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saltalamacchia-and-first | May | 2007 Articles

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Saltalamacchia and First

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia came into the season as a big question mark. He was coming off an atrocious season that led to many questioning the top catching prospect's future. After wreaking havoc on Southern League pitching, Saltalamacchia got a very unexpected and early call-up following injuries to both Brayan Pena and Brian McCann, and has made quite an impressive leap from double-A to the majors. The 22-year old catcher is hitting .323 with a homer and five RBIs in his first 31 ABs. With Brian McCann behind the plate for the foreseeable future, the question isn't, is there a place for Salty behind the plate?, but, is there a place for Salty in Atlanta? Since McCann took the Braves' catching duties, the rumors of Salty moving to first seem only to be outnumbered by the times that Braves officials have denied such a possibility. For the first time the Braves have given some indication of a possible move, saying Saltalamacchia had taken grounders at first and would be used as a backup to Scott Thorman. In my opinion there are two possibilities; either Schuerholz trades Saltalamacchia or the big catcher eventually forces his way past Scott Thorman and into the starting lineup. It is really just a matter of time. I really felt and still do feel that Thorman can be a solid firstbaseman at the plate. The problem is that Saltalamacchia is a superstar in the making. How many times do you come across such a young switch-hitter that combines power and excellent plate discipline? Even in his outs he has looked good at the plate and after showing the aptitude to play with the big boys, I can't imagine Bobby sitting the superiors player. The biggest thing working in Thorman's favor right now is his health. If anything happens, I almost guarantee he will lose his job. If I was a betting man, I'd say Saltalamacchia won't be traded and will end up holding down first base on a daily basis by the end of the year.
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