Every time I read the Braves Mailbag on the official site, I always answer the questions in my head before reading Bowman's (real) replies. Here's this week's mailbag...
Do the Braves actually think they can compete without a proven shortstop? Alex Gonzalez's contributions were underrated.
-- Bob S., East Petersburg, Pa.
First, I agree that Alex's contributions were underrated. Second, could we compete in 2010 with a rookie right fielder? Could we compete in 2011 with a rookie first baseman and closer? All three of these landed first or second in the Rookie of the Year voting in their respective years. I don't see a problem here.
What is the likelihood the Braves sign a top-flight free-agent outfielder if they choose to let Michael Bourn go after the season? I do not think they should trade Prado. I see him as Chipper Jones' successor at third base. What do you think?
-- Josh G., Griffin, Ga.
If Terdoslavich isn't ready when Chipper decides to retire, I do hope Prado is given a shot. As for a center fielder, we have a few good ones in the system but I don't know how far away they are. Hopefully we see Myke Jones up in the next couple of years.
Who will serve as Bourn's backup? Is Jose Constanza a candidate?
-- Josh E., Charleston, S.C.
Makes sense to me. I wouldn't throw Ske out there. ;)
With Joe Terdoslavich being groomed for third base and Simmons and Pastornicky the top shortstop prospects, what does the future hold for Edward Salcedo?
-- Darrell K., Athens, Ga.
I hate that I don't know much about a Braves minor-leaguer I've actually met. I can't even tell you off the top of my head where he plays. Oops.