This resurgent Braves ball club has looked a lot better in the past week, and a lot of it is thanks to the MLB leader in doubles, Nick Markakis.
Earlier at SportsTalkATL.com, we discussed moving Markakis at the deadline with Mallex Smith coming up during the middle of the year. The outfield would then be a combination of Smith, Ender Inciarte, and Hector Olivera. It now appears that Olivera could be the odd man out. Nick Markakis is now our rock in the outfield with young Mallex still learning how to play at the Major League level.
Nick Markakis is having an excellent season, along with his gold glove caliber defense, durability, and grit, he’s batting .327 with a Major League Leading 9 doubles. He’s embraced his role as the leadoff hitter, and has become quite the table setter for Fredi Gonzalez. Nick has done an excellent job of shortening up his swing, and his hot start is nothing new. Through his first 15 games of last season, he was hitting .333.
Nick could probably bring in an excellent haul at the deadline, but even though I agree with the rebuild; Nick needs to stay. He’s become a fan favorite and he’s a cog that is keeping this team moving. Unless we receive an offer that we can’t refuse, Nick needs to hold down the fort in right field for Atlanta.