200 Miles From the Citi

July 16, 2010 11:18 AM

A Brave Prediction


Everyone's raving about the Braves' trade over the All Star break where they got Alex Gonzalez for Yunel Escobar.

No, it's no surprise they unloaded Escobar - he's been on Bobby Cox's bad side for a few years now.

And while, clubhouse-wise, Gonzalez is an improvement over Escobar, I'm here to tell you the Braves will not benefit offensively.

I can't give you great scientific evidence that Alex Gonzalez's stats will take a nose-dive in this second half of the season.

But I will say this - Rogers Centre is a better hitters' park than Turner Field.  And it's been about six years since Gonzalez played nearly every day, which he's on pace to do in 2010.  And when he does play as often as that, he makes a lot of errors.  And, here's the offensive one - Gonzalez's numbers right now are way better than his career averages.

All of these things combined do not make the second half of 2010 very favorable for Gonzalez.

In 85 games with Toronto, Gonzalez hit .259, with 17 homers and 50 RBI, and an on-base percentage of only .296.  (8 of the homers and 29 of the RBI came in Toronto.) Now, I don't think the Braves were necessarily out to get a slugger in Gonzalez...but I'm sure they found the numbers enticing.  I'm betting that he slows way down in the Braves' remaining 74 games.

He'll tire.  He'll have trouble hitting balls out of the park at Atlanta.  But he's not exactly replacing Cal Ripken, so it won't be a huge dropoff for the Braves.

The good news for the Mets is that I don't think it'll be all that great of an improvement either.

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