I’m not sure. Infante had career highs (not counting a 72-AB callup in 2002) in batting average and on-base percentage. Most of that would appear to be making more contact, as Infante was much harder to strike out than he was in Detroit. (The Braves as a whole were one of the hardest teams to strike out in the majors in 2008.) But even hitting .293, he wasn’t a big offensive plus, as he has very little power (three homers last year) and doesn’t walk. If he starts hitting in the .270 range again and doesn’t recover the power he’s only shown once (16 homers in 2004) he’s hard to keep around — especially if he’s mostly playing positions other than short.
Infante played only 20 games at his principal position in 2008, with Brent Lillibridge getting much of the action when Escobar was out. That left Infante backing up at more offensive-minded positions, left field and third base, where he was substandard at bat. He also didn’t play well defensively in left, though his stats in the infield are pretty good. He seems to have slowed down in recent years (judging from stolen base counts) and lacks the speed that is usually asked for in the outfield — not unusual on this team, I’m afraid. He’s still a useful player, especially if Escobar is going to miss time, but shouldn’t get lots of starts in a row in the outfield. Last year, however, he was one of the better options. If he still is this year, we’re in big trouble.