On May 25th of 2021, Marcell Ozuna slid into 3rd and broke a finger and it started a chain of events that feels like a Hallmark movie from hell.
The year prior, COVID ball, Ozuna was a near triple crown winner, finishing 6th in MVP voting and carried an insane 1.067 OPS in the 60-game sample. The 2020-21 offseason was the time for Ozuna to cash in on the small sample and it didn’t seem like the Braves would bite. However, on February 5th, the Braves gave Ozuna what he wanted: A 4 year/$64MM deal with a $1MM buyout. It was a happy day for Ozuna and for Braves fans, but that happiness was short-lived for both.
On the day of the aforementioned injury, Ozuna was struggling offensively (.213/.288/.356), and unfortunately for him, he was the only statue in the Battery or Truist that wasn’t on the concourse. Ozuna’s career was spiraling, then his personal life followed suit. In June of 2021, Ozuna was arrested on Domestic Violence charges that were later dropped, but the body cam video was disturbing enough to many Braves fans and many wanted him gone. He missed the rest of 2021.
2022, the Braves were hopeful that Ozuna could rebound at the plate and early on, there were promising results. Through the first 18 games, Ozuna had an .833 OPS and had already popped 4 HRs. Things seem to be looking up. But we know better than to hope, and Ozuna doubled down on that insecurity by carrying a .662 OPS through the rest of the season that luckily, for other teams, included him clogging up the DH, which is supposed to be for players that can… ya know..hit, and moonlighting in left field with his wonderfully horrid defense. Like Cousin Eddie says, “He’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year round”. And the cherry on top, Ozuna whose paid $18MM/year, was arrested on DUI charges in August. Why on God’s green earth would a man making $18MM/year choose to drive after consuming several slurvy sippers is beyond me.
So, let’s get this straight: There’s a player that’s on this team that, since signing his contract in 2021, has been one of the worst players in the Majors, has been arrested TWICE since signing said contract, and is STILL GETTING PLAYING TIME? Well then, the only answer must be that he’s hitting much better in 2023. Let’s check in on that.
- 41 Plate Appearances
- 3 hits
- 5 walks
- .083 AVG
- .195 OBP
- .445 OPS
Dang. Not good. Not good at all. So all of the above checks out and he still sucks. At this point, it’s not even an Ozuna problem, it’s an upper management problem because they won’t release him. It’s a Snitker problem because he continues to play him. If AA is not able to do what he needs to do because of McGuirk, then Snitker needs to do the right thing when Michael Harris comes back, because this is beyond dumb at this point.
Want to chat? Click the graphic below! Who knows, maybe Marcell will be there.