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Braves Vs. Brewers: Brandon Beachy Set To Make 2011 Debut Against Brewers

The Atlanta Braves begin a four-game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers, beginning with a couple of back-end starters taking the hill.

Braves Lineup:
1. Martin Prado, LF
2. Nate McLouth, CF
3. Chipper Jones, 3B
4. Dan Uggla, 2B
5. Jason Heyward, RF
6. Alex Gonzalez, SS
7. Freddie Freeman, 1B
8. David Ross, C
9. Brandon Beachy, SP

Brewers Lineup:
1. Rickie Weeks, 2B
2. Carlos Gomez, CF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Casey McGehee, 3B
6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
7. Nyjer Morgan, RF
8. Wil Nieves, C
9. Chris Narveson, SP

Brandon Beachy (2010: AA: 74.1 IP, 1.45 ERA, 2.00 FIP, 2.66 BB/9, 12.11 K/9)
(AAA: 45.2 IP, 2.17 ERA, 2.19 FIP, 1.18 BB/9, 9.46 K/9)
(MLB: 15 IP, 3.00 ERA, 2.48 FIP, 3.78 xFIP, 4.20 BB/9, 9 K/9)
Chris Narveson (2010: 167.2 IP, 4.99 ERA, 4.22 FIP, 4.15 xFIP, 3.17 BB/9, 7.35 K/9, 39.8 GB%, 8.1 SwStr%)
(45.8 FB%, 21.3 CH%, 19.3 CB%, 13.5 SL%; 44.1 Swing%, 81.3 Contact%)

Beachy earned the fifth spot in the rotation due to a combination of a strong spring and the Braves' feeling that he can provide an equal amount of value as Mike Minor for the time being. He certainly proved his worth during a well-documented 2010 season, progressing from AA to the majors with little stopping him. He should enjoy his time in the Braves rotation while he can.

Narveson had a better 2010 than the ERA shows. He posted a much better groundball rate than he normally does, though it still wasn't exactly great. His line drive and fly ball percentages were down. He got relatively the same amount of whiffs as usual. The FIP was a mirror image of his 2009 number. However, the one slight against Narveson was a huge increase in outside contact percentage. This is probably due to him throwing a lot more changeups and sliders, neither of which fared well for Narveson last season. Look for him to throw a pretty even mix of pitches, as evident by the pitch percentages above.

Opposing Numbers:
The Braves don't have much experience against Narveson. Uggla leads the team with six plate appearances, going 2-5. The rest have three or fewer.

The lone Brewer with experience against Beachy is Morgan, who is 1-2 with a RBI, walk and strikeout.

What to Look For:
Beachy's 2011 debut kicks off with a tough assignment against the Brewers. The key is how he fares against Weeks, Braun and Fielder.

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