Jerome Jurenovich on the Braves chances in 2020

Bill Shanks

What will the Braves do in the National League East, once the season begins?

Well, we saw great signs in the Grapefruit League that the pitching had a great chance to be special. The starting pitchers were really impressive, and even without Cole Hamels at that point it looked like the rotation was going to be a strength.

The bullpen looked great, as newly signed reliever Will Smith was dominant in the Grapefruit League season. Luke Jackson was solid, not allowing a run. Chris Martin and Darren O'Day also had earned run averages of 0.00.

The Braves had been impressed with Travis d'Arnaud, signed to be the starting catcher. They hoped a lighter workload for Tyler Flowers would make him more effective.

Manager Brian Snitker didn't get close enough to opening day to truly work out his lineup. We knew Ronald Acuna, Jr. was set to lead off, with Ozzie Albies hitting second.

Freddie Freeman is locked in at third in the order, with newcomer Marcell Ozuna replacing Josh Donaldson as the cleanup hitter.

But who will hit fifth through eighth? That was something we were all anxious to see when the season started. 

Nick Markakis could have hit fifth. Maybe d"Arnaud. Maybe Dansby Swanson. It's likely Ender Inciarte would hit eighth if he's in the lineup.

Fox Sports host Jerome Jurenovich gives us his thoughts on the upcoming season.

Listen to The Bill Shanks Show weekdays at 3:00 p.m. ET on Middle Georgia’s ESPN. You can listen online at TheSuperStations.com. Follow Bill on Twitter at @billshanks and you can email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.

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