Braves to place center fielder on injured list

    The Braves will place Michael Harris II on the 10-day injured list tomorrow, manager Brian Snitker told reporters (X link via Gabe Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Atlanta’s center fielder came up lame while running the bases in tonight’s win over the Rays. He left the game with what the team called left hamstring tightness.

    Harris will go for an MRI on Saturday to determine the extent of the injury. It is evidently serious enough for the Braves to rule Harris out for at least 10 days before the imaging. It seems likely he’ll be diagnosed with a strain of some degree, though that’ll be clearer over the weekend.

    The former Rookie of the Year has started all 67 games in center field. J.P. Martínez came off the bench to handle the position tonight, the first time anyone other than Harris has played a single center field inning for Atlanta this year. Harris hasn’t a great third MLB season, turning in a .250/.295/.358 batting line through 278 trips to the plate. He’d been an above-average hitter in each of his first two campaigns, rebounding from a slow start last season with a massive .325/.356/.522 showing in the second half.

    Even with Harris struggling at the plate, he’s a tough player to replace. He’s an anchor in the outfield as one of the sport’s top defensive center fielders. The Braves don’t have a clear option to step into center field in his stead. Martínez will probably get the first crack at it, but he’s a 28-year-old rookie with 53 MLB plate appearances under his belt. Atlanta acquired the Cuban-born outfielder in a minor trade with the Rangers over the winter. Martínez has spent the bulk of the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, hitting .265/.337/.394 with a 25.8 percent strikeout rate across 190 plate appearances.

    Snitker didn’t announce who would replace Harris on the roster. David O’Brien of the Athletic observes (on X) that Ramón Laureano was pulled midway through tonight’s game for Gwinnett. Laureano signed a minor league deal a couple of weeks ago, shortly after he was released by the Guardians. He has plenty of center field experience and could see some action there, but he has primarily been a corner outfielder over the last three seasons.

    Laureano didn’t hit at all for Cleveland early in the season. The right-handed hitter fanned in 38.6 percent of his plate appearances en route to a .143/.265/.229 slash line over 31 games. Laureano has been on a tear in Gwinnett, carrying a .333/.403/.593 line with a trio of homers into tonight’s action. Atlanta would need to add him to the 40-man roster to bring him up. That’s not much of an issue, as the Braves can move Spencer Strider to the 60-day injured list whenever they need to open a 40-man spot.

    If Harris is out for an extended stretch, that would only increase the urgency for the Braves to acquire outfield help at the deadline. That already looked like a priority once Atlanta lost Ronald Acuña Jr. to another ACL tear. They’ve been forced to rely on both Adam Duvall and Jarred Kelenic as everyday players (instead of their planned left field platoon) since Acuña went down.

    Source link

    Related articles



    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Share article

    Latest articles


    Subscribe to stay updated.