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Starting left fielder Marcell Ozuna broke two fingers on one hand in Boston, while sliding into third base. With a mitt-less left hand, Ozuna slid head-first, the only problem is, his left hand didn’t make it past Devers’ foot.
The multiple fractures will keep Marcell out of the lineup for six weeks, best case scenario. So, who in the Braves organization is best suited to step up until Marcell makes his return? I have a certain guy in mind…
Arcia has been lighting it up in the minors since coming over to the Braves. To begin the season, his performance in Gwinnett was the biggest story in the organization, at any level. Although he’s seen as more of a utility infielder, he’s logged MLB innings in the outfield. And no offense to Ozuna, but it wouldn’t be hard to match or exceed Marcell’s defensive capabilities in left field.
Arcia being brought up would keep the guys who are having the biggest years, in their current spots. Those guys are Austin Riley & Pablo Sandoval.
After an abysmal beginning to 2021, Riley has been arguably the hottest hitter in Major League Baseball these past three weeks. He’s found his groove, you don’t take him out of it. Not to mention he seems to have reached his full potential defensively at the hot corner.
If Riley was to move to left field, that would bring Pablo Sandoval to third base. Just like Riley, Pablo is in his best role. He’s having a historically great season as a pinch-hitter. Once a guy finds his role and his process to best set himself up for success, you let him stay there; he’ll only get better.
Other Guys to Consider
Travis Demeritte: Demeritte is a former top prospect who would be a stress-free replacement for Ozuna for the time being.
Guillermo Heredia: Heredia would actually be an improvement over Ozuna in left, given how slow of a start at the plate Ozuna has gotten off to. That would bring Ender to center field, which would trigger another move since Heredia & Ender are already with the MLB Braves.