With homeruns to fill a hand’s appendages, the Braves continue streaking, running it to 13 straight wins. Unfortunately, win number 13 was accompanied with bad news as Ozzie broke his foot on an awkward swing and will likely be out a month and a half. At his current production, the Braves won’t miss him, but his value goes much further than the field.
Ian Anderson struggled once again and his outings continue to be swayed by how much other teams will swing outside the zone. Bullpen work continues to be solid as Dylan Lee, Darren O’Day, Jesse Chavez, and Will Smith combined for 5 innings of 1 run ball with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.
The best part of the night was Michael Harris getting his first fence-flyer. I think the kid can stick around.
Max Fried takes the mound tonight and I always like the chances when he’s in charge.
In-House Options and Trade Targets
Ozzie Albies is a loved fellow. When teams line up across the diamond to play the Braves, Ozzie is the one guy in the spotlight. He’s fun, jovial, a little bit mischievous, and it’s been well documented that he’s universally loved across baseball. So when Ozzie went down in a heap yesterday after an awkward swing, it wasn’t a question if he was seriously injured, but how long would he have to stay sidelined. The news came fast:
Timelines for a simple fracture range between 4-6 weeks to fully heal. From there, the Braves, especially if continuing their winning ways, will not want to rush him back. My expectation is Albies will be back come August, whether it be the first or second week. With the expectation that Ozzie will be back with 6-7 weeks left in the season, I cannot imagine Anthopoulos will go looking for a permanent replacement. The current plan seems to be to give Orlando Arcia 2B starts and I’d wager a guess that newly acquired (and 40-man rostered) Kramer Robertson gets the call today to fill the immediate need of backup. However, it would seem best practice to grab a LHH 2B to create a platoon with Arcia. Many on social media immediately wanted to go for the jugular and grab Jazz Chisholm from the Marlins. That’s not happening. It would be silly for the Braves and Marlins. Make no mistake, if shopping, the Braves are looking on the discount aisle.
In-House 2B Options for the Braves
- Kramer Robertson: The 40-man roster contains 1 dude, the aforementioned Kramer Robertson, that can play 2B. He’s received 1 cup of coffee with the Cardinals before being DFA’d and claimed by the Braves. He’s shown good on-base skills and was a polished player for the LSU Tigers. However, he’s not an ideal fit as he’s a RH batter. If the Braves can’t pull off a trade today, I’d wager we see him get the call on a temporary basis.
- Joe Dunand: The Braves claimed slugging 1B Mike Ford after he was DFA’d from the Yankees and had to place him on the 40-man roster. Joe Dunand was the 40-man casualty. AA, who seemingly knows when to make moves like this, was able to keep Dunand in the system, and outrighted him to AAA. Dunand, like Robertson, isn’t an ideal fit as he also hits from the right side.
- Pat Valaika, Phil Gosselin, Hernan Perez: Take these 3 dudes, shake’em in a dice cup, spill’em on a table, and you’d basically get the same thing. They’re the definition of a replacement player and have the same thing in common as the 2 other in-house options…they hit right handed.
- Braden Shewmake: The only guy in the system that bats LH that could handle 2B, Shewmake could finally get the call, but it wouldn’t be the type of call that the Braves would’ve expected from a 1st round pick. Overall, Shewmake has never lived up to his 1st round potential, carrying a .715 OPS in 815 MILB PAs. I don’t think he’s ready, but at 24 years old, will he ever be?
Braves 2B Trade Targets
It’s my opinion that the Braves will go the trade route. And while the trade route will likely be at an inflated cost as it’s so early in the season, the players the Braves would want to acquire wouldn’t cost too much.
- Ehire Adrianza: In my opinion, the ideal fit. He seemed like a good clubhouse fit last year and swung a pretty decent stick.
- Roughned Odor: He’s not very good anymore, but he did punch the shit out of Jose Bautista once so that counts for something. I don’t think he’s a realistic target.
- Brandon Drury: A former Braves farmhand, Drury is having a good season but it’s a season inflated by his home stats in Cinci. He also bats RH and that isn’t an ideal fit.
- Cesar Hernandez: Bigger name, but basically the same production as Adrianza.
- Kyle Farmer: Will be a free agent in ’23 and is a Georgia boy. I’m sure he could be had.
- Whit Merrifield: If the Braves wanted to work out a deal to buy low on Whit Merrifield, I’m sure they could as he’s been the opposite of good for quite a while. Still, there’s speed in his legs and if the Royals would depart with him AND send significant amounts of cash to offset his ’22 and ’23 salary. If he could hit a little, Merrifield is an ideal 26th man on a playoff team.
- Tony Kemp: Kemp has been putrid with the A’s, but has had a serviceable career.