Here are some thoughts from the first week and a half of the year.
Martin Prado Keeps Hitting
Prado has been a hit machine thus far. At the beginning of the season, you could count me among those skeptical that Prado was as good as he showed us in 2009.
But Prado has come out even stronger in 2010, tying Deion Sanders for a franchise record with 19 hits in the Braves first 10 games.
With five doubles and a homerun, Prado has done more than just slap singles, leading to a .659 slugging percentage.
Prado is hitting .463, which leads the majors. While I don’t expect him to hit over .400, Prado could compete for a batting title, as he has a track record of hitting for a good average.
Derek Lowe Keeps Winning
The Braves other player leading the majors (actually tied for the lead) in a Triple Crown category: Derek Lowe.
Despite allowing five runs in his first start, walking seven in his second start, and failing to pitch six innings in his third start, Lowe finds his record at 3-0 thanks to the Braves bats.
In his three starts, the Braves are averaging over 10 runs a game (11.52 to be exact), despite averaging just 3.43 when other pitchers are on the mound.
This is already looking like another year where Derek Lowe is probably our fifth best starting pitcher but manages to lead the team in wins because he gets a ton of run support.
Troy Glaus Keeps Disappointing
I know, we are only 10 games into the season, and Glaus is far from our only struggling offensive player.
I know, Glaus just recently knocked his first home run of the year, and he completely destroyed that pitch.
But Glaus enters today’s game hitting just .229 with a measly one extra-base hit. If his production doesn’t improve, I wouldn’t be surprised if Eric Hinske played Glaus into a full-blown platoon.
The left-handed Hinske has come out of the gates on fire (most of his playing time coming as a pinch hitter), and if Glaus continues to struggle, the Braves might be wise to platoon the two of them, with Hinske getting the majority of the playing time (against right-handed starters).
The Week Ahead
The Braves finish the series with the Rockies this weekend before the Phillies come to town. With the Mets and Cardinals on deck after that, the Braves will have a chance to prove they are a playoff caliber team, as they are playing many potential division winners early in the year.
At this point, the Braves are a couple games behind the Phillies, but that is more because of the schedule than anything. The Phillies first three series were against the Nationals (twice) and Astros.
Just a warning to anyone who may be attending a game in the Phillies series: Watch out for Phillies fans, because they have added vomiting to their typical game day repertoire of booing and cursing.