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HOT or NOT - 4/19/10 Edition

Written by Joe Lucia on .

This is now a Monday feature, due to the fact that doing the weekly prospect report takes years off my life, especially when MILB.com doesn't update statistics with the completion of games. For those new to the blog since last September, you're probably wondering "what in the hell is HOT or NOT? Well, for one thing, its not softcore porn, thats for sure. This is a look at the last week of play, and which players are HOT, and which are NOT. Simple enough, right? Well, when you have a week where everyone piddles along and no one does anything horrible or anything great, it gets a little challenging. I'll usually take 3 in each category, and sometimes, I'm lazy and pick groups of people...which I'll be doing today! Without any further ado... HOT Current Braves bullpen Why they're hot: 16 1/3 IP, 0.55 ERA, 6 H, 22  K, 5 BB. There are no typos in that line. The entire bullpen (minus Jojo Reyes, which is why I wrote "current"...since he's "currently" on the disabled list) allowed 1 run all week. Thats erm, really awesome. The pen's K rate computes to 12.12 per 9 innings, which is absolutely stellar. So a giant hat tip goes out to Billy Wagner, Takashi Saito, Kris Medlen, Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters, Peter Moylan, and :gulp: Jesse Chavez for an outstanding effort this week. You can't blame them for anything thats gone wrong in the team's 2 losses on the week. Jason Heyward Why he's hot: .316/.480/.421, 2 2B, 7 RBI, 6 BB I don't care that Heyward struck out 7 times on the week, or in more than a third of his at bats. He had as many walks as the lord almighty Chipper Jones, and more than Brian McCann. His 7 RBI on the week were, I swear to god, more than twice as many as the other 3 outfielders on the roster (Nate McLouth, Melky Cabrera, and Matt Diaz...one of whom was hitting behind Heyward while the other who started was leading off) combined. There is some sentimental value here, as I've watched his game winning single from last night on my phone about 5 times since it happened. Did I mention he's a rookie? Yeah. He's good at baseball. Martin Prado Why he's hot: .304/.393/.522, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB, 4 K Prado is still the Braves best hitter, which stuns me considering he never showed any sort of hitting acumen throughout his minor league career. But alas, here we are. The RBI numbers look lagging, but when you realize he's hitting second in the order behind the three-headed monster of death that is the aforementioned trio of McLouth, Cabrera and Diaz, its a little more understandable. Prado's hot start has him near the top of the NL leaderboard in both batting average and on-base percentage. He probably won't last up there for long, but its nice to look at for now. His play has helped offset the loss of Kelly Johnson, who is playing out of his mind right now...and to think, the Braves could have had both of them and not needed to bring in Troy Glaus. Oh well. NOT Nate McLouth Why he's not: .143/.245/.143, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K I'm not blaming Nate by putting him on here. He's getting screwed over by Bobby Cox, who seems to have the idea in his mind that because Nate had a crappy spring, he's worth being put into a quasi-platoon with Melky Cabrera, who somehow deserves to play every day. Nate isn't able to get into a good groove hitting 8th in the order and getting 14 at bats in a week. You just can't expect a player to be effective when he's getting the equivalent of 3 games worth of at bats a week. This happened last year when the aforementioned Kelly Johnson got into a slump, and he was thrown to the side in favor of Martin Prado and wasn't even given a chance to get his job back. Melky Cabrera Why he's not: .118/.250/.118, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K Braves fans, this is your leadoff hitter. In a related note, I'm currently projectile vomiting brown rice all over my desk. Cabrera cannot hit well, has never hit well, and will never hit well. Yet, Bobby Cox is running him out onto the field daily, and leading him off on most days. Thankfully, the pattern has been taking a little bit of a turn lately as he's chilling in the 8 hole, but the fact that he's still getting regular playing time is infuriating. Not just to me, but to Braves fans everywhere. Twitter goes crazy every time the lineup is posted and his name is in there. Something needs to be done, and if a .383 OPS through the first 2 weeks of the season isn't enough of a sign of this, I have no idea what's going to be enough of a sign. Jojo Reyes Why he's not: 3 1/3 IP, 24.30 ERA, 10 H, 2 HR, 3 BB, 2 K Yeah it was one outing, and yeah it really didn't matter in the grand scheme of things...and trust me, I'm the first one to admit this being the leader of the Reyes fan club...but dear god was he bad. Reyes just got HAMMERED last Monday against the Padres. It wasn't fun to watch, there was no silver lining...he got the holy bejeezus beaten out of him. It was a personal blow to my ego as well, since I had been advocating for him to get a roster spot all spring. Oh, he got the spot...unfortunately, he couldn't do much of anything with it. Reyes was disabled with a strain in his knee a couple days after the outing, and he'll be demoted to Gwinnett once he comes off the DL. I still hope he gets one more shot...not just because I'm an eternal optimist when it comes to Jojo, but because he's just so good at AAA. There has to be SOMETHING he can do in the majors that will positively affect the team. Hopefully its not cheerleading. First edition of HOT or NOT in the books folks! The preview for the Phillies series will be up this evening, so make sure to check back for it. And thats a promise, too...not one of my little white lies I tend to tell before getting really lazy.
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