The Braves, however, must move forward. Until president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos acquires another outfielder before the Aug. 2 trade deadline – if Anthopoulos chooses to do so – the Braves must piece together left field.
Snitker on Monday put Marcell Ozuna, who isn’t great defensively, in left field against the Phillies. The manager did this because he wanted to get the right-handed-hitting Ozuna in the lineup versus a lefty starter. The Braves will probably start the left-handed-hitting Eddie Rosario in the series’ final two games, against right-handed pitchers.
“If he gets it going or whatever, who knows? Maybe we try him out there all the time,” Snitker said of Rosario. “But right now, he’s just kind of not there yet. So let’s just do it with what we have here. Make the best of it.”
This is a difficult balance for Snitker, an experienced manager who knows this game as well as anyone.
Rosario is better defensively than Ozuna. He could solve the left field issue for now. But he entered Monday’s series in Philadelphia batting .173 with a .393 OPS this season. Since returning from the injured list – a more fitting evaluation because he can now see properly – he is 9-for-47 with two homers, five RBIs and 13 strikeouts.
On one hand, consistent at-bats might help Rosario find himself. On the other, he’s not hitting well and it’s almost August.
“And that’s exactly what goes through your mind,” Snitker said. “It’d be easier to do in April. It’s kind of like, realistically, where we’re at, we’re having to win games. It’s not his fault that he missed a bunch of time or whatever. … We just have to try and work to get him those reps.”
Orlando Arcia can play left field, but the Braves need him at second base. He’s platooning there with Robinson Canó.
Last season, the Braves lost Ronald Acuña for the year. Anthopoulos worked his magic and infused the roster with outfield help.
Until something happens on that front, the Braves must move forward.
“We’ve been through this a number of times, and it just gives somebody else an opportunity,” Snitker said. “We’re still a really good team regardless. … It’s just one of those things you have to navigate. Everybody goes through it.”
Kirby Yates headed to Triple-A
There is more good news on Kirby Yates: He will pitch for Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday, Snitker said.
Yates began his rehab assignment with the Florida Complex League Braves. Then the club transferred him to Double-A. He’s set to take another step up.
The Braves don’t know when he’ll join them.
“I think you just got to go outing to outing,” Snitker said. “Saw some video. Looked really good. The numbers are good, with the velocities and the splits, and how he’s felt. He said he feels great.”
Yates has made three appearances on his rehab assignment, going an inning each time. With Double-A Mississippi, he threw two scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
The Braves don’t yet know when Mike Soroka will begin a rehab assignment.
Another home run tidbit
In this space, you’ve been reading a lot about the Braves’ homers.
Here’s another tidbit: The Braves didn’t homer in Sunday’s loss, which snapped a streak of 11 straight home games with a home run.
Atlanta entered Monday leading the National League with 151 home runs. The team is on pace to set the franchise record for most homers in a season.
Braves draw 2,000,000
Over the weekend, the Braves hit the 2 million mark for attendance.
“That’s pretty good,” Snitker said. “It’s been amazing all year, the fans. Even during school, during the week, it’s been awesome.”