While the debate about whether the National League should adopt the designated hitter rages on, this mid-week series against the Rays provides the Braves a glimpse of what life with the DH would be like.
Here is how Brian Snitker rolls out his starting nine for Tuesday’s game:
Jose Bautista, who had started the last three games for the Braves at third base, fills the DH role and bats sixth. Bench fixture Charlie Culberson gets the nod over Ryan Flaherty at third base (looks like Snit is playing matchups against the lefty) and bats ninth. Ender Inciarte moves up from his recent slot in the nine-hole to bat seventh. The usual suspects at the top - Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuña, Jr., Freddie Freeman, Nick Markakis, and Kurt Suzuki - stay in their standard configuration at the top.
As the inter-league match-ups between these two teams are minimal, the only two Braves with any plate appearances against Rays starter Blake Snell are Bautista (2-for-10 with a double and 2 walks) and Kurt Suzuki.
The Rays will line up their nine as follows:
Sean Newcomb will toe the rubber for the Braves, and the limited exposure caveat for Snell applies. The only Ray with any appearances against Newk is Denard Span, who is 1-for-3 against him, and he will be riding the pine. Like Span, if old friend Mallex Smith will be doing any damage against Atlanta, he will be doing it off the bench.
An inter-league game during the week? Yes please!