Originally posted on MyTeamRivals.com  |  Last updated 2/13/12
The Atlanta Braves were a playoff team in 2011 until the final day of the season when they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies then were eliminated by the St Louis Cardinals in a one game playoff. After having a 9 1/2 game lead for the Wild Card on August 25th, the Braves blew their lead. There was good news for Atlanta though. Craig Kimbrel emerged as a closer and won the Rookie of the Year Award and newcomer Michael Bourn became the team’s table setter. Looking forward to 2012 the Braves have some additional challenges to reach the playoffs. The National League East has improved dramatically. The Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals both made huge improvements while the Philadelphia Phillies look again to be the class of the division. Other than trading away Derek Lowe and not resigning Alex Gonzalez, the Braves have done nothing this offseason. The improved division could make it tough for the Braves to reach their 89 win total from a year before. Tim Hudson is recovering from back surgery
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