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Braves ready to defend NL East
Braves Future Stars B Heal 1
Atlanta Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrell, right, talks to catcher Evan Gattis during an exhibition game against the team's minor league Future Stars Saturday in Rome, Ga. - photo by Associated Press
ATLANTA - For the Atlanta Braves, spring training turned into a matter of survival. No wonder they're so eager to get the season going. The defending NL East champions lost a big chunk of their starting rotation down in Florida: projected opening day starter Kris Medlen and fellow right-hander Brandon Beachy both underwent Tommy John surgery for the second time and are out for the season.