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.



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  • Mushy Peas

    This is somewhat of a verbatim comment I left earlier on Alan Carpenter’s article: that is, I think it won’t hurt to mix up the line-up a bit, but I’m worried that Fredi and the team may think that this will be a quick fix if they do find some transient success and will end up continuing to ignore what, essentially, is a core problem.

    • Jeff Schafer

      Yeah…I thought this lineup would be magic in the early innings when Pena hit that double but than Heyward, Upton struck out and Freeman lined out

  • fireboss

    Essentially shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. He has no bench players worthy of the start to replace the swing and miss folks in the lineup so he does what he can and hopes Wren remembers the phone number at Gwinnett

    • Mushy Peas

      I can’t help but keep thinking about the contract extension for Kimbrel. I think he was the Braves’ biggest bargaining chip to go out and get some guys that could have really filled some holes and solidified the team. For some reason, alot of folks seem to believe that without Kimbrel, they can’t close out a ballgame. I just don’t understand that mentality. On top of that, if you can’t score runs to take a lead into the ninth, you don’t need him anyway! So now you’re, once again, dishing out millions for a guy who can’t help you. Yet another example of a wasted opportunity.