Infante improving odds of winning a batting title
Here’s the shortened version of an earlier entry that disappeared like Luis Valdez.
Omar Infante learned this afternoon that his three-homer performance during this past weekend’s series in Chicago allowed him to earn National League Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
Infante’s bid to win his first career batting title will be influenced by the fact that he didn’t become an everyday part of the Braves lineup until the early portion of July.
With 333 plate appearances entering Monday, Infante would need to compile 169 plate appearances (4.4 per game) over the Braves final 38 games to raise his season total to 502, the mark that allows a player to qualify for the batting title without penalty.
If a player falls short of this mark, his candidacy for the batting title would be based on where his batting average would stand after accounting for him going hitless over the number of at-bats that would raise his season plate appearance total to 502.
The .370 batting average Infante has compiled since June arrived has been bettered only by the .410 mark posted by top American League MVP candidate Josh Hamilton. Buster Posey (.333) and Joey Votto (.331) are the only NL players to hit better than .330 during this span.
Entering Monday, Votto led the NL with a .323 batting average. If Infante is able to keep his batting average above .340, this might be the year that he could win a batting title even if he comes up shy of the necessary plate appearances.
Minor rest: Bobby Cox confirmed that he will utilize the benefits of Thursday’s scheduled offday and give Mike Minor a few extra days of rest before his next start. Minor, who matched a franchise rookie record with 12 strikeouts Sunday in Chicago, will make his next start next Tuesday against the Mets.
Instead of assigning him a certain number of innings, the Braves believe they can protect Minor’s workload by giving him extra days of rest when possible. Basically Cox wants the rookie right-hander as a part of his rotation for the remainder of this season.
Sorry for keeping it brief. Let’s just say that my computer had visa issues. Oh wait, I forgot that was Valdez’s excuse.