June 13, 2024

MLB Trade Rumors: Braves’ Outfield Strategy Following Ronald Acuña Jr.’s Injury Disclosure

The Atlanta Braves’ aspirations of winning the World Series have been significantly impacted by the loss of Ronald Acuña Jr. for the whole season.

Additionally, Jon Morosi of MLB Network claimed on Tuesday that the Braves would “stay internal” with the trio of Michael Harris II, Jarred Kelenic, and Adam Duvall, even though they may eventually try to improve the outfield through a trade:

Duvall will temporarily fill Acuña’s position in right field on the defensive side. Earlier, he and Kelenic had been platooning in left field.

“It will be fairly consistent right now,” manager Brian Snitker told reporters on Monday. “This is what you observe. We have that person.”

As a depth piece, the team also called up J.P. Martínez from Triple-A.

Who will bat leadoff is a matter of opinion.

It’s a daily occurrence, according to Snitker. “I might continue with [Ozzie Albies] there because I like him against the lefty. I’m not sure. We’ll check in to see how everyone else is doing and what a daily glance is like.”

Albies did lead the order in Monday’s 8-4 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Acuña, the reigning National League MVP and a four-time All-Star, cannot be replaced. Without him, the Braves are a lesser club. However, they still boast one of the best offenses in baseball and have shown they can withstand hurricanes in the past.

Third baseman Austin Riley told reporters, “There aren’t many players in this league that are on a level that he is.” Every night, watching him is a pleasure. You feel bad for him to witness that. It’s understandable, he’s such a gifted player. I’m sure he’ll put forth endless effort to make it back. But replacing Ronald will undoubtedly be difficult.”

Regarding the current outfield trio, Harris is hitting.261, five home runs, 17 RBI, 23 runs, and eight stolen bases. Meanwhile, Duvall (.209, five home runs, 13 RBI, and 12 runs) and Kelenic (.258, three home runs, nine RBI, and 14 runs) have not been that impressive, even if they are sharing playing time.

Atlanta has had a difficult year, as they also lost standout starter Spencer Strider for the whole campaign. In the NL East, the Braves (30-21) are already six games behind the Philadelphia Phillies (38-17).

It wouldn’t be shocking to see the team make a more dramatic move on the trade market if that gap grows or if they are having difficulty competing for a Wild Card spot.

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