Chipper hits second as Braves juggle lineup

(Chris Vivlamore filling in for DOB at doubleheader against the Mets)

NEW YORK – Chipper Jones has batted second before.

The Braves third baseman last hit No. 2 at the 2000 All-Star Game, batting between Barry Larkin and Vladimir Guerrero. He went 3-for-3 with his only all-star home run.

Jones hit second Thursday in the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets as manager Fredi Gonzalez tried to spark a struggling Braves offense.

“No matter where I hit, I’m going to go up there and look for the first fat one and wail on it,” said Jones, who also batted second in four games in 1996. “It’s not going to change depending on where I hit.”

Gonzalez said he wanted to put his top on-base percentage hitters to start the lineup with Michael Bourn (.322), Jones (.355), Brian McCann (.358), Dan Uggla (.310) and Freddie Freeman (.353).

The Braves have scored just 16 runs in losing five of their past six games before Thursday’s doubleheader.

“See if we can get something going and try something different,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t think I will keep it for a long time.”

Gonzalez said ultimately his goal is to get Jason Heyward more at-bats and move him back to the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

The move was not done on the spur of the moment, according to Gonzalez. He said he has discussed the move with Jones for about a week. Before Wednesday’s series-finale against the Phillies, Gonzalez showed Jones three different lineup cards.

“I said ‘What do you think about that one?’ That was the one with him hitting second. He said ‘I like it.’”

Neither Gonzalez nor Jones want the veteran to change his approach at the plate. In other words, don’t expect any bunts. It will also be important that Jones not take hittable pitches should Bourn get on base, in an effort to allow him to steal. That became an issue in the first few games after the Braves acquired Bourn as Martin Prado passed on strikes.

“We’ve been scuffling a little bit and he’s searching for answers,” Jones said. “When you’re top two or three hitters are struggling, in any lineup, I’m going to show you a lineup that has trouble scoring runs. That’s why you are hit at the top of the lineup because you kick start the offense. When those guys struggle, we struggle. That’s why Fredi is trying a bunch of different things at the top.”

Game 1 lineup

1. Bourn CF

2. Jones 3B

3. Brian McCann C

4. Dan Uggla 2B

5. Freddie Freeman 1B

6. Martin Prado LF

7. Jason Heyward RF

8. Alex Gonzalez SS

9. Mike Minor P

2,112 comments Add your comment

stynes

September 8th, 2011
3:37 pm

Let’s go Braves!

Hillbilly

September 8th, 2011
3:39 pm

T for Texas

September 8th, 2011
3:43 pm

The ultimate goal is to get Heyward back to hitting in the 2-slot? Are we flying from New York to St. Louis via Seattle?

RC

September 8th, 2011
3:43 pm

Putting high OBP guys first? Hoping to eventually get Heyward back to the #2 spot?

Looks like Shaun has finally finished building his Robot Fredi, and replaced the real one with it.

(Actually really good to hear that Fredi appears to be improving his approach….)

Cap Tipper

September 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

We will probably score 3 runs on the day

ncscoots

September 8th, 2011
3:46 pm

“No matter where I hit, I’m going to go up there and look for the first fat one and wail on it,”

Atta-baby.

“See if we can get something going and try something different,” Gonzalez said. “I don’t think I will keep it for a long time.”

Of course not, LOL. If it happens to work, naturally, you’d want to change it.

Gonzalez said ultimately his goal is to get Jason Heyward more at-bats and move him back to the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

I think I’ll call BS on that one. Fredo, the King of Hand-Side Balance, if going to open his lineup with two lefties, a switch, and a lefty? Uh-huh. right.

jeffrey d

September 8th, 2011
3:49 pm

Thanks Chris

Nova Scotia Steve

September 8th, 2011
3:50 pm

Alright – let’s win a couple ball games.

T for Texas

September 8th, 2011
3:51 pm

I think I’ll call BS on that one. Fredo, the King of Hand-Side Balance, if going to open his lineup with two lefties

No, no, no, scoots. In the lineup in which Heyward hits second, AGon hits leadoff. Then Uggla, Constanza, Prado, Bourn…R-L-R-L-R and so on.

Hillbilly

September 8th, 2011
3:51 pm

“I’m going to go up there and look for the first fat one and wail on it,”

Looks like Vivlamore has the pre-game jitters…he accidentally interviewed the Grinch instead of Chipper.

CB

September 8th, 2011
3:52 pm

Sounds like a lot of the old veterans are kind of down on Fredi’s lineup construction. May be time to let Chipper make out the lineup.

nique

September 8th, 2011
3:53 pm

The Abs Man

September 8th, 2011
3:54 pm

Totally lost confidence in overmatched dimwit Fat Fredi “Fredo Corleone” Gonzalez.
His fate, just as Cox, will be “one-and-done” in post-season. Faster than the “eject” button for a fighter pilot.
Like Fredo, Fat Fredi is weak and glaringly stupid.

T for Texas

September 8th, 2011
3:54 pm

If I gottal listen to road announcers through a double header, at least it is Keith, Ron and Gary. I do enjoy a good Mets broadcast. Especially all the Freeman love you get from Hernandez.

ncscoots

September 8th, 2011
3:54 pm

he accidentally interviewed the Grinch instead of Chipper.

That’s harsh, man. :-)

Hillbilly

September 8th, 2011
3:56 pm

Grinch would love it.

Piedmont Blues

September 8th, 2011
3:57 pm

Remarkable. FG constructs a lineup the way it should be (especially for a scoring-challenged team) but says he’ll probably abandon the idea soon.

Heisenberg

September 8th, 2011
3:58 pm

Chipper has the right approach which is to not change your approach no matter where he hits. Hopefully, that can rub off on Prado. He is better than his numbers lately and will bust out soon.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
3:59 pm

Thanks for the new Blog, Mr. Vivlamore.

“See if we can get something going and try something different,” Gonzalez said.…

…3. Brian McCann C

Different, eh? :roll:

njbraves

September 8th, 2011
3:59 pm

Looks like Fredi is finally using his head. I love Chipper hitting second.

ncscoots

September 8th, 2011
4:00 pm

Chipper has the right approach which is to not change your approach no matter where he hits.

That’s because Chipper knows that the dangerous guy is the one with the stick, not the guy on 1B.

BravesFanSince1982

September 8th, 2011
4:00 pm

Let’s hope the revamped lineup jumps on this kid pitching early and often!

hawk TN

September 8th, 2011
4:02 pm

fredi should have bat freeman 3rd and bMac 5th….

ncscoots

September 8th, 2011
4:03 pm

I love Chipper hitting second.

It thrills me somewhat less. But I also acknowledge that Fredo might have thrown Alex up there, instead, thus I mute any complaints that might otherwise arise. :-)

jim

September 8th, 2011
4:03 pm

From 70 miles north of the city, it looks like it will be a miracle if we get both games in without at least some delays. The three game series in St Louis IS the biggest series this season. This side trip to NY could be a real disaster — delays, wear on the pitching staff, and a real disaster if we lose 2.

Snotboogie

September 8th, 2011
4:04 pm

Before Wednesday’s series-finale against the Phillies, Gonzalez showed Jones three different lineup cards.

“I said ‘What do you think about that one?’ That was the one with him hitting second. He said ‘I like it.’”

This is a different view from what the guy on the previous blog suggested (David from Athens). Hmmm.

Remarkable

September 8th, 2011
4:05 pm

For all the Chipper haters out there, he’s hitting great and we need him to come back next year. Where would we be without him this year? He only made 6 errors at third in 97 games while Prado made 5 in 38 games. Chipper’s average is 282 vs. Prado’s 260.

sAD sACK

September 8th, 2011
4:05 pm

It’s like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

Heisenberg

September 8th, 2011
4:05 pm

Last night hurt but life goes on. Nothing like playing a DH the next day to put it in the rear view mirror. No time for hangovers. Time to take out some frustrations.

ChrisfromSacramento,Ca

September 8th, 2011
4:06 pm

Braves need to sweep today, period. Need two of three in St. Lou. Or we will really be the 07 Mets. Choke job

Lpad

September 8th, 2011
4:06 pm

So is it safe to assume the Constanza over Heyward experiment is officially over?

TennesseePaul

September 8th, 2011
4:06 pm

Pinch blogging Vivlamore! Good job.

GO BRAVES!!

Last 9 starts of the starting 9

_________AVG__OBP__SLG___OPS_wOBA_L9S9+
Bourn__ .250 .268 .325 0.593 .262 ___76
Chipper .281 .361 .594 0.955 .428 __181
McCann_ .182 .325 .455 0.780 .340 __131
Uggla__ .300 .432 .633 1.066 .449 __215
Freeman .273 .314 .303 0.617 .283 ___85
Prado__ .135 .179 .135 0.315 .199 ___-5
Heyward .276 .323 .448 0.771 .314 __128
Seabass .269 .344 .346 0.690 .290 __106
Minor__ .158 .200 .263 0.463 .205 ___37

Abnerish

September 8th, 2011
4:07 pm

I like this idea too. Chipper is the best in baseball at hitting based on the situation. He showed that last night when he didn’t try to do too much with his RBI single in the 6th. It looked like he just tried to serve an outside pitch up the middle. We’ll see if it works. Can’t hurt to give Chipper more ABs against the Mets!

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:08 pm

Nice interview with Kimbrel.

Remarkable

September 8th, 2011
4:09 pm

Game 1 lineup
I like it except for Brian McCann hitting third. He’s too slow for that spot.
1. Bourn CF
2. Jones 3B
3. Dan Uggla 2B
4. Brian McCann C
5. Freddie Freeman 1B
6. Martin Prado LF
7. Jason Heyward RF
8. Alex Gonzalez SS
9. Mike Minor P

Nova Scotia Steve

September 8th, 2011
4:09 pm

McFann – Wish I could have seen it – I’m stuck with the Mets broadcast.

Bay Area Steve

September 8th, 2011
4:10 pm

Hillbilly,

Thanks, man. I needed that.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:11 pm

NSS

Mm…sorry about that!

jim

September 8th, 2011
4:11 pm

Prado needs to be moved down in the lineup, but Chipper’s comments illustrate why he is not a good choice to hit 2nd on a long-term basis.
The last 4 times Bourn was on first with no outs, he never left the base and Prado either hit into a DP or a force out. What will the Braves do wih Chipper hitting 2nd to take advantage of Bourn’s speed?
Hit and run? not according to Chipper’s approach. Have Bourn steal? Less likely with Chipper hitting than Prado, and if he does steal it creates a situation where the other team might walk Chipper to pitch to a cold McCann. With tonight’s lineup, Chipper is the only logical choice to hit 2nde if not Prado, but it is not ideal.

Chop Chop

September 8th, 2011
4:11 pm

I’m more interested in the lineup for the second game.

Brava

September 8th, 2011
4:11 pm

Go Braves!!!

Let's Go

September 8th, 2011
4:12 pm

I like it. Chipper is not the power hitter he once was and Matin is really having trouble batting 2nd but really he has struggled since coming off the DL.

The Braves need a sweep today. Forget the Phillies.

ncscoots

September 8th, 2011
4:12 pm

Can’t hurt to give Chipper more ABs against the Mets!

Actually, the 2 gets an extra appearance over the 3 in a game only when the 2 produces the last out for his side or the last run of the game. So, nearly 100% of those “extra” appearances are unproductive.

Hillbilly

September 8th, 2011
4:13 pm

BAS, I knew you would be one of the few that would like it.

bravesgrl4life

September 8th, 2011
4:13 pm

Chipper with 2!!!

Venice Jim

September 8th, 2011
4:14 pm

So far, so good!

Petro1989

September 8th, 2011
4:14 pm

Braves = Leaking oil like a 92′ Yugo.

GT Alum

September 8th, 2011
4:14 pm

I was thinking Fredi needed to get Prado out of the 2 hole, and Chipper was the most likely guy to take that spot, but I didn’t think Fredo would move Chipper out of a “RBI spot”. Martin’s been terrible lately. Have to do something to get him going.

TennesseePaul

September 8th, 2011
4:15 pm

I’m more interested in the lineup for the second game.

Jack Wilson will lead off in the second game.

Wilson 3B
Seabass SS
Prado LF
Biff CF
Diaz RF
Ross C
Hinske 1B
Uggla 2B
Pitcher.

It’ll be a blow out, 30 runs scored by the Braves.

Brava

September 8th, 2011
4:16 pm

Even though Shaun has been advocating for Chipper to bat second, I like it. ;)

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:16 pm

Well, walks are a start…

Nova Scotia Steve

September 8th, 2011
4:16 pm

In Play, Runs

Please

Soph

September 8th, 2011
4:17 pm

Anyone have a radio link, please? Thank you in advance.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:18 pm

Fredi was tired of seeing Dan lead off innings…ouch, man!!

:( :x :roll:

Heisenberg

September 8th, 2011
4:18 pm

TP, names out of a hat?

GT Alum

September 8th, 2011
4:18 pm

Jim -

Better to not change your approach and take a few steal opps away from Bourn than to completely change your approach and become completely ineffective as a hitter.

bravesgrl4life

September 8th, 2011
4:18 pm

Time for Freddie to jack one to right field!

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:18 pm

tiger297

September 8th, 2011
4:19 pm

so we are saying grinch is my old buddy from south la…interesting

Mitchell

September 8th, 2011
4:19 pm

Jim Powell, never missing an opportunity to jab road teams’ fan bases for having a smallish crowds in spite of the fact that it’s the first game of a double header and four o’clock on a Thursday.

Yeah, because Turner Field would be rockin’ right now.

bravesgrl4life

September 8th, 2011
4:20 pm

Brava

September 8th, 2011
4:20 pm

Nice shot, Freddie!!!!

Venice Jim

September 8th, 2011
4:20 pm

Well struck, FF!!!

GT Alum

September 8th, 2011
4:20 pm

Fab 5 Freddie!!!!

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:20 pm

YES!! Waytago, Freddie!

Snotboogie

September 8th, 2011
4:20 pm

Nova Scotia Steve

September 8th, 2011
4:20 pm

An absolute rocket.

Uggla is the man. I don’t care what anyone says. He scorches the ball more often than not and plays hard.

Hope his ankle is OK after that slide.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:21 pm

Wow…Freddie has 30 doubles…

Chop Chop

September 8th, 2011
4:21 pm

Uh. That wasn’t a bad relay there. The catcher really Mac’d that one up.

Easy win now.

Ballgame.

Soph

September 8th, 2011
4:21 pm

Thanks, Snot – can always count on you.

Snotboogie

September 8th, 2011
4:22 pm

I fear for your health Chop Chop. :-)

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:22 pm

Chipper having fun…

Chop Chop

September 8th, 2011
4:23 pm

The Mets are better than the Phils, so I think this will put to rest any doubt about the Braves’ chances of winning the World Series.

Lakedawg

September 8th, 2011
4:23 pm

At this point in his career, Chipper is an ideal 2 hitter. I like the lineup, and I like Chipper’s willingness to be flexible for the team.

DGBrave.

Brava

September 8th, 2011
4:23 pm

That’s great to see, McFann.

Soph

September 8th, 2011
4:23 pm

Yay, ‘teeeeeen!

ChrisfromSacramento,Ca

September 8th, 2011
4:24 pm

Great start so far knock on wood

Lew

September 8th, 2011
4:25 pm

Thanks Chris – Hope you don’t get rained on for your efforts.

Linebrink's Security

September 8th, 2011
4:25 pm

Hope Prado hits better in the spot he’s in now, maybe he was feeling a bit too much pressure in the 2 spot when Bourn got on base … maybe wanting to do a bit too much

RaleighDawg

September 8th, 2011
4:25 pm

“I’m going to go up there and look for the first fat one and wail on it,…junless of course, I’m not feeling well or have a boo-boo of some sort that makes me sit out yet another game. But the good news about me sitting out is that I have the chance to count all that money I’m making for being a part time player, plus the Braves are vastly superior defensively with me on the bench.” -CJ10

ChrisfromSacramento,Ca

September 8th, 2011
4:25 pm

Heyward Is great!

Chop Chop

September 8th, 2011
4:25 pm

Might as well bring Kimbrel in.

Snotboogie

September 8th, 2011
4:26 pm

At this point in his career, Chipper is an ideal 2 hitter.

He has the 2nd highest SLG on the team right now (behind Mac) – .480. Why is that an ideal number 2?

ray

September 8th, 2011
4:26 pm

have to get at least a split today. need at least 6 innings each from Minor and Teheran.
must win one or both of 1st 2 games vs Cards. can’t even face being swept.

at least no Wainright to worry about. Carpenter will pitch though and he was excellent last start.

lineup is still inconsistent and can’t handle lefties. leave too many RISP amost every time out.

turning a big wild card lead into a battle.

jim

September 8th, 2011
4:26 pm

Will Chipper play both games tonight? If not we are leaving our AAA pitcher with a lineup with no Chipper or McCann. It could be a lot of pressure if we lose the first game.
Pros for starting Minor in game 1 –
More likely to get a win against the AAA pitcher
Need to get a win after last night and want to get it in game 1
More likely to go deeper and save some pen

Cons –

Lot of pressure on Teheran if they lose
Less experienced pitcher facing the better Mets starts

bravesgrl4life

September 8th, 2011
4:27 pm

Don’t know, SB, but it worked in that first inning.

Peter

September 8th, 2011
4:27 pm

I suggested hitting Chipper second months ago, but that’s before we had Bourn and Prado was leading off.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:27 pm

Nice going, Marteen! Hope he’s getting it back together…

Brava

Sure is! :) Maybe he cann get BMac to crack a smile, too…

Chop Chop

September 8th, 2011
4:28 pm

The Braves saw Schwinden on the mound and their bats went “SCHWING!!!!!!!!”

Brava

September 8th, 2011
4:29 pm

I’d love to see that, McFann. He’s looked so sad lately.

bravesgrl4life

September 8th, 2011
4:30 pm

Chop Chop

September 8th, 2011
4:28 pm
The Braves saw Schwinden on the mound and their bats went “SCHWING!!!!!!!!”

I like it :)

Brava

September 8th, 2011
4:30 pm

Nice, Chop Chop. :)

ray k.

September 8th, 2011
4:30 pm

Chipper really ought not to hit 2nd very often. He’s slugging right now. We need him knocking in runs–not tearing his knee cartilage out legging out doubles to get into scoring position.

Heyward grounds out to second

September 8th, 2011
4:30 pm

Woo, offense looks good today. Getting killed by those Phillies pitchers made our offense ready to face anything. Sure this guy is a first time starter, but this is a good chance to get our offense going.

Glad Freddi is batting Chipper second, I’ve been saying he should have done that a month ago. Chipper and Bourn have been swinging the bat extremely well. Chipper is going to be driving in a lot of runs now. This should be our line up going into the post season (I’d have Constanza or Diaz in there over Heyward though).

I think Freddi has finally got a reality check, and is really starting to bare down. He’s getting more fired up and isn’t coasting. I like it.

Veer

September 8th, 2011
4:31 pm

Minor should have started game 2 and Teheran game 1.
Gee is estiblished pitcher and a guy like Minor could have beaten him.

With Teheran vs Gee it is a big mismatch for us, just like game 1 is a big mismatch for Mets.
so seems like Fredie wants a split

Brava

September 8th, 2011
4:32 pm

ray k, I agree. Maybe just a few games to help them snap out of their funk. Hopefully, Jason will get going.

ray k.

September 8th, 2011
4:33 pm

If Heyward was hitting the way he ought to, he, with his good speed, would make an IDEAL 2nd spot hitter in this lineup. Bourn, The good Heyward, Mac, Uggs, Chipper, Freeman, Prado, Alex, P would be potent.

McFann :Ô: :Ô:

September 8th, 2011
4:33 pm

Brava He’s looked so sad lately.

That he has…hope it’s only the slump that’s bothering him…

Snotboogie

September 8th, 2011
4:34 pm

Chipper’s numbers right now are very similar to Mac’s. Great combo to have 3-4-5 with Uggla in the mix. Only problem with that is that their numbers are going in opposite directions.

Mitchell

September 8th, 2011
4:34 pm

Jim Powell making yet another comment about the Citi Field crowd.

Last time I checked the Braves were 9th in attendance?

Middle of the pack at least.

Not much room to talk, Jim.

Add your comment