New Braves outfielder Robbie Grossman is ‘happy to be here’

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

In the middle of Detroit’s game in Minnesota on Monday night, Robbie Grossman found out that the Tigers traded him to the Braves.

The hours that followed were a whirlwind.

Grossman flew to Atlanta and arrived Tuesday morning. As of Tuesday afternoon, when he entered his new clubhouse, he still was trying to figure out his living situation and how to ship his belongings from Detroit.

“Excited,” he said. “A lot of emotions going through my mind, but happy to be here, happy to help and looking forward to playing for the Braves.”

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Grossman left the Tigers, who are not contenders. They have not been mathematically eliminated from postseason contention but almost certainly will not make the playoffs.

The Braves, on the other hand, are battling the Mets for the National League East crown. Barring a massive collapse, the Braves will head to the postseason for the fifth time in as many seasons under president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos.

“Winning at this level, there’s nothing that compares to it,” Grossman said. “I’m lucky enough that they thought highly enough (of me) to bring me over here. I’m going to do whatever I can to help this team win.”

ExploreAnthopoulos strengthens Braves at trade deadline

When he walked into the clubhouse, Grossman saw familiar faces. He played with Matt Olson in Oakland, then with Jake Odorizzi and Ehire Adrianza – both acquired at the deadline – in Minnesota. He’s played against other guys throughout his career.

“What a team they have here,” Grossman said. “I’m lucky enough to be a part of it and lucky enough to have played with a couple of these guys before, and excited to be here.”

Of Grossman, Olson said: “I know Robbie’s a hard worker, grinder, a switch-hitter. Plays outfield hard and well, and is always ready to go.”

When the Braves acquired him, Grossman was batting .205 with a .595 OPS. It doesn’t tell the full story of this deal, though. The switch-hitter has a .796 career OPS versus lefties and a .999 OPS against them in a limited sample size this season.

In this way, Grossman complements Eddie Rosario. The Braves can use a platoon in left field, starting Grossman versus most lefties and Rosario versus righties. In his first at-bat with the Braves on Wednesday, Grossman doubled off a right-handed reliever, which was ironic (but a good sign) after the discourse about his great numbers against lefties.

Last season might have been the best of Grossman’s career. He blasted a personal-best 23 home runs. He posted an .857 OPS versus left-handed pitching.

Grossman is not hitting well against righties this season but said he’s worked on mechanical adjustments. He feels like he’s found something he can use to feel like he did last season.

Grossman felt good about the Braves trading for him.

“You always want to be wanted in this industry,” he said. “I’m lucky enough to be here. I’m just going to be me and help wherever I can.”

Alex Anthopoulos said farm system isn’t an issue

From the outside, it seemed the Braves probably didn’t have a group of top prospects that would allow them to contend with other teams at the trade deadline. Trading for bigger fish requires valuable prospects, and it seemed the Braves could’ve been held back by their lack of heralded prospects (though they didn’t need to land a star player at the deadline).

When one reporter brought up this notion, Anthopoulos said he “very respectfully” disagreed. He pointed to some notable examples. Neither Michael Harris nor Spencer Strider was highly ranked at this point last summer. Austin Riley never received a ton of love in the rankings.

The Braves, Anthopoulos said, don’t hype their players or publicize them in the same way as other organizations – perhaps to a fault. But he said the Braves’ players haven’t been an issue.

“We have not had a moment – at this point yet; I’m sure there’ll be a day – that we’ve explored trading for a player and someone told us we didn’t have the players to give back,” Anthopoulos said. “Now there’s certain players we’re just not going to be active on because we have certain spots committed. That’s never been an issue for us. We really like our players.

“You always want to be better, you always want to get more talent. But we love the group that we have, and we think we have a lot of young prospects that we’re excited about that may not be as highly ranked.”

Rotation for the Mets series

The Braves on Thursday begin a four-day, five-game series versus the Mets in New York.

Kyle Wright will start Thursday, and Ian Anderson will pitch Friday. Max Fried and Odorizzi – the order is to be determined – will start the games in Saturday’s doubleheader. Strider will pitch Sunday.

As of Wednesday morning, the Mets hadn’t released their starting pitchers. The Braves are expected to see Jacob deGrom, who made his season debut Tuesday, in Sunday’s series finale.

Michael Harris sits with a sore foot

Around an hour and a half before first pitch Wednesday, the Braves scratched Harris because his right foot was sore after being hit by a pitch Tuesday.

Wednesday marked the first time Harris didn’t start a game since the Braves called him up in late May. He had started 58 consecutive games.

“It popped him pretty good last night,” manager Brian Snitker said after Wednesday’s loss. “He woke up this morning, was pretty sore. It was just more of keeping him off of it for a day.”

Snitker said he expects Harris to play Thursday.

Guillermo Heredia replaced Harris in the lineup, batting ninth and playing center field.

Travis d’Arnaud dealing with stomach virus

Travis d’Arnaud didn’t catch Wednesday’s game because of a stomach virus.

Snitker didn’t know if he would be in the lineup Thursday.

“We’ll just wait and see (Thursday),” Snitker said. “He got a little bug or something. We’ll have to wait and see how he wakes up.”

Jay Jackson returns to Gwinnett after recall

The Braves recalled right-hander Jay Jackson for Wednesday’s game. He was in Atlanta to take Raisel Iglesias’ roster spot until Iglesias, acquired minutes before Tuesday’s trade deadline, reports to the team in New York.

Jackson hasn’t pitched in the bigs this year. He suffered a right lat strain in spring training.

After Wednesday’s loss, the Braves optioned Jackson to Triple-A Gwinnett.