No reason the Braves shouldn’t turn to Orlando Arcia

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Not even a week into the season, the Braves traded Patrick Weigel and Chad Sobotka for Orlando Arcia. The move to acquire the former Brewer was to ensure the Braves bench would have enough depth, but somewhat surprisingly, we have yet to see him make his Atlanta debut. There’s no reason that shouldn’t change in the coming days.

For most of his career, Arcia has been a replacement-level shortstop. He did have one standout season in 2017 as a 22-year-old when he accrued 2.3 WAR and hit .277 with 15 homers. After that, the Brewers believed they had found another building block, but Arcia hasn’t duplicated that production ever since. He had a combined .610 OPS and -0.3 WAR over the next two seasons, but he did bounce back in the shortened 2020 campaign, posting the best OPS (.734) of his career, which is probably why the Braves were willing to part ways with a top-20 prospect for him.

Arcia’s a shortstop by trade, but he can play all over the infield and has even manned centerfield before. It was only one game, but there’s reason to believe he could play all three positions in the outfield if need be. That’s important because — as I mentioned yesterday — the Braves have to be seriously considering demoting Cristian Pache back to AAA. He’s currently sporting a -8 OPS+, and the eye test suggests that’s not going to change by much anytime soon. It’s obvious he still needs some seasoning in Gwinnett before becoming the permanent centerfielder in Atlanta.

The Braves could choose to bring back Ender Inciarte, who is currently rehabbing in AAA. I imagine he will be the team’s first option when he’s back to 100%, but Arcia isn’t a terrible backup plan. It’s overwhelmingly apparent that he’s far too talented for AAA-ball, so at the very least, he would be a reliable utility man off the bench.

Through one week with Gwinnett, Arcia is hitting .370 with an eye-popping 1.380 OPS, thanks to a league-leading five homers — three of which came on Mother’s Day. Given what the Braves gave up for him and the number of question marks they have on their active roster, there’s really no reason for them to keep Arcia in AAA. It’s evident that he’s a major-league ballplayer, and it’s time to see why Alex Anthopoulos made a move to acquire him.


1 thought on “No reason the Braves shouldn’t turn to Orlando Arcia”

  1. Pingback: No reason the Braves shouldn't turn to Orlando Arcia - TheAtlantaStar

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