Finally, the Braves implemented the first step towards fixing the outfield corners problem. Raul Mondesi and his .211/.271/.359 are gone. But, don’t think of this move as John Scheurholz admitting failure. In fact, its part of his plan working. I think JS would have surely preferred a productive Mondesi, but Raul Mendozza (I mean Mondesi) was always a gamble. A gamble that could only be made with the amazing core of youngsters. Mondesi’s replacement, Kelly Johnson simply outgrew AAA. . His .310/.439/.581 in Richmond just could not be ignored. Right behind him are Andy Marte (.278/.374/.485) and Billy McCarthy (.287/.355/.463). Let’s not forget about the other young players already in Atlanta. Ryan Langerhans (.190/.253/.430) has had some trouble getting on base, but when he hits the ball…look out. In less than half the at-bats of Mondesi, he’s outhomered him. And his defense has been outstanding. He will now platoon with Jordan, who ought to be very careful. Wilson Betemit (.275/.408/.500) seems to be the playing like the prospect he was supposed to be. Recent catching call-up Bryan Pena was seriously in danger of hitting over .400 in AAA. With 3 hits in his first two games, Eddie Perez may take some extra time nursing his injuries. And finally, let’s not forget Kyle Davies. While I didn’t think he was ready for the call-up, he’s certainly proved me wrong. In two starts he’s struckout more than a batter an inning, walking very few, and he is yet to give up a run. At worst the kid seems to have at least earned a bullpen slot when the starters get healthy, but he may prove he’s worth more. Addendum: I forgot Pete Orr, who’s playing quite well in his bench role.
Overall, the Mondesi move says something more powerfully indirectly than it does to directly improve the team. If you don’t perform, you won’t play; because there are plently of people in the organization that can.