have turned to May, and more than a month of baseball will have been in the books.
So, this week’s Fanpost Friday prompt is simple — what is the most expected, or unexpected, thing about the Braves’ season so far? Player basis, team basis, whatever, it’s up to you.
For my money, I think on the whole, things have mostly played out as expected in aggregate. The Braves are basically right in line with preseason expectations on the whole; if they go, say, 3-2 over their remaining five April games, they’ll be essentially on the same pace as they started with. The relative morass of the NL East through a month of games, especially due to the Nationals’ floundering, has sort of set the Braves up nicely for later in the year, but they’ve also not done much to take advantage as time has been spent getting entangled in self-created tactical knots as well as playing pitcher roulette with varying degrees of success. On the whole, the position players and rotation have been essentially as expected (Max Fried’s dominance so far has cancelled out some of the bad stuff, like Mike Foltynewicz being injured), and the only thing that really stands out is just how bad the bullpen has been. It wasn’t really expected to be a good bullpen, but its performance level as been a pitifully far cry from the vanilla relief corps it masqueraded as on paper.
There have been some surprises in the early going (Dansby Swanson, Fried, Luke Jackson?!) as well as some “well, yeah” stuff (Julio Teheran, the three big bats, Ozzie Albies), but on balance, this team hasn’t exactly shocked the world like it did last April. Anyway, that’s just my take — what’s yours?
Note: As usual, the point of Fanpost Fridays is, well, to engender Fanpost. As such, comments on this post are closed. Go make Fanposts.