After their sixth straight loss and two swept series in a row, the Atlanta Braves may make a few changes going into Monday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Twitter world was ablaze Sunday afternoon about this team and the direction they’re heading. And rightfully so, they/we should be.
Atlanta is a very good baseball team with many star players who should be performing at a higher level then they currently are. For the past two years now, many are quick to jump to B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla as the frontrunners of the bashing.
Currently, the entire lineup seems to be in a slump. The leadoff man, Jason Heyward, has a slash line of .220/.301/.322 and second in the order, B.J., currently has .213/.303/.324. Many have their reasons or thoughts on what can be changed but I think this is where you start.
Either I’m on the right path with this theory or not with the lineup, Manager Fredi Gonzalez spoke after Sunday’s game and it sounds like changes will happen Monday.
“You sit back and eat something to figure out what we are going to do tomorrow,” said Gonzalez. “We’ll see what transpires with tomorrow’s lineup. You can’t and I won’t finger point one guy because one thing you try to control as a manager is effort and work ethic and the way these guys prepare and they are doing that. For me to sit here and point out that we lost the game because this guy or that guy, I would never do that because I would be the first one to point the finger at myself.”
Fans on Twitter can give themselves a high five because it sounds like Fredi is willing to take some of the blame for this.
You do have to remember that the Braves are currently 17-13 and still have a .5 game lead in the NL East over the Washington Nationals.
“We’ve played 30 games now and we’ve gone through a little streak, maybe tomorrow we will come up with something different, said Fredi. “Nothing major because this is a club that won the division but sometimes we need a little break here and there.”
My Take On Monday’s Lineup
1. Jordan Schafer CF
2. Andrelton Simmons SS
3. Freddie Freeman 1B
4. Justin Upton LF
5. Evan Gattis C
6. Chris Johnson 3B
7. Jason Heyward RF
8. Ramiro Pena 2B
Obviously, this is a pretty drastic change in the lineup and it’s very possible Fredi doesn’t go this route. With Shelby Miller throwing Monday night, I think you sit B.J. and Dan and put a couple more left handed hitters in the lineup. Though Schafer hasn’t hit well to begin the season off the bench (.176 batting average), he does provide a spark that the Braves could use at the top of the order.
Fredi said he might make a slight tweak to the lineup tomorrow. Uggla seems the most likely to be affected.
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) May 4, 2014