Atlanta Braves: Johan Camargo to open the 2018 season on the DL

Is Johan Camargo the Atlanta Braves third baseman to start 2018?
Is Johan Camargo the Atlanta Braves third baseman to start 2018? /

Yesterday during an in-game chit-chat with Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker, we learned that Johan Camargo’s recent Spring Training injury would cause him to open the season on the DL.

On March 13th during a Spring Training game versus the Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves 3rd baseman Johan Camargo left the game “back stiffness”. Since then, we have learned that this “back stiffness” was just a bit more than we thought it was.

However, it will not keep Camargo from playing in Atlanta for too long… we hope.  Since March 13th, Camargo has not played another Spring Training game as a precautionary measure to prevent further injury to the projected starting 3rd baseman for the Atlanta Braves.

Per’s Mark Bowman:

"“Once Camargo is placed on the DL, the Braves can backdate the transaction to Monday (March 26) — three days before the start of the regular season. So, at minimum, the he would miss six games.”"

With Camargo missing an estimated minimum of 6 games of the regular season, he will now miss the opening series against the Philadelphia Phillies at SunTrust Park, and the following series against the Washington Nationals – also at home.

Who will start in Camargo’s absence?

The most likely answer to this would be Rio Ruiz as he has been a consistent player during spring training. Don’t count out the possibility of Charlie Culberson or even the versatile Danny Santana to get the nod for a few games.

Here are each player’s current Spring Training statistics for comparison:

Santana: 18 G, 43 AB, 8 R, 13 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 5 SB .302/.333/.488/.822

Ruiz: 23 G, 58 AB, 7 R, 14 H, 4 2B, 2 HR, 10 RBI, 1 BB, 17 K, 0 SB .241/.254/.414/.668

Culberson: 20 G, 46 AB, 4 R, 8 H, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 12 K, 0 SB .174/.220/.304/.524

I have a feeling that Brian Snitker will give the nod to Rio Ruiz for the majority of Camargo’s absence. I’m not only excited to see Ruiz playing more third base, but for him to get more at-bats with his updated stance where he lowered his hands. I expect an injury-free Rio Ruiz to smack at least 10 HR’s this season. Santana’s performance in spring makes me want to see him compete in left field with Lane Adams and Preston Tucker, not at 3rd base.

Next: Atlanta Braves Spring Chop: how real are the stat numbers?

Regardless of who gets the start at 3rd base for the first 6 games of the season, it won’t be long before Camargo comes back to take over the hot corner and his pal Ronald Acuna follows suit.