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The Daily Chop: Struggles continue in Miami, Mailbag and more

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MLB: Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

To call the 2021 season for the Atlanta Braves frustrating would probably at this point be an understatement. After all the Braves came into the season having won the NL East for three straight seasons and were within a win of going to the World Series in 2020. Freddie Freeman was coming off of an MVP season, Ronald Acuña Jr. is one of the best young players in the game, Marcell Ozuna was back and the team was hoping to have Mike Soroka back as well.

Well for varying reasons, only Acuña has held up his end of the bargain in 2021. There have been multiple injuries and bouts of underperformance. There has even been a lot of bad luck tossed in there as well, especially in regards to Freeman’s performance. With all of that said, this is not a good baseball team right now. Case in point was Sunday where they squandered early opportunities in a 4-2 loss to the Marlins.

While the bullpen has been front and center of late, this Braves team has struggled at times in all facets. We have seen short and ugly outings from the rotation. We have also seen some quality starts where the offense simply can’t score any runs. Other times the starters and offense has put them in position for victory but the bullpen can’t nail it down. To summarize, this is a team that for whatever the reason, simply hasn’t come together like we have seen in the past. I’m not sure what the answer is and I am sure they are searching as well, but the fact remains that something needs to change and soon. There are a lot of talented players up and down this roster, but right now, this team isn’t very good.

More Braves News

This week’s mailbag includes discussion on the Braves’ future at the catcher position, thoughts on Drew Smyly and more. Thanks to everyone who sent in questions!

MLB News

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Major League Baseball is finalizing a memo that will outline the league’s rule against foreign substances. The memo is expected to be sent to teams in the next few days and will be distributed to coaches and players for all 30 teams.

Jacob deGrom left Friday’s start after 80 pitches due to a flare-up of right flexor tendinitis. However, deGrom played catch Saturday and is currently scheduled to make his next start on Wednesday against the Cubs.

Yankees right-hander Luis Severino had to be helped off the field Saturday afternoon due to a right groin injury. Severino was pitching for High-A Hudson Valley where he was on a rehab assignment and working his way back from Tommy John surgery.

The Milwaukee Brewers acquired veteran reliever Hunter Strickland from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for cash considerations. Strickland had been designated for assignment by the Angels earlier this week.

The Minnesota Twins announced Saturday that Jim “Mudcat”Grant had passed away at the age of 85. Grant was the first Black player to win 20 games in American League history and played a big part in the 1965 Twins team that made it all the way to the World Series.