Do The Atlanta Braves Deserve Any Respect In The NL East?

Mike KentSenior Writer IFebruary 22, 2009

The Mets and Phillies have each other to worry about, which is more than enough for both clubs. But can the "team to beat" in 2009 not be from Philly or New York? Will we hear Brian McCann say, "The Braves are the team to beat" after they win the east this year?

Can it happen?

The Braves have gotten better this offseason, with Derek Lowe and Javier Vázquez coming in to help there starting rotation this season. Tom Glavine is also back in Atlanta.

The Braves have lots of young blood like McCann, Jeff Francoeur, Casey Kotchman and lots of others thoughout the roster.

Just look at the Tampa Bay Rays of last season when they took the AL championship. They had nothing but young guys two years ago, and now they are one of the best teams in baseball.

Jeff Francoeur had a bad season last year, but I think he will play well this season. He is only 25 years old and has lots of talent. McCann is one of the best catchers in baseball and is only also only a quarter-century old.

The Phillies and Mets both have lots of questions that they should be worried about.

The Mets have a bad second baseman that can't hit or run anymore. Carlos Delgado is also an issue for the Mets.

Delgado is now 36 years old, and you never know which Delgado will show up—the one we saw in the first half of 2008 that did not hit, or the one we saw in the second half that was the best player in the majors.

The Phillies, meanwhile, don't know when Chase Utley will return from injury. If it takes the Phillies' best player too long, they may be too far back in the standings by the time he suits up again.

J.C Romero, meanwhile, will be missed in the bullpen, as he will be out for the first 50 games due to a suspension.

And now they even got Garret Anderson to help them out. 

Despite all those reasons, I do still think ether the Mets or Phillies will win the East this season. I just think the Braves are coming back to life.

In the next two season I think the Braves will get better, and this season I think they will win around 80 games.

Better then last year's 70 wins.

The young talent will make them a threat, and Chipper Johns still has it and will guide the young players to make them better.

The East is stronger in 2009, and it looks like it may have more than one playoff team come October. This is now the hardest division in the NL.

So get ready for a great race, and only at the end will we know who will come out on top.

Good luck to all the NL East teams.


Mike Kent also writes on a Wiki of the New York Mets called the Met Wiki. All and any help would be very much appreciated. If there are any questions you can write on my wall.