Thursday, August 22, 2013

Heyward Goes Down

Quite disheartening for Jason Heyward to go down. The big guy had really put everything together this last month, and was the Brave playing the best all-around baseball. Losing him hurts. Amazing that the pitch did not knock Heyward down.

That said, all hope is not lost. Before the HBP Fredi was already giving equal playing time to Jordan Schafer over BJ Upton. There has been no improvement this week in BJ’s performance. With the Braves fighting for home field advantage it’s doubtful Fredi will be increasing BJ’s playing time. Hopefully Gattis can heat up by the end of September and Reed Johnson can bounce back to provide pinch-hitting depth. I’d like to see an outfield of Gattis/Schafer/Justin most of the time.

Despite missing the last five weeks of the season, can Jason still win the Gold Glove? ESPN noted that Heyward has 64 defensive runs saved in rightfield since 2010. No one else has 40 in that span.

More Heyward stats from DOB:
Last 21 games: .366 avg, 1.052 OPS, 5 HR, 15 rbi, 6 2B, 17 wins
Last 64 games: .301 avg, slugged over 500, 43 runs, 29 rbi, 27 extra base hits (11 HR)  

Season ending injuries: Pena, Hudson , Venters, O’Flaherty, Martinez , Pastornicky, Heyward. Other injuries with extended missed time: McCann, Freeman, Uggla, BJ Upton, Beachy, Gattis, Schafer, Walden, Laird, Walden.

Right now the Braves have a 15 game lead in the division, and are three games ahead of the Pirates and Dodgers for the beat record in the NL. Pittsburgh has lost six of their last ten.

Should the Braves finish strong, what chance does Freddie Freeman have of winning MVP? I had already heard a tiny bit of chatter, and with him having to carry the team through this rash of injuries only enhances his candidacy. Who is his competition? Joey Votto, Yadier Molina, and Andrew McCutchen (who will get the northeastern media vote).

PL  avg obp slg ops runs hits 2b hr rbi bb  K
FF  314 390 479 869 68 135 22 15 83 50  94
AM 319 395 511 906 78 148 32 17 72 56  81
JV  316 435 502 937 84 146 26 18 59 98 110
YM 332 374 500 874 52 129 35 10 59 24  38

Freddie also leads the league in hitting with runners in scoring position. With more years of experience, Votto and McCutchen have that edge over Freeman.     

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