Cabrera positioning himself for the leadoff role

With just 10 Grapefruit League games remaining, it’s still unclear exactly who will be filling the final spots on the Braves Opening Day roster.  But with Nate McLouth still fighting to break out of his slump, there’s certainly reason to doubt that he will begin the season as the club’s leadoff hitter.  

Melky Cabrera is positioned at the top of the lineup again for this afternoon’s game against the Mets and as I mentioned the other day, there’s at least reason to wonder if he could be there on a regular basis while the Braves use him as part of a platoon in left field and center field. 

With this being said, it’s far too early to simply assume that McLouth won’t be able to right himself before the exhibition season concludes.   While hitting eighth today, he’ll get his first chance to see if he benefited from the six plate appearances (one per inning) he gained during Sunday’s rain-shortened Minor League intra-squad game. 

When it was mentioned that McLouth was 1-for-35 with 14 strikeouts, ESPN’s Peter Pascarelli thought back to his early days as an Orioles beat writer and told a story about the questions he asked Earl Weaver when Eddie Murray went 3-for-42 during Spring Training. 

“Weaver told me, ‘he’s the worst Spring Training hitter ever,'”  Pascarelli said.  “Then he said, “don’t worry about him.'”

Based on memory, Pascarelli remembers Murray driving in somewhere around 120 runs that same season.

At the end of the day, Spring Training batting averages really don’t matter.  But during these final days of the exhibition season, McLouth can provide some encouragement by at least putting the ball in play with greater regularity.

This marks the fourth time the Braves have seen the Mets this year and the first time that they will be facing a lineup that includes Jeff Francoeur, who enters this game hitting .194 (6-for-31) with a homer and four RBIs.

Jason Heyward is present and could be inserted during the late innings of this game, which will be televised by ESPN.  

BRAVES LINEUP
Cabrera 8
Prado 4
Chipper 5
Glaus 3
McCann 2
Escobar 6
Diaz 7
McLouth 8
Hanson 1
 

 

19 Comments

who’s in right? where’s j-hey?

It’s not his McLouth batting avg. that worries me, it’s number of K’s his getting. Melky’s doing a great job so far, I think he’s earned the chance to leadoff.

really?! Heyward isn’t starting the one spring braves game that gets on espn

Who is schedules for relief for todays game

There are 3 ST games on ESPN this week.

Wow, thats more than the Braves get on ESPN for most seasons.

Bobby said Heyward could play later today. Because of Sunday’s rainout, he felt he needed to get some of the other outfielders some playing time today.

Proctor and Wagner are both scheduled to work in relief this afternoon.

There ya go Nate!!! I guess you need Jon Miller cheering you on to get a hit lol

Praise (insert your diety of choice here), McLouth got a hit!

bill, what you apply to one, apply to all. bash mclouth all you want, as long as you use the same criteria with Frenchy. it makes no sense to bash mclouth, yet curse the day the Braves traded Frenchy.

Billreef, have you seen any blind squirrels running around down there in Port St Lucie today? I seem to be one acorn short after the top of the 2nd inning.
Good job Nate, hang in there, we need you in a couple weeks.

The Francoeur silver lining, is that if he was still in Atlanta this would not have been the same kind of spring with all the Heyward talk, and it would be getting really ugly by now. I have always liked Jeff, but he was having a terrible time here at the end. Of course, Nate sure wishes he was still here as he would not be the lightning dejour this spring.

I still hate the Frenchy didn’t work out in Atlanta, got to love the guy even though he struggled.

Rother, There are no shortage of nuts(present company excepted). Don’t just love it when a player can double his batting average with one hit. Hey, do you think it’s too early in Spring Training to hate Joe Morgan?

Are you guys gonna raz me all season every time Hole-in-the-bat McLouth gets a single? If so Its gonna be a great year. I have been working on comebacks since Pitchers and Catchers reported. You know me, I love to work on my game, practice, practice, practice.

Luis Castillo, the walking error

Nate was showing off his power stroke with that dribbler to the right side, it really appears that he has turned it around now(snicker).

Oh, oh. Washed up Francoeur just spanked one, wonder what Ryan Church is doing today.

Any idea what David Ross was doing throwing to 3rd? And who let Gregor Blanco swing the bat?

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