Slumps happen during the long Major League Baseball season and the Atlanta Braves find themselves in the middle of a good one right now. As they get ready to play the Arizona Diamondbacks they have lost three straight in a bad way. The pitching isn’t getting the job done and neither is the hitting. Pitching usually works itself out over time but good hitting can make up the difference during those times. The good hitting the Braves need right now needs to come from B.J. Upton and Justin Upton.
Though I can see how it would be easy to think so, I am not picking on the Upton brothers just because they are brothers. Going into the season the Braves were talked about for one main reason. They were supposed to have potentially one of the most explosive outfields in recent memory offensively. Defensively they were also expected to be stellar. While they have done their part defensively, the fact is that offensively they have been a disappointment.
The more I searched their backgrounds I can’t really find a reason for the struggles of B.J. and Jason Heyward. Heyward gets a pass for now because he is still rehabbing after his appendectomy. That leaves the Uptons to carry the load. Justin was the player of the month in April but has slowed substantially of late as pitchers adjusted the way they were pitching to him.
As far as I can tell B.J. is doing most things the same as he has. He had been opening himself up too quickly but recently appears to have tried to fix that. I think in his case he just has to tough it out. He is a very good hitter with good power. The second spot in the batting order could be a good spot for him to get good pitches in front of Justin.
Justin meanwhile needs to counter-adjust to the pitchers and find his way out of the slump. Especially in Arizona this could be the perfect place for the Uptons to break out. The Braves need something in the way of production from this dynamic outfield. Justin will be okay but with Heyward still on the sidelines; B.J. has to find his way out of the funk. I think he will and when he does, possibly within the next week, the Braves will really begin to see what they have offensively.