After hitting in the eighth spot in the order in his first three games, then seventh in his next five games, and then either fifth, sixth or seventh in his next 10 games (but mostly seventh), La Stella was then moved up to the leadoff spot for the Braves’ past five games including Sunday.
La Stella was only 2-for-17 with one walk and two strikeouts in the leadoff spot before Sunday, but insisted that hitting atop the lineup hadn’t affected him. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez shifted him when he moved Jason Heyward from leadoff to the fifth spot.
“I had a few line-outs last week, and we’ve faced some good arms,” La Stella said. “I don’t want to take anything away from those guys — we’ve faced some good arms.
“I don’t mind (leading off), I really don’t. I’ve never done it before, it’s kind of new to me.”