Internal options that could improve the Braves outfield

Braves Drew Waters

For the most part, the Braves’ entire lineup is underachieving, but as far as the infield goes, I’m confident those guys will work out the kinks and get back on track. The outfield is an entirely different story. Until Eddie Rosario returns, which could still be a couple of months, the Braves have issues, and as I mentioned earlier today, Travis Demeritte is no longer a reliable option.

Demeritte’s story was a heartwarming one to begin the season, and more so, he helped the Braves win some games when they desperately needed a boost. However, over his last seven games, he’s been a black hole in the lineup. The league seems to have figured him out, and the Braves can’t keep putting him out there.

It’s time for them to evaluate their other options in the outfield, and since it’s probably still too early for them to work out a trade, let’s take a look at what the Braves have internally to fill the void.

William Contreras

This is my top option, and it happens to be how the Braves are lining up tonight.

This will be the 11th time we’ve seen Contreras in 2022, but it is his first appearance in the outfield. The Braves gave him some opportunities in the field in Spring Training and spoke confidently about using him in the outfield at some point this season. Now he’s getting his chance, and it’s something to keep a close eye on. Regardless, he can’t be much worse than Marcell Ozuna out there. I expect the Braves to use Contreras as a DH, in the outfield, and behind the plate, while his bat is hot. He needs to be in the lineup almost every night.

Preston Tucker

If you had told me at the beginning of the season that we would have a Preston Tucker sighting, I would have hollered laughing, but it’s actually not so far-fetched anymore. The Braves could use some outfield help, and their lineup needs another lefty bat. If someone is to receive the call to Atlanta, it’s likely between Tucker and Alex Dickerson. Right now, I would give the edge to Tucker, who is performing much better in Gwinnett.

Drew Waters/Michael Harris

Everybody wants to see Drew Waters or Michael Harris, and I am right there with them, but I don’t think either is likely to be promoted to the majors right now. I highly doubt the Braves are going to let Harris skip AAA. It’s happened before, but I just don’t see them doing that with him.

Waters, on the other hand, is a legitimate option. He’s performed well in AAA since his injury, hitting .304 with a couple of homers in 11 games. With that being said, the sample size is minuscule, and I don’t imagine the Braves are in a hurry to rush Waters to the majors. It also appears he suffered an injury in his last game after he was hit by a pitch, which caused him to exit early. I’m not sure how severe of an issue it is, but it’s another reason why it will likely be at least a month or two before we see Waters in the majors.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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