Braves not looking to move Escobar
Jeff Francoeur is out of the lineup for a third straight game. Tim Hudson felt fine while throwing an 18-pitch live batting practice session. And, Martin Prado was named the National League’s Player of the Week.
But before digging into today’s events, it seems more important to at least quiet the Yunel Escobar rumors that are circulating.
Look I understand the entertainment value of the rumor market that will swirl over the next few weeks leading up to the trade deadline. But at the same time, I think it’s time to take Yunel Escobar’s name out of the mix.
Teams have certainly called to express interest in Escobar and with his stubborn personality the talented shortstop has given the Braves at least reason to ponder the possibility of moving him.
But from what I’ve gathered, the Braves have zero desire to move Escobar. He’s simply not the kind of player that you move because you’ve found another warm body to fill the shortstop position.
While his mental mistakes have sometimes been maddening, Escobar is a top-flight defensive shortstop, whose offensive production will grow as he continues to increase his power. He ranks second in the National League with a .405 batting average with runners in scoring position and his team-leading 42 RBIs have been gathered at a cost of $425,000.
Still one year away from becoming arbitration eligible, Escobar will once again prove cheap again next year, when he’ll once again be with the Braves.
Huddy update: The five-minute, 18-pitch live batting practice session that Hudson threw today was essentially what he would have completed had this been the first day of Spring Training. He will throw another short session again on Tuesday and then steadily work to increase his arm strength in preparation for his for Minor League rehab start with Class A-Advanced Myrtle Beach on July 19.
“It’s going to take some time for me to get used to pitching in a game, seeing hitters out there and having that added adrenaline rush,” said Hudson, who likely won’t be able to rejoin the Atlanta rotation before Aug. 25.
Francoeur sits again: Not to long ago, it was noteworthy whenever Jeff Francoeur was out of the lineup. Thus, it was certainly newsworthy to see Cox leave Francoeur out of his lineup for a third straight game on Monday.
It’s near impossible to keep Matt Diaz’s bat out of the lineup right now and with the Cubs throwing right-hander Randy Wells tonight, Cox wanted to keep Garret Anderson’s bat in the mix.
When asked if he’d like to be traded Francoeur said, “It’s not something that I want. I just want to play. You can take that however you want to.”
Prado POW: When asked what he thought about being named the NL’s Player of the Week, Martin Prado talked about how surprised he was to win an honor that could have gone to the likes of Albert Pujols.
But while hitting .577 (15-for-26) with a .621 on-base percentage and 1.000 slugging percentage last week Prado deservedly earned this award over the likes of Pujols, who hit .429 (9-for-21) with a .571 on-base percentage and .952 slugging percentage.