Eric Hinske To Return To Braves In 2012

Ski is coming back for 2012.

The Braves twitter feed just announced that the team has picked up the club option for 2012 in Eric Hinske's contract, but the team declined their option on Nate McLouth. That was what most everyone expected to happen. Hinske had an off year, but he is still a guy who could be very valuable off the bench for Atlanta.

Pinch hitting is such a temperamental art form, and players can seem to excel at it one year and stink at it the next. Hinske knows how to be a pinch hitter without letting these extremes affect him too much. He's also a great clubhouse presence, and almost worth retaining just for that.

Nate McLouth was the hitting equivalent of Mike Hampton during his time with the Braves. He likely won't be missed by anyone, especially with Bourn patrolling center next year for Atlanta.

Those are the only decisions on options the team had to worry about. The next big decision will be whether to offer arbitration to Peter Moylan, who is recovering from yet another surgery.

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