Chopcast: Braves rotation expected to be elite
JAN 30, 2013 4:02p ET
With Kris Medlen, Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm and a host of young arms, Atlanta should be more than prepared to hold its own until the expected return of top-line starter Brandon Beachy from Tommy John surgery.
Of course, with so much talent littering the 25-man roster and the minors still stocked with quality arms — namely Sean Gilmartin and J.R. Graham — there's plenty to discuss.
Here are the highlights from this week's episodes:
-- 1:45: Kris Medlen finished last season in historic fashion — going 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA after joining the starting rotation. What is to be expected of the 27-year-old ace this season?
-- 3:00: Brandon Beachy's impending return from injury could prove to be the X-factor for Atlanta, for if he returns to form the Braves' ceiling is significantly higher. How will the Braves work him back into action and what could his presence mean?
-- 6:30: Mike Minor could be poised for a breakout season.
-- 10:15: Regardless of all the young arms and potential, Tim Hudson, 37, remains the stabilizing force behind the team's rotation. Is the veteran still at the top of his game?
-- 13:30: The No. 1 point of interest in spring training? The No. 5 spot in the rotation. Who are the contenders?
-- 21:30: With all the new additions in the Braves' outfield, the team is expected to be outstanding defensively once again in 2013. How does a quality defense affect a pitcher's psyche?
-- 23:30: Will the Braves feature more than four pitchers with 10 or more wins? Will Julio Teheran remain in the rotation all season? Is it difficult to pronounce "reliever preview?"