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Written by Matt Davis on January 28, 2013. Posted in News/Weather

The Rome Braves held their 2013 Hot Stove Gathering yesterday at The Forum in downtown Rome.  Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel, the 2011 National League Rookie of the Year and a former Rome Brave, was the guest of honor.  He was joined by Atlanta Braves GM Frank Wren, Braves prospects and coaches, Atlanta Braves radio voice Jim Powell and the Rome Braves’ 2013 field staff.

During a press conference after the event, Atlanta Braves GM Frank Wren discussed the recent trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks that brings Justin Upton to Atlanta and sends Martin Prado to Arizona.  Infielder Chris Johnson also comes to Atlanta as a part of that trade.  It is anticipated that he or Juan Francisco will take over the third base slot vacated by the newly retired Chipper Jones.  Wren acknowledged that those are pretty big shoes to fill.

The Braves’ outfield is expected to be among the best in Major League Baseball this year as it will be manned by Justin Upton and his brother BJ, who was signed by the Braves back in November, along with Gold Glove recipient Jason Heyward.  Wren said that while there is still work to be done on the Braves’ infield, he feels pretty good about the club as a whole.

By the way, Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers are slated to report to Spring Training in less than two weeks – Monday, February 11th.  The rest of the team is scheduled to report on Valentine’s Day.

The 2013 season will begin for the Rome Braves on April 4th in Savannah against the Sand Gnats.  The Atlanta Braves will open their season on April 1st against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field.

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