The run to the post season continues for the 2011 Atlanta Braves as the team rides a strong top to bottom pitching staff and timely offense to a 59-44 record as of July 25th. The team has seen some positives in recent weeks with INF-OF Martin Prado back in the lineup and rookie 1B Freddie Freeman really stepping up. The pitching has been deep and dominant from day 1 and the Braves appear to have a surplus of starting pitching to deal from(More on this below). With the non waiver trade deadline July 31st at 4 pm, The next 6 days should be very interesting in Atlanta!
CHIPPER BACK: Future hall of Fame 3B Chipper Jones rejoined the team and played for the 1st time after undergoing July 9th knee surgery July 25th. Even more amazing was the fact that he homered for the Braves lone run of the contest,a 3-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates!!!
TRADE RUMORS: Team could always use more offense and has been linked to NY Mets OF Carlos Beltran, who is an interesting name. I cover the Mets and he has not played CF at all this season. The Braves have two very good corner OFs in Prado and 2010 National League Rookie of the Year , RF Jason Heyward. I think the team should focus more on a OF who can play center as well, maybe a B.J. Upton from Tampa Bay as example? The team has been shopping some of their prospects from their elite farm system as bait. Ex Brave and current Kansas City Royal Melky Cabrera, anyone?
MEDICAL UPDATES ON SCHAFER, MOYLAN: CF Jordan Schafer jammed his left middle finger sliding into 2nd base on July 20th and was out til he pinch hit in the July 25th loss to Pittsburgh. He spark plug has a chip fracture in the finger but says he is feeling better and should be good in a couple of days. Meanwhile, RHRP Peter Moylan(Bulging disk in back) will throw off the mound sometime this week for the 1st time since undergoing surgery in May.
UGGLA UP: 2B Dan Uggla(.195,18 home runs, 40 rbi) appears to be coming out of his season long funk and has hit .268 in July with 6 homers and 12 rbi. He had the same power numbers in June but hit .179. This guy is an elite offensive player and will produce! I said that from day 1 and am sticking to my story!
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