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Braves 2011 Projected Lineup, Craig Kimbrel Quotes Via AJC

Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has some new stuff for us today. To the links we go.

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Kimbrel poised and ready for closer's challenge. I would hope Craig Kimbrel is ready for the closer's challenge because it's his job to lose. Throwing a rookie into the closing role is never an easy feeling, but Kimbrel has the arm and stuff of a legit high leverage reliever, and he appears to have the correct mindset. He also has a bit of experience in a Major League high leverage situation by pitching in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the NLDS.

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Rob Neyer also gives Kimbrel a vote of confidence.

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Rogers projects the 2011 Braves lineup. I literally felt sick at the sight of this lineup. Nate McLouth second and Jason Heyward sixth doesn't make sense, and I don't have to explain why. I also don't agree with hitting Freddie Freeman eighth, but I can see it happening because he's a rookie. The reasons Rogers gives as to why each hitter would hit in each spot also don't make sense. Placing Heyward sixth instead of second because of a higher batting average in 39 at bats means absolutely nothing. Placing Dan Uggla fifth instead of fourth because of a few more at bats and a higher batting average means absolutely nothing (I would hit Uggla fifth, by the way). I know Rogers is just drawing up some conversation, but the reasoning is not there.

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Also in that piece, Rogers mentions Kris Medlen had a slight tear in his labrum in June and pitched through it until his elbow injury in August. It required nothing more than rest.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.