The Braves have lost four straight and five of their last six but have somehow gained ground in the division. It’s because the club had one of the best first halves we’ve ever seen in baseball. Still, there are areas of the roster that could use upgrading, most notably the pitching staff.
Braves Country can bet its bottom dollar Alex Anthopoulos won’t sit on his hands. I’m not guaranteeing a move, but there will be plenty of inquisition from Atlanta’s GM. The team’s offense is the class of the MLB, and though the pitching staff boasts a top-of-the-league ERA, injuries have taken a toll.
The Braves are currently without two of their top arms in Max Fried and Kyle Wright, while Kolby Allard just joined them following a shoulder injury. Then there’s the bullpen, which is without four of its top contributors — Jesse Chavez, Nick Anderson, A.J. Minter, and Dylan Lee. Most trade hypotheticals involve Atlanta bolstering one or both of the starting rotation or relief core.
However, The Athletic suggested something different. Max Fried is inching toward a return, which could be as soon as within the next two weeks or so. That doesn’t even include Kyle Wright’s potential return around September. Dylan Lee is also expected to return sometime in August. Chavez and Minter’s respective injuries also don’t seem long-term, so getting healthy should dramatically improve the pitching staff.
They could use a right-handed-hitting left fielder with plus defense, so perhaps a reunion with Adam Duvall makes sense, if they can strike a deal with the Red Sox. Also, don’t be surprised if they try to add some bullpen and/or starting pitching depth as well. That said, standing pat and not changing anything in that locker room could end up being the best play.
The lineup is the last thing on Braves fans’ minds after this recent skid. It’s the pitching staff; however, Alex Anthopoulos is looking for any way to improve the team, especially if the value is right.
Duvall would be an upgrade over Eddie Rosario defensively, giving the Braves one of the best outfields in baseball with Michael Harris II roaming center and Ronald Acuna Jr. in right field. Moreover, Duvall is an upgrade over Kevin Pillar defensively.
He dealt with another wrist injury, so the veteran has been limited to just 37 games but has a .848 OPS. If the Red Sox do end up selling, Duvvy makes a lot of sense for more than just on-field production.
Most notable is the last sentence, “… standing pat and not changing anything in that locker room could end up being the best play.”
Getting healthy is the biggest concern for the Braves right now. Fully healthy, there isn’t a better team in baseball. It is certainly a possibility, especially in a seller’s market where prices could be outrageous. AA won’t overpay, but a priority (over pretty much everything else) will be the fit in the locker room.
The Braves emphasize that aspect of team building, and Adam Duvall fits the bill.