Glaus keeps 8-for-8 streak in perspective

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – Perhaps if Troy Glaus were a young player trying to win a job, he’d be a bit more excited about an 8-for-8 hitting streak.

But as a veteran power hitter getting accustomed to a new position – first base — while preparing for a season that doesn’t start for 3-1/2 weeks, he keeps things in perspective.

“It’s nice to see hits, it’s positive reinforcement,” said the 6-foot-6 converted third baseman, who has eight consecutive singles to raise his spring average to .750, highest in the majors.

“But I’ve been doing this long enough that it doesn’t matter right now. I’ve had good springs, I’ve had bad springs, I’ve had in-between springs. It doesn’t matter….

“I’d much rather get no hits here and three hits on April 4, than get 30 hits down here and none on April 4.”

The former American League home-run champion is 9-for-12 with one double and three walks this spring. He doesn’t have a homer, but also has no strikeouts.

Glaus and the Braves are confident that he’ll supply plenty of power from the cleanup spot, long as he stays in the lineup. Health has been the only question mark for the 33-year-old former All-Star.

He’s hit at least 20 homers in all eight seasons when had at last 385 at-bats, including 38 homers in 540 at-bats with Toronto in 2006.

Glaus had consecutive seasons with 47 and 41 homers in 2000-2001 with Anaheim. But he’s had plenty of health issues since, and missed most of last season with St. Louis while recovering from shoulder surgery.

“He’s got a great eye at the plate,” manager Bobby Cox said of the right-handed slugger, before describing how much Glaus and rookie Jason Heyward have added to the Braves’ offense and how important they are.

Glaus got the day off Wednesday and will be back in the lineup Thursday night against the Yankees.

“Can’t say enough good stuff about him,” Cox said. “I mean, every at-bat’s been a great one. He hasn’t been fooled on a pitch yet. He hasn’t elevated the ball yet, but he’s just squaring the ball so solidly.

“And he’s eased into [playing] first base.”

Glaus said he’s got a lot of work to do defensively, and wished he’d get more balls his way in games, and more situations to deal with than he has so far.

Despite his size, Glaus was a former Gold Glove runner-up at third base. He’s not looked out of position at first base, which he played in only six regular-season games during his career.

“It’s starting to feel OK,” he said. “I want to see as many situations as I possibly can down here. [Tuesday] there wasn’t a whole lot of action, just a couple of infield plays. I want to see situations I haven’t seen before, so I know how to react when it does count.

“It’s just a matter of repetition. I’ll get to see those situations. Right now I want weird stuff to happen, so I’ll know how to react to it when it happens again.”

As for the lack of extra-base hits, he’s not concerned.

“It’s just random,” he said. “You get in a groove of hitting homers, and you just get used to swinging that way. You get in a groove for hitting liners and for a while you get used to swinging that way. Not that it’s a different swing – I mean, you’re talking fractions of an inch of difference. There’s nothing to read into it.”

Saito struggles, Sucre delivers

Setup man Takashi Saito gave up three runs and three hits in the fifth inning and blew a 6-3  lead against the Mets in his second spring appearance, but the Braves won  7-6 on minor league catcher Jesus Sucre’s two-out single in the 10th.

“I’m really excited,” Sucre said after the first walkoff hit of his professional  career. “I was down in the bullpen and they called and told me we need you to hit. I wasn’t ready for that.”

The Braves won’t be counting on Sucre this season, but they sure will be expecting more out of Saito, the 40-year-old right-hander they signed to serve as a setup man and backup closer to Billy Wagner.

“He had trouble leaving too many pitches up,” Cox said….

Cox lauded the performances of utility candidate Brooks Conrad and pitching prospect Craig Kimbrel, a hard-throwing right-hander the Braves hope will become their ninth-inning man in another year or two.

“All he has to do is harness a little better control, and he can be a legitimate closer,” Cox said of Kimbrel, who got the win Wednesday after recording two strikeouts and a walk in a hitless ninth….

Chipper Jones and Melky Cabrera had two-run doubles and Kris Medlen pitched three hitless relief innings (two walks, no runs) after starter Derek Lowe gave up three runs in the first inning and left with a toe blister.

25 comments Add your comment

David..(Athens, AL)

March 10th, 2010
7:30 pm

thanks DOB for updates … GO BRAVES!!!

Randy J.

March 10th, 2010
7:47 pm

Thanks DOB!!!

Virginia Drew

March 10th, 2010
8:04 pm

Medlen back to the rotation!

i HATE GT

March 10th, 2010
8:10 pm

So Glaus is working on getting that weird timing thing down while he’s in Spring Training. Strange concept.

18 Wheels of Love

March 10th, 2010
8:26 pm

It’s weird, the mlb app was saying Sucre hit a 3 run HR to left field to win it and reported the score as 9-6.

Delbert D.

March 10th, 2010
8:33 pm

Hot diggety dog! Move him back to third, and trade Jones to some pathetic AL team for a farewell tour that might sell a few tickets.

Marko

March 10th, 2010
8:53 pm

Glaus – 8 consecutive singles. He’s a cleanup hitter, isn’t he?
Anyway, if we got a ton of walks and base hits from him, that is still going to create runs.

DaveInDallas(NC)

March 10th, 2010
9:31 pm

OK, it’s only Spring Training but Frank Wren looks pretty good so far on the Troy Glaus move. You gotta think if Glaus works out like it looks like he may and Jason Heyward does what many believe that he can do, there are your two big bats that Braves fans clamored for all of last year. I still like the way Brooks Conrad plays too.

Alaska Braves Fan

March 10th, 2010
10:20 pm

I say again that McLouth should be the odd man out in the outfield. Yes, it’s only spring training, but if you consider what he did with the Braves last year and what he has done so far this year, he certainly doesn’t match up well with Melky in center. Put Melky in center, Heyward in right, and platoon Diaz and McLouth in left. Actually, what I really would prefer is to see Diaz get all the playing time, except for some days off, in left.

Glaus and Hinske look great! Again I repeat myself, but if they live up to their career averages, our lineup should look like this:

BA HR RBI OBP OPS

1 CF Nate McLouth .260 14 46 .342 .796
2 2B Martin Prado .307 4 23 .360 .810
3 3B Chipper Jones .307 27 90 .406 .947
4 1B Troy Glaus .255 25 73 .359 .856
5 C Brian McCann .293 18 78 .356 .853
6 SS Yunel Escobar .301 10 55 .375 .801
7 RF Jason Heyward N/A
8 LF Matt Diaz .310 5 23 .358 .817
Melky Cabrero .269 7 46 .331 .716

The one change I would make is to put Melky in leadoff and take Nate out. I actually think some of these guys will have breakout years this year, including Glaus, Escobar, Cabrero, and Prado – to say nothing of Heyward’s potential!

ABF

Poster

March 10th, 2010
11:47 pm

Alaska, I think Diaz is a much better lead-off candidate than Melky… he’s better at getting on base, his a better contact hitter, and he is just as good if not better as base stealer.

Also the career averages aren’t a good indicator of success. A lot can happen over the course of a career.

bob

March 11th, 2010
2:21 am

Chipper’s contract has held the Braves back for 3 years in a row. Glauss is the Braves best 3rd base choice in 2010.

BslashC

March 11th, 2010
2:31 am

Why arent we talking about our bullpen? Saito just had a horrible outing and Wagner isnt getting any younger! Our outfield, infield, and starting pitching look better than most clubs. Trade either Melky, or Diaz for some relief pitching

Tremaine

March 11th, 2010
7:11 am

Chill out fellas! Its only spring training. It is not like he is faced Santana 8 times in a row. I agree with bob about Chipper’s contract. Could have used that money to get someone that won’t complain about being tired during a pennant race.

DBCooper

March 11th, 2010
7:24 am

chipper may be a jerk but he is the braves best when the game is on the line

79

March 11th, 2010
7:39 am

Poster wrote last night;
“..Also the career averages aren’t a good indicator of success. A lot can happen over the course of a career.”
Actually, “career averages” are the BEST indicator of future performance. An 8 year major leaguer with lifetime .245 BA that hits .300 in his 9th year is still a .245 hitter….Think “Jerry Royster”….

David O'Brien

March 11th, 2010
9:04 am

Poster, regarding your 11:47 p.m. comment: Diaz had 90 strikeouts and 35 walks in 425 plate appearances last season. Not what you’d want from a leadoff hitter.

McCann Fan

March 11th, 2010
9:05 am

I hope Troy knows April 5th is opening day and not April 4th. 3 hits on April 4th wouldn’t mean much.

Seriously though, it sounds like he is healthy. If he can stay that way I think he gives us solid D at first base and around .265, 25, 95. That would be just fine with me.

PMC

March 11th, 2010
9:36 am

What a cool name Jesus Sugar.

Bring up Conrad

March 11th, 2010
10:41 am

“Cox lauded the performances of utility candidate Brooks Conrad,”…..

It’s a start!

toph

March 11th, 2010
10:58 am

I like these players who are scrappy, love the game and do whatever it takes to improve the team and to win. It reminds me of the Cardinals several years back. Scrappy and hard working ball players. Go Braves!

gainhi

March 11th, 2010
11:03 am

Great suggestion re Glaus to third and Hinske at firat and bye bye Chipper.

ugaaccountant

March 11th, 2010
11:07 am

gainhi

March 11th, 2010
11:03 am
Great suggestion re Glaus to third and Hinske at firat and bye bye Chipper.

Glad you’re not in charge.

Chipper Fan

March 11th, 2010
11:29 am

What is up with all of the Chipper Haters, The guy is one of the best switch hitters to ever play the game, The guy had a down year last year, do you forget that in 2008 he led the league in BA. My God, A Hall of Fame player and you guys want to cut him lose, When the game is on the line, there isnt anyone else I would want at the plate but Chipper, I know he has had some struggles with injuries but please, stop the Chipper trade talks, The guy is a class act and even cut his pay so we could sign players a couple of years ago. If you want to trade Chipper you are not truely a Braves fan.

Innocent Bystander

March 11th, 2010
11:43 am

Anyone know if the game tonight will be blacked out on MLB Network in Atlanta?

Ted M

March 11th, 2010
12:02 pm

DOB,

Glaus looked a little heavy in some of the ajc pics. How does he look in person? Is he fit?

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