MLB spring training 2018: Three things on the Braves’ to-do list

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MLB spring training 2018: Three things on the Braves’ to-do list

The Braves won 70 games for the first time since 2014, finishing with a 70-92 record in 2017, and there werelegitimate signs of progre s on the field.What Atlanta has to figure out now is how much itwants to improve this season as it is figuring out when it wants tocome out of rebuilding mode.So what is on the Braves’to-do list this spring?1. Deal with DansbyAs talented as Dansby Swanson may be, he has not lived up to Robin Roberts Jersey the billing as the No. 1 overall draft pick. He hit .232 with six home runs in 144 games in 2017, but interestingly was good primarilyin high-leverage situations. According to Baseball Reference, Swanson hit .319 in 111 plate appearances in high-leverage moments, but .199 in 255 low-leverageat-bats.Atlanta needs production from Swanson in all situations. That’s what teams are supposed to get out of No. 1 overall picks. If the Braves can turn him into a legit starting shortstop that would be great, if he doesn’t produce and produce early it may be time to consider trying someone else at his spot.2. Make Aaron Nola Jersey rotation decisionsBeyond Julio Teheran there is very little settled in the Braves’ rotation. They have a fair number of pitchers with a decent amount of experience in Mike Foltynewicz and Brandon McCarthy, but there is little idea how their rotation will shake out.Is McCarthy the No. 2 starteror is it Foltynewicz? Who fills out the rotation? Is it Sean Newcomb, Max Fried, Luiz Gohara, Lucas Sims or (insert 2017 minor leaguer’s name here)? They have a lot of optionsbut very little set in stone.3. Decide to rushor not to rush AcunaAt this point if you follow the Braves you know Ronald Acuna. The 20-year-old batted .325 acro s three levels in his age-19 season in 2017 and looks to be every bit of the best prospect in baseball. The Braves have some good players in their outfield led by Ender Inciarte, but they have no one who can match what Acuna can do.So do the Braves go ahead and give Acuna a shot to start or do they give him some more time to develop? That’s a question Atlanta will have to answer this spring.

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