Even though Omar Infante has not been a starter for the Braves since joining the team at the start of the 2008 season, he might be one of the most valuable players for the club. With injuries on the left side of the infield and inconsistent play in center and right, the Braves again and again turned to Infante. And in return Infante has performed.
As Kelly Johnson slumped throughout May, Infante stepped in and could have easily stolen the starting stop at second, had he not gotten injured. Kelly Johnson is now back on track, but Jordon Schafer in Center has fallen off the cliff. And Chipper Jones has continued to be constantly plagued by a different injury every week.
The Braves have a viable backup for Jones at third with Martin Prado, but no one, NO ONE on this current roster can play Center Field other than Jordon Schafer.
Schafer can play Center, but he has gotten so bad at the plate that he is being asked to bunt in front of the pitcher.
Thus far, manager Bobby Cox has attempted to use Matt Diaz in Center Field, but even Diaz is flustered that he would play Center Field, a position he had never played before.
So what do the Braves need? Omar Infante. Unfortunately that will not be happening for atleast two months.
In the early 2000’s, Bobby Cox used Mark DeRosa in a role similar to the one Infante currently fills and he could again.
The Indians have made it clear that they are willing to hear trade offers for DeRosa, who has played mostly third for the club, but also has played three other positions.
Rarely do you need to replace a bench player, but Omar Infante is not your typical bench player and Mark DeRosa is the perfect man to fill in.
Where ever that may be.