The Braves still can’t hit, but it’s no longer Troy Glaus’ fault

"Oh, no. They just into another DP. That's RUFFFF!" (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

"Oh, no. They just into another double play. That's RUFFFF!" (AJC photo by Bob Andres)

The bad news: The Braves still aren’t hitting. Their team batting average is .232, second-worst in the National League. But to say they’re not hitting actually misleads. Because they actually are pretty good at putting the ball in play.

They’ve struck out only 208 times, which is the sixth-fewest among 16 NL clubs. They’ve walked 136 times, which leads the league. Their on-base percentage is .328, which is pretty darn good for a team batting .232. It’s what happens — or, put another way, what doesn’t happen — when they hit the ball that’s scary.

The Braves are next-to-last in the league in slugging percentage. They’re ahead of Houston, which is awful, and they’re quite a distance behind 14th-place Pittsburgh, which is Pittsburgh. Without making non-stathead’s eyes glaze over — too late, I fear — slugging percentage is useful for telling us how hard balls are being hit. And here are your Atlanta Braves: Twelfth in the league in doubles, last in triples, next-to-last in homers, next-to-last in extra-base hits.

(Oh, they’re also very good at making two outs on one swing. They’ve hit into 29 double plays, second-worst in the league.)

Jason Heyward has hit eight home runs; no other Brave has managed more than two. (By way of comparison, former Brave Mark Teixeira just hit three in one game in Fenway Park.) Heyward has 26 RBIs; apart from the surging Troy Glaus, no other Brave has more than nine. Indeed, the maligned Mr. Glaus has driven in more runs than Chipper Jones and Brian McCann combined.

And that’s the part that’s killing the Braves. They might be able to get away with having Melky Cabrera and Nate McLouth and Matt Diaz in their outfield if the Nos. 3 and 4 hitters were producing, but they aren’t. And McCann has decided he needs glasses again, and Chipper is 38 and can barely swing the bat. Yikes.

283 comments Add your comment

Larvell "SugarBear" Blanks

May 10th, 2010
11:41 am

I had hoped for a better swan song for ole Bobby but I guess not……..and numero uno by the way

SLH

May 10th, 2010
11:45 am

how do you not tell your manager you can’t see at night?

tristan

May 10th, 2010
11:46 am

Change the headline to hitting coach is still the problem for the Braves.

SLH

May 10th, 2010
11:47 am

how do you NOT tell your manager that you can’t see at night?

Braves73

May 10th, 2010
11:47 am

Mark, I think this only proves that Bobby Cox, while being one of the overall greats, can’t win unless he has home run type power consistently throughout the lineup. He’s not the type of manager to play hit and run, bunt runners over into scoring position, and sac flying them in…unfortunately, this team is not good at any of the above and the overall outlook is pretty bleak.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

May 10th, 2010
11:47 am

good stuff MB- it’s not Glaus’s fault- It all falls on TP’s shoulders. Our main offensive weapon is a 20yr old kid whose now on the DL (day to day). Yikes is right, it’s going to be a long season. I want to know who is going to be the fall guy now? The rope is there- time to hang someone.

Felix Millan

May 10th, 2010
11:50 am

How do you NOT tell your manager that you cannot see at night?

Dandy Don

May 10th, 2010
11:53 am

Could everyone stop blaming Bobby. He can’t go in and hit for them. He does play hit and run, but is only receiving the run part (hence all the double plays). TP is not to blame, most of these guys have been in the league for a while and just aren’t getting it done. TP’s job reflects in Jay Hay who is getting it done…

Delbert D.

May 10th, 2010
11:53 am

I want to see some fire in the dugout, and I don’t mean directed at umpires. A half season of Larry Bowa might be the reset button this team needs. Then look for a good manager to reassemble the pieces from the blast.

bruce mac

May 10th, 2010
11:53 am

No problem with Glaus except he (like everyone except J Hey) has 0 power. This team is going nowhere with this group of single hitters and walkers. Sooner than later you need a three run blast and J Hey cannot do it all. Pitching in the forth and fifth spot is beyond bad and getting worse. We need to get all of the almost ready Minor Leaguers up here now and trade everything that isn’t going to be here in two years time for prospects. Give up early and be better for it in 2011 and beyond.

Skeezix

May 10th, 2010
11:57 am

Mark: It’s bad, real bad. I thought the offense was our weakest point going into the season,but no way did I anticipate both Chipper and Brian being in extended slumps. The season has been such a waste of what has been some very solid pitching so far. Other than to introduce your kids to a big league ballpark, I have no idea why anyone would pay to see this team play.

kt

May 10th, 2010
11:57 am

Dandy Don, I guess I can agree with you on Bobby, But not TP. Heywards numbers WILL do down the longer he is exposed to TP. Just look at all the former Braves who are batting quite well now that they are away from TP. God, I can’t wait until next season already…

eddy

May 10th, 2010
11:57 am

Why dont we give Dye a chance in left? Can’t be any worse than Melky and Diaz. Would also like to see Medlan kept in the rotation when JJ returns and Infante in the lineup when Yunel returns.

Raleigh Dog

May 10th, 2010
11:57 am

These guys could have Earl Weaver, Sparky Anderson, Casey Stengel and Tom Lasorda in the dugout and still not win. Blame the GM not the coaches.

Angus

May 10th, 2010
11:58 am

Agreed, Mark.

Of all the Braves’ problems, McCann and Chipper not producing is the one the Braves cannot overcome.

Tdawg

May 10th, 2010
12:02 pm

He!! Braves83 what good does it do to bunt them over when these bunch of fools can’t get them in. Getting them into scoring position isn’t the problem. It’s getting them in once they get into scoring position that is killing the braves. I mean going 1 for 12 or 0 for 9 with gunners in scoring position ain’t going to get it done. And people please don’t give that its the hitting coaches fault. BS. If you can’t hit by the time you get into the majors then you can’t hit, period.

Smiling Jack

May 10th, 2010
12:02 pm

Frustrating to be a Braves fan these days, to say the least! It’s obvious they are not playing very good baseball, certainly they are not playing up to their standards and potential as a team. Do you think these professionals are as frustrated as their fans???? Hopefully, they can turn it around before it’s to late.

DawgDad

May 10th, 2010
12:02 pm

If you have all singles hitters and walkers you need to play sound fundamental baseball and you need to be disruptive on the basepaths. Also, you’d better play good defense because you aren’t scoring many runs. The Braves are horrible at those things. This isn’t a team with this type of offense by design, it’s a team with this type and lack of offense by virtue of disfunction.

I posted this before the season, and it bears repeating: This team as constructed is going only as far as Jones and McCann carry them. That isn’t happenning, and it may never happen. They aren’t the only problems, but they are right at the top of the list.

Glaus may be hitting now but he’s not yet doing what they’re paying him for.

PMC

May 10th, 2010
12:09 pm

It’s going to take Nate McOut a little while to buy back the consonants L and H with the way he’s hitting. Especially with RISP.

Bad News Braves

May 10th, 2010
12:10 pm

These guys are terrible. Too bad they learned nothing from last year.

hmmmm......

May 10th, 2010
12:11 pm

So fire TP!!! You guys should ask KJ and Laroche about what they think about TP.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley. Mark Bradley said: The Braves still can’t hit, but it’s no longer Troy Glaus’ fault http://bit.ly/bntLBZ [...]

PMC

May 10th, 2010
12:12 pm

Hitting and Running…. bunting and running through Snitkers constant stop signs are going to be necessities.

The team has almost no ability to hit the long ball that they so often play for. Doubles aren’t bad though. Every extra base hit doesn’t have to be a home run. At this point, I’d settle for some gappers.

Clint

May 10th, 2010
12:12 pm

At the trade deadline and after this season, they need to just blow it all up and start over like the Marlins have done numerous times. Keep Heyward, Jair, Hanson, McCann, Prado, and maybe Infante to come off the bench and spot start. The rest except need to go. Trade Escobar for the best minor leaguers you can get and have a firesale for whatever you can get for Moylan, Saito, and whoever else you can trade. Bring in a young manager who can deal with today’s players and who can grow with the team. They have the pieces in place to be good. They also just have a lot of scrap and junk pieces that bring the team down(McClouth, Caberra, Diaz, Glaus, Chipper, etc). It’s past time to take these guys to the junkyard and sell them for the scrap metal they are.

PTC DAWG

May 10th, 2010
12:14 pm

Ryan

May 10th, 2010
12:15 pm

Seems to me that if you’re a team with good contact and poor power…

…that maybe you ought to be playing more small ball?

Where are the SBs and the squeeze plays and hit-and-runs?

You start getting the fielders to move, and you may create more holes for the grounders to get through.

Big Al

May 10th, 2010
12:16 pm

Agree get rid of TP before he screws up Heywood.

PMC

May 10th, 2010
12:16 pm

You really need to take out Heywards slugging numbers to get an indication of just how bad this team is hitting the ball.

As good a job as Frank did for the most part with the rotation (Lowe and Kawakami notwithstanding) He has supremely failed to address the 3000lb pink bat elephant in the room…. he’s got 4 positions at least that have not really given you much of anything for the last several years. 3rd base was a strength. It’s not anymore.

hmmmm......

May 10th, 2010
12:17 pm

Hey Dandy, the only reason Heyward is hitting is because he hasn’t really been coached by TP. Keep TP away from Heyward. Bring back Don Baylor!

Greg Norton

May 10th, 2010
12:17 pm

Hey Nate, Melky and Matty D,
I need my bats back since I just signed with the Sandusky Fish Eaters. Yippie!

pete

May 10th, 2010
12:21 pm

Stop blaming Bobby? Seriosuly. We have accepted his below par managing long enough. He had the best pitching staff EVER and won 1 World Series. He does stupid things during playoff games and is a terrible game manager. He is far far to patient with players. After a month and a half we have McClouth, Escobar, Diaz and Melky hitting below .200. We have Chipper and McCann hitting below .250 with zero power. Yet they never demote anyone or promote anyone that can hit. Brandon Hicks was hitting a cool .179 at Gwinnett

Sweet Old Buck

May 10th, 2010
12:22 pm

Let’s get Gonzo. Move Troy to 3rd base. Send Chipper to an AL team to DH. He’s toast!

hmmmm......

May 10th, 2010
12:22 pm

Wren hasn’t done anything good with the rotation. Actually I’d say he really screwed it up. Hanson, JJ, and Hudson were already here when he took over. he added Lowe( a bum with an untradeable contract) and KK (same deal as Lowe) overpaided and too old. Plus lets wait and see how Wagner and Saito hold up. So far I’d say Wren is a bust. He got lucky last summer by getting rochy back, but we still missed the playoffs.

hmmmm......

May 10th, 2010
12:24 pm

Did I mention his trade for Nate. You think the yanks would just give back Javy we could throw in KK

gotigers72

May 10th, 2010
12:24 pm

McClouth is done…finished…kaput. Why the Braves fearless leaders can’t see that, I don’t know. He doesn’t even hit the ball hard anymore, swings at too many bad pitches and takes too many good pitches. His hand/eye coordination is terrible. He swings late on at least one pitch every at bat. How Bobby can justify leaving him at leadoff with his high strikeout totals and low OBP is beyond me. Trust me, Nate IS NOT going to come out of it…he’s done.

So get rid of Nate and Melky somehow amd bring up Matt Young and another young outfielder and let them play. They could not do any worse. Sad to say, but it looks like it’s over for Matty D. also. THREE outfielders below the Mendoza Line after 30 games. YIKES indeed!

Joe Fan

May 10th, 2010
12:25 pm

Glause may be picking up a single here and there but he is still leaving runners on base at an alarming rate. He is not yet a serious threat to go deep or come up with a big hit when the games on the line. This team needs to hit the restart button and use the next 5 months to begin building for the future.

Joey

May 10th, 2010
12:25 pm

Has anyone compared the Braves hitters current stats to career stats? Incredible.

Chipper 81 points below career ave
Mac 51
Escobar 82
McLouth 80
Melky 74
Diaz 136

Incredible. And depressing.

Tale of Woe

May 10th, 2010
12:27 pm

It is going to be a long summer for Atlanta sports

Braves are terrible and not watchable
The Thrashers need a new coach and the 2 1st round draft picks will be wasted
The Hawks will fire Woodson (my prediction is that he is gone by the weekend) and having a draft pick in the 20’s won’t yield anything

The only bright spot with be training camp for the Falcons….

D B Cooper

May 10th, 2010
12:30 pm

TP will get his chance to ruin Jason as soon as the kid hits his 1st prologed slump

FJR

May 10th, 2010
12:31 pm

Nailed it. As much as many Braves fans would love to blame this on Glaus and Wren, it’s not either’s fault. The moves that aren’t working out are the Chipper extension, which everybody screamed to get done and the place would have blown up had it not, and the Lowe contract, which was one of the few moves that was widely approved of.

The Wren haters screamed over the Renteria trade for some unproven pitcher who was just benefitting from a pitcher’s park. They cried over trading for Javy Vazquez, they cried over trading him away (and getting a more highly ranked prospect in return than we gave up), They cried about Glaus.

This team can handle a lot of slumps, but it is not built to handle the two best hitters, McCann and Chipper, not hitting at all. There isn’t a team in the league that can handle its two best hitters in the low .200’s with no power.

It was convenient early in the year for a lot around here to boo Glaus and blame everything on him. He just needed a bit more time than usual to get his timing back because he was out almost a year. Can you say we aren’t getting out money’s worth for Glaus? Melky was supposed to be our 4th outfielder, yes he’s sucked, but if anything he’s being asked to play a much bigger role than he should. This was supposed to be the time for Diaz to show he can play nearly every day. Instead he’s having the worst year of his career.

If you thought there were two near guarantees with the offense coming into this year it was McCann would hit and that Diaz would hit lefties. Throw in another near given, Esco, either being injured or not hitting when he is in, and that’s what it killing this team. Not Wren’s moves, but the “givens” on this team that Wren was handed aren’t producing.

Mark Bradley

May 10th, 2010
12:31 pm

Woodson could be gone by tomorrow, Tale of Woe. Seriously.

Braves One

May 10th, 2010
12:31 pm

It’s obvious with Heyward out of the lineup, the Braves outfielders are more like “The Men Who Stare at Goats”.

Ron Roberts

May 10th, 2010
12:31 pm

Troy Glaus is hitting .387 for the month of May. McCann’s eyesight and Chipper’s degeneration – PERIOD – are what’s killing this team. I like the notion of Hinske at 3B when Heyward gets back, with Infante at SS til Yunel returns, and even then, Yunel might need to re-earn the starting nod. Nate McLouth is just sucking the LIFE out of the offense, too, and Melky Cabrera is a BUST. Maybe when Yunel gets back, Infante plays more of a role in the OF rotation, too.

Born2Buzz

May 10th, 2010
12:37 pm

Frank Wren has assembled a nice little AAA team. They’d be tearing up the International League. I mean they would kick the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs all over the yard. The Philadelphia Philles..not so much.

cattle dawg

May 10th, 2010
12:38 pm

Can we get a new hitting coach? Did melky ever explain what he was thinking yesterday when he caught the flyball

John

May 10th, 2010
12:39 pm

I know it’s not ALL his fault, but come on, Glaus left 9 men on base BY HIMSELF on Saturday afternoon. That’s our 5 hole guy, supposed to “protect” our clean-up guy. Maybe if Chipper and McCann had some real protection behind them, they’d be producing a little more. Put J-Hey 5th, behind McCann and see what happens! Just a thought!

Mike small Woody

May 10th, 2010
12:39 pm

Hope Potato Head is gone tomorrow- he couldn’t control his team if his life depended on it. SEE YA!

BILL W

May 10th, 2010
12:39 pm

Watching Chipper Jones at the plate this year (and last) reminds me of the last couple of years Dale Murphy played with the Braves…You gotta love ‘em, but, man, it’s hard to watch sometimes. And while I was a Pendleton fan when he played with the Braves, I’m not convinced he’s the right guy to be batting coach for the Braves. During his tenure, players come to the Braves and hit like gangbusters and immediately they begin to struggle and within a season or two, they fall into a rut and get traded. Sadly for the Braves, but good for each former Brave, they blossom elsewhere (returning to and improving upon their former skill level). You can make a who’s-who roster out of former Braves playing elsewhere. Bobby’s a helluva guy and loyal to a fault, so don’t look for any roster and coaching shake-ups, but if the Braves were to do a little housecleaning and make the tough (albeit unpopular)changes with their hitting coach and with put a young stud at 3B, I believe the Braves could make it back and would be in the running for the NL championship before year’s end — they would certainly be giving the Phillies and the Mets a fit.

VoiceOfReason

May 10th, 2010
12:40 pm

The Men Who Stare At Goat. Now that’s funny.

hmmmm......

May 10th, 2010
12:40 pm

HEY FJR Wren didn’t make the JJ trade JS did. WREN SUCKS!!!