With 40 games in the hopper, this seems like a convenient time to take a closer look at how the Braves’ offense is stacking up against its NL peers (all numbers through 5/15).
Braves OPS by position (w/NL rank):
C — 856 (T-1st with PIT)
1B — 829 (8th)
2B — 711 (7th)
3B — 779 (4th)
SS — 664 (10th)
LF — 918 (3rd)
CF — 576 (13th)
RF — 709 (10th, but somehow 1st in the division!)
P — 445 (2nd to LAD)
PH — 670 (5th)
A few surprises in there — we know McCann, Gattis & Laird (was gonna make a law firm joke here, but doesn’t any grouping of three last names sound like a law firm?) have hit well, but I didn’t think they’d be tied for the NL lead (BTW, did anyone predict this Russell Martin resurgence?). Despite diverging opinions on their relative worth, it turns out Freeman and Uggla are each squarely in the middle of his respective pack. Two teams’ CFs have managed to underperform Bupton. Jupton has fallen behind usual suspects Braun and CarGo. And, unlike in 2012, the team is getting some extra hidden production from its pinch-hitters and pitching staff (last year’s totals were 298 and 475, respectively).
Bottom 5 NL positions by OPS:
CIN C — 504 (a close race, but any team that voluntarily employs Corky Miller is a big favorite to win the day)
NYM 1B — 514 (Ike Davis …. LOLMets)
LAD 3B — 515 (thanks largely to a .100/.135/.100 showing by Luis Cruz)
NYM CF — 517 (might have been last a couple of days ago…fortunately Rick Ankiel has arrived …. again, LOLMets)
PIT SS — 523 (Clint Barmes)
A couple of other notes: No Marlins position is currently carrying even a 700 OPS. And that NL bottom 5 can’t hold a candle to the Mariners shortstops, where Brendan Ryan and Robert Andino have combined for a 318 OPS. 15 singles and a dozen walks comprise the totality of their offensive contributions at the position. So, hey, at least we don’t have to look at that.