Yesterday, in the Braves second consecutive win (which has turned into a sweep), Troy Glaus had three hits in four trips to the plate (his only out was when Hunter Pence made a diving grab) bringing his season average up 25 points to .221.
But with a couple of his hits coming against left-handed pitching, I’m among those still skeptical of Glaus. To say the least, he has been terrible this year. Whether it’s grounding into double plays with the bases loaded or striking out key situations, Glaus has done played a key part in the Braves slow start.
While there is still time to turn it around, someone to keep an eye on might be Barbaro Canizares, who is currently playing in AAA Gwinnett. Freddie Freeman likely won’t be ready until at least next year, and the Braves may not want to trade away their talent for another first baseman.
While I don’t think Barbaro will be an impact player on the major league level, he might be better than Glaus if things don’t change.
Canizares is a 30 year old who has barely had any time above the AAA level. Last year he got his first cup of coffee in the majors, getting four hits in 21 at-bats.
In 2010, he’s off to a slow start in AAA, but with a significant sample of at-bats there in the past, there is no reason to expect he won’t be hitting .300 by the end of the year.
In 330 games at the AAA level, Canizares has produced a .301/.359/.436 line, and could be a useful hitter at the major league level.
While most of his power comes from hitting doubles, Canizares wouldn’t be the home run threat that a healthy Glaus would, but he also wouldn’t be a black hole in the team’s batting average.
With a healthy on-base percentage, Canizares could prove to be a useful hitter in the lower half of the order (and our leading homerun hitter, Jason Heyward could move into the middle).
Again, I’m not saying that Barbaro should be called up to replace Glaus now. I also think that the Braves would be wise to look outside the organization if Glaus is unable to turn his season around. But if Troy continues to struggle while starting, and the Braves refuse to make a trade, Canizares should be a given a chance to provide a boost at the bottom of the Braves order.