Hot-hitting Bourn gets rare day off

Vivlamore reporting from Turner Field with your Braves report.

Michael Bourn knew it was coming.

Despite the centerfielder’s current hot streak at the plate, he was going to get a rest during the Braves’ stretch of 33 games in 34 days. Bourn will sit tonight against the Marlins, his first day off of the season in which he has played all 332 innings.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez told Bourn several days ago his turn on the bench was coming. He informed him last night that he would get the day Wednesday off.

“I’m OK with it,” Bourn said. “We are in a long stretch. [Gonzalez] said he wants to give everyone a day where they can relax and get through it.

“No matter if you want to admit it or not, your body needs a rest every now and then. I love being out there, of course, but it’s a good time to pick.”

Gonzalez said there is some concern about Bourn’s health and the rest would be beneficial.

“Nothing major, just the legs are a little banged up,” Gonzalez said.

Bourn leads the National League with 55 hits and is tied for first with 17 multi-hit games. His .340 average is second in the league. He has hit safely in five straight games, 17 of the past 18 and 30 of the Braves’ 37 this season.

Bourn said he was not concerned at all that a day off would affect his torrid hitting.

“You can’t run these guys into the ground,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve always had good success with giving a guy a breather. They come back and they are fine.”

With Bourn out of the leadoff spot, rookie Tyler Pastornicky will bat first and Jason Heyward will play center field. Gonzalez had a lineup with Martin Prado batting first but opted to move Pastornicky into the spot to limit the number of lineup changes.

“You put Prado first, then Pastornicky second and then you start messing with the whole cohesiveness of the lineup,” Gonzalez said. “This is just one move.”

Pastornicky learned of the batting order when he arrived at the clubhouse today. He will bat leadoff for the first time this season. The shortstop said he batted in the top three spots for most of his minor-league career.

“It will be fun to hit in the first inning but other than that it doesn’t really change how I go about it,” Pastornicky said. “I’m still going to have the same at-bats and try to grind them out.”

Gonzalez is not concerned with Heyward moving from right to center field. He played the position several games in spring training to get ready for just this situation. Heyward is the only other centerfielder on the roster, Gonzalez explained.

Chipper Jones will also get a day off after appearing in five straight games.

Gonzalez did say before the game that Bourn might not get the entire night off. If the Braves are winning late in the game he would move Heyward back to right and put Bourn back in center for defensive reasons. As it turned out, Bourn pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth with the Braves trailing 8-4. He flied out to left field.

24 comments Add your comment

Atlanta3517

May 16th, 2012
5:37 pm

We are playing a divisional opponent (3-6 agianst the east this year) and now you decide to sit Bourn? Bourn is on fire and may be the hottest player in the National League. What is Fredi doing???

Tommy

May 16th, 2012
5:39 pm

He still loves his old team.

reckingball

May 16th, 2012
5:42 pm

J-Man

May 16th, 2012
5:47 pm

Is this the Same Fredi Defending Korean Tommy? Or a different Tommy

HOF 10

May 16th, 2012
5:49 pm

Bourn is just what the team has needed, a true leadoff man. Too bad it’s 95 percent certain he will be gone after this year. It’s a real problem with baseball. Most of the teams cannot afford to sign their top players. In pro football, teams keep the players they want. Fans can go ahead and get attached to the players. It’s one reason football has more fan interest now that baseball does. Baseball needs to figure it out. It’s also in the players’ best interest to keep the game strong.

iTiSi

May 16th, 2012
5:49 pm

Now “Atlanta3517″ you should know these games don’t mean as much as the ones at the end of the year. You lose 4 or 5 games here and there during the year and the chances of coming up one game short at the end of the year are slim. Wait a second, how many games did we come up short last year? As one manager once said years ago(forgot his name, honestly) you have to play every game as if it was the last game of the season. These guys get plenty of time off during the season and only work 5-6 hrs. per day, max, so unless there’s an injury problem(not “sissy” ones either) there’s no need in sitting them down, ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY ARE HOT! Who gets the blame now if Bourn goes into a tailspin? Besides, as you said, Miami is NOT the team to be resting main players against.

LostCause

May 16th, 2012
5:52 pm

Take it easy guys we are in first place for another day. We’ll just take it back tomorrow.

Tommy

May 16th, 2012
6:04 pm

@J-Man Same Tommy. Go Braves!!! Sayonara!!!!

Brandon

May 16th, 2012
6:16 pm

Why question every move Fredi makes? He’s done a good job this season! Let Bourn rest a day. He has to at some point. Our team is good enough to still win without him for a day.

BravesFAN

May 16th, 2012
6:22 pm

You guys act like it’s ridiculous for a kid to get a NIGHT off. Bourn hasn’t missed a game yet this year Dan Uggla is the only other Braves player that has played in all 37 games. Sounds like he may have a little tick tack injury and Fredi is thinking he might as well give him a night off to get his legs back under him a little more and to get ready for this 33 games in 34 days. Bourn deserves a day off it’s not a bad idea to randomly rest your starters once every blue moon in the 1st half of the season. This will help keep their legs fresh for the end of the year and hopefully will help ensure we won’t be forced to watch another epic collapse like last year.

bobby

May 16th, 2012
6:27 pm

Giving a player a day off now will keep him fresh for the rest of the year. That’s a bunch of BS.

bvillebaron

May 16th, 2012
6:36 pm

Atlanta 3517 and bobby:

I can tell from your comments that both of you are anti-Gonzalez, but your criticiism about his decision to rest Bourn is going out of your way to be critical. In case you guys forgot, major league teams play 162 games. It is clearly a good idea to give players a periodic day off, especially ones like Bourn who rely so much on their legs. With all due respect, did either of you guys ever play any kind of competitive sports?

AdirondackDave

May 16th, 2012
6:45 pm

HOF10 — “…95% certain he (Bourn) will be gone after this year.” I think it’s way too early to draw any conclusions on whether he is re-signed or not. With Chipper and Lowe money off the books, the Braves will have the resources make a strong offer if they choose to. They may instead want to put the money into a power outfielder or 3B.

To some degree, it may depend on what Michael does for the balance of this season. He’s not likely to sustain his very high current numbers. Other than SBs, nothing in his history suggests he will. In any case, 95% is way too gloomy in my book.

Brave Decisions

May 16th, 2012
7:04 pm

Can Heyward play everyday in CF? lmk http://wp.me/2lqJ1

HOF 10

May 16th, 2012
8:00 pm

AdirondackDave, I hope you are right, but history is not on your side. Seems we either sign a guy picked up in a trade pretty much right away or it doesn’t happen. Hudson, Uggla, quick long-term deals. Teixeira did his year and a half and left, and you could see that coming. Others also turned out to be rentals. And we’ve figured in the past that when big contracts expired management would spend that money on other players, but they have not done that.

Don Nottebart

May 16th, 2012
8:14 pm

Fredi, what an idiot. Why not rest Bourn when Chipper can play, so that 2 regulars are not out at the same time. I am sure the Marlins will rest Stanton and their SS against us. Bourn is hot and did not need a rest.

JJ horrible tonight. 8 runs and 8 hits and 2 HR’s in 3 inn. Horrible.

Jair Jurrjens 3.0 8 8 7 1 3 2 4.32
Buffalo Bisons
Player IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Garrett Olson 3.0 4 1 1 2 5 0 3.32

Pitches-strikes: Jurrjens 59-41, Olson 57-36.
Groundouts-flyouts: Jurrjens 5-1, Olson 0-1.

David O'Brien

May 16th, 2012
8:17 pm

Jurrjens just hit for himself in 4th inning, now back to pitch 4th…. Allowed 8 hits and 8 runs (7 earned) through 3 innings.

tampa Braves fan

May 16th, 2012
8:43 pm

It is a sad day when your top back ups are Wilson, Juan and Matt. When we have 2 of those in at the same time you can count a lost. Wilson is terrible and Diaz is a joke.

Don Nottebart

May 16th, 2012
10:16 pm

Actually, there is about 43 mil coming off the books: Jones 15, Lowe 10; JJ 5; Bourn 6; Durbin 1; Livan 1; Diaz 2; Hinske 2; Jack Wilson 1 mil. You are forgetting we are already paying Bourn 6 mil so it is off the books for next year until and if he signs again. At the end of 2013, we have another 22 mil with McCann and Hudson off the books.

So, for the next year we have about 43 mil available to resign Bourn, sign someone for LF or 3B or use for signing others to long terms. That would mean releasing JJ or trading him.

CRMAC300

May 17th, 2012
10:18 am

Gotta say I can’t see the need for days off for players who are not injured. These guys work for 3-5 hours a day playing a game that they are not involved in for 90% of the time. They spend half of the game relaxing in the dugout! They are tuned athletes in the prime of their lives (except for Chipper!). They get nearly 5 months off every year! They make millions of dollars doing this job! Every game counts (just ask the 2011 Braves!). Giving these guys a day off is crazy! Is it possible that Bourne and Chipper in the line up last night might have made a difference? We will never know! Just another example of Fredi over managing again!

Wes

May 17th, 2012
12:09 pm

I don’t understand giving players days off, look what Cal Ripkin did?

Dwayne

May 17th, 2012
12:50 pm

Fredi would of sat Cal R. Jr. down for a rest. 2 games before he broke the record. No more proof needed that Fredi is a joke.

Dwayne

May 17th, 2012
12:50 pm

so is Don Sutton

James Toolin

May 17th, 2012
4:04 pm

There’s bigger fish to fry with Marlins. Take 2 out of 3 to keep the wins pileing up

Add your comment