Braves: Cristian Pache’s first stint in the bigs could be a short one

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The MLB debut of Cristian Pache has been one of the high points of this shortened 2020 season. He picked up his first major league hit, and the Braves routed the Phillies, increasing their lead in the NL East. However, this first stint for the 21-year-old outfielder may be much shorter than Braves fans were hoping.

Since making his debut on Friday, Brian Snitker did not include him in the starting lineup yesterday, and that is the case again today in Atlanta’s series finale with Philadelphia. That should tell you all you need to know about where they think Pache is in his development, considering the Braves are without Ronald Acuña and Nick Markakis… and Ender Inciarte and Matt Adams are still receiving starts.

MLB.com’s Mark Bowman makes a good point: Pache was brought up out of necessity. Once the Braves placed Markakis on the COVID-19 list, they needed another outfielder, and he was the only one on the 40-man roster. Bowman continued by saying that Pache will likely be sent back down this week, assuming Markakis is cleared to return.

This is disappointing on a couple of levels. Obviously, everybody loves watching the fresh face of a top prospect taking the field, but the Braves also seem to be in a position where they could use his skill set. Many believe he’s already as good defensively as Ender Inciarte, and he can’t be much worse with the bat. You would think the Braves would like to give him as much time to develop as possible, especially since there is no minor league season.

It’s a puzzling thought process by the Braves, but apparently, they just don’t think Pache is quite ready to contribute at the major league level. Brian Snitker was asked about why he wasn’t included in the lineup for the second consecutive game, and the Braves manager made it known why he is in Atlanta right now.

We’ll see if that changes if Inciarte and Adams continue to struggle. But as of now, it looks like Pache is just a short-term fix until Markakis is cleared to come back.

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