The Braves were glad to get back home on Monday and it showed in a big win over the Yankees. However, the night was not all positive, as after the game manager Brian Snitker revealed that second baseman Ozzie Albies will be headed to the injured list.
#Braves’ Ozzie Albies will go on the 10-day IL with a hamstring strain, Snitker said after tonight’s game. They’ll bring up another infielder. I would guess Vaughn Grissom, but nothing announced yet. Nicky Lopez, who impressed again tonight, also likely to get more starts there.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) August 15, 2023
Snitker elaborated a bit more on Albies, saying that he would need more time to get back to normal than previously thought. Of course, this is certainly less than ideal, as Albies has been great all year long, especially offensively. However, the postseason is the sole focus for the Braves right now, and they have every reason to take advantage of their huge division lead to make sure Albies gets back to 100%. The right move is to give Albies time to heal and get back to full health as soon as possible.
Another factor that likely made the decision a bit easier is the fact that the Braves all of the sudden have plenty of enviable infield depth:
Vaughn Grissom finished with a double and a walk to extend his on base streak to 36 games. He’s hitting .351/.467/.545 with a 17.6% walk rate and 14.7% strikeout rate in that span. He has committed two errors in that span and none in his past 31 games— Garrett Spain (@BravesMILB) August 14, 2023
Vaughn Grissom is a natural replacement for Albies on the major league roster with how well he has been playing all season in Triple-A. Furthermore, Nicky Lopez has shown a level of offensive productivity that hardly anyone expected since he arrived in Atlanta. While Lopez will cool down in time, his glove is certainly his elite, so he and Grissom should make a fine combination to hold down the middle infield with Orlando Arcia until Albies returns.
Hopefully, Albies will be back as soon as possible. But in the meantime, seeing Lopez and Grissom in expanded roles, plus getting to see a top of the order featuring Ronald Acuna Jr. and Michael Harris II will be fun to watch. A big benefit for the Braves is their depth, and that once again should help them navigate the absence of Albies.