Braves’ Adam Duvall: ‘I didn’t feel like I just forgot how to hit overnight’

During their win streak, the Braves have seen some of their top bats heat up at the same time. The lineup, as a result, has looked as dangerous as it has all season.

And in this stretch, the Braves have witnessed another encouraging sign: Adam Duvall strung together a couple of great games. This may be small, but nothing is too minuscule for a club that has awaited the arrival of one of its better hitters.

“Any time you’re working toward a goal and you finally start to see a little success, it’s very rewarding,” Duvall said Tuesday. “At the end of the day, it’s about producing runs and helping your team win. It’s much better, at the end of the day, when you can do that versus not do that. That was rewarding.”

In Saturday’s win over Colorado, Duvall blasted his first home run since May 8. In Sunday’s game there, he hit a double and a triple. He then homered and hit a double in Wednesday’s win.

Again: These are small victories, but they’re encouraging for a player who, before Wednesday, was batting .199 with a .566 OPS this season.

This is the same Duvall who was an All-Star outfielder, the one who launched 38 home runs last season. Duvall has played at least 138 games in four seasons, and he hit more than 30 homers in three of those years.

“I've normally gotten it going a little bit sooner than this year. I've felt like, eventually, it's going to click, it's going to come together. It's always a work in progress."

- Braves outfielder Adam Duvall

Duvall didn’t play in Tuesday’s game because of left triceps cramping, though he was available off the bench. His most recent couple of games might be encouraging.

“It’s just kind of coming into myself,” Duvall said. “We work on a lot of things in the cage. It’s about taking that to the game, which is the hardest part. When it’s a controlled environment and you’re working on things, it’s a little easier than when you add variability, change of speeds, different scenarios, whether there’s runners on base. Just being able to take that from the cage to the game was awesome.”

When the Braves called up Michael Harris, a center fielder, Duvall shifted to left field. This has given the Braves their best defensive outfield of the season, with Duvall and Ronald Acuña in the corners.

“It’s a lot easier on my legs,” Duvall said. “My legs feel a lot fresher after playing left. With that being said, I love playing center. It is more taxing on your body because you’re going two different ways. It has been a little bit better from a recovery standpoint, on my legs, being in the corner.”

Added manager Brian Snitker: “I worried about that all winter, playing him in center field, because he’s such a big man. There’s a lot of running involved, so I think that’ll help him. At the end of that last series, he was starting to swing the bat pretty good, too. I think the lessened physical toll should help him offensively.”

Duvall’s hard-hit rate – how often he hits balls hard – is at 41.5%, as opposed to 43.9% last season. His average exit velocity, or how hard he hits balls, is a tick lower than last season.

Perhaps it’s a matter of time until he gets going?

“I tend to start off slow every year, for some reason – unwanted,” Duvall said. “I’ve normally gotten it going a little bit sooner than this year. I’ve felt like, eventually, it’s going to click, it’s going to come together. It’s always a work in progress.

“But, yeah, I didn’t feel like I just forgot how to hit overnight. I had the confidence that it was eventually going to come around.”

Dansby Swanson, Adam Duvall complete arbitration process

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson defeated the Braves in arbitration, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. He will make the $10 million he requested instead of the $9.2 million figure the club filed.

Duvall lost in arbitration, another person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. He’s set to make $9,275,000 instead of the $10,275,000 he sought.

The Associated Press first reported this news.

If a player and a team cannot agree on a salary figure for the coming season, they both file a number by a certain deadline (it was in March this year because of the lockout). Then if they can’t settle before the hearing date, a panel of arbitrators hears the case and decides.

All-Star voting opens

As of Wednesday, fans can vote for the All-Star teams.

Braves fans will see a familiar face in the dugout managing the National League: Snitker. The managers of the teams that won the NL and AL pennants the previous year manage the All-Star teams.

“It’s going to be great,” Snitker said. “I’m really looking forward to it. I think it’ll be a lot of fun. It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. It’ll be a good time.”

Injury and illness updates

  • Catcher Travis d’Arnaud, whose forearm swelled after he was hit by a pitch, was out of the lineup Wednesday but will be in it Thursday, Snitker said.
  • Eddie Rosario (laser eye procedure) has been shagging fly balls during batting practice, hitting in the cage and ramping up his activity overall. “I guess they’re still (talking) about how much activity he can do still,” Snitker said. “But he looks good, sounds good.”
  • Pitcher Collin McHugh (COVID-19) is “not feeling great,” Snitker said. McHugh must be out for at least 10 days but can return sooner than that if he tests negative twice.

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