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The Daily Chop: Cristian Pache’s opportunity, Chris Martin activated, A.J. Minter and more

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Can Cristian Pache play his way into Atlanta’s crowded outfield picture?

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Barring something unexpected, Cristian Pache will make his debut in Friday’s series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies. How long Pache will remain in the big leagues and what his role will be will likely depend on how he does over the next couple of weeks. That was one of the questions that Mark Bowman answers in his weekly mailbag at MLB.com.

The Braves had a crowded outfield situation before Pache was added to the roster. Nick Markakis was placed on the Covid list Wednesday and Ronald Acuña Jr. has been on the 10-day list since last weekend due to a sore wrist. That provided an opportunity for Pache but things will get crowded again once Acuña and Markakis return. There is no questioning Pache’s glove which would be an upgrade in centerfield or pretty much wherever the Braves decide to play him. The question comes down to whether he can produce at the plate in order to force his way into the lineup.

The ideal scenario for Atlanta would be deploying Pache in center on an everyday basis with Acuña in one of the corners with Adam Duvall and Markakis forming a platoon in the other corner. That would slide Marcell Ozuna into a full-time DH role. Of course Pache will have to produce in order to force his way into the picture.

More Braves News

With Pache now in the majors, Drew Waters is likely to be the next position player that will make his debut although that probably won’t come until next season. Here is a nice interview with Waters by MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo on working out at the alternate site and his thought’s on Pache’s promotion.

Also, MLB Pipeline lists a prospect from each team that could be next to make their major league debut. Ian Anderson makes for the cut for the Braves as they point to the struggles by Atlanta’s rotation.

The Braves activated reliever Chris Martin from the 10-day injured list on Thursday and optioned Kyle Wright to the alternate training site. Wright had been scheduled to start Wednesday’s game against the Nationals before it was rained out. With a couple of off days coming up, the Braves will let Wright get some work in at Gwinnett.

It is still early but A.J. Minter looks to have regained his 2018 form and has been a key piece of Atlanta’s strong bullpen.

This week’s Starting Nine focuses on the Braves penchant for late comebacks and examines more pressure on Ender Inciarte.

Wayne Cavadi continues his prospect retrospective series with a look at the 1989 Richmond Braves who captured an International League championship.

MLB News

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Thursday that team president Travis Williams has tested positive for Covid-19.

The New York Mets had a player and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus and as a result had their games against the Marlins on Thursday and Yankees on Friday postponed.

Before Thursday’s game was postponed, Mets manager Luis Rojas revealed that the team will move struggling starter Steven Matz to the bullpen, Seth Lugo to the rotation and would move Edwin Diaz back into the closer’s role.

The New York Yankees are dealing with a series of injuries again in 2020. They placed reliever Zack Britton on the 10-day injured list Thursday due to a strained left hamstring. Left-hander James Paxton is dealing with forearm discomfort and will undergo an MRI. Additionally, shortstop Gleyber Torres left Thursday’s game with a tight left hamstring and he will also have an MRI although the team doesn’t believe the injury is serious at this time.

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday after he suffered a strained right hamstring.

The San Francisco Giants called up catching prospect and former Georgia Tech standout Joey Bart.

The Miami Marlins will reportedly be calling up their top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and he could make his debut over the weekend against the Nationals.