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Spring Training Game 1 Preview/Thread: Tigers at Braves

I'm not really sure what to call this post, but it doesn't matter: baseball is back.

Scott Cunningham

Detroit Tigers at Atlanta Braves

Time/Place: 1:00 p.m., Champion Stadium at ESPN Wide World of Sports

SB Nation Blog: Talking Chop

Media: Tigers Radio Network

Pitching Matchup: RHP Rick Porcello (10-12, 4.59 ERA in 2012) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (16-7, 3.62 ERA in 2012)

Tigers lineup: Berry 8, Infante 4, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, VMart DH, Peralta 6, Peña 2, Garcia 9, Castellanos 7; Porcello P

Braves lineup: Simmons SS, Heyward RF, JUpton LF, Freeman 1B, BJUpton CF, Uggla 2B, Francisco 3B, Laird C, DeWitt DH

Well, at least this opponent isn't boring

We probably won't be doing full-fledged previews for every Spring Training game because Brian knows more than I do about at least half of the guys playing in this game, but the first game of the year should get some pomp and circumstance, right?

Anyway, the Braves had a busy offseason, picking up both Upton brothers in attempts to improve a lineup that was 17th in all of baseball in runs scored last season. While they will definitely add pop to the lineup, they also strike out a ton, something that the Braves struggled with last year. If this were a three game series, I would say a lot of things about how our strikeout pitchers match up well with their free-swinging hitters, but we're going to be lucky to get three innings' worth of big league players today.

Other important things about the Braves

  • Chipper Jones is still retired. /sadface
  • Martin Prado plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks now, something I think will hurt the Braves more than people think.
  • Kris Medlen was pretty good (9-0, 0.97 ERA in 12 starts) last year. He probably won't do that again this year.
  • Andrelton Simmons will probably play today. Braves fans already want to sign him to a contract extension. He's pretty good.
  • Their bullpen is loaded like whoa.

Questions that probably won't be answered after just one game (so don't read too far into it)

  • Will Rick Porcello earn the 5th spot in the Tigers rotation?
  • Can Austin Jackson repeat his stellar 2012 season at the top of the Tigers lineup?
  • Is Bruce Rondon fuhhrealz?
  • What does a slimmer Jhonny Peralta mean for the Tigers linuep?
  • Every other flipping topic we've discussed here throughout the offseason


Puppies and ice cream will fall from the heavens because real-live baseball is being played today.