Braves: Ozzie Albies taking batting practice, one step closer to returning

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The Braves are at the point in the season where the most important thing is to get and remain healthy. The club could welcome back all or some combination of Ozzie Albies, Mike Soroka, Orlando Arcia and Darren O’Day in the coming weeks. However, Atlanta’s second baseman is by far the most critical to the team’s aspirations to repeat as World Champions, and Albies is one step closer to returning, taking batting practice before Tuesday’s game against the Pirates.

He’s progressing well from the fractured foot that has sidelined him for months, but Albies is on the cusp of returning for his rehab assignment. Unfortunately, it could be another few weeks before he returns to Atlanta. However, it’s not all bad. The club is getting excellent production from Vaughn Grissom, so there’s no reason to rush Albies back. Braves Country should expect him to return no sooner than the middle of September, which should be enough time for him to acclimate himself for the stretch run and postseason.

Once Ozzie Albies returns, Alex Anthopoulos will have to make room for him on the roster, which means potentially parting ways with Marcell Ozuna. Brian Snitker will then have to configure Albies, Grissom, Robbie Grossman, Eddie Rosario, and William Contreras in a way that solidifies the outfield, second base, and the designated hitter role. Grissom could stay at second, and Albies could DH with Grossman and Rosario platooning in the outfield. Then, Snit has to consider how valuable Contreras is as a hitter; one thing is certain, though, he will have an embarrassment of riches. It’ll be up to the skipper to fit the puzzle pieces together.

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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