McLouth expected to be activated Tuesday
Nate McLouth is expected to be activated from the disabled list and likely placed back in the starting lineup for Tuesday night’s series opener against the Padres.
After going hitless in four at-bats Sunday afternoon, McLouth didn’t travel with the Triple-A Gwinnett club to Scranton, Pa. Instead, he stayed in Buffalo to catch a flight back to Atlanta.
When McLouth is activated, the Braves are expected to option Gregor Blanco back to the Gwinnett roster. Given that Blanco has hit .310 and compiled a .394 on-base percentage in the 35 games he’s played for Atlanta, this won’t be a popular decision among fans.
But with the July 31 trade deadline approaching, the Braves need to get McLouth back in their lineup. The probability of GM Frank Wren making a move this month will be greatly affected by what McLouth shows over the course of the next week.
McLouth hit .258 (8-for-31) with one homer in the seven rehab games he played for Gwinnett. Wren said Sunday morning that the 28-year-old centerfielder is healthy and showing signs that he has made some necessary adjustments at the plate. He has been sidelined since June 9 while recovering from a concussion.
About a week ago, when I tweeted that a scout said McLouth “was swinging better than I’ve seen all year,” a fan replied, “compared to what?”
Given that McLouth had hit .176 in the 57 games he played before suffering his concussion, my only suitable reply was, “good point.”