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OK, so "Omar Infante, All-Star" isn't quite as funny now

Aug 23, 2010, 1:10 PM EDT

I was among the many people who mocked Omar Infante’s presence on the All-Star team and I’ll stand by that mockery, because at the time he was a 28-year-old career-long utility man who wasn’t even playing every day for the Braves.
However, he’s been on fire since the All-Star break and after going 4-for-6 with two homers yesterday to help give Lou Piniella a horrible send off Infante is now hitting .378/.422/.546 in 33 second-half games (including 27 starts).
That works out to a nifty .968 OPS, which is 206 points higher than the .762 OPS that got him picked for the All-Star game in the first place. Atlanta needs Infante more than ever in the wake of Chipper Jones’ season-ending knee injury and he’s responding by actually, you know, playing like an All-Star.

  1. El Bravo - Aug 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    I thought about all the HBT trash talk about him around the ASG while watching him slug those homers yesterday. I thought about how wrong it made you guys look and then I was reminded I was watching him do this to a AAA club so his numbers were inflated. Even D. Lee hit a base clearing double against his old “team.” Infante’s good, but was not an All Star caliber player at selection time and barely is now. That said, go Braves!

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 23, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    How about you guys giving a little praise to the guy who PUT INFANTE ON THE TEAM…Uncle Charlie. Considering all the injuries, he’s manager of the year in the National League IMHO

  3. Ditto65 - Aug 23, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Maybe he was waiting for someone to tell him he was an all-star before he performed like one.

  4. The Real Shuxion - Aug 23, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    The first NL manager to win an all-star game since I began puberty.

  5. nps6724 - Aug 23, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Whoever wins the East should win Manager of the Year. Both have dealt with a ton of injuries and both have continued to be 2 of the best teams in the NL.

    Omar has a pretty viable chance to win the NL batting title. You need at least 502 plate appearances to qualify for the batting title (3.1 PAs x 162 games). Omar currently has 333. So he needs 169 PAs in the Braves’ final 38 games to qualify. If he gets 4 per game (which as a leadoff hitter is almost guaranteed), that’s 152. So let’s assume he gets to 152 exactly. That would fall 17 short. But according to the rules, “From 1967 to the present, if the player with the highest average in a league fails to meet the minimum plate-appearance requirement, the remaining at-bats until qualification (e.g., 5 ABs, if the player finished the season with 497 plate appearances) are hypothetically considered hitless at-bats; if his recalculated batting average still tops the league, he is awarded the title.” I think if Omar hits .300 the rest of the way, he will end up being the NL batting champ.

  6. RonGantsMuscles - Aug 23, 2010 at 2:27 PM

    Like so many other things, before one can achieve, they must first believe they can… maybe thats all he needed

  7. Ace2000 - Aug 23, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    I love Bobby and Cholly as much as the next guy, but I really think Bud Black has to be the odds-on favorite at the moment. He has taken a team with the 2nd lowest payroll in baseball (and virtually no expectations for success this season) and led them to what is currently the best record in the NL.

  8. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 23, 2010 at 2:43 PM

    Black also deserves consideration, but they have been injury-free all year, and have gotten top pitching performances from Garland, Richard, Latos, and LeBlanc. All are having career years at the same time. I wouldn’t be mad to see Black win it. But with all the injuries, the Phillies have played extremely well. What injuries have the Braves had? Chipper? Come on. Prado for what 15 games? McLouth? Give me a break. They have very good health all year long with Hudson and Wagner pitching like they were 25 years old. Sure, Medlen was a tough loss, and Jurrjens was hurt earlier, but those are #4 starters. You can’t compare the injuries of the Phillies to those of the Braves.

  9. nps6724 - Aug 23, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    Jair Jurrjens – out over 2 months
    Matt Diaz – out over 1 month
    Nate McLouth – out over 1 month
    Eric O’Flaherty – out over 1 month
    Jason Heyward – played 1 month with an injured thumb AND 1 DL stint
    Chipper Jones – out for rest of the year
    Kris Medlen – out for rest of the year
    Takashi Saito – 1 DL stint
    Yunel Escobar – 1 DL stint
    Troy Glaus – 1 DL stint
    Martin Prado – 1 DL stint

    Both Heyward and Prado have injuries that won’t heal until after the season.

    And there’s been another 3 or 4 guys who were DL’ed but were AAA callups who filled in.

  10. packattack95 - Aug 23, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Omar has been as valuable to the Braves as any other player in the National League since the All Star break. Not only is it possible that this career “utility” man could win the batting title, he is a legitimate MVP canidate if he continues his hot streak and the Braves end up winning the East.

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 24, 2010 at 12:10 AM

    Come on…seriously? You actually had the balls to list Glaus and McLouth? Really? Their injuries HELPED Atlanta. The Phillies lost Utley for 3 months, Howard, Polanco, Rollins for a month. These are starters…major players. You named a #4 starter, a rookie, a washed up future hall of famer, and a bunch of role players. Now, if they had lost Hudson, Hanson or Wagner for any extended period of time, I might give you that. Prado is about the only major injury they had, and he was back in 15 days.

  12. Drakos - Aug 24, 2010 at 12:39 AM

    The Padres may not have seen the injuries that other teams have but to say that they’ve been injury free is a stretch. Their highest paid player (Chris Young) made one start and has been on the DL since then. Their opening day left fielder was lost for the season in May. Their opening day center fielder is gone for the rest of the season. Their opening day second baseman and shortstop have both missed extended periods of time. They’ve had some injuries in their bullpen as well.

  13. nps6724 - Aug 24, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Utley missed 2 months, not 3. And Heyward, who has almost an identical WAR to Utley, played 1 month where he could barely grip the bat and spent time on the DL.

    Howard missed 15 days, not a month. Prado also missed 15 days and his WAR is 2 wins above Howard’s. Polanco missed a month but we’re going to be without Chipper for 2 months (though Polanco’s WAR is 1 win above Chip’s). Not to mention missing Jurrjens and Medlen, who combined have been worth more than Moyer, Blanton, and Happ combined.

    I love how you refer to Jurrjens or Medlen (not sure which one you’re referring to) as a #4 starter yet both would be better than most of Philly’s. Oh, and Heyward as just “a rookie”. And Hurricane Katrina was just “a rainstorm”.

  14. knarf - Aug 25, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    really? Jurrjens is a #4 starter? I’d love to see the rotation where he is the #4 starter. please watch some baseball before commenting again. It’s going to kill you when this Braves team full of non-“starters…major players,” beats you for the east, huh? I can’t wait to see the Braves pitching shut down the Phillies vaunted hitting in a short series.
    Good job scoring 2 runs in 16 innings last night, btw

  15. knarf - Aug 25, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    really? Jurrjens is a #4 starter? I’d love to see the rotation where he is the #4 starter. please watch some baseball before commenting again. It’s going to kill you when this Braves team full of non-“starters…major players,” beats you for the east, huh? I can’t wait to see the Braves pitching shut down the Phillies vaunted hitting in a short series.
    Good job scoring 2 runs in 16 innings last night, btw

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