The move that the Atlanta Braves didn't make at yesterday's trading deadline may start to rear it's ugly head, just as the player they did get makes his debut. Michael Bourn will be in uniform for tonight's game, leading off (but that's just the beginning of a crazy lineup, more on that in a bit).
While the Braves acquired a dynamic leadoff hitter that they have lacked for years, they failed to acquire an additional reliever to lighten the load on the "big three" at the end of the bullpen -- Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters, and Craig Kimbrel (or O'Ventbrel as they are known). This lack of a move may become more apparent as the fourth-best member of the Braves pen, Scott Linebrink, will be placed on the disabled list when Bourn is activated.
Now to the lineup. Here it is, notice anything weird?
- Michael Bourn, CF
- Martin Prado, 2B
- Freddie Freeman, 1B
- Dan Uggla, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- David Ross, C
- Alex Gonzalez, SS
- Jair Jurrjens, P
- Jose Constanza, LF
Yep, apparently Tony LaRussa called Fredi Gonzalez and threatened him with sanity if he didn't hit the pitcher eighth. Debate it all you'd like, but I don't like it.
This is the first time since the Braves have been in Atlanta that the pitcher has hit eighth. The last time a Braves pitcher hit anywhere by ninth to start a game was on August 12, 1941 when Jim Tobin hit eighth.