The Phillies are coming, and the Braves can feel it. The day after Philadelphia activated
With Lee in the fold, the Braves are expected to send incumbent first baseman
Prado was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and moved to third base, where he will serve as Jones' replacement for the remainder of the season, with All-Star utility man
Infante is sure to cool off, but as a replacement for the aging Jones, who was hitting just .265/.381/.426, he could well suffice. Indeed, the Braves have gone 6-1 since Jones injury. That makes Lee, who is in the final months of his five-year contract with the Cubs, pure upgrade over Glaus's miserable performance over the last two months, which is good, because Lee is having his worst season as a major league regular. The good news for Braves fans is that Lee has started to click in the second half, hitting .313/.356/.583 with six home runs in 24 games since the All-Star break, .306/.381/.694 in August, and joins the Braves having just gone 5-for-11 with four home runs in a weekend series in St. Louis.
That the 34-year-old Lee is a far better hitter than his miserable first-half (.233/.329/.366) is what the Braves are hanging their hat on here, as Lee has struggled at Turner Field over his career (.237/.338/.388) and doesn't have any other favorable splits this season that would suggest his performance could be maximized through platooning or by escaping what is indeed the hitting-friendly Wrigley Field. If Lee can simply perform at a level equal to his career rates of .282/.367/.499, he'll be a huge upgrade for the Braves, equivalent to having the early-season version of Glaus back. In fact, with Infante effectively replacing the OBP-only version of Chipper Jones, Prado back in the lineup, and Lee and
That's important, because the Braves' outfield is still a mess. Heyward has hit just .140/.241/.280 since July 31 due to the discomfort in his right knee. Deadline acquisition
As for the three pitchers headed to the Cubs, right-hander
With Lee in the fold, Atlanta has improved its chances of holding off the defending champs, or at the very least landing a wild-card berth (the Phillies currently hold a one-game lead over the Giants in that race), but neither of those races seems likely to hinge on his acquisition. Meanwhile, the Phillies will likely get