Brian Snitker comments on Marcell Ozuna’s standing with Braves

Marcell Ozuna Braves playoff roster

Many believed that if Marcell Ozuna fell on his face in Spring Training, the Braves would officially move on from him. Well, that isn’t the case. Brian Snitker confirmed on Thursday that he will be on the team.

“Marcell is gonna be on our team,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said Thursday, via the AJC. “I mean, just how much he plays is gonna be determined by how well he does.”

This won’t sit well with many in Braves Country, but it’s a decision everyone will have to live with; the fact is the Braves will most likely need Marcell Ozuna to contribute in a significant way if they want to be world champions again.

Ozuna has been a shell of himself after receiving a lucrative four-year, $65 million contract to stay in Atlanta after a season in which he nearly captured the Triple Crown. Since signing that deal, he has accrued -0.9 fWAR because of his abysmal defense, .222 batting average, and .675 OPS. It remains one of the worst warts on Alex Anthopoulos’ resumé.

Over the winter, AA actually spoke on the subject, telling members of the media that it would be a meritocracy. So, just because Marcell Ozuna is owed $32 million over the next two seasons doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed playing time or even a roster spot. Well, it seems that was a bit misleading. He’s guaranteed a spot on the roster but isn’t guaranteed playing time.

In the same breath, Ozuna didn’t forget how to hit. He’s mashed baseballs his entire career. I expect him to bounce back considerably and become the team’s primary DH for the 2023 season. I am optimistic because I know the Braves will eventually need him, given the uninspiring options for DH.

David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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