Rare start for Hinske as Braves try to revive his bat

SAN FRANCISCO – In the Braves clubhouse on Sunday at Turner Field, Tim Hudson announced that chapel would start in 10 minutes. Eric Hinske replied, “Take my bats with you.”

It was a moment of levity in that has been a difficult season for Hinske, a veteran bench player who was hitting just .203 with one homer and 35 strikeouts in 118 at-bats before Friday, including 7-for-46 (.152) as a pinch-hitter.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez gave Hinske a rare start in left field on Friday and moved Martin Prado to shortstop for only his second start of the season at that position. Gonzalez said he made the move to give shortstop Paul Janish a day off and to get some at-bats for Hinske and try to revive his bat for the stretch drive.

“The last time he started, he DH’d in Boston — that was in [bleeping] June,” Gonzalez said of Hinske, who indeed started an interleague game at Boston on June 24, but had also started once other game since then — July 14 in left field at Colorado.

“Just get him three at-bats, try to get some offense, give Janish a day,” Gonzalez said.

Before Friday, Janish started 38 consecutive games since the Braves got him from the Reds to fill in for injured shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who broke a bone in his throwing hand in the last game before the All-Star break. They got Janish strictly for his strong defense, but his .206 average with the Braves included some big hits and an eight-game stretch Aug. 11-18 when he went 10-for-28 (.357).

Janish was 1-for-18 with six strikeouts in five games since then, and Gonzalez asked him how he felt Thursday and let him know he planned to give him a day out of the lineup. Janish will be at shortstop until Simmons returns, which probably won’t be for another two weeks.

After toiling in the minors for all or part of nine seasons with the Reds, including all this season in Triple-A before the trade, Janish, 29, told Gonzalez the day he joined the Braves that playing every day in the big leagues was anything but a chore.

“I said man, I’ll play every day for five years if you want me to,” Janish said.

In Hinske’s last big game at Boston, the big man lined two balls off outfield walls for a double, a triple and two RBis in what amounted to a one-day reprieve from the the longest and most frustrating slump of his career. He is 10-for-84 (.119) with five RBIs his past 55 games, and outside of that game in Boston he has just three other extra-base hits during that period since May 5.

Hinske is 35 and a veteran of many playoff races and postseason series, which is why the Braves want to try to get his bat going.

“It’s very important,” Gonzalez said. “And the only way can do it is getting some at-bats. So hopefully he’ll get three at-bats today and get him going.”

Asked if he still believed Hinske had it in him, Gonzalez said, “Yeah. If I didn’t, we wouldn’t play him.”

49 comments Add your comment

kasdm

August 24th, 2012
9:39 pm

[bleepin] fürste

Darryl Blackberry

August 24th, 2012
9:47 pm

Not a bad idea.

BK Brave

August 24th, 2012
9:50 pm

Bleepin crazy. Uggla and Hinske in same lineup right now.

Rico Party

August 24th, 2012
9:53 pm

Enter your comments here

Don

August 24th, 2012
9:53 pm

If Fat Boy could run a lick – It would not be a bad idea, but unless a baseball is hit RIGHT at him, then base hits happen.

Rico Party

August 24th, 2012
9:55 pm

I was at the game Thursday night and it was sad. FG left Hanson in way too long, he had lost velocity and the strike zone. The Braves had absolutely nothing going against a struggling Zito. Pence got the Giants going with the bunt, team play. Braves look defeated, I hope its not a repeat but it sure does look like last year.

J-MAN

August 24th, 2012
10:10 pm

Hinske has been nonexistant all year. Unlike 2010 and 2011 he hasnt had any significant playing time because the 1st basemen and corner outfielders have been healthy. But He is hitting at the Mendoza line and only has 1 HR and has lost his number 1 Left handed bench player spot to Juan Francisco.

bostonbravo

August 24th, 2012
10:14 pm

Fredi might as well say: “I bet $5 million Braves wouldn’t be in playoffs this year” used anon. name & offshore bookie. Atlanta Blacksox

TarHeel 1

August 24th, 2012
10:50 pm

Fredi going for repeat. What a lineup.

Semper Fi Braves fan

August 24th, 2012
11:04 pm

2 doubles, that Prado or Johnson would have caught, instead we see Mr.203 (wait he struck out) Mr.202.

Score should be 2-0 still. Fredi Gonzalez is an idiot. #Fire Fredi

Steaming Pile

August 24th, 2012
11:05 pm

Nice defense, Hinske in LF. Great management Fredi, you douche bag.

Caseyatthebat

August 24th, 2012
11:06 pm

Fredi’s choice for left just cost us two doubles and a run. Faster outfielder could have had both those hits. Last four hitters in our lineup are all near Mendoza. Reed Johnson .300. Can Wren really believe that Fredi is a good manager?

Bronke

August 24th, 2012
11:10 pm

Can we get a shout out for the butt wipe Fredi G? Give Hinske his walking papers. Now is not the time to experiment you idiot. :(

Semper Fi Braves fan

August 24th, 2012
11:19 pm

What ever happened to putting the best players on the field to give you the best chance of winning?

Running Dan Uggla, Brian McCann, and Eric Hinske out in the same line up trying to get them going is just plain retarded. What a sorry excuse for a Major League Manager. The only reason I have tickets for games this year is Chipper Jones, as long as FG is the Manager, I wont be buying any more.

I don’t spend 80$ a ticket to watch washed up players being played by an idiot manager.

lee maye

August 24th, 2012
11:20 pm

Actually, 4 balls that could have been caught but none were. Prado, Uggla, and 2 by Hinske. Anyone else catches those 2 in LF; Prado or Pastor would have had the one Uggla bobbled; and Janish would have had the one that Prado didn’t. Fredi is an idiot.

cb795

August 24th, 2012
11:21 pm

Fredi trying to revive Hinski bat! Maybe Fredi should have him work with Dale before they do this again. He looked bad on those two fly balls and now the score is tied and he is still out there. Why did Atl hire Fredi?

Semper Fi Braves fan

August 24th, 2012
11:25 pm

Why did Atl hire Fredi?

Me cause he was multilingual.

Unbelievable

August 24th, 2012
11:26 pm

One of the largest outfields in the majors and you play the slowest guy (next to McCann) on the team in the outfield! Fredi needs to go!

Kris

August 24th, 2012
11:27 pm

That’s two balls to Hinske that he missed that was catchable. One ball by Prado that was catchable and wasn’t. Many more stressful pitches for Ben Sheets. Terrible managing by Fred G. What an idiot.

lee maye

August 24th, 2012
11:28 pm

Fielding tonight is like the Bad News Bears. McCann also failed to block a pitch that could/should have
been blocked. Fire Fredi now.

Otto

August 24th, 2012
11:30 pm

As a Giants fan, I LOVE Fredi! I tip my cap to him! I might get a Giants Jersey with his name on it and put right next to my Brooks Conrad Giants jersey.

Kris

August 24th, 2012
11:32 pm

And Hinske still in LF and Prado still at SS. Why? Why? Why? Please fire Fred G before it’s too late. There is still time left. It’s like trying to win with an opposing team manager managing for your team. This is what the opposing team would do to the Braves if they want to beat the Braves. Just plain sad.

Bronke

August 24th, 2012
11:35 pm

Time to bring back Delgado and let Sheets go, he is toast and fooling no one right now. With this Mickey Mouse lineup ( McCann as doofy) they have no hope. This is unbearable to watch right now.:(

Kris

August 24th, 2012
11:35 pm

Looked at tonight’s lineup before the game began and my face cringed. It’s like de ja vu all over again. Bad managing by Fredi G at a crucial time like last year when he stuck with DLowe in 6 September starts. He lost all of them and the Braves missed the playoff by one. But Fredi G will be in denial again. “Oh they are doing fine.” he will say. What a psycho.

lee maye

August 24th, 2012
11:36 pm

Is there any other team in baseball that would put a fat guy like Hinske in the lineup in LF? Or, that would still be playing Uggla at .209 or .208?

It honestly looks like Hinske has added 15 or more pounds since the beginning of the season. And, the guy Wren is bringing up , Overbay is just as bad.

The American Dream

August 24th, 2012
11:37 pm

Cut Fredi G. some slack you bunch of rednecks. He is my friend. He has done more for Atlanta than Bobby Cox ever did for this city. The folks who need to go are all in the front office. They should let Freddie run the team and sign the players. He is a true genius.

DEJAVU

August 24th, 2012
11:38 pm

Not sure why Henskie is even on this roster! The Braves inly have 3 dependable starters, the rest are garbage!

D from Charleston, SC

August 24th, 2012
11:40 pm

ATTN BRAVES Fans: Will Dan Uggla and Brian McCann cost Atlanta a shot at postseason glory? Newest blog at http://bravesbanter.com/. Update on the Starting Pitcher rotation battle… Who is the odd man out as of today, and would Kris Medlen be the Game 1 starter of a playoff series?? All at http://bravesbanter.com/…. Don’t Stop the Chop!!!

DEJAVU

August 24th, 2012
11:42 pm

So Sheets is washed up and Hanson is now pitching like a washed up Livan Hernandez. Get rid of them both and bring up julio Tehran and maybe another bullpen arm. When Hanson and Sheets pitch its an automatic lose. They give the Braves no chance to win.

What out below.

August 24th, 2012
11:43 pm

This Braves team will not be a wild card team. Epic collapse part II. Henske in left? Are you kidding me. Between McCann and Ugla there is already enough strike outs. Why add more to the lineup. Fans should just stop buying the tickets. The only way a change will happen.

Harpie

August 24th, 2012
11:44 pm

Get all the fat guys off the team!

LostCause

August 24th, 2012
11:49 pm

Somebody check Heyward for drugs

DEJAVU

August 24th, 2012
11:53 pm

Lostcause you are a lost cause! Heyward is not on drugs if he is everybody else need to get some. He is the only one hitting on this team with some consistancy! The Braves are just an awful team right now. They had a stretch where they beat up on the weak teams and now they lose to the dodgers, Nats, and giants all potential playoff teams. As I always say the Braves are what they are and thats not much!

billy bob baseball

August 24th, 2012
11:55 pm

Semper Fi Braves fan
August 24th, 2012
11:19 p

After watching this abortion of a lineup I came here to vent and found your comment which is almost word for word exactly what I was going to say. This idiot gonzales is trying to lose, that is the only reason I can think of for tonight’s lineup, the absolute worst lineup they have put on the field this year defensively, and with 4 automatic outs in the 6-9 spots batting. I feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football that Lucy keeps yanking away, why do I fall for this time after time, year after year.

I am seriously contemplating wasting money to get a ticket as close to the Braves dugout as I can get just to hurl every insult I can at gonzales every time he pops his no-brain head out of the dugout, and at the sorry, no work ethic dan uggla who obviously has not spent the extra time to review tape, work with the hitting coach, and take extra practice in the batting cage to improve beyond a AA player.

jjohnr

August 25th, 2012
12:09 am

When Chipper retires he needs to take Fredi with him.

jjohnr

August 25th, 2012
12:11 am

Need to pin this loss of Fredi. How do you start a guy in the outfield that runs like he is carrying a piano on his back

Oskie

August 25th, 2012
12:21 am

Too many beers and hot dogs for Hinske !

Harpie

August 25th, 2012
12:40 am

Wow, is there any Braves coach who has tried to tell fat -ass Francisco that swiinging for the fences on every single swing is low -percentage baseball? This is a team of idiots!

Semper Fi Braves fan

August 25th, 2012
2:08 am

billy bob baseball

August 24th, 2012
11:55 pm

You would never get a chance to yell at him, he sits in the dugout with a dumb look on his face. Even on obvious missed calls he may come out to “talk about it” with the umps. At least with Bobby he would make it well known that the call was missed on his way to the showers.

Bobby Cox made a lot of bad choices, mainly in bull pen management after Leo left. But I would rather see the old man, wearing his spikes, sitting in the dugout again any day of the week.

D Morales

August 25th, 2012
2:14 am

This is in reply to Otto in San Francisco, get the f.. out our blogs you maricon”that’s why you live in SF, you got lucky in 2010 and that’s why you are thanking B Conrad, you and your hold Town have been a bunch of olsers all the W hile until recent.. and now you want to make fun of this situation, what about when we used to beat you and swept you time after time in the Toilett of stadium you used to have, No word huh… oh i forget, that it is until just recently your team started to get good.. but I would not count theDodgers out.. you migh not even make it before is said and done!!, you have not had a slump of late your day will get here andi will be laughing when that happens. Losers…what a joke, as youbeat us tonite, your team barely tied the Braves record, and you call that Division Competitive?? is ludacris.. division of medoicres at best..Maricon”"”

Tory Lane

August 25th, 2012
2:32 am

The Giants are going down!

real braves fan

August 25th, 2012
3:14 am

PLEASE FIRE FEEDING G. Wyd is going on Chipped deserves Bobby

Tory Lane

August 25th, 2012
3:18 am

RGP

August 25th, 2012
6:14 am

Henske looked like he hadn’t played in a while in the outfield. Why isn’t Reed Johnson playing when he is batting .300 and can field? We need more bats in the lineup. Most good teams have 7 or 8 players in their starting lineup that are good hitters. Braves have 5(Bourne,Prado, Chipper,Freeman,Heyward).

reason

August 25th, 2012
7:13 am

Are the Braves, so far in the standing that Fredi will give the young players or any decent player a day of. That is what the end of the season is for.
Hinske, should be wave goodbye and throw Superman Uggla in the deal.
McCann, if he hurt needs to be bench for the rest of the season and, that 50% of McCann is better than nothing, is Boloney.
The only one who should be resting is Chipper.
Yes, every fan wants to tell the manager what to do or how to do it,
but something’s are so advises that a 6-year child can notice it, than that trouble.
Fredi, is still coaching from the book of Bobby Cox, and my advice to him would to deep six it.
In realty and after all is said and done, what different does it make, who the manager is or who the pitcher is, if the rest of the team can’t hit my grandma pitches or anyone else for that matter, they will be home watching the series like last year and the year before, etc.
These Brave just do not have the drive, or want to win bad enough.

Largo

August 25th, 2012
12:01 pm

reason. . .would you repeat that, please?

Larry

August 25th, 2012
1:19 pm

The American Dream——-IS THIS GUY AN IDIOT OR WHAT??? THINK YOU NEED TO GO WATCH
August 24th, 2012 SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING
11:37 pm

Cut Fredi G. some slack you bunch of rednecks. He is my friend. He has done more for Atlanta than Bobby Cox ever did for this city. The folks who need to go are all in the front office. They should let Freddie run the team and sign the players. He is a true genius

reality

August 25th, 2012
1:32 pm

All you idiots wailed and ripped your sack cloths over Bobby Cox for years. Now you whine about Fredi. Give it a rest. And all you Mets and Phillies fans, your 20 back. Go post on your own blogs about your pathetic teams.

swright

August 25th, 2012
2:37 pm

Hinske needs to take his bats to chapel, not send them with someone else.
;-)
And I’m thrilled to know our manager can’t even talk to the press w/o a censor.
With Sheets pitching to contact (as he must at this stage in his career), he doesn’t need Hinske in LF or, despite his value elsewhere, Prado at SS.
With all the rest Fredi is giving the Braves, they’re gonna light up the golf courses in October.

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