The Atlanta Braves have been due for a slump for a little over two months now. Well, that slump has finally arrived, and it just so happens that the Braves start losing when the Phillies start winning. Now that Atlanta's division lead has almost completely evaporated, it is time for Braves fans to start looking for a scapegoat and the most popular candidate so far is First Baseman Troy Glaus.
Troy Glaus' lack of production in the heart of the order is one reason for the Braves' latest offensive woes. Since June 22, Atlanta's first baseman has hit .165 with zero homers, a .303 on-base percentage, and a .220 slugging percentage and those are not numbers that you want to see right smack in the middle of the order. However, before we start talking about the amazing Freddie Freeman and why the Braves should have traded Glaus a month ago, let's not forget what Glaus has done for the Atlanta Braves this year.
We saw this same thing happen from Glaus in April when we were just getting acquainted with the Braves new first baseman. Sure, his recent slump is lasting just a little bit longer than we would like, but where would the Atlanta Braves be right now if it weren't for Troy Glaus? Most likely not in first place.
The legend of Troy is that he can show absolutely no signs of life for a few weeks, then he will carry a team on his shoulders for a month. That is exactly what The Braves have experienced this year. In the months of April and July, Glaus has looked like nothing more than a chubby Nate McLouth, but the important statistic is that from May 1 to June 20, Glaus collected 46 RBIs while hitting .316 with 12 homers and a .579 slugging percentage. Those numbers crowned him the June player of the month and carried the Atlanta Braves all the way to the top of the tough NL East.
The real reason for the Braves' recent offensive slump is their lack of hitting with runners in scoring position. Atlanta is just 18 for 108 with RISP in their past 11 games and the Braves will be lucky to contend for the wild card if that trend continues. That is a .167 average with men on second or third and Troy Glaus is not to blame for those numbers, the whole lineup is. The Braves just can't seem to find those big hits anymore. It seems like every time Braves country bends their elbow and begins the Tomahawk Chop, our chanting is rudely interrupted by an inning ending double play. If you really love to analyze statistics, you would be interested to know that Troy Glaus is batting .270 with runners in scoring position, a better average than Brian McCann, Eric Hinske and Martin Prado.
Troy Glaus is going to get hot again and he is going to get hot at the perfect time. Hopefully, a little rest mentally and physically will do the Braves RBI leader some good, but until then Braves fans have to be patient with the infamously streaky hitter. It will be worth the wait.