Brian Snitker threw a bit of a curve ball into the ongoing third base competition between Austin Riley and Johan Camargo on Sunday. While the Braves should be reluctant to not give Riley every day at-bats whether that is in the majors or at Triple-A, Camargo’s defensive versatility has always cast him as effective bench player. However, while speaking about the competition on Sunday, Snitker told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman that he thinks both players would be best served playing every day whether that is in the majors or at Triple-A.
It is certainly possible that Snitker is just showing confidence in both players as every day options but he doubled down by mentioning how Camargo performed as a bench player in 2019.
“We saw how [being a role player] affected Camargo last year,” Snitker said. “It wasn’t real good. I don’t know if [Riley or Camargo] have the experience to be that versatile [bench] guy that we want.”
Both Riley and Camargo are off to good starts this spring but Snitker’s comments inject a new dynamic into the competition. The feeling has always been that Riley will get a shot to show whether or not he is capable of handling the third base job on a full time basis this season, the thought was that Camargo would be around to fill in off the bench. Perhaps Snitker has lost confidence in Camargo’s ability to perform as a utility player. Perhaps he will clarify his comments again this week but this is certainly something to keep an eye on as the third base competition continues throughout the remainder of the spring.
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