Brian McCann to return to lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Phillies. It was first thought that he would only miss the finale in Florida with that tweaked quad muscle. I think Bobby Cox made a wise decision by sitting him as much as he did as you don’t want something nagging to turn into something that is serious. Plus with all of the wet weather that has been around the stadium it would have just made things more dangerous. McCann did get a couple of pinch hit appearances and should be ready to go for the big series with the Phillies.
As Hot as the Braves were in May not everyone had picked it up for the whole month. Now late in the month both Melky Cabrera and Yunel Escobar are starting to show some signs of life.
More after the Jump
The Braves have several key players among the National League leaders. Very quietly Martin Prado is leading the National League with a .325 average and hits with 69. Can you say All Star? Jason Heyward is leading the league with a .596 slugging percentage and a 1.017 OPS. Can you say All Star, Rookie of the Year, potential MVP? The ever patient Chipper Jones is tied for the league lead in walks with 37.
Injured pitcher Jair Jurrjens threw a bullpen session on Saturday but could still be several weeks away from returning.
Prized Rookie Shortstop Edward Salcedo made his debut in the DSL this week. The outstanding Braves Blog Talking Chop had this to say about Salcedo:
Also take note that Edward Salcedo made his debut in a Braves uniform. I am pretty sure as soon as they get his visa stuff settled he will be coming stateside and staying stateside.
Salcedo went 1-3 with a walk in his debut.
All eyes will now turn to the huge series the Braves have with the Phillies that begins at 1:05 today.
Does Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves really walk on water? After leading the Braves weekend sweep of the Bucs it sure appears that way.
“Relaxed. It’s not a series where we have to go out and win all three games to go out and fill good about ourselves, which is the way it’s been the last year or two. We’ve been six, seven games out and had to make hay against them and try to sweep them. That puts a lot of pressure on you. We’ve still got a hundred-plus games to go. We’re playing well, they’re struggling a little bit. Just go out and play, have fun, do the same things we’ve been doing for the last month and whatever happens, happens. It’s not do-or-die whether we win the series, whether we lose the series. We’re certainly going out there trying to take tomorrow’s game, and hopefully at least one more win will follow.”
“We play the schedule. Every series is big for us. That’s the way we play the schedule. That’s the way we do it.”
“As a team, we’re taking every series the way we have been all year. Going out and doing it.”
So here we are – in the middle of Memorial Day weekend and almost in June. Do we start paying attention to where the Braves stand now? Yes. But less because of the calendar than the upcoming schedule.
After finishing this weekend series against the Pirates on Sunday, the Braves play 13 of their next 17 games against Philadelphia (three-time defending National League champions), Tampa Bay (best record in baseball), Minnesota (A.L. Central leaders) and Los Angeles (contending for N.L. West lead).
We’re seeing a different sort of Braves, and the difference isn’t just between bad and good. It’s the difference between professional and amateurish. It’s the difference between a guy who’ll take a pitch and one whose aim every plate appearance is to air-condition the ballpark.
To follow this series from a Phillies perspective check out That Ball’s Outta Here also of the FanSided Network.