As Bobby Cox did the whole double-pinch-hitter switch last night, replacing the pitcher with pinch hitter Greg Norton, then replacing him with pinch hitter Martin Prado who promptly popped up, I thought about the state of our pinch hitting corps. This is an area of the Braves that I thought, and many others thought, would be a strength of the team. But here we sit 13 games into the season and the Braves are a pitiful 1-for-20 in pinch hit appearances.
Our vaunted pinch hitter extraordinaire, Greg Norton, has been worthless, with an 0-for-10 mark in that role, including 1 walk and 4 strikeouts. Garret Anderson, when he has pinch hit, it an inglorious 0-for-4. Martin Prado is the only guy with a pinch hit and a pinch hit RBI.
I don't mean to pile on that the Braves are playing like bantha poodoo, but this is just one more area that needs massive improvement.
An interesting read-between-the-lines moment here is that Matt Diaz has not yet had a pinch hit appearance this year. This underscores the fragility of Garret Anderson and the need to keep someone in reserve on the bench just in case Anderson gets gimpy in the field. Removing Diaz as a possible pinch-hitter is a terrible blow to our bench and further proof that Anderson is more harmful to the Atlanta roster than helpful.