Sunday, July 08, 2007

3-34 Slump Bodes Poorly for Braves Scott Thorman

With Braves first baseman Scott Thorman in a 3-34 slump -- and barely keeping his season's average above the Mendoza line -- it's easy to extrapolate manager Bobby Cox providing more and more opportunities for catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to play first base.

Saltalamacchia -- whose 14-letter name means "jump the mark" in Italian -- might already have completely jumped over Thorman except that first-string catcher Brian McCann has been struggling with a knee injury and has frequently needed Saltalamacchia to play behind the plate.

While the left-handed Thorman has been unable to hit better than .240 even against righties, the right-hitting Saltalamacchia is hitting some 100 points higher against both lefties and righties, hitting in the .330 range overall.

With a recent MRI indicating McCann's knee is on the mend, don't be surprised if Thorman all but disappears after the All-Star break. Thorman already spends an inordinate amount of time on the bench.