ATLANTA, GA – For our Braves, it’s almost “Go Time!” The Spring Training days are disappearing in a hurry now. Basically, it’s about time to get your act together.

FILE =- Atlanta Braves first baseman Freedie Freeman and the team take batting practice while preparing to play the Baltimore Orioles in a spring baseball game at the Braves new facility CoolToday Park on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020, in North Port, Fla. (Curtis Compton/AP FILE)

What a relief to hear Freddie Freeman’s elbow is better. He’s our MVP. Can’t afford to lose him for any length of time. Anyway, Freddie will get his 30 at bats that he needs to be comfortable, when the real games start. And yes, you should be expecting another one of those 30-100 seasons.

Should we be concerned about the Boy Wonder, Ronald Acuna? He’s had a tough start in the exhibition games. After going 0-3 with 3 strikeouts on Tuesday, Ronald is 2-16 at the plate (hitting .105). No worries. He’s probably “just working on some things.” Like you, I’m expecting another monster season out of Acuna. Full speed ahead. When the curtain comes up, he’ll be focused on that 40-40 thing. That will be fun to track this season.

FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2019, file photo, Chicago Cubs pitcher Cole Hamels works against a San Diego Padres batter during the fourth inning of a baseball game in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Cole Hamels situation (he’s out injured) is probably a frustration, but I look for this to play out in the Braves favor. So he misses some time early in the season…big deal. The Braves can cover that up for 1-2 months. The hope here would be Hamels is fresher & stronger late in the season, for the stretch run and the postseason.

To begin the season, the Braves rotation appears to be something like this: Soroka, Fried, Folty, Newcomb and Felix. Kyle Wright looks improved and more prepared to win. Wilson and Touki are what you might call quality depth. Anderson looms. Unlike most organizations, the Braves have 10 dudes they can feel comfortable starting.

The competition at third base has both Austin Riley & Johan Camargo off to good starts in the Grapefruit League action. Riley just hit a bomb today (Tuesday). Carmargo looks more relaxed at the plate and can flash the leather at 3B. I look at it like this: Do you want 30 HR’s or 15? Also, Austin looks legit at third base. Riley appears ready to take over at third. Go with him. And go with Camargo off the bench. Looks like a no-brainer.

Anyway, I’ve got the Braves going 93-69 and earning a spot in the postseason! The competition in the NL East will be tougher, but our team is up for the challenge.
More Braves talk on The Buck & Kincade Show, weekdays 12-3, on The Fan!

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