How will the Braves allocate DH at-bats?

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The Braves issue in left field goes hand-in-hand with the DH spot. They both are up in the air with a myriad of options that could fill the void. Here’s how I see it playing out in 2023.

Eddie Rosario

Rosario could get some at-bats as the designated hitter, but I don’t think it will be much. The Braves have a lot more options that will play against left-handed pitchers, and against righties, I expect Rosario to be starting in left field.

Marcell Ozuna

Ozuna’s usage in 2023 is a complete mystery. He’s probably a poor Spring Training away from being released. In the same breath, I could see him being the primary DH if he bounces back with the stick. There’s no denying Ozuna’s ability with the bat. He once was one of the more feared hitters in the league and still possesses a lot of power. However, we haven’t seen that version of Ozuna in two years, and there’s a chance we never do.

Sean Murphy

There are some assumptions among Braves fans that Murphy will be an everyday player, serving as a DH when he’s not catching. I don’t see that as a possibility. He may DH occasionally, but when he gets a day off, he’ll be more like a second coach in the dugout. Murphy is an elite defensive catcher, and he’s an above average hitter for the position, but he’s not a slugger by any means and really struggled when the Athletics used him as a designated hitter last year.

As Catcher: 116 games, .269/.348/.458, .805 OPS, 16 home runs

As DH: 30 games, .179/.271/.313, .584 OPS, 2 home runs

Hopefully, the Braves have better options to use as the DH.

Travis d’Arnaud

d’Arnaud, on the other hand, should be used as the DH often. Whenever a southpaw is on the mound, I expect him in the lineup with Murphy catching. d’Arnaud crushed lefties last season to the tune of a .346 average and .946 OPS. For his career, he has nearly an .800 OPS against southpaws. When a left-handed pitcher is on the mound, d’Arnaud will be the DH unless Ozuna bounces back considerably and becomes the guy he was back in 2020.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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