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NL East teams at the start of spring training

Thursday - 2/7/2013, 6:39pm  ET

The Associated Press

A team-by-team look at the National League East entering spring training, including key players each club acquired and lost, and dates of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and the full squad:

Washington Nationals

Manager: Davey Johnson (third season).

2012: 98-64, first place, lost in division series.

Training Town: Viera, Fla.

Park: Space Coast Stadium.

First Workout: Feb. 14/17.

He's Here: RHP Rafael Soriano, RHP Dan Haren, CF Denard Span, C Chris Snyder.

He's Outta Here: LF-1B Michael Morse, RHP Edwin Jackson, LHP Sean Burnett, LHP Mike Gonzalez, LHP John Lannan, C Jesus Flores, INF-OF Mark DeRosa, RHP Chien-Ming Wang.

Going campin': Stephen Strasburg will be rarin' to go, no doubt, after his much-debated shutdown late in the 2012 regular season that kept him off Washington's playoff roster for a division series exit against St. Louis. Same goes for Bryce Harper, the NL Rookie of the Year who, as GM Mike Rizzo put it, is "always going 100 mph with his hair on fire." That pair of former No. 1 overall draft picks helped quickly turn the Nationals from a 100-loss laughingstock to one of baseball's elite teams last season, when they led the majors in victories. To save some wear and tear on the 20-year-old Harper, Rizzo shifted him from center field to left -- trading away Morse -- and traded for Span to handle center and bat leadoff. One spot worth watching this spring: relief pitching. Washington blew a 6-0 lead in its season-ending Game 5 NLDS loss to the Cardinals, and Rizzo went out and signed Soriano, who stepped in to close for the Yankees last season when Mariano Rivera got injured. With Soriano, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen, the Nationals have a strong back end of the bullpen for Johnson to mix and match. With the departures of Burnett and Gonzalez, though, the Nationals are short on lefty relievers.

___

Atlanta Braves

Manager: Fredi Gonzalez (third season).

2012: 94-68, second place, lost wild-card game.

Training Town: Kissimmee, Fla.

Park: Champion Stadium, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

First Workout: Feb. 12/15.

He's Here: CF B.J. Upton, OF Justin Upton, 3B Chris Johnson, C Gerald Laird, RHP Jordan Walden.

He's Outta Here: 3B Chipper Jones, INF-OF Martin Prado, RHP Randall Delgado, RHP Tommy Hanson, RHP Jair Jurrjens, CF Michael Bourn, C David Ross, RHP Chad Durbin, 1B-OF Eric Hinske, RHP Ben Sheets, OF Matt Diaz, RHP Peter Moylan, 1B Lyle Overbay, INF Jeff Baker, RHP Miguel Batista.

Going campin': Following the retirement of Jones, the Braves needed to restock their offense. The moves by general manager Frank Wren were more dramatic than expected. Wren signed B.J. Upton to a five-year, $75.25 million contract, the richest deal ever awarded a free agent by the Braves. Then he traded for Upton's younger brother, Justin. Johnson, expected to platoon with Juan Francisco at third base, also arrived in the seven-player deal that sent Prado, Delgado and three minor leaguers to Arizona. The Braves are left with one of the most athletic outfields in baseball. The Upton brothers and right fielder Jason Heyward provide speed and power. The Braves also have a young lineup: Justin Upton, Heyward, first baseman Freddie Freeman and shortstop Andrelton Simmons are 25 or younger. The Braves are counting on Simmons, who batted .289 in 49 games as a rookie last season, to hit leadoff. A key for spring training will be the health of catcher Brian McCann, who is returning from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. McCann is expected to be cleared to hit and throw during camp, but he could miss the first two weeks of the season if doctors wait to clear him for diving and sliding. After making six straight All-Star teams, McCann struggled last season as he tried to play through the injury. He hit only .230, easily a career low. The Braves see a healthy McCann batting fourth in the lineup, but he'll have to show he has regained his ability to drive the ball. Laird could open the season as the fill-in starter. Walden joins elite closer Craig Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty as power arms in the bullpen. The first four spots of the rotation are set with Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Paul Maholm. Brandon Beachy, who had a strong start to the 2012 season before needing elbow ligament-replacement surgery, could return to the rotation by midseason. There will be competition this spring to determine who holds the No. 5 spot until Beachy returns. The trade of Hanson to the Angels for Walden clears the way for Julio Teheran, Sean Gilmartin and others to compete for the final spot.

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