The lineup for today's game was released.
Now, what about that lineup strikes you as odd? Well, it shouldn't strike you as too odd, because it's been happening all season...but Jason Heyward is out of the lineup. Again. Diaz is starting, because apparently, Fredi is legally obligated to start Diaz against a lefty, even if the lefty is a buzzsaw like Cliff Lee that runs through everyone, animal, vegetable or mineral.
When the Braves acquired Diaz at the end of August, I wasn't in favor of the move, mostly because I was afraid of nonsense like this happening. Diaz has a reputation as a lefty killer, so he has to start against the lefty, even if he's the inferior option. When Diaz was acquired, I pointed at his overall splits this year and noticed he wasn't that effective against lefties this season. I was then told "he's been hot lately!" and "he'll snap out of it!". Here is Matt Diaz's slash line against lefties as a Brave this season.
23 at bats versus lefties since returning to Atlanta....seven singles, one walk, four strikeouts and a big ol' pile of BLEH. Jason Heyward, who is the antichrist and cannot hit lefties to save his life and is a platoon player forever (according to some very smart people out there) has a line this season of .192/.270/.308. More power and more walks, with a batting average held down by a .228 BABIP.
That's not even to discount their overall production in the month of September. Heyward's line in September is .262/.387/.377. He's tied for the highest OBP during the month with Alex Gonzalez, who is back in the lineup after missing a chunk of time with a calf injury. But what about Diaz and Martin Prado, both of whom are getting playing time instead of Heyward this month? Prado has 96 at bats, the second highest on the team during September behind just Michael Bourn. Heyward's 61 at bats are....seventh on the team this month. Mostly because he's rotting at the bottom of the order, but I digress. Anyway, what are Diaz and Prado doing during September?
The two have combined for four walks in September. Heyward has....13. Right now, this team is having problems scoring runs. What's the easiest way to score runs? Putting runners on base. And who's the best player on the team at getting on base this month? Jason Heyward. And where does Jason Heyward find himself for the second straight day? Thanks to my friend Daiana for the stellar artwork
On the bench. Well done Fredi, you have the fanbase united...in questioning your decisions once again.