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Braves' Jim Johnson: Officially named closer
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Johnson will be the Braves' closer to begin the season, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. "JJ's in great shape," manager Brian Snitker said Friday. "Hopefully he's throwing the ball like he did when the season ended. Look at it right now, I don't know why (Johnson wouldn't be the closer), quite honestly. That guy was pretty good, and reliable and durable."

Mauricio Cabrera and Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder) were thought to be in the running for the ninth-inning job, but Snitker squashed the idea of a spring competition for the closer role Friday. Johnson saved 20 games for the Braves last year, and should be able to improve on that number for a young team on the upswing in 2017.

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Braves' Mauricio Cabrera: Will fill setup role
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com

Cabrera will set up Jim Johnson to begin 2017, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Braves manager Brian Snitker squashed any thought of a spring competition for the ninth-inning role Friday, naming Johnson as his closer and saying Cabrera would join Arodys Vizcaino (shoulder) as Johnson's primary setup men. Cabrera's triple-digit heat didn't translate into big strikeout numbers last season in the majors, but he should still be a solid source of holds this year and could work his way into some saves if Johnson falters or gets dealt.

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Braves' Arodys Vizcaino: Will be setup man if healthy
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Vizcaino (shoulder) will set up Jim Johnson if he's healthy to begin the season, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Braves manager Brian Snitker squashed any thought of a spring competition for the ninth-inning role Friday, naming Johnson his closer and saying the focus for Vizcaino was just to stay off the DL, something the 26-year-old has yet to do in his big league career. "(Vizcaino) hasn't done it in a long time. Viz has just got to be healthy. We just hope we get him through [the spring], and he's healthy and back to being like he was when I got here last year in May," Snitker said. Johnson is far from an elite closing option and could always get traded, so Vizcaino might yet rack up some saves in 2017, but at this point you should wait and see how he looks in Grapefruit League action before considering him even as an option to stash on your reserve list.

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Braves' Matt Kemp: Has shed close to 30 pounds
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Kemp lost almost 30 pounds during the offseason, Bleacher Report's Scott Miller reports.

Here's another "Best Shape Of My Life" story with some history: He battled issues with his physique on and off, most memorably in his days with the Dodgers, who traded him partially because of them. A trimmer Kemp hopes to continue the revival he enjoyed last year, including his 35 homers that marked his highest total since his historic 2011 season. Perhaps he'll attempt to steal more bases, as well, which would further bolster his fantasy value as a top-100 pick.

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Braves' Nick Markakis: Could see time at first base
by RotoWire Staff | RotoWire

Manager Brian Snitker said Markakis could serve as the backup first baseman in 2017, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.

With normal utility man Sean Rodriguez sidelined for the season, the Braves are in need of a backup first baseman for Freddie Freeman. Markakis does have some experience at first base, playing 47.0 innings across parts of three different seasons there. It likely won't be often, but it seems Snitker seems set on keeping Markakis' bat in the lineup when Freeman needs a rest.

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2016 Team Leaders
AVGFreddie Freeman , 1B.302
HRMatt Kemp , LF35
RBIMatt Kemp , LF108
OBPFreddie Freeman , 1B.400
SLGFreddie Freeman , 1B.569
RFreddie Freeman , 1B102
SBMallex Smith , CF16
WMike Foltynewicz , SP9
ERAJulio Teheran , SP3.21
WHIPJulio Teheran , SP1.05
KJulio Teheran , SP167
SVJim Johnson , RP20

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