The Braves made an adjustment to their catching situation on Wednesday, demoting William Contreras to Triple-A Gwinnett in favor of veteran Jonathan Lucroy. The latter has experience and while he may not provide a huge offensive boost, he will at least give Contreras an opportunity to recalibrate in the minor leagues.
The real question for Atlanta becomes: who will finish the season with the majority of playing time behind the plate? Travis d’Arnaud is reportedly progressing well, while Shea Langeliers continues to impress at Double-A Mississippi. Having either of those two options at their disposal would greatly improve upon the current duo of Lucroy and Kevan Smith. Langeliers may not be deemed ready at any point in 2021, but the Braves are in need of some consistency at the catcher spot.
Hopefully some time out of the spotlight will allow Contreras to regroup and rejoin the club within the next few weeks. His raw talent is possibly the highest in the organization, but he needs to prove himself on both sides of the ball. Adding him back to the roster, plus a healthy d’Arnaud, could give the Braves a major boost after the All-Star break. Atlanta just needs Lucroy and Smith to hold down the fort until then.
The Atlanta offense showed that it still has a pulse, blowing out the Pirates after two ugly losses. They now head to Miami looking to close the first-half on a roll.
The Braves will need to monitor the status of Ozzie Albies after he left the game on Wednesday with neck stiffness. The club is already shorthanded and can ill-afford to have their All-Star second baseman sidelined.
As noted above, Contreras will get an opportunity to reset at Triple-A while Lucroy gives the Braves another veteran behind the plate.
What did we learn about the Braves this week in Pittsburgh?
The Home Run Derby field is set: Ohtani, Soto, Gallo, Story, Olson, Mancini, Perez, Alonso.
This should be an incredible display, especially in an environment like Coors Field.
The Rays threw a no-hitter on Wednesday. Call it what you want, but no hits were recorded in an official game. That should be enough.
The Cubs had lost 11 games in a row before beating the Phillies.