Braves looking to claim first sweep of the season

After being swept in two consecutive series, the Braves are hoping to be the ones pushing the brooms by the time they conclude this afternoon’s game against the Astros.

Whether the Braves have taken advantage of the schedule or shown signs of an offensive resurgence shouldn’t really matter.  Frustrated throughout a nine-game losing streak, they needed to right themselves in the manner that they have while winning the first two games of this weekend’s series. 

Braves manager Bobby Cox once again has Nate McLouth in the leadoff role for this afternoon’s game against right-hander Bud Norris. It appears Cox plans to utilize a platoon in the leadoff spot, with McLouth getting the nod whenever the opposing team is starting a right-hander. 

When the Nationals start left-hander Scott Olsen on Thursday night, Omar Infante could be back in the leadoff spot.  Yunel Escobar is still struggling to recover from his groin strain and Cox said on Sunday morning that the club could opt to put him on the disabled list within the next two days.

If Escobar is disabled, Infante would likely handle the shortstop duties and Brandon Hicks could be promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to serve as a backup infielder.   Hicks is hitting just .163 this year.  But with limited options the Braves would likely still tab him because of his tremendous defensive skills. 

Jordan Schafer will begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Class A Rome on Monday.  If Schafer’s surgically-repaired left wrist continues to cooperate, he should become a part of the Gwinnett roster in the near future. 

BRAVES LINEUP vs. Astros  5/2/2010 

McLouth 8
Prado 4
Chipper 5
McCann 2
Glaus 3
Heyward 9
Cabrera 7
Infante 6
Lowe 1

14 Comments

When bobby leaves its an easy chance to sack the strike-out coach (TP)

or is he the ‘slap the ball into double play’ or ‘strike out with runner on third and 1 out’ coach

I am pleased to announce, the Braves are no longer last in the National league in hitting. They have actually climbed over Pittsburgh and Houston and are certain to get another boost after this afternoons rout. We do however still have a leadoff hitter who is hitting 25 pts less than mendoza and a cleanup hitter hitting .209. It’s great to see Glaus starting to come around. I have always thought he would have to hit for this team to win consistently, it looks as though that may be true. Several reasons why. He makes McCann better, he cleans up Chipper’s mess and he capitalizes on Prado’s ability to get on base. I mean look at Sat. Infante gets 3H, Prado gets 3H and together they score 5 of the Braves 10R. Glaus gets 4 RBI in the process. The McLouth leadoff experiment is getting old. He has scored less runs than seven of the Braves players. That is not a stat for a leadoff man.

Glad to see Schafer is ready to start swinging again, wish him the best of luck. And relative to Escobar, this timeout may actually be the kind of thing that kick starts his career again. Let’s face it, he is one of the most talented shortstops, if not players in MLB, but he suffers from some kind of malaise which rips apart his effectiveness. What he may need to find again, is his love for baseball. That is the kind of turnaround that some players who have enduring careers have to fight through. I think it is the perfect time for Esky to go on the DL, miss playing the game, find his love for the game again and come roaring back. Sometimes it’s the missing of the thing that makes it more dear. The ironic thing is that this team would never have let him sit for too long unless he had gotten hurt. He has been remarkably durable and relatively consistent throughout his career and it is difficult to replace him on the field and in the lineup. Let’s hope his absence makes his heart grow fonder.

I know we just won thee straight games, and I should be content (which I am… for today), but when was the last time Chipper hit a ball with any authority?

Glad to see that Schafer is picking up a bat again. I would love to see him in the mix for an OF spot. Nice to see Glaus is coming around, the Braves seem to be swinging the bats a little bit better lately, I attribute some of the lopsided victories to how bad the Astros are, but we are still putting the ball in play hard. Melky seems to be getting into a little rhythm.

anyone know what’s going on with chipper? is this the end of the chipper era or is he playing with a injury and not telling anyone? either way, i would love to see infante at third for a few games. let him sit a few games to recover or maybe reflect on why is is playing the worste baseball of his career.

Chipper’s struggles are a bit concerning, as are McCanns. They need both of these guys to be productive to make a run at the playoffs. If Chipper would have had a decent year last year, they would have won 5 – 10 more games and possibly made the playoffs.

I would like to see Heyward hit third with chipper 4th and McCann 5th. This may alleviate some of the pressure on chipper. I think he still has a couple of good years left. I would like to see him be more aggressive at the plate. He takes a lot of strikes.

They do have other options at 3rd if he needs a day off. Hinske and Infante are both good players,

I too am glad to hear about Schafer. Hey Mark, do you think that when he is done rehabbing he will be promoted to the Major League club? I know it all depends on his performance, bit I’ve never given up on this kid. I think that when he is 100% he is better suited in the lead off spot than anyone currently on this 25 man roster.

Mark, glad to see they gave the blog a top level link on the braves homepage again, so the new guys don’t have to dig around to get here. Though I hope the Bravos don’t go on another slide so we don’t get a new hoard of “fans” wanting to storm the castle.

So what is the word on Escobar? Haven’t heard anything since he was supposed to be reevaluated yesterday. I assume that means he hasn’t been placed on the DL yet. Will we see him in the lineup tonight?

Cox needs to move Heyward up to 5th and give McCann even better protection. Guy is only player in top 10 in RBI who isn’t batting 5th or higher. Could you imagine what he could do in the 5 hole?

Just got to my hotel and I’ll post a new entry within the next hour. Escobar has been placed on the disabled list. Brandon Hicks is in D.C. and will fill Escobar’s roster spot.

Thanks for the info Mark.

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