The Atlanta Braves are another MLB team that starts the 2023 season on the road. They begin 2023 with a divisional showdown against the Washington Nationals, with the 101-game winners from a year ago traveling to face the finished bottom of the NL East with just 55 wins. The Braves then travel to St. Louis for a three-game series with the Cardinals before returning to Truist Park for a four-game tilt with the San Diego Padres that begins on Thursday, April 6.
The Braves host series against the Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, and Miami Marlins in April before moving out of the conference to face the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox in early May. A full list of Braves’ games before the All-Star Break can be found at the end of this post.
Here are three questions for the Braves ahead of the 2023 season.
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Three Key Questions
When Does Sean Murphy Take Over As Catcher?
The Braves made a splash in the offseason as they bought in Sean murphy from the Oakland Athletics. The plan – to start – is for the young catcher to split time with veteran Travis d’Arnaud. In giving Murphy a six-year contract, they made their position very clear. At the same time, the two catchers will likely play at DH when not in the lineup. It is up to Murphy to make the position his own. By midseason, he needs to have played at a level where he is undroppable from behind the plate, thanks to his level of play and All-Stae skillset. That is how this 101-win team gets better.
Is The Pitching Rotation As Good As Advertised?
There are very few teams in the league that go out every single night with their pitcher as a plus against the opponents. The Braves are one such team, starting with the reigning National League Cy Young runner-up in Max Fried. The pitchers behind Fried – Kyle Wright, Spencer Strider, and Charlie Morton – are all, at worst solid, and at best (Strider) another player with the potential to break out as the staff’s ace. Strider was second in Rookie of the Year voting in the National League last season, and he will be looking to kick on. If he does – and if they can find a fifth arm out of plenty of options – then the Braves will be dominant on the mound in 2023.
Can They Close Games?
The Braves have several position battles heading into spring ball. The obvious ones are at left field and shortstop, but another position needs to be filled if this team is going to hit 100 wins again in 2023. Kenley Jansen signed with the Red Soc over the winter, leaving the Braves without their closer form last season. Raisel Iglesias will be the guy given the chance to be that final arm, with a trade for Joe Jimenez of Detroit giving the Braves a guy in the setup role that Jansen nailed down last year. It will be important for this pair to get on the same page early.