McLouth returns to the top of the lineup

After playing the entirety of Friday afternoon’s 13-inning loss, Melky Cabrera returned to the clubhouse on Saturday afternoon and learned that he was getting a chance to rest. 

Braves manager Bobby Cox has Nate McLouth starting in center and handling the leadoff role for tonight’s contest against Giants right-hander Todd Wellemeyer.  If McLouth can show some consistency at the plate, he could find allow Cox to utilize his original plan to have him in the leadoff spot on a daily basis. 

Obviously many of you will be interested to see if Jason Heyward can escape his mini-funk tonight.  While going 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts since Opening Day, the young phenom hasn’t looked like the same disciplined hitter that we saw in Spring Training. 

But while the strikeout total might be somewhat alarming, there really isn’t any reason to panic or start making any comparisons to Jordan Schafer.  This is a 20-year-old kid who shares the same mortal flaws as the legendary figures who couldn’t avoid the rude initiation this game presents. 

Ken Griffey Jr. recorded one hit in the 15 at-bats he tallied through the first four games of his career and the great Hank Aaron had three hits (two doubles) in the 15 at-bats that he carried into the fifth game of his career.

Those four strikeouts that Heyward registered on Friday afternoon could have been a product of his desire to drive a ball into the bay.  Or quite simply, he might have simply been showing some fatigue after making the first cross-country trip of his professional career. 

Whatever the case, there isn’t much reason to currently worry about Heyward.  In fact, if he’s able to end this mini-slump quickly, you’ll have more reason to understand why his demeanor is just as much of an asset as his tremendous physical skills. 

Before I head down to the clubhouse, I wanted to let you know that Scott Proctor recorded two strikeouts and worked  perfect inning in his debut for Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday night.  I’m still thinking the veteran reliever could join the Atlanta bullpen at some point next weekend.

BRAVES LINEUP
McLouth 8
Prado 5
McCann 2
Glaus 3
Escobar 6
Heyward 9
Diaz 7
Infante 4
Lowe 1 

24 Comments

I’m on my phone but I’m heading to the park in a little bit. Hope tonights game turns out well… Little chilly here and there has been light rain all day, at least here in union square a mile or so from the park… I’m sitting behind the braves dugout today, 10 or so rows back close to first base. Tomorrow I’m in left field.

Hopefully we can get at least one win here… Maybe some fireworks. If I can figure a way to post pics anonymously I will…

Maybe chipper will make an appearance tomorrow also… Hey mark how early should I show up tomorrow for visitors bp? Or will they even do it? Would love to see heyward smack some, but haven’t been to a live game in forever not sure if they do bp w fans there…

Anyway I’m on my gphone so I should stop here. Go braves!

I thought Kawakami was supposed to get the start today. I must have heard wrong. So when is he scheduled to make his 1st start of the season?

Diaz isn’t gonna earn more playing time swinging at pitches that are literally chin-level. And what kind of dumb luck is it that TWICE this game we get bases-loaded, 2 outs, and Lowe at the plate?

What a fantastic play by Yunel and Glaus. I still don’t know how Lowe has only managed to give up one run.

Man, I was willing to give Glaus the benefit of the doubt at first base, but geez the guy stinks. He is making a couple of errors a game, at this pace he will have 320 errors at years end(I know, I exaggerate only slightly for effect). I think I just changed my vote in favor of the DH, just so we can get Glaus off the field.

Just a few thoughts:
Let’s hope that Lowe can sharpen up before his next outing, he looked terribly out of sync at times last night.

But, it was nice to see a good night from Heyward, when a guy gets as much attention as him, he needed a game to shut up critics.

Also, Glaus was more than shaky in the field, but he does seem to make some great plays at times, he just needs to cut down on the errors. He also would have had his first Braves HR last night if not for the stiff wind (same goes for Renteria though).

Braves equipment manager: please get Jesse Chavez some smaller pants. I’m all for being comfortable, but i’m pretty sure my flannel sleeping pants have a better fit.

Lastly, for all the people that wanted to see Milton Bradley in a Braves uniform, he has once again exhibited why that was a terrible idea, what an immature piece of garbage.

That was good win last night, but I hope the Braves can scratch out something against Linceum today. Maybe Kawakami’s competitive nature will show up against TL and we’ll see something similar to what did last year against Roy Halladay.

It looks like rain might prevent the Braves from playing today. But if they do, this is the lineup they will present against Lincecum:

Cabrera 8
Prado 5
Hinske 3
McCann 2
Escobar 6
Heyward 9
Diaz 7
Infante 4
Kawakami 1

Glaus does concern me a bit. After Kochman and Laroache were so awesone last year definsively, we have seen the difference. Hopefully, he will improve over time. If not, I would like to see Hinske get some at bats. Similar to Glaus, he is a 260 hitter with 25 home run power. He does have more speed and hopefully a better glove. Too early to tell, but Glaus issues are not just the errors, it’s the plays he does not make.

Start of the season looks good, but they need chipper to stay healthly. I know he wants to play, but missing 30 games just won’t cut it. He is too important to the team

Some notes from last nights game, from my point of view: Two big things on Glaus… When he grounded out in his last at bat, he came back to the dugout pissed, and yelled a loud F-bomb that I could here very clearly a few rows back. He was very frustrated at 0-4…

Earlier on in the game, he was playing well off the bag and behind a runner at first. Don’t remember the runner. McCann noticed, and came out from the plate and yelled at Cox, who then yelled at Glaus, who then went to the bag to hold the runner. I don’t remember if there was a guy on third, but there might have been, and definitely no one at second… and I don’t think Lowe was in anymore. I think Saito was in, maybe Chavez… Should have taken better notes, lol. But it was interesting, even if I misread what happened, what I think happened was McCann corrected Glaus at another miscue at first base…

Several braves fans were ejected even though several giants fans were being just as rowdy. We were all being pretty crazy, though I was just cheering – I wasn’t drinking like all the braves fans I saw. Some were told to sit down – just for cheering, but that wasn’t the police, like the other guys, it was just some random 70 year old usher. Regardless, some braves fans were very frustrated that they seemingly weren’t even allowed to cheer.

Lowe looked very frustrated with himself at times, as did Chavez. Though, I will say, every time Lowe went behind the mound with a frustrated look in his eye, or swearing at himself, he came back and got a ground ball or even a double play.

Those two caught stealing/pick off’s were awesome. The small braves section near me went crazy, as did I. My wife sat silently chuckling at me.

It was MUCH colder than I thought. My hoodie wasn’t nearly enough protection. And I was coming from cold cold Monterey….

Does anyone know if they really warmed up Zito in the bullpen? I couldn’t tell if it was him from the visitors side.. but the scoreboard said it was him. Why? I think they still had Mota available at that point.. heck, they USED mota after I saw that. Not sure on that one.

I saw Reyes waving to some of his family… I know he’s from SoCal, but I almost hoped he got into the game there at the end if he had family or friends in the crowd.

Prado looked like a leader at points, which surprised me… surprisingly. I shouldn’t have let it, but he seemed like it.

Anyway, just my random thoughts, they don’t mean anything, but I’m excited about my first game in several years. Time for the game today, which finally is gonna start.

acziffer, I like Hinske as much as the next guy, but it’s really not fair to compare their homerun power – Hinske has 15-20 hr power, Glaus has 30-35 hr power. Hinske is best suited for the utility man role, and I would not want him starting.

That said, onward to more important matters. Any chance of a game tonight at this point Mark?

Hey, has anyone but me seen what Frenchy is doing for the muts? He is hitting .476 with a slugging percentage of 1.000.
He has more walks than SO’s. That’s pretty amazing for a guy who has “lost his power stroke”, “will never be able to hit breaking balls” and is “is a cancer for the team with his bad attitude”. All of his new teammates rave about him and his is clearly happier away from the horrendous batting advice he was getting in ATL. It’s a shame our crack front office staff saw fit to trade him to a division rival for the illustrious Ryan Church. How many more swings are gonna get ruined before we get it? We have some amazing young players who can’t afford that kind of input. What happens when Heyward goes thru his first extended slump? Do you want TP coaching him out of it? Not me.

Hey, has anyone but me seen what Frenchy is doing for the muts? He is hitting .476 with a slugging percentage of 1.000.
He has more walks than SO’s. That’s pretty amazing for a guy who has “lost his power stroke”, “will never be able to hit breaking balls” and is “is a cancer for the team with his bad attitude”. All of his new teammates rave about him and his is clearly happier away from the horrendous batting advice he was getting in ATL. It’s a shame our crack front office staff saw fit to trade him to a division rival for the illustrious Ryan Church. How many more swings are gonna get ruined before we get it? We have some amazing young players who can’t afford that kind of input. What happens when Heyward goes thru his first extended slump? Do you want TP coaching him out of it? Not me.

Hey, has anyone but me seen what Frenchy is doing for the muts? He is hitting .476 with a slugging percentage of 1.000.
He has more walks than SO’s. That’s pretty amazing for a guy who has “lost his power stroke”, “will never be able to hit breaking balls” and is “is a cancer for the team with his bad attitude”. All of his new teammates rave about him and his is clearly happier away from the horrendous batting advice he was getting in ATL. It’s a shame our crack front office staff saw fit to trade him to a division rival for the illustrious Ryan Church. How many more swings are gonna get ruined before we get it? We have some amazing young players who can’t afford that kind of input. What happens when Heyward goes thru his first extended slump? Do you want TP coaching him out of it? Not me.

Sorry, MLB is their usual Blogging self

Well, I for one am glad to see Frenchy doing well. I just hope he doesn’t do well against us, of course. And I still think that could end up being Frank Wren’s worst move in the past few years.

Heyward seems to like the left-field wall in SF.
Through the first six games of the season, he’s the team leader in HR and RBI. Not too shabby for the rookie… and he seems to have rebounded pretty quickly from Friday’s golden sombrero.

Also saw where Kelly Johnson is hitting .353 with 2 HR also. On that note, all the worry about McLouth in the spring and folks wanting Melky to get more time, not really making much difference. Neither one of them is hitting.

If you dont count Prado the Braves are batting .216 even with a 16 run opening day.

Melky is turning into a “kotchman” in the outfield. gives you good defense but, is a easy out at the plate. as for mclouth, not sure what is going on but, he does not look comfortable at the plate at all. must be all the great advise he is getting from TP.

How do I get onto the message board? I don’t see a link on the Braves main page.

Well, it has definately been an up and down week, there have been some nice things, and some not so nice things. Here’s a few comments from my perspective.

What’s good: Pitching (other than the one inning by Wagner), Martin Prado, Brian McCann (guess Lasik is a great thing afterall), Jason Heyward, Defense other than a few miscues by Glaus, and a great crowd at the Ted for opening day.

What hasn’t gone well: Chipper is hurt ALREADY, Troy Glaus, McLouth/Cabrera’s bats, Jesse Chavez looks like a bum (not so much his ability, just him in general).

btbus. there’s a link on the bottom left hand corner of the page. you can also get here by clicking on “more headlines” on the braves page. Mlb.com’s new webpage layout is horrible.

Or you can bookmark the page or just use http://markbowman.mlblogs.com. It’s a fairly easy one to remember. Not being a smart alleck, just giving some options. Firefox keeps your most frequently visited pages in your URL dropdown, so that’s another option. Just type it in a couple times and it’ll stay there to use from the dropdown.

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