So how come the current Braves can’t hit but ex-Braves can?

I’ve never been one who believed Terry Pendleton was the problem. As the saying goes, he can’t step in and hit for his guys. (It might be better if he could.) But then you look at these batting averages, and even a Pendleton admirer must cringe.

  • Chipper Jones, .271.
  • Brian McCann, .271.
  • Jason Heyward, .246.
  • Yunel Escobar, .188.
  • Troy Glaus, .186.
  • Matt Diaz, .175.
  • Melky Cabrera, 153.
  • Nate McLouth, .146.

Take away Martin Prado — who is, it must be stipulated, second in the National League in hitting at .406 — and the totality of the Braves’ regular lineup isn’t hitting Prince Fielder’s weight. Which is incredible.

The Braves rank last in the league in hitting at .228. (And remember, that’s with Prado doing a Ted Williams.) They were no-hit by Ubaldo Jimenez. They were shut out by Roy Halladay. They were one out from being blanked on a night Kyle Kendrick started for the Phillies. They were shut out over five innings by Mike Pelfrey on Sunday.

They didn’t score an earned run in three games against a Philadelphia starting pitcher. They scored three runs in 23 innings against the Mets. They’re in last place in the NL East, behind even the Washington Nationals. Yow.

And now we check another set of numbers, these belonging to players who were Braves in 2009 but who aren’t today:

  • Jeff Francoeur, Mets: .286 average, three homers, 10 RBIs.
  • Kelly Johnson, Diamonbacks:.322, seven homers, 12 RBIs.
  • Casey Kotchman, Mariners: .279 average, three homers, 14 RBIs.
  • Adam LaRoche, Diamonbacks: .278, one homer, seven RBIs.

Again, I’m not one who usually blames the hitting coach when big-leaguers don’t hit. But it does seem the guys who aren’t Braves are hitting in a way the Braves aren’t. You tell me: What does that say?

688 comments Add your comment

BuckCommander

April 26th, 2010
9:29 am

First Again!!

Mark Bradley

April 26th, 2010
9:30 am

The fastest first in AJC annals. Hasty kudos, BuckCommander.

BuckCommander

April 26th, 2010
9:30 am

Good work as always, Mark.

nickz

April 26th, 2010
9:33 am

I don’t really buy into blaming the hitting coach either…but you have to start to wonder as our offense just seems to be getting worse….

EW

April 26th, 2010
9:33 am

A. MEN. Bradley…

EW

April 26th, 2010
9:35 am

Maybe Heyward can double as hitting coach..yeah he strikes out a lot, but he’s patient, disciplined, balanced at the plate, and always looks like he has a plan up there. I’ll take that 1-9 and the rest will work itself out.

DDog10

April 26th, 2010
9:36 am

People have been pointing fingers at TP for several years going back to A. Jones. It is time someone took a serious look at the Braves assistant coaches. TP is not getting the job done, The Third base coach Brian S. is as much to fault as Y. Escobar. first he should not have held him on the previous hit and second, why was he not hollering for YE to tag. He is way too conservative to be the 3rd base coach. If he had been the coach for the Mets, yesterdays game would stiull be tied.

beauvighn

April 26th, 2010
9:39 am

I think it does fall on TP. If one or two guys were struggling you could make a case that it is just a passing thing, but an entire team stinking up the joint? Combine that with the fact that as soon as exbraves end up with a new team , they turn into the second coming of Tony Gwynn….

Even More

April 26th, 2010
9:40 am

Andruw Jones is another ex-Brave who is doing well.

Even More

April 26th, 2010
9:41 am

even though not a 2009 Brave, he was one that TP could not help.

Curious George

April 26th, 2010
9:41 am

Mark, is the answer you are searching for here “Terry Pendleton?”

PMC

April 26th, 2010
9:43 am

Agreed Mark. It is a little odd blaming the coaches of professional athletes but then again… if they are going to be this awful year in and year out…. why pay a hitting coach to ride the pine and say lay off the high ones?

Do they really need to pay a guy to load the balls into the machine and lob suggestions if when they get into the batters box they can’t seem to figure out how to produce?

Philip

April 26th, 2010
9:44 am

TP has to go. I don’t think it is all his fault but we can’t get rid of the whole team and something needs to change fast or this season is going to be one of huge disappointment for Braves fans hoping to send Bobby out in the playoffs.

PMC

April 26th, 2010
9:44 am

If you get a chance to speak with Terry Mcguirk ask him how well that budget deal is going again. He keeps saying they have plenty of money but 3 or 4 years on now I have yet to see improvement in the worst outfield in baseball with the exception of right field… and he’s 20.

Thirty Points To Your Twenty-Four Points

April 26th, 2010
9:45 am

Mark, you should stay away from Colege Football, where you know NOTHING, and stick to your Braves coverage. I’m glad somebody in the AJC posesses the marbles to call out Pendleton.

{{{{{30-24}}}}}
8-1
60-39-5

one more thing……

How do you avoid being mugged on Tech’s “campus” on a Thursday night??….. Attend the football game.

muahahahahahahaha!!!

chin music

April 26th, 2010
9:46 am

don’t forget andruw jones. .292/6/9 with three steals.

Thirty Points To Your Twenty-Four Points

April 26th, 2010
9:46 am

How do you avoid being mugged on Tech’s “campus” on a Thursday night?

Attend the Football game.

F-105 Thunderchief

April 26th, 2010
9:47 am

If a lineup is this anemic, don’t you have to look at Pendleton? I think so, especially in light of what the ex-Braves are doing elsewhere. It’s very frustrating to watch my team flail and fail the way it is right now.

Mark Bradley

April 26th, 2010
9:48 am

You’re right. Andruw Jones is hitting, too. But I left him out because he didn’t play for the Braves in 2009.

Bill

April 26th, 2010
9:48 am

When a player gets better going to a new team you got to blame the hitting coach. Thats his job and if he’s not getting the job done, well he need to go. We all know the Braves don’t have the balls to Fire anyone, right?

TP was a good player……Hitting Coach… He!! no !

Thanks Mark for making the point. I hate yes men.

BuckCommander

April 26th, 2010
9:48 am

Mark, I wonder how the players in the clubhouse and while traveling are getting along with each other now that they have been playing such horrible baseball lately. They started out with what seemed to be a great chemistry but now I wonder if theres some friction between them that may be adding to their problems on the field. Any thoughts?

Love the Braves in NC

April 26th, 2010
9:50 am

I still love the Braves, but, WOW, they need to get a grip…and maybe some new assistant coaches…

j

April 26th, 2010
9:52 am

Thirty Points To Your Twenty-Four Points,

GO LOSE TO KENTUCKY AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BRAVES ARE HORRIBLE. TP – PLEASE LEAVE

bignel

April 26th, 2010
9:52 am

The braves have just hit a run of top notch pitchers. they are seeing good pitchers and having good swings. they stats are misleading. they are hitting the ball good but just not falling in or right at someone. ok now i sound like mr. cox and TP which is just junk. fundamentally they stink, hitting they stink, fielding they stink. let me see if i can figure this one out. what is the manager and coaching staff doing? trade these guys off and give them a chance to be successful. Wait till next year hopefully mr. cox is a man of his word and retire and maybe someone else will hire TP.

Ted M

April 26th, 2010
9:53 am

Mark,

It’s as if you’re calling all hitting coaches meaningless by saying they can’t be blamed.

jimmy

April 26th, 2010
9:53 am

i have lost faith in T.P

Bat Masterson

April 26th, 2010
9:54 am

Hum, what does that say. Why is LaRoche on the list, he hit better in Atlanta, big deal. Jeffy F. oh please, you agreed he would not hit in Atlanta and needed to go. He is his own problem, let me know he’s doing in a couple of months. Kelly Johnson, hey I like the guy, he’s streaky, maybe he keeps it up maybe not. Kotchman, so, look he was traded for LaRoche.

The problem is guys like Melky should not be playing everyday. Nate is either your center fielder or he’s not. There seems to be 2 or 3 black holes in the line up( Melky, Glaus, Nate ) and they are sucking the life out of everyone else.

Why did you leave A. Jones off the list, I mean jeez it only took 900 hundred or so days for him to figure out he was fat. I’m sure they have mirrors in the club house, the Braves hitters can look there for the problem.

Chip

April 26th, 2010
9:54 am

Finally someone calls out Pendleton…..Thanks Mark !!!

Greg Brooks

April 26th, 2010
9:56 am

I htink they have to move Pendleton somewhere else and bring in a new hitting coach – if anything just to shake things up.

Ted M

April 26th, 2010
9:56 am

I think they can’t be blamed sometimes. But there is all kinds of evidence here against TP. Will Cox make a change? Of course not, he has only fired 1 coach in his whole and long career.

Smack

April 26th, 2010
9:56 am

There is a common link and unfortunely it is TP. Be gone with TP! This reiterates the need, I think that the next manager should be someone currently outside the organization. The only coaches worth a dang are Glen and Rodger. If there isn’t a place on the field staff for them next year then there at least should be for Glen to be the Minor League Fielding Director. Rodger is a good coach and I think no metter who gets the manager’s job would be held onto.

matt_t

April 26th, 2010
9:57 am

Everyone knows Glaus isnt’ hitting, and Hinskie has in his limited opportunities, so why is Glaus playing every day in the 4 hole while Hinskie (and his better defense) sits?

Nativebird

April 26th, 2010
9:57 am

MB, your clubhouse pass is certainly cancelled now if it wasn’t before.
Agreed with your observation, but as in all things in life, it is usually not one single thing, it’s a result of culminating events that even my 10 year old saw coming last year:
Chipper is done (his Obliques remind us of this almost weekly it seems).
No replacement of Chipper even on the horizon Frank.
Troy Glaus? are you kidding me? really…Troy Glaus? case closed.
A management team excited in 2009 about their “power hitting” first baseman LaRoche with low-20’s in HRs, under 100 Rbi,s?
Terry Pendleton…the reign speaks for itself.
Yes, he’s a joke of a hitting instructor but this teams problems, (the first is the level of their expectations) start much much higher on the managment food chain.

Braves73

April 26th, 2010
9:57 am

I guess we can all look to “The Maestro” Frank Wren for this wonderful assortment of players we have on the current roster. I didn’t get the signing of Glaus when it happened and still don’t to this day. We had a bona fide 1st basement in Laroche who hit .300 +, played great defense, and was a great clubhouse addition for…GLAUS???? There is no other way to put it, Wren screwed the pooch on this one…Laroche could have been had for a reasonable price/term. I realize that the Braves are grooming Freeman for the future, but Laroche would have accepted a one year with a team option. Melky…don’t get me started.

bignel

April 26th, 2010
9:58 am

you bunch of racist. the only reason you are against TP is because he is black. tired of reading all this racism on here.

Mark Bradley

April 26th, 2010
10:00 am

In Terry Pendleton’s defense, let me note that the 2009 Braves outhit the 2009 Phillies for average and had a higher on-base percentage.

Bravos42

April 26th, 2010
10:01 am

Not to mention Andruw Jones who’s hitting 295 with 5 or 6 homers. Pendletons gotta go.

oldmike

April 26th, 2010
10:01 am

Since we are going no where fast maybe they need to blow the thing up and play all the top ML prospects NOW. Chipper needs to sit for a while to get healthy or at least ready for his next strained blique muscle. How many has he had over the last 4 years? Why? Do we employ the METS trainers? Maybe they should switch Glaus and Chipper? Glaus needs to shorten his swing. As should McLouth. Whatever happened to driving the ball to the opposite field to find your stroke? Kelly Johnson with 7 homers? Maybr he likes playing indoors. Am I rambling? Notice JVasquez’s starts with NYY? Great trade for both teams. We should have given Lowe away for anything. Eaten part of his salary. Javy was so much better. Later. Cheers.

mike

April 26th, 2010
10:02 am

shoulda cleaned house with coaching staff yrs ago.. bobby seems like a nice guy but being a nice guy doesnt get you wins.. bobby should have been let go years ago.. braves need new blood from top to bottom..im tired of this offense year after year.. go hawks and falcons, braves step it up!

Ted M

April 26th, 2010
10:02 am

Chipper has become such a crappy fielder, I hate to say it but him getting hurt might be a good thing.

Who else?

April 26th, 2010
10:05 am

The blame has to be placed somewhere. He has ruined incredible talent (i.e. Andruw Jones, Fracouer, Johnson, and probably Heyward). He needs to be fired.

Jack

April 26th, 2010
10:06 am

This intimation is patently unfair. And the sad part is I am sure the knowledgeable columnist knows it.

Jeff Francoeur started out his career in Atlanta like gangbusters. To a man, it was surmised that the pressure of being a hometown product weared on him. Francoeur is doing better in NY, because that pressure isn’t there. And ask astute Met fans, and they will tell you that despite the statistics, he still has some of his bad habits.

Kelly Johnson is streaky. He too was putting a lot of pressure on himself. I believe Johnson, like a lot of players, benefited from a change in scenery. I hope for the best for Kelly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he comes down to earth. He is streaky.

The inclusion of Adam LaRoche is most indicative of the columnist’s willful ignorance. LaRoche’s numbers exploded when he got to Atlanta last year from Pittsburgh. This year is just a continuation. How does LaRoche’s numbers support closer scrutinization of TP?

Kotchman hit .282 last year with the Braves. He is hitting .278 now.

Some might call this lazy writing by the columnist. The Braves on the whole aren’t hitting. Some ex-Braves are hitting. It probably took about half hour for the columnist to put this article together. I wish he had included some intelligent thought.

TommyJack

April 26th, 2010
10:06 am

Not blaming Pendleton. Blame the front office for not finding a way to keep LaRoche. Great late season hitter, great glove. Don’t see how they could not fit him into their salary picture.
Sadly, Chipper needs to go rope dogies.

Ted M

April 26th, 2010
10:07 am

I still think Lowe is going reasonable value as the TD approaches.

Chip

April 26th, 2010
10:07 am

Bat, as bad as Melky, Glaus & Nate are, the fact is, is that we’re getting nothing from no one except for Prado. Chipper is toast, McCann is blah, Heyward is starting to bottom out some, and that’s to be expected from a rookie. Yunel is obviously a headcase, and that was ok when he was hitting the past few seasons, but now he’s not.

This Braves team seems listless. Probably gonna be a long boring season with less & less fans attending Braves home games. A shakeup in the hitting coach may spark a little interest, and it may actually help this team offensively. Pendleton may not be totally at fault, but it’s obvious the players are regressing under his direction.

Major Kong

April 26th, 2010
10:07 am

MB…..you ever notice that when Chumper or McCann start having problems at plate, the last person they go to is Pendleton…they saw 1st hand what wonders he did for Francoeur. YeeHaaaaaaa!!!!!!

Mark Bradley

April 26th, 2010
10:07 am

Don’t think we can accuse Pendleton of ruining Jason Heyward. The rookie does have 16 RBIs.

GT Fan

April 26th, 2010
10:07 am

TP and Paul Hewitt need to be fired..

Thirty Points To Your Twenty-Four Points

April 26th, 2010
10:08 am

OK, I feel better now…

I think the problem with the Braves is that there aren’t enough UGA players on the team. Clearly, UGA is superior to everyone and everything, and by not having a Dawg on the team, the Braves are just destined to fail.

Thoughts?

Chip Shot

April 26th, 2010
10:09 am

hey mark, ready to watch Myrtle Beach get swept by St. Louis?