Atlanta Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is not always the most beloved manager in Major League Baseball. For some unknown reason a manager can be blamed for all of a team’s failures but gets zero credit for any good things that happen. That cannot be the case with Gonzalez in at least one area because it was his choice to change the line-up and place Jason Heyward at the top of it. Since that time Heyward and the Braves have come alive in an unbelievable way. Credit should go where it belongs. Gonzalez made a strange and even risky move but it paid off like crazy.
Chances are that during the playoffs he might eventually change the line-up around again if it slumps a little bit but the current batting order with Heyward leading off and Justin Upton batting second has been one of the best managerial changes in MLB all season. The Braves have gone in that time frame alone from having a good lead over the Washington Nationals to basically having the thing wrapped up.
Certainly Heyward would agree that it was good move by his manager to place him at the top of the order. During the recent win streak and even just before it Heyward’s reemergence as a batting threat has been something the offense has keyed on. His great play is joined by the ever-present Freddie Freeman, the also reemerging Justin Upton and the rest of the guys to create a dangerous offense that does not rely on the long ball the way they did early in the season. This is the most dangerous team in baseball right now and it isn’t close.