I really wanted to post something on the 1st anniversary date of the Braves trading the Golden Boy, Jeff Francouer, but I'm just really not up to it tonight. I wished Francouer all the best when he was traded, and really hope he can improve his plate discipline so that his talent can be fully realized.
Anyways, when it was announced that Braves super-sub Omar Infante was named to the 2010 N.L. All-Star team, there was much backlash. Many folks were upset that Joey Votto was snubbed. Votto's having an unbelievable season- and I would argue that he is running neck and neck with Martin Prado for N.L. MVP. However, he also plays a position which has always had a number of worthy All-Stars, many of whom have been snubbed. Votto's got his place on the team now, so ya'll can relax. Infante's place on the All-Star team has more to do with needing someone who can play multiple positions; you see, MLB this season has changed a rule that now allows a manager to designate one player to be able to re-enter the game after leaving. Heading into the break, the Braves faced their two closest division rivals, Philadelphia & New York, and Omar's only gone 11-19 the past four games-each being a multiple-hit game, including Friday's four-hit game, only to be followed up with a three-hit game today. In a season where Chipper Jones has missed 16 games thus far, Infante has filled in admirably and has absolutely murdered righties-hitting .352/.811 against them. He has also played 5 positions this year, not to mention pinch-hitting at a .300 clip. In the field, Infante has the lowest fielding percentage of any position player on the Braves, which doesn't bode well for a defense of him as an All-Star. One might argue that a player who does not have an established position in the field would have a hard time settling in and being comfortable in the field. We know how difficult it is for a player to be an effective pinch-hitter when he's never in the game, so perhaps there's something to it. But like I said earlier, his role on the N.L. squad is about being a role player and has more to do with the impression he's left on Charlie Manuel and not the talking heads on MLB Network, ESPN, or the gazillion bloggers on the web.