How will Braves approach the outfield with Michael Harris II on the IL?

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The Braves offense provided some much-needed hope over the weekend, thanks in large part to the performances from the middle of the order in Marcell Ozuna, Austin Riley, and Matt Olson. Those three by themselves are enough to carry a team when they are hot, but things didn’t get any easier moving forward, as Michael Harris II became the latest player to hit the IL.

It’s just a hamstring strain for Harris, so hopefully, he won’t be sidelined for more than a couple of weeks. However, hamstrings are one of the trickiest injuries to recover from, and the Braves won’t be taking any chances. They’ll wait until he’s 110% right before even thinking about activating him, so they’ll need some new faces to step up in the meantime.

There are a couple of different ways the Braves could choose to approach things. As has been the case since Ronald Acuña Jr. went down for the season, Adam Duvall and Jarred Kelenic will be playing everyday; where they play, however, remains to be seen.

Both have experience in centerfield, which set the stage for Ramón Laureano to make his Braves debut. The veteran was picked up as insurance a few weeks ago, and sure enough, he could end up playing a pivotal role until Michael Harris returns to the lineup.

In Gwinnett, Laureano hit .328 with three homers and an OPS north of 1.000 over 14 games. He hasn’t offered much offensively at the major-league level in recent years, but it wasn’t too long ago that he was a really promising young bat for the Athletics.

The Braves also have the recently acquired Brian Anderson on the roster, who is another decent veteran option, and Forrest Wall should get some run as well. A career minor-leaguer, he’s appeared minimally for Atlanta over the last two years, and while offense isn’t his calling card, he does have an .808 OPS for Gwinnett this season. Wall also offers a lot defensively and on the basepaths with his speed.

There aren’t a lot of sexy options for Brian Snitker to choose from, but that’s what happens when two-thirds of your outfield hits the IL. No team can prepare for that, and the Braves are no different. A couple of these guys will have to step up in Michael Harris’ absence, and I would imagine Snitker will be mixing up the matchups and playing the hot-hand. If there is one saving grace, these are the type of acquisitions that have made a lot of unexpected contributions when needed over this stretch of six straight NL East titles for the Braves.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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