Ozzie Albies missed his first game all season last night against the Yankees due to a sore hamstring. In his place, Nicky Lopez got the start and went 3-for-4 at the plate, bringing his RBI total to eight, which is the most by a player in his first four games in Braves history but he only had at-bats in two of the four games.
Lopez’s performance was encouraging, and the club might need more of it because, after Monday’s contest, Brian Snitker told reporters that Albies will spend some time on the Injured List. According to Justin Toscano of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves are expected to bring Vaughn Grissom up to Atlanta in the wake of Albies’ absence.
With Ozzie Albies headed to the injured list, expect the Braves to bring up Vaughn Grissom to fill his roster spot.
The move should be official later today, ahead of the second game against the Yankees.
— Justin Toscano (@JustinCToscano) August 15, 2023
It’s likely just precautionary with Ozzie Albies, but with the largest division lead in baseball, the Braves have that luxury. Grissom and Lopez will likely handle the duties at second base until Albies returns fully healthy.
For Grissom, it’s his first opportunity in Atlanta since the beginning of the season in which he floundered at shortstop after an Orlando Arcia injury. However, it was never his offense that concerned many. He averaged .277 in 19 games this season before returning to Gwinnett and tearing the cover off the ball, to the tune of a .327 average and .906 OPS.
Grissom’s bat is major league ready, but it’s his defense that leaves something to be desired. At second base, those concerns should be mitigated. He looked competent at the position last year when he similarly replaced an injured Ozzie Albies, and this time should be no different.
Lopez has done nothing but impress since joining the Braves, and he’s earned some opportunities for playing time. But if Vaughn Grissom joins the major league club, he doesn’t need to waste away on the bench.
Hopefully, Albies doesn’t need more than a couple of weeks of rest to return to action.
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire