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ENEMY LINES an opposing team's scout sizes up the Braves
Michael Farber
March 31, 2003
They will be a little better offensively with a healthy Javy Lopez and newcomer Robert Fick in the lineup. Lopez was in good shape and swinging the bat really well this spring. Those two need to take some pressure off Chipper Jones and Gary Sheffield....
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March 31, 2003

Enemy Lines An Opposing Team's Scout Sizes Up The Braves

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They will be a little better offensively with a healthy Javy Lopez and newcomer Robert Fick in the lineup. Lopez was in good shape and swinging the bat really well this spring. Those two need to take some pressure off Chipper Jones and Gary Sheffield....

Atlanta subtracted Tom Glavine and Kevin Millwood and still improved the rotation. That's impressive. Paul Byrd can pitch and is a good Number 4 starter. Russ Ortiz is very similar to Millwood, so the Braves lost nothing there. I think Mike Hampton is going to figure it out and be a big winner for them. When I saw Greg Maddux in the spring, he was painting the corners like he always does....

I think the bullpen also got better. Roberto Hernandez was an especially good pickup. I had him at 93, 94 mph this spring. I'd rather have him setting up than closing. I like Ray King's stuff, and he's durable....

If I were them, I'd play Mark DeRosa at third base over Vinny Castilla, whose bat has gotten slow. Also, DeRosa is a much better defensive player....

Rafael Furcal gets complacent on defense and sometimes gives away at bats. He seems to lose his focus and doesn't go to the plate with a purpose.

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