The injury bug has taken a large bite out of the Atlanta Braves lineup, and their record in the last five games shows how impactful this can be for their season. The Braves have won only one out of their last five games, and the injuries haven’t helped. Currently, Nate Mclouth , Tim Hudson, Jason Heyward, Peter Moylan and Brandon Beachy are all out due to injury.
This recent attack on Atlanta by the injury bug leaves the coaches with some important decisions to make, the first of which is in regards to Hudson’s next start. The rookie Mike Minor will be taking Hudson’s start this Wednesday against the Pittsburg Pirates while Hudson seeks to see the extent of his injury. This is an extremely major injury not only for our pitching staff but for the overall success of the club as a whole. Hudson is a veteran leader and brings a great presence to the team when he is healthy.
Along with the decisions being made around the Atlanta pitching staff, the coaches have their hands full with how they want to manage all the holes they have in the outfield. With Nate Mclouth and Jason Heyward out, the Braves starting outfield looks very different. Relative no-names such as Wilkin Ramirez, Joe Mather and Jordan Schafer are now the responsibility for controlling opponent’s aerial attacks.
Although the team and fans desperately want our injured Braves to be back in the lineup, this is a great opportunity for the organization to see how deep their bench and farm system is. Joe Mather’s bat recently came to life when he hit his season’s first homerun against the Angels, which is a good sign for the rookie and the team, considering his nickname in Triple-A was “Joey Bombs”.
This week in Braves baseball, the team will be traveling to Pittsburg for a two game series against the Pirates, and then it’s back to Atlanta for a weekend series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Braves hope to push through this slump and vaccinate themselves against another visit by the always untimely injury bug. The Braves are currently in third in the National League eastern division, but only four out from the first place Phillies.
UPDATE: Our Braves bested the Pirates last night, as Jair Jurrjens shut out the Pirates through 7 and 2/3 innings. Does Raid kill the injury bug? No. But dominate pitching does.
Picture via The AJC.