Now that the Atlanta Braves have the outfield combination of B.J. Upton, Justin Upton and Jason Heyward, it might seem that they really don’t need much else in the way of offense. Obviously we all know they need a lead-off hitter and it would be nice if Brian McCann returns to form at catcher. What about the latter part of the line-up?
The top part of the batting order looks probably like this: Andrelton Simmons, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman and B.J. Upton. From there it will shake down with McCann, Dan Uggla and either Chris Johnson or Juan Francisco in some order. McCann figures to at least be a stern spot in the line-up for any pitcher to get passed and whoever plays third will likely hold their own without being spectacular.
Uggla however needs to take the responsibility of being the pop that flips the order back around. When opposing pitchers get to seven, eight and the pitcher’s spot, the Braves need them to have fits keeping the order from wrapping back around. Crucial to that strategy will be Uggla. The past couple of seasons have not measured up to his potential, yet he still is capable of putting up really big numbers for the second base spot. If the Braves don’t want rallies to end at the bottom of the order, Uggla needs to be the man to keep it going. He can do it; the result remains to be seen.