Johnson sits again
Jordan Schafer’s stint in the leadoff spot was short-lived or at least interrupted by the fact that the Astros were starting a left-hander during Sunday’s series finale. My guess is that we’ll see him back in the top spot against some right-handed starters in the very near future.
But Schafer didn’t exactly make a good first impression in the role on Saturday, when he struck out three times and mistakenly read left-handed reliever Tim Byrdak’s pickoff move during a fifth-inning stolen base attempt.
Manager Bobby Cox’s decision to move Schafer back down to the eighth spot on Sunday wasn’t as surprising as the fact that Kelly Johnson found himself back on the bench for the fourth time in five games. The second baseman broke out of a 4-for-39 funk with a pair of hits on Saturday.
Obviously the right-handed hitting Omar Infante has been hot recently, recording six hits in the 12 at-bats he recorded in the leadoff role last week. Using him in a strict platoon role at second base is easier to understand from a defensive perspective. Statistically, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
This year Johnson has hit .308 (8-for-26) against left-handed pitchers and just .174 against right-handed pitchers. Dating back to the beginning of the 2008 season, the 27-year-old second baseman has hit .330 (58-for-176) against left-handed pitchers and .260 (115-for-443) against right-handed pitchers. <p>
Anderson delcines rehab: Like I’ve said in the past, Garret Anderson is a nice guy who had a nice career with the Angels. But as time passes, he simply gives more reason to reason to wonder how motivated he is to play in Atlanta.
I can understand that he has a reserved personality that makes it difficult to truly understand his passion. But given a chance to at least prove his motivation through actions, he still leads you to simply shake your head and wonder what he’ll provide when he’s activated from the disabled list on Tuesday.
Per his right, Anderson declined the Braves request to see some live pitching during a Minor League rehab stint with Triple-A Gwinnett. Nobody was asking him to fly to some scenic Minor League town. He would have simply needed to drive about 20-30 minutes north on I-85 to get a few at-bats.
Is that asking too much from a guy who has registered a total of 49 plate appearances since the American League Division Series concluded last year?
Kenshin set to pitch: When a lengthy rain delay limited Jair Jurrjens to two innings on Saturday, there was reason to at least wonder if the Braves might opt to bring him back to start in place of Kenshin Kawakami on Tuesday against the Mets.
But Kawakami has provided the Braves every reason to beleive that his right shoulder is feeling good enough to make Tuesday’s start. The 33-year-old right-hander hasn’t pitched since allowing eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Reds on April 26.