NL East Update: The one where Beltran wants winter ball

Carlos Beltran, like several of his teammates, has struggled to stay healthy, and because of this he is considering playing winter ball to prepare him for spring training.

I can see why Carlos would want to do this. After two inconsistent seasons battling injuries, he wants to prove to the Mets and other teams that he can still produce. That being said, I would simply like Beltran to stay away from game action and baseball activities in general fearing that he will re-injure himself during a time where he can spend months resting and preparing for spring training.

Phillies Nation wonders if their upcoming series with the Atlanta Braves will be the knockout punch to a team in the midst of a September swoon.

This weekend the red hot Phillies will face our Nationals and the Braves will take on division rival New York, who is coming off an impressive 4-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is very likely that the Phillies could enter the series fresh off a dominating performance vs. Washington with the Braves still underachieving. The Phillies have had Monday’s date circled on the calendar ever since they overtook Atlanta in the standings. After Wednesday we will have a better idea of what to expect for the rest of the year.

Chris Needham from Capital Punishment wonders if manager Jim Riggleman is on the hot seat.

This article surprised me because the thought of replacing Riggleman had never crossed my mind. I think he has done a solid job giving what he has had to work with. Sure there have been some questionable managerial moves, like his love for Nyjer Morgan, but that’s what you get with any manager. Now that Stephen Strasburg will be sidelined for all of next year, don’t expect the Nationals to be serious contenders, so there is no real need for the team to make any drastic moves. Next season will be another year to build and grow; there is still plenty of young talent on this team that needs a year or two more to develop.

Marlin Maniac looks at Dan Uggla’s place among the greatest home run hitting second baseman of all time.

Uggla is such an underrated talent, I have always admired his approach at the plate, because there is no approach, he just swings as hard as he can at anything in the strike zone. Right now, I think most people would say that Jeff Kent is the greatest hitting second baseman of all time because of his long tenure in the league and his accolades, highlighted by the NL Most Valuable Player award in 2000. For Uggla to earn some respect, not only does he need to keep putting up big numbers, but his team needs to make some noise in the post-season for his name to be in the same sentence as Pujols, Jeter, and Howard.

Takashi Saito has been great out of the Atlanta bullpen all season, so how big of a role will his recent injury play out for the Braves?

Atlanta knew they were getting an injury prone pitcher when they acquired him last off-season, they just hoped it would not be an issue at such a critical time. This leaves a big void in Bobby Cox’s late game options because the Braves don’t have any other reliable solution. Saito has quietly been one of the best relievers in baseball this season, they simply cannot afford to lose him.

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