Short Strokes

Hello again everyone from the sunshine state; that would be Michigan, of course, where the mercury hit 68 degrees today! It was so nice that my wife decided that it would be a great day for me to pick up a winter’s worth of dog poop from the yard. I started to post a poll to see how much you guys thought that would weigh, coming from my four eighty-pound labs LOL! It was as crappy as not being able to watch today’s game due to Fox’s Saturday blackout.

Being as Fred already posted a game summary, I thought it would be a good time to post some notes I’ve accumulated. As they’re all short (but not all short and sweet), I thought I’d call the article “Short Strokes”. If you like it, let me know and I might even make it a series.

  • Freddie Freeman hits the ball harder than anyone on the team. If he can master the art of backspin, he will be a 40 HR guy.
  • Jason Heyward is in a typical power hitter’s slump. His problems originate from over-swinging. Expect him to break out very soon.
  • Alex Gonzalez is playing better defense than ever. He won’t win the Gold Glove (an award with a history of indefensible winners), but his defense and FF’s could win the division for the Braves.
  • What is up with Jason Heyward’s defense? Forget whether the play was ruled an error; he has botched a half-dozen plays that HE should make. Concentrate, man!
  • Get used to hearing “just by” or “just off” Chipper’s glove a lot, as has already happened. Maybe it’s his right knee, but he has looked like a statue in the field.
  • That’s acceptable by me, as Chipper is swinging the bat maybe even better than 2008. He’s hit better than his average, as he’s hit a bunch of very near HR’s.
  • I’m trying very hard to give Fredi Gonzalez the benefit of the doubt concerning his on-field decisions, especially in the pen, but he’s making it hard. And substituting McCann for Ross on defense on Thursday may have cost the game.
  • Don’t worry about Uggla; he’ll hit. He’s repeating his history right now (which should have been anticipated). If anything, his power is ahead of schedule.
  • The biggest leverage point towards fixing the offense is finding a decent number two hitter. Fred Owens (trying to avoid Fred confusion :-) ) thinks it’s Gonzalez. I think his OBP is too low, but don’t have a better idea. I’d suggest McLouth, but then he’d tank. I think Heyward will stay there.

  • What do you think? And please give me feedback on the concept!

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    Tags: Alex Gonzalez Atlanta Braves Braves Chipper Jones Dan Uggla Freddie Freeman Fredi Gonzalez Jason Heyward Nate Mclouth

    • Fred Owens

      Actually I think in the Prado is the ideal two hole guy followed closely by in long term Freddie Freeman. With this crew however I think we need Freeman farther down the order.
      For me Nate is a non-starter in that spot. He has 224 abs there and is .250/.336/.473/.809 with 11Hr and 32RBI.

      In his career Alex has 1162 at bats in the two hole and is .256/.301/.408/.708 with 28 home runs and 138 RBI. His numbers in the 7th and 8th spot with very nearly the same number of at bats are lower all around. Where has he been most productive?

      It’s true that in Jason’s 412 at bats he’s .279/.388/.427/.815 10 and 41. However in his 79 at bats in the 6 hole he’s .291/.418/.684/1.102 with 9 and 17. That’s only 1 less homer and nearly half the RBI in less than 20% as many at bats. Which is more productive for him?

      Numbers aren’t everything but Alex has a track record of performing better at the top and Jason has shown he delivers runs better per at bat in the 6.

      Just MHO of course, no one cares :-)

    • Bob Horton

      Fred, did I look at your numbers wrong or is Nate 100 OPS points better than Alex in the 2 hole? If true, then I’d take Nate there, based on the numbers.

      As to JH, I think he’ll eventually be fine pretty much where ever he hits. The 79 AB sample size is too small to make too much of, IMNSHO :).

      I too think Prado is close to an ideal number two hitter. But then who leads off?

      As you say, it appears we’re just talking to each other right now :-(.


    • Fred Owens

      Yea his numbers are higher but I don’t want Nate anywhere I have to depend on him.
      Sample size in Jason’s case isn’t as important as his trend. His OPS in 2011 is 200 points higher in the 6 spot even though is batting average is lower. I know he’ll do well in the 2 I just think he’d be better in 6 with Freddie in 2 where I think he’ll eventually be, he’s really more Mark Grace like than Fred McGriff.
      Meanwhile Fredi hasn’t figured out the pen either …BAH

    • Bob Horton

      Valid points. Unfortunatley, we’re trying to solve a secondary problem that trickles down from the real problem, which is the lack of a true leadoff hitter!


    • Fred Owens

      Yep. Dial 1-800 Frank Wren to ask why