Bullpen could be Braves' biggest strength
With the additions of Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano, the Braves now have a bullpen that could be dominant in the late innings.
It wasn't any one factor that halted the Atlanta Braves' amazing streak of 14 consecutive division titles last year, but the failure of the team's bullpen has to be put at the top of the list.
"We didn't get to the playoffs last year because for the first three months we didn't have a functioning bullpen,'' general manager John Schuerholz said recently.
The Braves tried a handful of options in the closer's role but almost all met with failure. By the end of the season, the Braves' bullpen ...
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Hot Stove Heaters
Leading up to when pitchers and catchers begin reporting to their respective camps, ESPN.com offers a Hot Stove Heaters series on the 25 hottest topics in baseball. Follow along as we get you ready for the start of spring training.
• Jan. 11: Ballpark
• Jan. 12: Future new city for an MLB team
• Jan. 15: Rookie likely to begin '07 in majors
• Jan. 16: Prospect likely to start '07 in minors
• Jan. 17: Offseason pitcher acquisition
• Jan. 18: Offseason position-player acquisition
• Jan. 19: Future new commissioner
• Jan. 22: General manager
• Jan. 23: Manager
• Jan. 24: Division
• Jan. 25: Team
• Jan. 26: Farm system
• Jan. 29: Debate
• Jan. 30: Innovation
• Jan. 31: Trend
• Feb. 1: Milestone
• Feb. 2: Statistic
• Feb. 5: Story
• Feb. 6: Rumor
• Feb. 7: Everyday lineup
• Feb. 8: Infield
• Feb. 9: Outfield
• Feb. 12: Rotation
• Feb. 13: Bullpen
• Feb. 14: Overall player