With the Braves securing the second seed in the 2022 playoffs with their 2-1 win over the Marlins on Tuesday evening, the Braves now find themselves in a more favorable playoff bracket (at least on paper) and, more importantly, they get some much needed rest before they have to play meaningful baseball again. After the regular season finale today against the Marlins, they do not have to play again until October 11 when the National League Division Series starts up where they will play the winner of the Phillies/Cardinals wild card round.
Getting some rest for guys who have played nearly every day this season is already a big enough positive, but the Braves also get the added benefit of buying some time for a couple of their players who are injured. Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos was interviewed after the game last night and had some interesting nuggets to share on that front.
Alex Anthopoulos joined the @Braves in November 2017.— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) October 5, 2022
Atlanta has won every National League East title since that hire.@TreavorScales, @nickgreen20 and @TwoSportman catch up with the Braves GM after division title No. 5. pic.twitter.com/QMO4uQWK5A
Amidst all the talk about the Braves run to the division title, Anthopoulos provided some updates on the Braves’ injured stars Spencer Strider and Ozzie Albies. Spencer Strider did throw a bit and felt really good after that which puts him on track to be “in play” for the NLDS although AA stopped short of calling it a certainty as he still needs to throw a bit more before the team will sign off on him starting that early in the playoffs.
Ozzie Albies, who has been out with a fractured pinky, sounds like he is much less likely to return in the Braves’ first playoff series. He has not begun hitting yet and is definitively further behind Strider in his progress towards a return, again according to AA. He still hasn’t been ruled out for a return this postseason, but it sounds like the Braves are going to have to make a deeper run in the playoffs before we could see Ozzie in action.