B.J. Upton’s Career Low Season Puts Atlanta Braves in Tough Position
Any serious Atlanta Braves fan knows what the situation is with new center fielder B.J. Upton this season. As the season continues to draw to a close it becomes clearer and clearer that Upton is having the absolute worst season imaginable. Some fans say that they knew he was this bad and he has never been a good hitter but that stuff isn’t true or fair. A simple study of his numbers will tell you that Upton isn’t usually this terrible at the plate. Whatever the situation this season, it is not his usual season. Still, usual or not it certainly puts the Braves in a terrible spot.
Fredi Gonzalez has to be scratching his head like the rest of us. I don’t know if any decent baseball player has ever gone through this bad of a slump throughout the entire season. His home runs and total bases are both half of what they usually are. The RBI total he has right now is about a third of what he usually is capable of. His batting average is dipping down towards .180 something but it has never before been lower than .237 and that was a one year slump in and of itself.
This is a professional baseball player with a good offensive past who currently has nearly twice as many walks as he does RBI. It is just crazy to think about this being anywhere close to normal. It isn’t but that makes it worse. At any time Upton could seemingly snap out of it and once again play like the 20 – 30 homer and 75 plus RBI player he usually is. On one hand you could say Gonzalez should not play him at all during the postseason but then again what if he snaps out of his slump right then?
It is a bad call no matter what happens but somehow the Braves and Gonzalez have managed to have the best record in the National League. They must be doing something right. Whatever they all decide to do this season and in the playoffs, let us all remember that Upton has plenty of years behind him that prove he is worth a lot more than what he has shown this season.
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