The Braves recently wrapped up their 11 game road trip with a 7-3 win over the Minnesota Twins. The Braves were able to keep their heads above water on the longest road trip of the season for the team. They went 6-5 on the trip. They lead the New York Mets by a game and a half and the Philadelphia Phillies by three and a half games.
The Braves enjoyed a much needed day off on Monday and will open an inter-league series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. Kenshin Kawakami (0-8, 4.48) will get the start against Rays lefty David Price (9-2, 2.23). It won’t be an easy start to the home stand.
Some Braves links from around the web after the jump.
The easy move would be for the Braves to hand Glaus a new multi-year contract this minute. Too easy, I’m afraid. He’s driving up his price with every big hit, and he’d be nuts to sign anything today. The Braves hired him because he was cheap, but he won’t be cheap if he winds up with 30 homers and 120 RBIs. He’ll be exactly the sort of free agent the Braves can no longer afford.
This is a scenario that I haven’t thought of. Bradley suggests that if Chipper Jones were to retire that Glaus would be a great replacement with prospect Freddie Freeman taking over at first. In theory it sounds like a plan, but I am afraid that Glaus may become too expensive for the Braves. Of course there is a risk involved in handing a multi year contract to a player with the injury history that Glaus has. Especially when it would require a switch back to third base which could further test his surgically repaired shoulder.
They rank No. 1 in walks (.295), No. 1 in on-base percentage (.352), No. 2 in doubles (124), No. 2 in runs (.327), No. 4 in batting with runners in scoring position (.277), No. 5 in total hits (.565) and No. 6 in batting average (.262). All in all, that’s pretty good for a lineup most of us wanted to blow up in April.
Hitting and pitching coaches get way too much credit and blame. Pendleton wasn’t the reason Jeff Francoeur nose-dived in Atlanta. Similarlly, Pendleton is not the reason Martin Prado has turned into a .332 hitter. Coaches can help only so much in terms of pointing out flaws and making suggestions. Players either adjust or they don’t.
The Braves offensive turnaround should once again make Pendleton a hot name. If Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez is truly the first candidate to replace Bobby Cox at season’s end one has to think that Terry Pendleton may in fact be second in line.
“I’m really anxious to come back and help the team keep winning,” said Jurrjens, who gave up two runs on five hits and four walks and 66 pitches in 2-2/3 innings against Durham on Monday. “But the guys have made it really easy on me to concentrate on getting healthy. I think if the team had kept losing like it was when I was there, I would get more frustrated and hurry up.”
Tim Hudson‘s re-emergence and new found dominance has allowed the Braves to replace the production of Vazquez, and the wily little flat-billed Kris Medlen is filling in brilliantly for Jurrjens. So good, in fact, that one could argue he should stay in the rotation even when Jurrjens returns.
The Braves will have a decision to make between Kris Medlen who has pitched outstanding and Kenshin Kawakami once Jurrjens returns from the Disabled List. Add into this mix Chris Resop whom is expected to be called up on Tuesday. Resop has pitched well at Triple A Gwinnett and should join the Braves Bullpen but will provide depth if a starter should go down.
Tags: Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones Chris Resop David Price Freddie Freeman Jair Jurrjens Jeff Francouer Kenshin Kawakami Kris Medlen Martin Prado Minnesota Twins New York Mets Philadelphia Phillies Tampa Bay Rays Terry Pendleton Tim Hudson Troy Glaus