May 1, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; A detail shot of Atlanta Braves third baseman Ramiro Pena (not pictured) batting gloves and bat prior to a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves: Lineup Changes Drastic, Maybe...Needed, Possibly

The lineup for tonight’s game was announced and the media went haywire.

Sometimes I sit back and think “does Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves come up with the most insane ideas and move forward with them?”  Well no, they don’t but it may come across like that at times.

The Braves are starting Monday nights game with this lineup

Apr 11, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Ramiro Pena (14) hits a three run home run in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

1. Jason Heyward RF

2. Justin Upton LF

3. Freddie Freeman 1B

4. Evan Gattis C

5. B.J. Upton CF

6. Chris Johnson 3B

7. Andrelton Simmons SS

8. Aaron Harang P

9. Ramiro Pena 2B

If you thought I incorrectly typed where the pitcher slot was for tonights game, you are in fact incorrect.  Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves have made the decision to go with the pitcher in the eight hole tonight and have Pena be the second leadoff hitter.

The last time the Braves have tried this was in June of 2012 when Brandon Beachy hit 8th and Jose Constanza hit 9th.

“It is a drastic move, I don’t think a lot of people try it,” Fredi Gonzalez said.  “My reasoning behind it was, last year we moved Justin to the two hole and we ran a couple long winning streaks.  Also, our best hitter is Freddie Freeman so now he gets a chance to hit in the first inning and then if it all works out he gets to hit third or fourth the next time around.”

Growing up playing baseball my entire life, we always tried to find the guy to hit in the 9th hole that would be the second leadoff.  This was obviously before pitchers who couldn’t hit, hit but these words are second-nature to me.

“I just need to get on base,” said Pena.  “They put me there so that’s another leadoff bat to get on base and try to steal bases and then I got Heyward behind me.”

Do all players agree with this lineup or onboard with it?  That’s to be determined, probably on the outcome of tonight’s game.

“I don’t know, said B.J. Upton with a huge smile on his face when asked about the lineup.  “It’s the first time I’ve ever been a part of it but I guess we’ll see how it works.”

The lineup is set and we are ready to go play some baseball.  Like we’ve said in the past 24 hours, it’s still early in the season with lots of baseball to be played.

“Where Fredi writes where you’re to hit, you have to hit,” Justin Upton said prior to the game.  “That’s the lineup tonight, if I don’t go out there and bat second then we will be charged with an out so I better go hit second.”

A little light humor from Justin, hopefully we will all be smiling after the game tonight.

“Obviously you put yourself out there a little bit but you put yourself out there when you go out there six games in a row and keep running the same thing over and over,” Gonzalez wrapped up the presser with.



Tags: Atlanta Braves

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