Opening Day is finally upon us. For the first time in many, many years, all of the MLB teams were slated to begin their season on the same day. I've already heard that weather may have scrubbed the Reds/Nationals game, but my team...the Braves will be hitting the field in just over an hour to take on the Philadelphia Phillies.
Today is one of those days where I relish getting to work from home...however with so much baseball on TV today I can't say I've accomplished a lot of work! Shhh, don't tell my boss! Later today I also hope to rip into some baseball card packs and boxes I've had sitting off to the side. Some 2018 Topps Opening Day (seems appropriate, right?), some 2018 Donruss and last but not least a hobby box of 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen.
Back to my Braves. Today's opening day roster has quite a few changes over last year. On the mound will be the Braves' ace, Julio Teheran. He was very up and down last year so I hope we'll see a more consistent Teheran this season. The starting pitching is a big question mark for the Braves so we'll need him to step up his game and help anchor the starting rotation.
The rest of the starting rotation appears to include new comber Brandon McCarthy (acquired in the Matt Kemp deal w/ the Dodgers), Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb.
The outfield will consist of Ender Inciarte (CF), gold glover who I enjoyed watching from the outfield at SunTrust Park last season. Preston Tucker gets the start in LF, a player that I'll be honest I don't know much about. Drafted by the Astros in 2012 and played in Houston his rookie year in 2015. While he does show some promise, I believe he will just be a place holder so to speak until they are ready to call up Ronald Acuna. Nick Markakis gets the start again in RF.
Infield consists of Mr. Reliable himself at 1B, Freedie Freeman. Ozzie Albies, called up late in 2017 gets the start at 2B vacated by Brandon Phillips. Dansby Swanson fills the hole at shortstop. He was up and down last year so I'm hoping we'll see more offensive abilities from him this year. 3B is another new face, Ryan Flaherty. Ryan previously played for the Baltimore Orioles, drafted in 2008 by the Cubs. Johan Camargo will most likely be the team's third baseman, but he is starting off the new year on the DL with oblique discomfort.
The bullpen has a lot of new faces as well and I'm really hoping these guys will hold up better than the bullpen of previous teams. A.J. Minter may eventually win the closing job from Arodys Vizcaino. A familiar face returning to the bullpen this year is the Aussie, Peter Moylan.
I'm so ready to go! Baseball is back! I'm having a blast with some of the early 2018 baseball card products and I can't wait to see what this season has in store for all of the teams, especially the Braves. Now let's go play some ball!!