The Atlanta Braves are good. They are division-contending, Washington Nationals-challenging good. With B.J Upton, Justin Upton, and Jason Heyward all patrolling the outfield and providing quite a bit of pop in the lineup, the team looks better than it was last season. And the Braves were pretty good last season. But Atlanta hasn't even been fully stocked on a consistent basis. Their top prospect, Andrelton Simmons has been sidelined with a thumb injury, but that could change tonight.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com speculated on whether B.J. Upton would continue to hit leadoff when Simmons returns. Bowman said that return could happen tonight.
It will be interesting to see if B.J. stays in the leadoff spot when Simmons returns (possibly tonight). Fredi said he is thinking about it
— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) April 8, 2013
Simmons was called up late last season, and he managed to win a spot out of spring based on last season's performance and his spring performance. Simmons played 49 games for the Braves last year. He hit .289/.335/.416. Simmons did so while playing nice defense at shortstop. When he does return, the team will get markedly better.
Simmons has been battling a thumb sprain since Friday. He's missed two games as a result of the injury. With Simmons out of the lineup, B.J. Upton slid into the leadoff hitter role. It's worked well as B.J. has three hits, a home run, and three walks in the two games he's hit leadoff. Simmons will likely reclaim that role when he returns, though.
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