With Ronald Acuña out this weekend, Ozzie Albies and Matt Adams stuck on the IL, and Ender Inciarte slumping, there has never been a better time to give Yasiel Puig another call. If you need a refresher, Puig came to terms with the Braves before his contract was voided due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Report: Braves sign Yasiel Puig https://t.co/eW0wNmMXWQ
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) July 14, 2020
Braves: Yasiel Puig tests positive for the coronavirus and is still a free agent https://t.co/snLrj1ktwW
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) July 17, 2020
Puig remains a free agent, and assuming that he’s healthy, Anthopoulos should once again be interested in his right-handed power bat. Ender Inciarte has been putrid at the plate, collecting just 8 hits in 44 at-bats — none of which have come against LHP. The Braves didn’t flinch when it came to their rotation, sending Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb packing. Inciarte could be next if a trade can’t be worked out. Adam Duvall and Marcell Ozuna have been good, but they aren’t enough to carry the load with Ronald Acuña and Ozzie Albies out of the lineup. Puig can serve in a multitude of roles.
Puig’s a rare reverse-splits player, meaning he hits righties better than he does lefties. For his career, he has a .285 average with a .845 OPS against right-handed pitching and a .255 average with .762 OPS against left-handed pitching, which isn’t all that bad either. Puig can also play all over the outfield and serve as a DH on other nights.
Most importantly, Puig is a sparkplug. The Braves have looked plain flat lately, and that’s not going to get any better with Ronald Acuña out of the lineup. Mike Soroka’s injury was a devastating blow, and it feels like for the first time in a while, the Braves might be starting to question themselves. Luckily, the rest of the division is off to a slow start as well, and they have problems of their own to fix.
The Braves have survived to this point, but with all the injuries, this success will be challenging to sustain without some additions. They need to sign Puig, call up some prospects, swing a trade for another starter, get healthy, and hope they have some magic on their side.