Travis Demeritte makes most of start in Braves’ victory

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

With Eddie Rosario out for an eye correction procedure and Ronald Acuña Jr. yet to make his season debut, Braves manager Brian Snitker looked to newcomer Travis Demeritte to take over in right field.

Demeritte had four at-bats in the previous series against the Marlins, but was in the starting lineup against the Cubs on Tuesday. The Winder native had a much bigger impact in a 3-1 Braves win. He finished 1-for-3 with a solo home run that gave the Braves the lead for good, along with a strong performance in right.

“When you see a guy like that, that’s went through all the different adversities that he’s had in his career, and kind of hang in there and continue to allow yourself to get better and figure things out,” Snitker said. “That was really a special game for him.”

Braves 3, Cubs 1

Demeritte’s elevated role comes after spending all of last season in the minor leagues.

A first-round pick in 2013 out of Winder-Barrow High School, Demeritte played across the outfield for the Tigers for two seasons, but was released in 2020. He spent the next season with the Braves’ organization in Triple-A Gwinnett, hitting .282 with 21 homers in 81 games.

“It’s a tough game to play here,” Demeritte said. “It definitely did play with my mind a little bit, but my thought process along the way was the same as coming up - continue playing hard and doing what I do, and everything will fall into place.”

After keeping Demeritte in Gwinnett for most of April, the Braves called him up on April 21 to provide depth in the outfield. Demeritte doubled in a Friday start, then added a single on Sunday in an appearance off the bench. After the game, Rosario, the right field regular, reported right eye blurriness and prompted Demeritte’s move into the eighth spot of the lineup.

“When somebody goes down like that, it gives somebody else a chance to do something really good,” Sniker said. “Hopefully this is Travis’ time.”

Defensively, Demeritte registered a highlight-worthy play on Cubs designated hitter Yan Gomes’ flyout, sliding into foul territory to secure the final out of the fourth inning.

“I was trying to read the trajectory of the ball,” Demeritte said. “It started slicing backward so I knew I’d have a chance, and I just went for it.”

In the bottom of the fifth, Demeritte launched a cutter from Cubs starter Marcus Stroman 368 feet and over the right field fence for the go-ahead score. The home run was his first in the majors since 2019.

Playing in his home state and back on the major-league level, Demeritte said his evening in right field felt “too good to be true.”

“It’s definitely been a long route here, but it felt great,” he said. “To be able to put this uniform on in front of family and friends in the state that I grew up in, it’s almost scripted.”