June 25, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Atlanta Braves player Justin Upton (8) during batting practice before a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Braves 6/26

 

Kings Of Kauffman

Braves At Royals – Series Preview

Jun 20, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (36) throws a pitch against the New York Mets in the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last week KC has lost four of their last five games while Atlanta has dropped five of its last seven games. In all the years of interleague play the teams have not met at Kauffman Stadium so it will be a historic meeting on Tuesday night. All-time the Braves lead 5-3 with series in Atlanta in 2004 (KC took 2-of-3), ’10 (ATL sweep) and earlier this season.

Probable Pitching Matchups –

Tuesday, June 25 (7:10 pm): Kris Medlen (4-7, 2.96) v. Ervin Santana (5-5, 2.64)
- In June Santana is 2-0 with a 0.94 ERA (3 ER in 28.2 innings)
- The “Magic Man” hasn’t allowed a walk in six of his 14 starts this season
Wednesday, June 26 (7:10 pm): Mike Minor (8-3, 2.89) v. Luis Mendoza (2-4, 4.40)
- Mendoza will be looking for his first home win of 2013 he’s 0-2 in five starts at the K
- This will be his first start against Atlanta and just his seventh start against the NL

 

Rant Sports

Injured Atlanta Braves Left Fielder Justin Upton Should DH Against Kansas City Royals

After missing Atlanta’s last two games against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday and Sunday due to a sore right hand, Upton had Monday off as well due to the Braves’ travel day, but I think Gonzalez would be well-served to let Upton DH on Tuesday and Wednesday and then take advantage of another travel day on Thursday.

Such a decision would give Upton a full week between starts in the field and hopefully allow his hand to heal a little more while keeping his ever-dangerous bat in the lineup.

It’s no secret that the 25-year-old hasn’t been the same player he was in April, when he clubbed 12 home runs and was arguably the frontrunner for the National League’s Most Valuable Player award, but he’s capable of getting hot again at any time, and the odds of him returning to his early-season form are much higher if he’s closer to 100 percent.

 

Travel Zoo

$11 & up — Braves Games incl. July 4 & Fireworks, 50% Off

The following seating levels are available with this offer at Turner Field:

  • Upper Box … $11 (reg. up to $22)
  • Terrace View … $17 (reg. up to $35)
  • Field Reserved… $29 (reg. up to $58)

The following games are available:

  • Sunday, June 30 at 1:35 p.m. vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Tuesday, July 2 at 7:10 p.m. vs. Miami Marlins
  • Wednesday, July 3 at 7:10 p.m. vs. Miami Marlins – postgame fireworks show
  • Thursday, July 4 at 7:10 p.m. vs. Miami Marlins - postgame fireworks show

Is Jeff Francoeur’s Career Almost Over?

Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Jeff Francoeuris in a battle to save his career.  Francoeur is in the second year of a 2-year, $13.5 million dollar deal with the Kansas City Royals and for the second year in a row he’s struggling mightily at the plate.

The Braves are in Kansas City Tuesday and Wednesday night to tangle with Francoeur and the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Hard to believe that the former wonder boy out of Lilburn, GA, with the big smile, is now 29 years old and may be at the end of the line.  Francoeur is hitting just .212 this season, with a .254 on-base-percentage and .330 slugging.  Last season he hit only .235/.287/.378.

Francoeur has been demoted from full-time starter, to starting only once or twice a week against left-handed pitching.  Reports say he’s lost a couple steps in the outfield, but he still has that big cannon arm that Atlanta fans remember well.

 

 

 

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