The Atlanta Braves, a team that seems entrenched a top the National League wild card standings(63-46, 3.5 game lead as of July 31st) , added a much needed elite leadoff man, CF Michael Bourn, from the Houston Astros for OF Jordan Schafer(Currently on the DL with finger injury)and 3 minor league pitchers on trade deadline day, July 31st 2011. A key component in this transaction from an Atlanta stand point is that they did not have to include any of their elite pitching prospects(Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Mike Minor and Randall Delgado to name a few) in the deal . Bourn, an excellent defensive player, is hitting .303 and leads the majors with 39 stolen bases. He is considered a major upgrade for a team that has injuries to 3 everyday players- C Brian McCann and OF Nate McLouth(Both placed on the DL) as well as 3B Chipper Jones- as well as down years from RF Jason Heyward and 2B Dan Uggla. Atlanta has struggled to replace former SS Rafael Furcal as a speed threat leading off since he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2005 season. Ironically, the Dodgers traded Furcal today pre-deadline as well! An outstanding day for Braves fans and players. Special side note: Bourn is on my fantasy team!
INJURY UPDATES: Jones continues to battle thru a strained right quadriceps and has been relegated to a pinch hitting role. He might not be able to play the field everyday for several weeks but could play 3B in spot duty. Manager Fredi Gonzalez says their are no plans to DL the future hall of famer. McLouth was placed on the DL Friday July 29th with a lower abdominal strain, that he has battled almost the entire season. He has played in pain but it become unbearable after a throw on July 27th. Gonzalez does not believe this injury is related to an oblique strain that placed Mclouth on the DL in May. No further update on McCann, who is battling the vaunted oblique strain as well. The team added defensive specialist C Will Nieves from the Brewers at Mid week.
UP UGGLA: Huge positives coming from Uggla, who has hit in 22 consecutive games, raising his average to .206. He has hit 8 homers while driving in 18 runs during the streak. Hate to say it but I told you so! Now if I could reverse that stupid mistake I made in fantasy when I cut him!
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