Middle infielders Peterson and Aybar getting on track at the plate

The Braves have played better as of late, and you may want to look in the center of the diamond for the reason why.

The Braves were not getting much offensive production from the second base and shortstop positions early in the season. But in the last few weeks, second baseman Jace Peterson and shortstop Erick Aybar have produced much better offensively.

Peterson was hitting only .182 (8-44) when he was banished to Triple-A Gwinnett. He was platooning with Gordon Beckham under former manager Fredi Gonzalez. But with Beckham now out, Peterson has thrived as he's been left alone by new manager Brian Snitker.

Peterson has hit .364 (28-77) with three home runs and 10 RBI since returning from the minor leagues. He now has a 13-game hitting streak .358 (19-53) with three home runs and seven RBI.

As Atlanta's leadoff man, Peterson is now hitting (18-49) with three home runs, seven RBI and a .392 on base percentage.

We'll see what the Braves do when Gordon Beckham returns from the disabled list Monday. They could move Peterson to the outfield some to platoon with Jeff Francoeur. Either way, they'll need to keep Peterson in the lineup.

After a pathetic start, Aybar now has his season average up to .220. He was hitting .182 when he went on the disabled list on May 28. Since returning, Aybar has hit .311 (19-61) with six RBI. His numbers are now where Aybar may have some value on the trade market before the August 1 deadline.

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on “Middle Georgia’s ESPN” – 93.1 FM in Macon and 99.5 FM in Warner Robins. Follow Bill at twitter.com/BillShanks and email him at thebillshanksshow@yahoo.com.


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