It has been a mostly forgettable season for the Atlanta Braves, yet they find themselves just 3.5 games back in the NL East entering play on Friday. Atlanta took 2 of 3 from the New York Mets including a wild, 4-3 walk-off win Thursday where they blew a 3-2 lead and then scored the winning run without hitting a ball out of the infield.
While the series win draws the Braves closer in the standings, there are several areas that will need to be addressed with this roster soon enough. Atlanta entered the rubber match of the series against Jacob deGrom no less with a starting outfield featuring Abraham Almonte, Guillermo Heredia and Ehire Adrianza. No offense intended to any of those players, but if this team has hopes of reaching the postseason, then the lineup is going to have to be addressed.
Orlando Arcia started again in left field Thursday night for Gwinnett and could soon get an opportunity. He has played well for the Stripers but has a 71 wRC+ in over 1,800 plate appearances at the big league level. He can help, but he probably isn’t the solution the Braves need.
Atlanta will get Travis d’Arnaud back at some point as well as pitchers Huascar Ynoa and Tucker Davidson who could return to the rotation or bolster the bullpen. Still, the giant sized hole in the lineup will have to be addressed and the clock is ticking with the trade deadline right around the corner.
Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman were announced as starters for the National League in the 2021 MLB All-Star Game Thursday night. Ozzie Albies finished second in fan voting behind Pittsburgh’s Adam Frazier. Reserves for the team will be announced on Sunday.
The Braves have shown some signs of life of late but June was another tough month all the way around.
Ronald Acuña Jr. was a late scratch from Thursday’s lineup due to what was described as mid back tightness. He did enter the game late as a pinch hitter where he recorded a single and a walk.
2021 MLB Draft
Matt Powers continues his look at the best prospects in the 2021 MLB Draft pool with spotlight on the shortstop position which is loaded at the top.
MLB Pipeline projects UC Santa Barbara right-hander Michael McGreevy to the Braves in their latest mock draft.
- The New York Yankees acquired outfielder Tim Locastro from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Double-A pitcher Keegan Curtis.
- Despite the controversy swirling around Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer, manager Dave Roberts told reporters Thursday that Bauer is still scheduled to start Sunday’s game in Washington.
- The Toronto Blue Jays are reportedly among several teams showing interest in Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez. Rodriguez is having an excellent season and is under club control through the 2023 season.
- Chris Sale is in the final stretch of his recovery from Tommy John surgery and is planning to be back in Boston’s rotation “sooner rather than later.”
- The Pirates placed first baseman Colin Moran on the 10-day injured list with a small fracture in his left wrist. Moran suffered the injury when he was hit by a pitch from Kyle Freeland Monday.
- The Phillies designated veteran reliever Neftali Feliz for assignment Thursday and reinstated right-hander Brandon Kintzler from the injured list. Feliz returned to the majors after a four-year hiatus and was excellent at Triple-A but struggled in a small sample with the Phillies.
- Finally, Thursday was July 1 which is also known as Bobby Bonilla day. If you aren’t familiar with why the Mets are still paying Bonilla, who is now 58 years old, then this is a good explainer. Credit the Mets who are now embracing Bobby Bonilla Day with a new promotion.