Seeking outfield help, Braves acquire Robbie Grossman from Tigers

Detroit Tigers' Robbie Grossman bats against the Texas Rangers in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Friday, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Credit: AP

Combined ShapeCaption
Detroit Tigers' Robbie Grossman bats against the Texas Rangers in the seventh inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Friday, June 17, 2022. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Credit: AP

When the Braves lost Adam Duvall to season-ending wrist surgery, it appeared increasingly likely they would seek outfield help at the trade deadline.

They did just that, acquiring Robbie Grossman from Detroit for minor-league pitcher Kris Anglin. Grossman is a free agent after this season.

The Braves optioned infielder Mike Ford to Triple-A Gwinnett to create a roster spot for Grossman.

ExploreThe AJC's complete coverage on the Braves

This season, Grossman is batting .205 with a .595 OPS over 83 games. It takes a deeper look to find one reason the Braves may have acquired Grossman.

He is a switch-hitter who hits lefties well from the right side. This complements the left-handed hitting Eddie Rosario well in left field.

Over his career, Grossman has hit .281 with a .796 OPS versus lefties. In 77 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season, Grossman has hit .364 with a .999 OPS, while hitting a home run and driving in 10 runs.

Last season, Grossman hit a career high 23 home runs while playing in a personal-best 156 games. He finished second in the American League with 98 walks, and his .348 career on-base percentage could be a great fit in a lineup full of power hitters.

Combined ShapeCaption
Detroit Tigers' Robbie Grossman bats during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Credit: AP

Detroit Tigers' Robbie Grossman bats during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Credit: AP

Combined ShapeCaption
Detroit Tigers' Robbie Grossman bats during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

The Braves can set up a platoon with Rosario and Grossman in left field. Rosario has a .466 OPS over 107 at-bats this season, but is 5-for-15 in his last five games and could be heating up for Atlanta.

Grossman is in the second season of a two-year deal. He’s a rental and isn’t a star, which is why the cost to acquire him wasn’t high.

Anglin was with Low-A Augusta. In 12 games, seven of them starts, he posted a 5.93 ERA over 30 1/3 innings. He started the season with the Florida Complex League Braves. The organization drafted him in the 16th round in 2021.

Defensively, Grossman has played both corner outfield spots. He started 43 games in left field and 31 in right field before the trade. Whether you look at Outs Above Average or Defensive Runs Saved, the metrics point to Grossman being an average defender.

Last season, Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos bolstered his club by acquiring outfielders Joc Pederson, Jorge Soler, Rosario and Duvall. The additions sparked Atlanta and, with an improved roster, the Braves caught fire, went to the World Series and captured a championship.

At first glance, the Grossman trade might not look flashy or splashy. But remember this: None of the outfield acquisitions at last year’s deadline was a seismic move. Over the season’s final few months, those players filled their roles and exceeded expectations.

And Anthopoulos might not be done.