Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 4/2/12
Schedule Thursday: at N.Y. Mets, 1 p.m. (SportSouth); Probable starters: Tommy Hanson (2011: 11-7, 3.60 ERA) vs. Johan Santana (2011: DNP, injured) Friday: Off Saturday: at N.Y. Mets, 1 p.m. (SportSouth); Jair Jurrjens (2011: 13-6, 2.96) vs. R.A. Dickey (2011: 8-13, 3.28) Sunday: at N.Y. Mets, 1 p.m. (SportSouth); Mike Minor (2011: 4-5, 3.13) vs. Jon Niese (2011: 11-11, 4.40) Look out for The Braves have had a rough spring after a September in which they lost an 8-game lead for the wild card and missed the playoffs. Will they able to get off to strong start in the regular season after making few changes from last years roster? Hanson earned the opening day start despite changing his delivery and coming back from a shoulder surgery that caused him to miss the final month of the 2011 season. What kind of impact will newly acquired 3B Juan Francisco have on the Braves? Santana, a two-time AL Cy Young award winner, is looking to regain his past form after missing last season while recovering from shoulder surgery. He has a 3.44 ERA this spring with 13 strikeouts in 18 13 innings. The Mets have turned to Ruben Tejada at SS after Jose Reyes signed with the Miami Marlins. He hit .284 in 96 games last season. Whos hot Braves 2B Dan Uggla and 1B Freddie Freeman are tied with several other players with six home runs each, second in the majors this spring. Uggla has 15 RBIs and Freeman has 14 RBIs. LF3B Martin Prado leads Braves regulars with a .357 average. Career minor leaguer Jordan Parraz might have played his way onto the team with by hitting .311 with seven RBIs through Sunday. Closer Craig Kimbrel hasnt allowed a run in eight spring innings. Rookie LH Yohan Flande is a leading contender for the final spot in the bullpen with a 2-0 mark and 0.73 ERA. Mets RF Lucas Duda leads the team with four HRs and nine RBIs this spring. Whos not Matt Diaz and Eric Hinske, who figure to platoon in LF when Prado plays 3B while Chipper Jones is on the DL, are hitting .208 and .224 this spring. Julio Teheran (9.37 ERA) and Randall Delgado (7.89) are in the running to be the Braves No. 5 starter. Reliever Eric OFlaherty has a 5.00 ERA this spring. Mets LF Jason Bay is hitting .195 with no homers or RBIs this spring. Closer Frank Francisco is 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA. Injuries Jones (knee surgery) will begin the season on the DL. P Tim Hudson (back surgery) is schedule to return by the first of May. Mets 3B David Wright appears to be healthy after missing time this spring with a strained abdominal muscle. Dickey was spiked on Sunday, but should be ready for his start. On the farm Top C prospect Christian Bethancourt, who will begin the season at Double-A Mississippi, 3B Joey Terdoslavich and top P prospect Sean Gilmartin will be on the 25-man roster for the Braves Futures Team, which will play the Braves on Tuesday at Gwinnetts Coolray Field. Terdoslavich will begin the season at Triple-A Gwinnett and Gilmartin will play at Mississippi. Former Braves manager Bobby Cox will manage the Futures Team.
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