With playoffs near, Braves hope Bourn gets back in groove

PHILADELPHIA – With only 12 games left to play in the regular season, Braves leadoff man Michael Bourn knows it’s getting late for him to get it going again, to restore the lineup spark he provided most of the first four months.

He doubled and scored in the first inning of Wednesday’s 3-0 win at Miami – just his second extra-base hit in 29 games — and the Braves hope it was a sign of things to come. But he also struck out twice and has piled up 13 strikeouts in 30 at-bats over his past eight games, with only three hits and three walks in nine games as his slump deepened.

The Braves are winning anyway, but that has more to do with their pitching and occasional timely hits from others. They’re 10-4 with a 2.38 ERA in their past 14 games, including six wins when they scored three runs or fewer. To put it bluntly, they’re winning lately despite Bourn’s performance atop the lineup, after winning for much of the season because of it.

After hitting .304 in his first 94 games, with 34 extra-base hits, 38 RBIs, 64 runs and a .359 on-base percentage and .445 slugging percentage, the center fielder has hit .211 in his past 55 games with nine extra-base hits, 18 RBIs, 27 runs and a .314 OBP and .282 slugging percentage.

He had an .804 on-base-plus-slugging percentage through 94 games, when Bourn was on pace for a career-best season in his free-agent year. He has a .596 OPS in his past 55 games.

It’s been worse lately: In his past 28 games. he’s hit .168 (17-for-101) with two doubles, five RBIs, eight runs and a .480 OPS.

“It’s all feel, man,” Bourn said. “That’s all it is. And my feel, it can be there one time and not the next. Even if I don’t feel good and I hit the ball hard, it’s going right at somebody, or it hits the mound or does something else.”

If he’s worried, it’s not showing. Bourn is the same upbeat guy he’s been all season, and his defense has remained strong. But he’s not the nuisance for opposing pitchers that he was in the first half, and that alters the entire offense. With the postseason approaching, when high-caliber pitching is the order of the day and runs are at a premium, the Braves want to get their table-setter back in a groove.

In the first half, Bourn and No.2 hitter Martin Prado were the league’s best top-of-the-order combination. Only Prado has kept up the pace.

“I’ve been through a slump before, numerous times,” said Bourn, whose average is down to .272 with a .343 OBP and a career-high 149 strikeouts, fifth-most in the National League and only nine fewer than teammate Dan Uggla, who has a franchise-record 158 strikeouts.

“You’ve got to continue to work, continue to battle, and just have confidence in yourself that you’ll come up out of it. That’s all hitting is, for the most part,” he said.

With less than two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Braves hope he’ll get it back. They are a far better offensive team with Bourn on base two or three times a game.

“Those at-bats are getting better,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Wednesday’s game. “He had a couple of good at-bats. Those are good signs. I believe the groundball the other night, he beats that out or the call gets changed differently, those are good things that keep going and building.

“Good at-bats for Bourny [Wednesday], and we get a day off before three [games] against the Phillies.”

After an off day Thursday, they open a three-game series against the Phillies on Friday, with a favorable matchup for Bourn in right-hander Kyle Kendrick (9-11, 3.95 ERA). Against Kendrick, he’s 7-for-14 with two homers. Prado is 8-for-17 with a homer against Kendrick.

Last division stop on Chipper tour

With less than two weeks left in his final season, the Chipper Jones Farewell Tour makes it last NL East stop in Philadelphia. Then there will be just six more regular-season home games against the Marlins and Mets, and a season-ending series at Pittsburgh before the Braves try to go deep into the postseason one last time with their 40-year-old third baseman.

In his last game in Miami on Wednesday, Jones had a third-inning single that tied him with Yankees legend Lou Gehrig for 58th on the all-time hits list with 2,721. It wasn’t just another luminary on the list of many that Jones has caught or passed in various categories the past couple of seasons.

“Lou’s a big one — that’s the Iron Horse, man,” Jones said. “Just really honored to have as many hits in my career as one of the greatest in the game. Now we’ve got to work on passing him.”

For all the attention paid to Jones’ career exploits against the Mets, he’s been even better against the Phillies. He has a .332 career average against Philadelphia (.311 vs. the Mets) with a career-best 70 doubles, 49 homers, 151 RBIs and a 1.041 OPS in 243 games. His .442 OBP and .599 slugging percentage against the Phillies are his highs against NL opponents.

The 49 homers against the Phillies matches his total against the Mets as his high against any team, and Jones has one series left against each. The Mets play at Turner Field next week.

His three home runs against the Phillies in 2012 have all been at Turner Field, including a pair of dramatic game-enders.

101 comments Add your comment

MAC

September 20th, 2012
7:12 pm

if we can get Bourn going, we can go deep. Without him, we can’t. Fairly simple.

Keith

September 20th, 2012
8:18 pm

Mccann and Uggla heating up is consoling, but we need the total package to jump start the offense. Agreed.

crm300

September 20th, 2012
8:22 pm

I mentioned in this blog the last time Kimbrel pitched that he did not look right. Last night, he did not look right either. I hope he is not nursing a sore arm. Braves are dead without him. Hope I am wrong!

Eric C.

September 20th, 2012
8:33 pm

Wow, I haven’t been keeping up with his stats lately…those numbers are scary. He’ll really need to turn things around for playoff success. Two of the biggest acquisitions in the past couple of years and they both go into bigtime slumps…what gives?

BravesBanter31

September 20th, 2012
8:37 pm

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Dawgdad (The Original)

September 20th, 2012
8:44 pm

Against tough lefthanders Bourny should be riding the pine and R Johnson in CF. Gotta go with the hot hand with playoffs insight.

northbeach Scott

September 20th, 2012
8:51 pm

Like to see Bourn heat up and audition for the phillies so they can overpay for him for the future. It would hurt next year, but it will be a decision and spend the Phillies will regret.
S

ChipperisGod

September 20th, 2012
9:00 pm

If Bourn gets going (that first at bat he had was great last night) along with Mac and Uggla starting to hit the ball better, we can be dangerous. It makes such a difference when he’s out there on the base paths. He proved that on Sunday night. It was a great reminder of what he’s capable of. Just need it on a more regular basis. Slumps are going to happen, but he needs to break out of his slump soon. I think he’s getting there, so hopefully he gets it out of his system and can start fresh in October.

Peter R.

September 20th, 2012
9:07 pm

He might be playing himself out of big money. Again, I don’t want the Braves to spend the money on him now. Not the how insanely high his strikeout rate is. As I always say, it’s much easier to produce on a losing/failing ball-club. That’s all there is to it.

No. 1 Braves Fan

September 20th, 2012
9:13 pm

cmr 300: What does not look right to you about Kimbrel?

lee maye

September 20th, 2012
9:14 pm

Save the money. A platoon of Constanza/Durango in CF if Cunningham is not ready will match Bourn’s stats anyway with fewer strikeouts. Go out and get a power hitting LF with the money or go with Gattis.

steve

September 20th, 2012
9:17 pm

I’d love to see us resign him in spite of his struggles over the last month. In fact, maybe now we can afford him! I love his speed and you just cannot replace that. He is not a great outfielder but he is a good one. Not many can cover the amount of territory that he does. I am not crazy about the strikeouts, but part of that, in my opinion, is he hit too many homers early in the season and now it looks like he is swinging too hard with too much of an uppercut. I have confidence he can get through this and become the spark plug he was for the first half of the season.

Mark (another one)

September 20th, 2012
9:27 pm

I don’t believe the Braves are going to catch the Nats, and getting Bourn going will only occur by playing him. If he needs a day or two of rest, fine, but otherwise play him and get him back on track. I also don’t believe there’s that much risk.

braveslover

September 20th, 2012
9:49 pm

Constanza is not a major league hitter; he has shown through enough at bats that he is one of those AAAA players that wins a batting title in AAA but cannot make the transition against major league pitching. Angel Pagan is the man we should go after hard. He’s a FA and would be the player all year that Bourn was in the first half. Bourn you did a lot for us this year but we just can’t take a lead off hitter who is in the top 6 in the whole league in strike outs.

Tumbledown

September 20th, 2012
10:01 pm

This will be my last post everyone. I am sure most of you either do not care or are thrilled. Some idiot has made several posts under my name. I guess there is nothing that DOB can do to monitor this.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading the posts of most of you. Learned quite a bit. Carry on the objective and positive posts reckingball, PaulG, jim, longtimefan, chipperisgod, and many others. Sorry if my posts were not that funny or were preachy. Any future posts you see under my name will be by some clown. I hope this conduct will not be tolerated. Let us all hope the Braves can do something special this year. Adios all!!

Heisenberg

September 20th, 2012
10:09 pm

Bourn could be playing his way into Braves price range. Wonder if that early season power surge got him into some bad habits. Fredi needs to send a message and move him down. He did with Uggla and McCann. This is not the time of year to worry about someone’s feelings. Especially if that someone may not be with team next year.

Heisenberg

September 20th, 2012
10:13 pm

braveslover, good to see someone else appreciates Pagan. I actually rate him higher than Bourn.

JackD

September 20th, 2012
10:15 pm

This may make him that much more affordable this offseason.

Brandon

September 20th, 2012
10:17 pm

@braveslover constanza can be successful at the major league level. He has a career .289 average in the bigs so I don’t see how that has shown that he can’t adjust in the majors.

In fact, as a starter, he is batting .326 with a 750 ops in 51 plate appearances.
His problem has been pinch hitting( 0 for 11 this season)

Last season, as a starter, he batted .307 with a .742 ops in 110 plate appearances.
As a pinch hitter, he was 2 for 8

His major league numbers are actually quite consistent with his minor league numbers.

Brandon

September 20th, 2012
10:18 pm

@Heisenberg – i recently started watching Breaking Bad. You’re a scary dude!!!

Ken Stallings

September 20th, 2012
10:21 pm

Nationals beat the Dodgers tonight. So, the magic number for the Nats to clinch the NL East over the Braves is now 8 with 14 games left for the Nats to play. The Braves would have to win all 12 of their remaining games to have any chance at all Even then, the Nats would need to only go 8-6 to still clinch.

You can figure out the ratios of wins and losses for each team from there on and it is not realistic for the Braves.

However, the good news is that the Dodgers lost another game to the Braves. So, the Braves’ magic number over the Dodgers to make post-season stands at four with 12 games remaiing to play. Magic number over the Cardinals to get the home field Wild Card remains at seven as the Cards were idle tonight.

Brandon

September 20th, 2012
10:23 pm

and while we’re on the subject on angel pagan, I’m a fan as well

kingdaddy

September 20th, 2012
10:29 pm

What’s the status of Janish???

kingdaddy

September 20th, 2012
10:33 pm

I would like Pagan a Brave just to keep from playing against him…

Heisenberg

September 20th, 2012
10:37 pm

Brandon, hope you go back to season 1 and see the evolution. Should have time until the final 8 episodes due to air in early 2013.

Heisenberg

September 20th, 2012
10:41 pm

I am not a doctor but the way Janish fell looked a lot like final play of Drew Brees tenure with the Chargers. I hope I am wrong.

Brandon

September 20th, 2012
10:44 pm

I actually started from the beginning so i am on season 3 now. Love the show

TomDawg

September 20th, 2012
10:45 pm

Bourn has hit a career high in home runs and I think he has got it in his head that he is now a power hitter and as a result he is over swinging in his at bats. Mike, buddy your job is to get on base any way you can and let the big guys bring you home If you just hit the ball hard and solid you are going to get a few out of the park. Stay aggressive at the plate but be smart and use patience when needed. I think Ty Cobb once said something like, “Anyone can hit a homerun, but a triple is the most exciting offensive play in baseball.” Go Braves.

not a pitching coach

September 20th, 2012
10:59 pm

Yes, Bourn needs to hit the ball where they ain’t. I’m sure he knows that. Hitting a round ball with a round bat is one of the most difficult things in all of sports.

Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals have clinched the National League East Division title, so we can quit worrying about that.

Now we need to get down to te proverbial brass tacks and silver pins. The Atlanta Braves have a chance. I can only hope that some of the managerial decisions of the past few weeks were experimental and not an indicator of the future.

kingdaddy

September 20th, 2012
11:01 pm

Heisenberg
I broke my clavicle two different times in seperate locations. That’s what it looked like to me. He is probably out for the post-season. What if it was a dislocation? Can he come back from that???

Brandon

September 20th, 2012
11:23 pm

Nats have clinched a postseason spot, not the division yet

Spud

September 20th, 2012
11:25 pm

The Braves need to get something out of him indeed, as he will be gone when free agents can sign with another team. Hate to see him go, but that’s the way the business works.

Fred Macmurray

September 20th, 2012
11:39 pm

He’s choking,, thats what Braves do,,

John Leonard

September 20th, 2012
11:45 pm

Walking Baker to get to Bourn say’s it all.

Heisenberg

September 20th, 2012
11:54 pm

Kingdaddy, a bone fracture could probably be a better long term injury. A bone fracture gets set then heals and it is close to good as new. Soft tissue is a whole different thing. I have pasted a link below to an article describing Brees injury (dislocation with a torn labrum).. Also the video of the play where he was injured. At about a minute 17 seconds into the video you can see his body position relative to his arm position. Other than the 300+ pound linemen piling on him, the Janish injury looked very similar. My gut feeling is he is heading for surgery. Again I am not an orthopedic specialist, but I have had 6 knee surgeries and became close friends with the guy who performed 4 of them. We would would lounge around the beach (in Florida where I lived at the time) between volleyball games having a refreshing beverage and I would annoy him with endless discussions about sports injuries. So take my amateur perspective and do with as you see fit. I repeat I hope I am wrong but I believe we have seen the last of Janish in 2012. FWIW, I called the Chipper knee injury in Houston a couple years back before they showed the replay while he was still down and before the official MRI results.

http://orthopedics.about.com/od/famousinjuries/p/drewbrees.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i05pOS8WPIo

time to sleep – goodnight all

Frank Shab in PA

September 21st, 2012
12:06 am

Bourn belongs in the lineup because of his defense,but he should be batting seventh,because of his bat.

Stuart

September 21st, 2012
12:09 am

Bourn needs lots of rest. Reed Johnson or Constanza should be in for him at least every other game for the remainder of the regular season, just so he can catch a breather and gear up for the playoffs… That’s one of the reasons we have guys like Johnson and Constanza, right?

not a pitching coach

September 21st, 2012
12:59 am

Brandon is right: The Nats have clinched a playoff spot, not the division title (as of today).

jj

September 21st, 2012
6:22 am

I agree with Stuart who posted at 12.09am that Bourn needs some rest because Fredi has played the heck out of him.He is a small guy playing CF in the GA heat and that can wear anyone down.People don’t realize how much running a CF does.I know Fredi wants to win and make the playoffs,but he is killing his lead horse.GO BRAVES

longtimefan

September 21st, 2012
6:39 am

Tumbledown, DOB I believe can do something about people posting under your name but you have to give him the specifics. I believe those people should be permanently banned from posting on the blog. That’s juvenile behavior.

Chipper's ACL

September 21st, 2012
6:57 am

I’m in agreement over signing Pagan, and have been saying so for weeks. Get him signd right out of the gate then make a one year offer to Bourn. He will decline being a Boras client but the offer must be made to receive compensation when he walks. Take the draft pick or picks, have a solid switch hitting CF in Pagan, then unload some of the glut of starting pitchers for a strong, power hitting left fielder.
I’m sure we all agree that JJ will be non-tendered but I’m curious to see if any moves will be made involving Hanson. The rotation appears set with Huddy, Medlen, Minor, Maholm, and either Delgado or Teheran but how do things unfold when Beachy returns? This could be a very active off season for Wren. Love to be a fly on the wall when the phone starts ringing.

Joey

September 21st, 2012
8:02 am

He won’t get hot. Bourn is a player who had his best seasons with terrible Astro teams, thus had no pressure of pennent races.

Fredi, how about start our other centerfielder who is batting over .300 – Reed Johnson. Let Bourn pinch-hit. He may can handle that.

PaulG

September 21st, 2012
8:02 am

Hey tumbledown…..don’t give up….you were a positive force on this blog…..hang in there

Big Wheel

September 21st, 2012
8:07 am

Bourn’s back is probably tired from carrying them all year.

Keith

September 21st, 2012
8:08 am

DOB,

Good news is we have seen over and over again that a player only needs to get HOT in the playoffs. :) Not necessarily before.

Carl Farvman

September 21st, 2012
8:09 am

Tumbledown….let’s not be overly dramatic. Change your screen name and continue to write nonsensical diatribe like the rest of us.

Joey

September 21st, 2012
8:09 am

Remember last season when we got Bourn, we also brought Constanza up and put them both in the lineup?

Until he got injured (ankle?) Constanza was more dynamic, spraying the ball to all fields, successfully bunting singles, good D.

Why doesn’t Fredi give him the leadoff spot and start him in CF for a few games?

ijudgenot

September 21st, 2012
8:17 am

Bourn is now doing what Furcal did before him, and that is trying to be a power hitting lead off hitter. That results in a ton of strikeouts. Could someone post his strikeout stats before he got to Atlanta?
I am sure his future contract has something to do with that. When Furcal first came to majors he was a .300 + hitter. He hit a few homers and immediately started trying to pull everything. Bourn is now doing the same thing. Furcal had an advantage of being a switch hitter so his over swings still resulted in line drives to left field against lefthanders. Bourn’s over swings against lefthanders result in awkward strikeouts. When he first got to Atlanta last year, that curve ball or slider from lefthanders was hit to left field. Now he swings over the top of it trying to pull it.

ijudgenot

September 21st, 2012
8:23 am

I forgot to add that if Simmons continues to be a .275 – .295 hitter next year, he may be a possible replacement for Bourn at leadoff if he leaves. He has good plate coverage and does not strikeout a lot. He also has good speed.

Joey

September 21st, 2012
8:36 am

I wish we had 8 Prados . . .

Alvin

September 21st, 2012
8:59 am

Todd Cunningham will either be in LF or CF next year. My guess is that the Braves will try to sign Mac and let Bourn and Borris seek their Carl Crawford money from somewhere else. That’ll leave a hole in the outfiled that Reed Johnson or a reasonably priced FA like Josh Willingham (from last year) will have to fill. I’ve seen Cunningham play, and to my untrained eye, he is a stud.

alex

September 21st, 2012
9:04 am

100% with ijudgenot. we not big payroll team, better tech simmons to be lead off and sign productive outfielder. let nats or philly get him. braves need to spend wisely specially after uggla tobacco.

No Flag Since Lemke

September 21st, 2012
9:07 am

ijudgenot – To answer your question, Bourn has struck out 100 times or more in every full season he has played in the majors. His current total of 149 is the highest of his career – not a good sign.

stew

September 21st, 2012
9:22 am

Unfortunately, Bourne will command too much and we can’t afford him. Pagan does not promote the same type of energy. Maybe, Span could be the answer. Revere is another possible choice. Bourne doesn’t do the thing he purports to do. Score runs. Bourne scores runs. He’s not going to score 120 runs. He’s capable but he’s going to get it done.

PEPr

September 21st, 2012
9:26 am

Personally, I would like to see Bourn start bunting more. Usually, that causes the infield to squeeze in creating a better chance of getting grounders through the holes. This approach worked well for Otis Nixon. Thanks.

DonofAcworth

September 21st, 2012
9:43 am

This has been the best set of postings by our guys that I can ever remember. Good positive stuff and great suggestions by guys with smarts. (pardon to any ladies who are posting) This is the time to make the moves to get everyone in shape for the final chance we will have if we’re going deeper than I thought we would. We must have Medlin and of course Kimbrel ready (pray he is okay) or we’ll go quickly into the night.

DonofAcworth

September 21st, 2012
9:43 am

This has been the best set of postings by our guys that I can ever remember. Good positive stuff and great suggestions by guys with smarts. (pardon to any ladies who are posting) This is the time to make the moves to get everyone in shape for the final chance we will have if we’re going deeper than I thought we would. We must have Medlin and of course Kimbrel ready (pray he is okay) or we’ll go quickly into the night.

skep

September 21st, 2012
9:59 am

We need players that can pump it up a notch when the pressure is on. Bourn is choking under pressure. Certain players have that ability to raise their game when you need it. Heyward is changing my opinion of him this season. He is a keeper.

Chip's mousse

September 21st, 2012
10:02 am

It seems to be those pesky breaking balls.

afan

September 21st, 2012
10:22 am

BRAVES need more from Uggla and McCann…

Brave New World

September 21st, 2012
10:30 am

Bourn is a very good defensive player with great speed. He strikes out way too much and does not get on base enough to be considered an elite lead off hitter. I would rather have Victorino and/or Pagan next year than overpay for Bourn.

Mister Frisky

September 21st, 2012
10:46 am

Too many strikeouts from the 1 hole.Enjoy being a Nat.

afan

September 21st, 2012
10:53 am

Bitch , bitch— Phillies, Nationals and NNY will be glad to take Bourn and pay the money..Pagan is having his best year but wont get the money Bourn will and not that much better.

afan

September 21st, 2012
10:54 am

b

September 21st, 2012
10:58 am

The strikeouts are worrisome………it’s a remarkably bad stat for a speedy lead-off hitter who you would think should be a contact hitter.

PaulG

September 21st, 2012
11:06 am

We worry too much about SOs in bournes case..it is a weak predictor of runs created…..it’s OB or OPS that are more crucial…as a lead off his OB% should be ~350-390%

Brave New World

September 21st, 2012
11:14 am

No doubt some other teams will overpay for Bourn.

Brave New World

September 21st, 2012
11:18 am

Paul G: Good point about OBP. Also, one would think an elite lead off hitter would also score 100 runs or more in a season. Anyone know how many seasons Bourn has with at least 100 runs scored?

Don

September 21st, 2012
11:25 am

Why do so many players who come to the Braves have their hitting go into the tank????.
Current examples – Uggla and Bourn

RT (Riverdale)

September 21st, 2012
11:34 am

Resign Bourn, Fredi still stinks. Took Medlen out and should not have. Save Kimble arm as much as possible.

Don

September 21st, 2012
11:34 am

Stop acquiring/signing players with high strike out rates.
It’s fairly simple – for every strikeout, there is no chance of anything good happening.

64 year Ct. Braves fan

September 21st, 2012
11:37 am

I agree with Chipper’s ACL

64 year Ct. Braves fan

September 21st, 2012
11:37 am

I agree with Chipper’s ACL

64 year Ct. Braves fan

September 21st, 2012
11:37 am

I agree with Chipper’s ACL

Ken Stallings

September 21st, 2012
11:40 am

The Nationals have NOT clinched the NL East. As I wrote last night, their magic number to do that is now down to 8 with 14 games left for them to play. What the Nats did last night was clinch post-season.

But, just as the Braves have a magic number of 7 with 12 games left to play, things are looking very good for the Nationals to eventually clinch the NL East. For the Braves to lose the home field Wild Card and the Nats to lose the NL East, both teams would have to go on a multi-week losing streak while the team chasing them (Braves chasing Nats, and Cards chasing Braves) would have to win nearly all their remaining games.

Ken Stallings

September 21st, 2012
11:47 am

In other words, both the Cards and Braves have 12 games left to play. So, if the Braves went 4-8 and the Cards went 8-4, then the Braves would still clinch the home field Wild Card. If the Braves went 6-6, then the Cards would have to go 12-0 to get the home field Wild Card. In terms of post-season in any form, the Braves could go 3-9 and the Dodgers would have to go 12-0 to catch the Braves.

So, you can see now how likely the Braves are to earn that home field Wild Card slot.

Guthro

September 21st, 2012
12:15 pm

Till he starts hitting again …

- bat Prado leadoff, Simmons 2nd and Bourn 8th when he starts, or in smaller parks …

- play Johnson in CF, bat Prado first, Johnson 2nd and Simmons 8th and bring in Bourn as a late defensive replacement when we’re ahead.

Larry

September 21st, 2012
12:17 pm

Numbers don’t lie! What Scott Bourus will demand for Bourne the Braves simply cannot afford to gamble that a 31 year old Bourne next season will suddenly stop striking out.

No more absurd gambles, please, like KK, Lowe, and Uggla. What could we have had/developed with all that money? Plus, new contracts will soon be in demand for Kimbrel, Venters, O’F, Medlen, freeman and Heyward, etc.

Only so much money to go around!

Tumbledown

September 21st, 2012
12:18 pm

Thanks longtimefan and PaulG, looks like DOB has taken care of the issue.

Carl Farvman – I will try to limit the drama and can certainly continue to write vast amounts of “nonsensical diatribe.”

Ken Stallings – The math looks to be in the Braves favor on the Wild Card matter. Nevertheless, hope the team ignores the math and takes it one game at a time.

I would like Bourn rest a game here or there. Maybe there is some hidden injury at play with his recent slide. Otherwise, a little bit of rest and maybe some extra attention in the batting cage can get him back on track.

Tumbledown

September 21st, 2012
12:23 pm

I actually agree for the most part with you Larry. The Braves got to be smart with their money and resist awarding big contracts to aging players. Their corporate ownership coupled with bad TV deal demands responsibility by Wren and company.

Luckily, the Braves have a lot of young talent under control in Heyward, Freeman, Simmons, Medlen, Minor, Kimbrel, Delgado, Teheran, and others. But, as these players play and hopefully excel in the next few years, the bill for them will become due.

Tumbledown

September 21st, 2012
12:26 pm

Of course, I agree with any who feel it is extremely important to keep Prado. Every successful team needs a player like him.

Bill

September 21st, 2012
12:31 pm

The first two thirds of the season, starting pitching was the big question mark. Now it is a strength.

BooBoo

September 21st, 2012
12:45 pm

Bourn has orders from his agent to sour Atlanta’s interest in him. His agent knows the Braves cannot offer him the big money the agent feels he is worth (he = the agent), so Bourn went in the tank at mid-season as instructed to do. Even Brian McCant figured out how to lay down a bunt single when given that opportunity with a shift on him, and he runs like an elephant. Bourn could hit .300 simply by trying to get 1 bunt hit each game. Instead, he prefers a line that says, 0-3, 3k, 1bb, 1 run, 1 sb. If the Braves make it to the playoffs, Bourn will be on display for the big bucks. Hopefully, he will return to being a batter that can actually lay wood on a pitched ball.

JMac

September 21st, 2012
12:47 pm

If any of you think that the Braves have any chance to win the East, you are more delusional that the typical UGA fan. In fact, it is quite likely that their playoff stay will be a total of 1(ONE) game.

BravesBanter.com

September 21st, 2012
12:49 pm

“The Finest Farewell of All” A Tribute to Chipper Jones, and why he is the MOST Important Brave of the last 20 years…. >>>>>BravesBanter.com<<<<<

bball fan

September 21st, 2012
1:07 pm

Do not sign Bourne. 150 strikeouts for your lead off hitter is terrible.

Ralph

September 21st, 2012
1:12 pm

Bourn is a career .272 hitter, he is currently batting .272. He was playing over his head the first half of the season so don’t expect anything more. His new contract should be based on his career .272 average and not what he did in the first half of this season. .272 is pretty decent for a leadoff hitter and if they could re-sign him for $10 mil I would be for it but no more. I expect some deep pockets team will give him much more than $10mil.

Philly Phanatic

September 21st, 2012
1:44 pm

This is not concerning Bourne who if the Phillies want him they’ll get him. With a new TV deal and once again will lead the league in attendance they are veritably swimming in cash. IIt would make no sense to get another left handed batter who leads off and strikes out more than most home run hitters. I’ve watched from afar and I believe he’s letting the comtract year get to his psyche. Phillies want Upton and you can bet he’ll be their center fielder next year. Right handed hitter is what the Phillies need.
I’d like to make a comment in the Braves behalf. Yes the second wild card has brought a lot more teams into the mix as the Braves have this so sewed up they could probably play less than .500 ball and still get in easily. My beef is that they could very well have a better record than say the Giants yet for all of the good ball they’ve played this year they have to play a one game playoff where as anyone knows anything could happen. Your advantage is Medlen. If Garcia even thinks about anybody else to pitch that game he should be fired. Hudson is a very good pitcher no question but this guy is basically unbeatable. What you want is the Phil’s to lay down over the weekend which goes back to my point about the fact the second Wildcard still has the Phils in it just when the Braves don’t want them in it. For all intents and purposes we swept you last series until Papplebon had a 9th inning meltdown. 7-3 with one out nobody on. If the Braves take it to the Phillies over the weekend we’ll basically be out of it so the Washington series (2) will be minor league fests.You can’t win. Sweep the Phil’s and it’s rest the regs. Lose 2 of 3 which is likely with Lee and Halladay and Kendrick pitching and the Phil’s will have good reason to play the Nats tough.

PaulG

September 21st, 2012
2:05 pm

Over his career Bourne has been erratic, his OB% bounces around but is closeto being acceptable (~350) as is his WAR, which this year is very, very good …I wouldn’t write him off yet

The suggestion he is in a slump because of instructions from his agent is ludicrous

bravesfan

September 21st, 2012
2:05 pm

I like Bourne; what he’s worth to us in free agency is up in the air. He’s a very solid player but not spectacular. And I was surprised to hear about all the strikeouts. My guess is that the Braves might be willing to lose him and try Constanza out there. He’s a poor man’s Bourne who may emerge, at the very least you buy time with him until someone else comes along.

Wink

September 21st, 2012
2:08 pm

Enough…leave this man alone! If we can get though the season with Uggla & McCann not hitting, Bourn has still been more of a positive. They are being paid to drive in runs and provide some pop. No one gave up on them, when stats suggested they too should have been benched, now some are suggesting benching Bourn as we near the 1 game WC. Let him take this time to work through his issues.

If you want to make a change for change sake, insert Constanza as lead off hitter & bat Bourn second. Seems like everyone wants to play small ball then give yourself a chance to have two speedsters at the top of the line up.

Constanza – LF
Bourn – C
Prado – SS
Heyward – RF
Chipper – 3B
Freeman – 1B
McCann – C
Uggla – 2B
Medlin – P

This is the lineup I go with in the 1 game WC matchup.

Give them the rest of the season together to develop some chemistry & motivation by letting them secure the Wild Card spot. Rest them 1 – 2 games after we clinch a spot.

reckingball

September 21st, 2012
2:10 pm

Philly Phanaatiic………Bring on the big boys Lee, Halladay, and Kendrick.
Just as long as the Phils don’t use a AA callups, or any pitcher that has lost 5 to 10 games in a row, the Braves have a chance of winning 2 out of 3, or maybe a sweep, it’s possible, anyways.

Fastball

September 21st, 2012
2:59 pm

In March I warned you that Bourn would strikeout to often and that he’d stand on first base while his stolen bases dropped. A
nd he’d hit .260. So I’m close. Sorry. What to do now.

Fastball

September 21st, 2012
2:59 pm

In March I warned you that Bourn would strikeout to often and that he’d stand on first base while his stolen bases dropped. And he’d hit .260. So I’m close. Sorry. What to do now.

Felix

September 21st, 2012
3:06 pm

Watch out Braves! The Fillies are waiting and plotting, planning to trap and ambush you at Citizens Bank Park (what a terrible name for a ballpark).
Charlie Manuel is still stewing over Chipper’s walk off homer at Turner field. Reports are that it even caused his ‘roids to flare up.
…….Even the Filly trolls, having climbed out of their cesspools, are out again.

coach13

September 21st, 2012
3:20 pm

Don- I agree completely. People fall in love with the long ball. I’ll take a .300 hitter (Prado) over an Uggla any day. HItting is contagious. Putting the ball in play moves runners. Putting the ball in play gives a chance (albeit a small one) of an error, or beating out an IF hit.

BartBuzz

September 21st, 2012
3:21 pm

Bourn to lose.

jack

September 21st, 2012
3:26 pm

I Like Bourn a lot but HE IS NOT COMING BACK TO BRAVES. Give him a few days REST NOW-put Jason in CF where he will be needed next year-JaHey is outstanding CF-A RESTED Bourn will be great for last tens days PLUS PLAYOFFS-2013-Simmons(another Jeter) will be BRAVES Lead-off for years to COME,followed by Prado,Jason, McCann(?),Uggla,Freddy. NEW LF POWER HITTER( orJoe Cons/Diaz ?) and probably Francisco …….Medlin, Hudson(last year), Minor. Maholm,Hanson (?)plus maybe one of the Hard Throwing Kids,,and later in year-BEECHY BACK
Manager Chnage is Possible depending on October……

yep

September 21st, 2012
3:42 pm

move Prado to the lead off spot and drop Bourn to to the 2 hole. Maybe it’ll force Bourn to drop some bunts and put the ball on the ground and use his speed.

jonathan Simeone

September 21st, 2012
4:50 pm

I would not sign Bourn to a long-term contract. This is the second straight season where he has slumped badly in the second half. The strikeouts are a sign that his bat is starting to slow. Next year he’ll be in his thirties which means his legs will start to go soon. Someone is going to pay him elite money and be really sorry about having done so shortly after the contract has been signed. His best days are behind him.

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