June 25, 2011 at 11:38 am by Ben Duronio under Atlanta Braves
It is no secret that the Braves have vastly under performed offensively. The run environment is down across the league, but the Braves struggles at the plate is one of the more surprising aspects of baseball this season.
A year ago, the Braves led the majors in OBP at .339. This year, only two regulars have a higher mark than last year’s team average, Brian McCann (.375) and Chipper Jones (.352). The only person with the same or higher OBP this year compared to last is McCann, who sat at .375 in 2010 as well.
Fredi sees this as well. He is not the most statistically inclined manager in the league, but his statement to Dave O’Brien last night shows that he is frustrated with the performance.
“That’s the way we’ve been hitting most of the year. If you look at our stats over the course of the year, we’re not where we want to be offensively as a team, as a club”
That’s not exactly an extremely telling quote, but it shows that he isn’t seeing much improvement from the start of the year.
Parrish is new to this position. He has managed and acted as a roving hitting instructor in the minor leagues, but he has no experience as a hitting coach in the Major Leagues. His aggressive approach to hitting has hurt this team, and it is evident in nearly every single player’s numbers. The Braves do not need to treat Parrish’s hiring as a full season sentence, and I do not think they will. With how poor the team is hitting, I think they are willing to go a different direction at the midway point in the season if nothing changes.
O’Brien is around the team as much as anyone, and I think he can sense that the Braves are not going to put up with the lackluster performance from the offense much longer. ”Don’t know how much longer they can live with this,” said DOB in a tweet last night regarding when a move will be made at hitting coach.
The Braves are still the second best team in the National League. The pitching has kept them in, but expected increases in runs allowed by both Jurrjens and Hanson are near inevitable. Along with that, the overuse of Venters and an injured O’Flaherty will likely affect the team negatively going forward. The hitting has to rebound in order for this team to maintain it’s status as the league’s Wild Card and to compete with the Phillies the rest of the season.
Most of us understand and preach that Parrish has got to go, but I think the Braves’ front office and management are beginning to realize it too. I am not saying for certain that he will be gone by the All-Star Break, but that’s the feeling I am getting.