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Braves offseason 2012: 5th rotation spot up for grabs

Tommy Hanson is one option the Braves will have for their fifth starter.

Scott Cunningham - Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves' starting rotation isn't likely to change much in 2013. In 2012, Atlanta had the fifth-best team ERA (3.42) in the majors.

Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Paul Maholm are likely to fill in the first four slots. The fifth starting position will probably be filled by Tommy Hanson, Randall Delgado or Julio Teheran.

Delgado and Teheran are both highly-regarded prospects who have strong upside. Teheran struggled this year at Triple-A Gwinnett, but he is still considered the more promising of the two.

Hanson has been a disappointment for the Braves since his encouraging 2009 debut season in which he posted a 2.89 ERA in 21 starts. In 2012, Hanson was much more hittable, surrendering a .271 batting average against.

As blogger Mark Bowman points out,

With Brandon Beachy set to return from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery by the start of July, the Braves could move one of these pitchers this winter and another before next year's trade deadline.

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