The Braves are less than one fourth of the way through the season and they have some issues. Now it may seem a little premature to start ringing the alarm this early but if this seems like a repeat of the end of last season. I am sure some of the fans out there would say “hey we are in 1st place”. Yes you are by a half a game in a mediocre at best division. The question is can you hold that spot for the entire season?
The biggest problem that is glaring at the Braves is their inability to find consistent hitting. When the long ball is hitting the Braves are fine but that only gets you by the Houston Astros of the world. Throughout all of the injuries Atlanta has found their way to some really good pitching so far but nothing else to support it. Right now the Braves are 29th in the league in runs. They have the 25th worst batting average and 27th worst on base percentage. Even if they do win the NL East this is a perfect recipe for being swept in the 1st round again.
A big part of their woes is the struggling of Dan Uggla and BJ Upton. These are two guys with monster contracts who are not producing up to the standards of their deals. Upton batting .202 and Uggla at .184 does not sound like everyday lineup material. Add Jason Heyward’s .204 as a leadoff hitter and you have a recipe for disaster. I am not saying that Frank Wren needs to explore some trades now but he and Fredi Gonzalez are going to have to look at some options. This team was expected to compete for the World Series this year. The Braves may not need to panic yet but they should keep their eyes open.
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr