ramirez

NL East Update: The one where Hanley continues to struggle, hopes shakeup in lineup is solution

Jim Riggleman isn’t the only manager shaking up his lineup as Edwin Rodriquez decided to move Hanley Ramirez up to the second spot in the order, this marks the first time Hanley will bat second in five years.

I like this move for the exact reasons why it happened. Despite Hanley’s struggles, he is still one of the more dangerous hitters in the league and can make some noise in the first inning at the plate and on the base paths, also, I wouldn’t feel comfortable having John Buck bat eighth either, and this switch will likely put him in the seventh spot.

Roy Oswalt has been activated from the disabled list and will start tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals.

It will be interesting to see how Oswalt performs tomorrow in his return after a lot of time off. Oswalt hasn’t really found a groove this year and hopes to be a consistent starter every five days. It’s been a weird season thus far for the veteran right-hander but I expect him to have a smooth transition back to the rotation.

Seth Livingstone of the USA Today believes the Atlanta Braves may easily succumb to injuries, leading to a diminished performance from their lineup.

Chipper Jones had been a pleasant surprise this season, but it comes as no surprise that his knee is acting up. Also, Jason Heyward has been playing through pain in his shoulder. The Braves don’t have enough depth on the bench to afford having them out too long. The injuries couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time as the Phillies are primed to make a run with their star players getting healthy.

New York Mets third baseman David Wright has a stress fracture in his back and is set to miss a significant amount of time.

When I say significant amount of time I mean he will probably have a stint on the disabled list. Wright is not the type of guy who spends time on the DL, but whatever the Mets decide to do, it would be in his best interest to take at least two weeks off, not just for his injury, but to get his head clear. He is batting .226 and has 43 strikeouts in 39 games, not exactly the type of numbers you would expect from your “cornerstone” player.

Forty games into the season, Federal Baseball wonders if it will get better or worse for the Washington Nationals.

The Nationals have quite a respectable record considering their big name stars haven’t don’t much for the team, but they can’t get away with that for much longer. Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche have to step it up, and they will, even if it’s the slightest of improvements. I expect Werth to have a better second half but ultimately will have a disappointing 2011 considering the expectations. Keep in mind that this is the case for several players in their first year of a big contract. Better days are ahead.

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