Twenty-three games into the season, and the name we've wanted to see at the top of the order has finally gotten his shot.
Better mark this down in the history books: On May 2, 2009, Jordan Schafer first batted lead-off for the Atlanta Braves.
Many congratulations to the 22-year-old, as he has truly earned this opportunity. In the entire St. Louis series and the first game against Houston, the Braves' center fielder has drawn six walks while striking out only twice.
I'm not saying he's going to be an instant hit, as his two-strike approach is still a work-in-progress, but this is the best speed guy the Braves have had leading off since Rafael Furcal left (no disrespect to Marcus Giles, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar,*breath*, Josh Anderson, or Gregor Blanco).
Look for Schaf to continue doing what he's been doing: walk, hit, walk, strikeout. This is an excellent position for the Braves, as they now have their (almost) ideal lineup ready to go (this is with B-Mac and Anderson back):
1 L Jordan Schafer
2 R Yunel Escobar
3 S Chipper Jones
4 L Brian McCann
5 L Garret Anderson
6 R Jeff Francoeur
7 L Casey Kotchman
8 L Kelly Johnson
This should be a great improvement over what is hitting the field now, as everyone in this lineup can hit at least .280.
With the, if you will, "revamped" order, a lot of those heart-breaking one-run games could have their decisions finally fall in the Braves' favor.
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