Another washout in New York seems to be the perfect punctuation mark to what was a rotten week overall for the Atlanta Braves. After embarking on a week long trip, the Braves finished 1-2 and played just three games due to a pair of rainouts in New York. That forced Brian Snitker and company to push back the starting rotation again and for the position players to get some work done in the cages to try and keep themselves sharp.
“It’s just something we have to deal with,” Snitker said. “Whether it’s the offense, the pitching gets screwed up, guys get thrown out of the routines and all that, but we just have to deal with it. There’s nothing we can do about it.”
Snitker said that every stadium now has a high velocity machine and that the players will utilize that, but it simply isn’t the same as live action.
“They’re all working out. They still do their conditioning, weights, hit,” Snitker added. “There’s not a whole lot of things you can do, but they make do and get as much done as they can.”
On the other hand, another off day might not have been the worst thing in the world. The Braves were blown out by the Mets Saturday night and were slated to face Jacob deGrom. The team was going to be without Marcell Ozuna anyway with him going on the injured list earlier in the week, but his arrest Saturday clouds his future.
As much as getting out of a routine can hurt, this is a team that possibly could have used another day just to regroup. They will need to do so fast as they return home for a seven-game homestand against the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers.
Outfield carousel to continue
Ehire Adrianza started Saturday’s game in left field with Guillermo Heredia in center. Before Sunday’s game was rained out, Atlanta had Ender Inciarte in center with Heredia sliding over to left. Snitker previously said that he would keep all of his outfielders active as they try to plug what is now a gaping hole in left field.
“It’s not a righty, lefty thing. Just going to keep everybody active and see what happens, maybe somebody gets hot and we ride that horse for a while,” Snitker said. “Heredia has been probably one of the most steady offensive guys we’ve had. He’s done an unbelievable job getting on base. We’ll just mix and match.”
Heredia has been a pleasant surprise hitting .293/.384/.520 through 86 plate appearances. Despite that hot stretch, he is a career .243/.321/.356 hitter in over 1,200 plate appearances at the Major League level. The Braves should ride him as long as he is productive, but his overall body of work suggests that he is probably just a band aid and not a solution.
Cristian Pache update
Outfield prospect Cristian Pache was supposed to begin a rehab assignment with Gwinnett on Saturday. He was originally in the team’s lineup but was scratched prior to the game. Pache wasn’t in Gwinnett’s lineup again on Sunday. Snitker said that Pache felt some lingering soreness in his hamstring and groin Saturday and that they elected to play it safe with him and back him back off for a couple of days.
“He was supposed to play yesterday and then when he was warming up for the game, it was still biting him a little bit,” Snitker said. “So they’re gonna hold him back until Tuesday. It was still bothering him when he was warming up. They didn’t wanna take any chances so they just shut him down and will try again on Tuesday.”
Pache began the season as the Braves’ Opening Day centerfielder but has already had two stints on the injured list due to a strained groin and a strained hamstring. When he has been healthy he has struggled hitting just .111/.152/.206 in 68 plate appearances. He may be best served to remain with Gwinnett for a stretch to try and find himself again at the plate, but the Braves’ current lack of depth in the outfield could force them to fast track him again.