Braves: Orlando Arcia’s struggles could make trading for a second baseman a necessity

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The Orlando Arcia story was fun while it lasted. He took over for Ozzie Albies after fracturing his foot, and in the middle of June, Arcia had an OPS north of 1.000. His track record, though, always suggested severe regression was in line. The highest OPS Arcia has ever posted in his career is .734, which came during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. For most of his career, he has been a sub-700 OPS player, known primarily for his defense, which is what he has looked like over the last few weeks.

In his last 13 games (47 at-bats), Arcia is hitting a measly .128 with no extra-base hits, leading to a .324 OPS. That’s not going to cut it, and while the sample size is small, it’s big enough for the Braves to realize they need to find another option at second base moving forward.

At the very least, Alex Anthopoulos should be searching for a platoon partner that he can pair with Arcia, which could be a left or right-handed bat. Over his career, Arcia has hit lefties and righties at a very similar clip, and he actually has reverse splits this season, hitting right-handed pitching much better than left-handed pitching.

However, a lot of this depends on how much more time Albies is expected to miss. We know it will be at least another five weeks, but if it’s something that could potentially be season-ending, the Braves should be looking to add a starting-caliber piece. In either case, a player like Brandon Drury for the Reds makes a lot of sense. He’s having a career year in Cincinnati, mashing 17 homers and is on an expiring contract. He is also crushing left-handed pitching to the tune of a .978 OPS this season.

There are other options out there like Whit Merrifield, Rougned Odor, and Adam Frazier that shouldn’t cost the Braves much in terms of prospects. Regardless, expect Anthopoulos to add to the position before the trade deadline, and it could come sooner rather than later.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

 

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