The Atlanta Braves' offensive struggles have been well documented this year, but Thursday's lineup vs. the Florida Marlins might just be the worst of the worst. Part of that is due to injury, part of it is due to a few players slumping and part of it is due to a manager who simply just doesn't get it sometimes.
Jordan Schafer - CF
Alex Gonzalez - SS
Brian McCann - C
Chipper Jones - 3B
Freddie Freeman - 1B
Eric Hinske - LF
Brooks Conrad - 2B
Matt Young - RF
Jair Jurrjens - P
If you're not in the midst of crying or laughing right now, you probably should be. This lineup is absolutely awful.
To be fair, it's not like Fredi Gonzalez has a lot to work with right now. Jason Heyward is on the disabled list and Martin Prado is day-to-day with a knee injury after being struck while attempting to steal second base on Tuesday night. Still though, there are some blatantly obvious changes that should be made.
Jordan Schafer should not be leading off, but he gets a pass with Martin Prado out. We'll touch on that once both Prado and Jason Heyward return to the lineup.
My first gripe is batting Alex Gonzalez second. His on-base average for the season is .296 and his career on-base average is .294. Why in the world would you want a guy hitting in front of all of your "sluggers" to get on base at such a low rate? Don't we want runners on base when our few good hitters come to the plate? Freddie Freeman and his .340 OBP should be batting second and there's really no denying that.
My next gripe is seeing Dan Uggla on the bench once again. Yeah, he's struggling, but we've already tried the whole, "sit on the bench, think about how much you suck and try to clear your head" thing. We've tried it on multiple occasions. He's driven the ball a little better in this series and sitting him once again does nothing but hurt his confidence.
Finally, why is Matt Young in right field over Joe Mather? Mather (.250/.308/.367) hasn't been great this year, but he's performed much better than Young (.115/.207/.115). They're similar fielders and inserting Young in to the lineup over Mather doesn't make much sense at all.
Anyone else miss Bobby Cox?