Braves: Don’t be shocked if Orlando Arcia continues to start at second base

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Last night, Orlando Arcia got the start for the Braves again at second base, and he delivered with this mammoth shot that broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning.

It’s Arcia’s second long ball in as many games, and there could be several more in his future. When the lineup was posted last night, many people asked if there was something wrong with Vaughn Grissom, who has started at second base and thrived for most of the time Ozzie Albies has been sidelined.

The answer is no.

Vaughn Grissom is healthy and still with the team. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw him in the starting lineup tonight. I also wouldn’t be shocked if we didn’t. Arcia has had a ton of success against the Nationals, homering in five straight games at Nationals Park. That certainly has something to do with him starting in back-to-back games, but I also view the second base situation without Ozzie Albies as more of a platoon scenario in which Brian Snitker will continue to go with the hot hand.

Before Grissom burst onto the scene, Orlando Arcia was holding things down at second base, and he was doing so very nicely prior to going down with a hamstring injury. Thankfully, the team didn’t miss a beat with Grissom bursting onto the scene, but since his hot start, he’s cooled down significantly.

In his last 12 games, Grissom is hitting just .167 with no extra-base hits and 11 strikeouts. Dating back even further, he’s hitting  just .216 with a .596 OPS over his last 26 games. I’m a firm believer in Grissom’s potential and think he’ll have a role on this team down the stretch and into the postseason, but it is fair to wonder if Arcia isn’t the better option at this point. Even if they are a toss up offensively, Arcia offers far more with the glove at second base.

Considering most clubs would be in desperation mode if they lost a player of Albies’ caliber, this is a good problem to have. The Braves should feel comfortable with both players, and I imagine they will continue to ride the hot hand for the final few games of the regular season and into the playoffs.

 

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