Glaus on doubles tear; Braves say HRs will come

Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – With the Florida leg of spring training winding down, Troy Glaus had put together a doubles flurry to boost some gaudy spring stats for the Braves’ new first baseman.

After going 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBIs in Wednesday’s 10-5 win against Houston, Glaus has four doubles and five hits in his last five plate appearances.

He’s hitting .413 with a .518 on-base percentage and .522 slugging percentage in 46 at-bats this spring. But Glaus had only one extra-base hit – a double – in 14 hits before Monday.

“I didn’t have any doubt that he had power, because he shows plenty of power in BP,” general manager Frank Wren said. “I’ve loved his stroke this spring, the ability to drive the ball to different gaps.

“And talking to other general managers that have had him, they say when he’s going well he’s a doubles machine. And he’s a big, strong guy. I’ve been very happy with what we’ve seen so far.”

The former American League home-run leader still hasn’t been credited with a homer this spring, although it looked like Glaus had one Tuesday against the Yankees. Umpires reversed the initial call and ruled that his drive to center field hit off the top of the fence before bouncing back on the field.

He’s hit 37 or more homers four times in his career, and Glaus had 27 homers and 99 RBIs in 2008 for St. Louis before missing most of the 2009 season recovering from shoulder surgery.

“He’s a presence,” said catcher Brian McCann, who’s flip-flopped in the fourth and fifth spots with Glaus most of the spring, depending whether the pitcher is right-handed or left-handed.

“He’s a guy in the middle of the order that we’ve needed,” McCann said. “He hits right-handed, splits me and Chipper [Jones] up, puts together good at-bats. He takes his walks. He’s got his power, and he’s always hit with runners in scoring position through his whole career.”

Like Wren, McCann said he wasn’t at all concerned with Glaus’ lack of homers this spring.

“That will definitely come,” McCann said. “We’re all excited to have him in the middle of our lineup.”

43 comments Add your comment

GovClintonTyree

March 31st, 2010
7:49 pm

GovClintonTyree

March 31st, 2010
7:51 pm

Glaus was talking about the difference between a homer and a hard hit single/double is fractions of inches. I think he’s right. Locked and loaded, ready to mash.

Opening day can’t get here soon enough.

ASHEVILLE DAWG

March 31st, 2010
7:55 pm

hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ok.

Troy G.

March 31st, 2010
8:05 pm

Okay , are you folks satisfied…I turned those singles into doubles because everyone was turning their underwear inside out….

ExBraves Fan

March 31st, 2010
8:43 pm

“Missing time with shoulder surgery.” Might that be the real reason he cannot hit the ball out of the park? Perhaps the old, worn out, rebuilt shoulder is not good enough to yank the ball out anymore. I have had rotator surgery and no matter the job the doctor did, I have been over a year now since, and the strength is not the same. No matter how much you work with it, it still bothers you. So, he may be be a doubles machine with no HR power anymore.

Wait a second...

March 31st, 2010
8:47 pm

…what’s wrong with a doubles machine???

BM-L26

March 31st, 2010
8:54 pm

He will be hitting triples tomorrow.

BM-L26

March 31st, 2010
8:59 pm

Then when they get to Atl. he’ll be hitting HRs out of the launching pad, no wait a minute, their at the TED now, he’ll be hitting singles, doubles, and triples.

BM-L26

March 31st, 2010
9:02 pm

ExBraves Fan, did you hit a lot of HRs before you had shoulder surgery?

bass stringerfish

March 31st, 2010
9:06 pm

I agree – what is wrong with a doubles machine? Hitting 4th and assuming Chipper is healthy and Prado does his thing…sounds like RBI’s. Glaus sitting on 2nd with McCann and Heyward…again, sounds like runs. Pitching should throw sub 4 ERA…doesn’t sound bad at all. I’ll tell you this, squaring up the ball and getting any type of hits shows he is on top of his swing. I am in the crowd that says this was a great move for us – even before Spring Training. His history will prove to be the correct barometer.

BM-L26

March 31st, 2010
9:11 pm

He will hit HRs.

FlaReptile

March 31st, 2010
9:55 pm

What’s wrong with it? A double probably will not score Chipper or he will get hurt trying to score. They still have too many of the same type players. Double/gap power, no speed. Look at the Phillies and the Rays, they have dynamic lineups – speed and power – would be nice to have at least on of those elements.

A. Dylan Thomas

March 31st, 2010
10:25 pm

lets not emulate the rays or the phils they are good teams but the best ones in baseball are teh red sox yankees and angels. the thing they all have in common is an appreciation for on base percentage. the braves should improve in taht area this year.

450 footer!

March 31st, 2010
10:48 pm

This braves team has the makings of a very good team. All you doubters who relish picking things apart before the season gets going makes me wonder…if you have a wife or girlfriend (this is for the guys) I bet you do the same thing at home.. had any lately?

BravosfanInVa

March 31st, 2010
11:02 pm

exbraves fan, what was your slugging % before your surgery? Oh so raking leaves is tough for you now? What about when your wife needs you to reach really high on the shelf for something? Dude I promise you didn’t have as good as dr as glaus and it’s pretty safe to assume you weren’t rehabbing to rejoin a big league ball club so sorry about your shoulder but I don’t think the experiences were even in the same ball park! haha sorry couldn’t resist

BravesAreDone

March 31st, 2010
11:59 pm

He’ll hit two or three home runs then get injured…you heard it here first!

Bob in SF

April 1st, 2010
1:57 am

I would rather have a guy driving the ball consistently for singles and doubles and taking his walks than a Klesko, Francouer or Giles swinging from the heels for the fence no matter what the situation.

bob

April 1st, 2010
4:27 am

Three homers? At this pace, he would have to last until July to reach that milestone.

richbrave

April 1st, 2010
7:39 am

Saw the tip about MLB carrying the game at 9:00 p.m. last night on a post yesterday. Just want to say thanks. Can’t remember the poster. Got to see GLAUS. He actually hit a bloop double down the right field line on purpose. I believe the sacks were full, and he emptied them. Damn, this guy can hit.

FJR

April 1st, 2010
8:13 am

exbraves fan: I’m pretty sure you weren’t getting MLB type treatment from your doctors either. Big difference between the type of care and rehab you do and the type of care and rehab athletes do.

Johnboy

April 1st, 2010
8:24 am

“Doubles machine ” discipline at the plate?…HMM maybe it’s viral & our SS will catch it too instead of trying to jack it when that feisty Cuban temper gets the better of him. I don’t care if J Hey isn’t a HR machine out of the chute remember Frenchy? I’d rather he learn pitchers tendencies and refine his advanced (age wise)patience at the plate. I’ll take a 1:1 ratio anyday.

JP

April 1st, 2010
8:33 am

So singles and doubles are not good enough? Last year we had 3 automatic outs in the lineup and the pitcher. After we ditched the dead weight we started winning games without HRs.

HRs are so overrated. String a few hits / walks together two or three times per game; hold the other team to 3 or 4 runs with good pitching and defense. Hit an occasional HR. That is the formula that has been winning baseball games for over a century. That is the way baseball was played before the steroid era, but maybe you have all forgotten. Give me 8 guys who are patient and make consistent contact over HR hitters any day.

Eric in Tampa

April 1st, 2010
8:44 am

Hey everyone.. anyone know how I can listen to 680 or 790 from my iPhone? The listen live applications on their web pages don’t seem to work from the phone and I don’t see either station on I heart radio. Also, is either station better than the other? Thanks in advance…

Johnboy

April 1st, 2010
8:52 am

JP Well put. Common sense is NOT common though.

Johnboy

April 1st, 2010
8:54 am

ERIC IN TAMPA: 680 is the BRAVES flagship station here in town & a better crew all in all .

thunderbull56

April 1st, 2010
9:43 am

If they all will just put the ball in play and stop watching third strikes,I will be happy.Better attention to fundamentals,I’m talking to you “Coaching Staff” would probably account for more W’s in that all important column also.

VP

April 1st, 2010
10:07 am

Eric in Tampa, there is nothing on 790 worth listening to. Your ears will bleed if you listen to them for more than 2 minutes.

WonderDawg

April 1st, 2010
10:21 am

Enjoyed your reporting this spring, DOB.

Jim

April 1st, 2010
10:45 am

Despite the Braves playing the Phils even in the standings during the second half of olast season, the Phils dominated the head-to-head matchups inthe second half, largely for one reason — Ryan Howard Hrs. I agree that high OBP and patience are very important in a lineup, but these attributes tend to produce runs when the pitcher is struggling a bit. It takes multiple bad pitches or good at bats to produce runs. A Homerun can change the game around on one bad pitch, that the pitcher cannot get away with by working around the following hitters. This was the case in a number of those Phillie games last year. Our pitcher was pitching lights out, but the game was close and a Howard HR completely determined the outcome of the game. There were at least three games last year where Howard was single-handedly the difference in the game.

JK

April 1st, 2010
10:50 am

He had the perfect spring. Got his timing down and increased his power in the end. He could have hit 5 HR’s if he really wanted to. Locked and loaded for April. Bring on April 5th!

Shane

April 1st, 2010
11:19 am

HRs are so overrated.

That maybe the dumbest post ever on this blog and thats saying something. Dont make this too hard.

A HR is the BEST possible result of any AB. they are definitely NOT overrated.

Shane

April 1st, 2010
11:23 am

Give me 8 guys who are patient and make consistent contact over HR hitters any day.

Give me 8 guys who have a high OBP and hit HR’s and who strikeout alot and ill beat your 8 guys who make consistent contact every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Strikeouts are overated not HR’s

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2617

Bring up Conrad, or Thurston, whatever

April 1st, 2010
11:28 am

Well put Jim!!

David Granger

April 1st, 2010
11:29 am

SOME homers will come…but not a lot. When the new ballpark was built, the baseball configuration was designed to remedy Atlanta’s reputation as a hitter’s park. And the Braves now play in one of the worst hitters’ parks in all of baseball. (Amazing they would do that. As Bill James has pointed out, offense always helps attendance…defense always hurts.) It’s not a good hitting park when your power alleys are 380-390.

Mike Jay

April 1st, 2010
12:07 pm

The Braves could have 5-6 players that hit 18+ homeruns. Not a single player on the team is a free swinging power hitter and there is nothing wrong with that.

Mike Jay

April 1st, 2010
12:10 pm

too add….

Batting practice is for trying to hit homers. Spring games are for working on timing, hitting to opposite fields, etc. Same thing for pitchers. I am positive that if Glauss was trying to hit HR’s in spring he would have.

Freddie G

April 1st, 2010
12:59 pm

Glaus was away from the game most of last year, and just like a pitcher returning from a layoff following surgery, it will take time to get into a rhythm. He is a smart hitter who realizes that getting his timing and rhythm are more important than to try hitting home runs at this time. I am more concerned about his defense at 1st Base, but hope he will hold his own there. We need him to produce RBI’s it does not matter how they come.

DawgDad

April 1st, 2010
1:23 pm

Yeah, I’m not any more worried about Glaus than I am Chipper. These guys have to stay healthy and produce for the Braves to have a realistic chance.

Last year Chipper was brutal defensively at third base; at the end of the year the Braves would have been better off playing any AAA third baseman. With Glaus around, if Chipper goes DL would Glaus play third with Prado moving to first? Or would Bobby leave Glaus at first and play Infante/Prado at third?

If Infante stays healthy I suspect Prado will stay parked on second base. Escobar is flashy-good if still a bit unsteady at times, and Prado has potential to improve, but overall the Braves infield defense is likely to spring some embarrassing leaks.

BM-L26

April 1st, 2010
1:26 pm

Ryan Howard hit a lot of HRs against the Braves at the end of last season, but it looked to me lik the Atl. manager was setting the plate for him, with the pitchers he kept putting in to serve the ball to the big man, after he had already burned those same pitchers the last time they had faced before.

BM-L26

April 1st, 2010
1:28 pm

meant to say – last time they had faced him before

Jim

April 1st, 2010
1:56 pm

I remember Howard hitting big homeruns off of Jurjens, Hanson, and especially Vasquez. I don’t remember key HRs off of Acosta, Bennett, or the usual dregs.

Billy Peeler

April 1st, 2010
1:59 pm

A few HR’s might come, but not a tremendous amount. When the new stadium was built, it was designed so that the baseball configuration would eliminate Atlanta’s reputation as a homer-friendly park. And it’s now one of the worst hitters’ parks in baseball.
Always seemed strange to me that they wanted to do that. As Bill James has pointed out, increased offense always helps attendance, and decreased offense always hurts attendance. But a huge outfield…especially in the power alleys…does NOT help homers.

Triggerrrrr

April 1st, 2010
2:02 pm

Anyone concerned about how Glaus was mentioned in the Mitchell Report and how maybe his power is diminished because he is not on the juice anymore? The TED will def take away some of his homers. And he is only a career .255 hitter( highest he ever hit was .284) so I think it is fair to be a little concerned as far as his position in the lineup, but I think the Braves have other players they can put there if his run producing becomes a problem.

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