The Braves are 13 games into this mostly feel good season and despite many positives, there are a few negatives. Three players in particular are performing at B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla levels.
Atlanta will not have a chance to be a .500 team if the number four and number five starter positions are not straightened out. Trevor Cahill was knocked out early again last night, that’s four bad starts in a row combined for Eric Stults and Cahill.
In 10 innings pitched, Stults has given up 12 hits and sports a lofty 6.30 earned run average Hitters are banging out a .324 average against Stults. Cahill is even worse, in 6.1 innings pitched, he has given up 10 hits and has a 9.95 ERA. Batters are hitting at a Ted Williams-like .345 against Cahill.
Stults and Cahill aren’t alone in the goat pen, center fielder Cameron Maybin is hitting a B.J. Upton-like .147 and has 12 strikeouts in only 34 at bats. He does have 3 home runs and 5 RBIs, so there is a little hope.
The Braves don’t have enough money invested in any of these players where they would hang around long enough to be hated like B.J. and Uggla. However, there are two factors that could keep them around long enough that the fans could developing some serious loathing.
Atlanta doesn’t have a lot of of organizaional depth when it comes to starting pitchers, or center fielders. Combined with the Braves maddening habit of keeping players long past the time that everyone else knows that they can be effective, could keep these three players in Atlanta for a while.
The names change, but somehow things remain the same.