The Braves continue to struggle, in what has to be one of the more disappointing seasons in recent memory. Injuries have plagued the team. This is really an All Star list that goes a long way towards summarizing the Braves season:
- Smoltz and Moylan are done for the year.
- Who knows if Hampton will ever pitch again?
- Glavine, Soriano, Gonzalez, Diaz, Omar Infante, Martin Prado, and Kotsay (and probably a few others I may have missed) have all spent time on the DL.
- Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar have managed to avoid time on the DL, but have been banged up of late.
Other teams have their share of injuries, but this is a little out of control. It is amazing, and a testament to Cox, that the Braves are only 5 games under .500.
In the next couple of weeks the Braves have some difficult decisions. Are they still in the East division race? Seven games back is not impossible to overcome, but it certainly will not be easy. What about the Wild Card race? I think it will be extremely difficult to overtake St. Louis, and Milwaukee (among others). Teixeira will be the meal ticket to pick up new prospects, but I do not know what the future holds at 1B. Hudson is the only other high priced veteran that the Braves could consider dumping to a contender for future help.
Regardless of the direction the Braves take, I hope they keep their core nucleus of young, upcoming players intact. It would be a damn shame for the Braves to move Jurrjens, McCann, Johnson, or Escobar. This will be a good opportunity to see inside the mind of GM Wren.
Francoeur is a mess. The Braves say he is only going to be in the minors for 2-3 weeks. The goal is to get Francoeur away from the distractions of Atlanta, and give him a chance to work out of his slump in a no pressure situation. Depending on what happens, the Braves will look like geniuses, or Francoeur will never be the same. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Francoeur gets his head straight.