Atlanta Braves: Nick Markakis suffers scary wrist injury

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Nick Markakis #22 of the Atlanta Braves is looked at by a member of the team's medical staff along with manager Brian Snitker #43 after getting hit in the hand by a pitch during the sixth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Braves defeated the Phillies 9-2. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 26: Nick Markakis #22 of the Atlanta Braves is looked at by a member of the team's medical staff along with manager Brian Snitker #43 after getting hit in the hand by a pitch during the sixth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on July 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Braves defeated the Phillies 9-2. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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In what was supposed to be a happy night as the Atlanta Braves smashed the Phillies by a 9-2 final, the Braves saw their starting right fielder Nick Markakis depart from the game with a wrist injury.

It was in the top of the 6th inning of the Atlanta Braves victory in which Nick Markakis was hit by a pitch from Philadelphia’s Cole Irvin on the wrist.

Markakis stayed in the game to run the bases – eventually scoring in a 4-run 6th inning – but was replaced in right field by Charlie Culberson in the bottom of the 6th.

The atmosphere of the Atlanta Braves clubhouse was somber, even on a winning night.

See the below quotes from Braves manager Brian Snitker:

And also this from Freddie Freeman, who knows too much about wrist injuries:

Let’s be clear, more details are to come when the test results are revealed over the next day or two and we find out the severity of the wrist injury.

However, the language used by those in the Braves clubhouse after the game doesn’t exactly give an indication that this is a minor injury.

If the injury does prove to be minor – which hopefully it does – the Atlanta Braves will have dodged a major bullet.

On the flip side, if it is indeed an injury that keeps Markakis on the shelf for an extended period of time, the Atlanta Braves will have some significant decisions to make in the coming days as MLB’s July 31st Trade Deadline looms near, especially with shortstop Dansby Swanson also dealing with a lingering heel injury.

Markakis has somewhat tapered off from his All-Star numbers of 2018 this year, but he’s still been a slightly above-average hitter (106 wRC+) hitting in a very pivotal spot (5-hole) in the Atlanta lineup.

Potentially losing Markakis for several weeks might not have a direct monumental effect on the offensive production of the lineup, but it would certainly cripple the Braves from a depth perspective, as they’d have to find an option to replace Markakis – a guy who has been a true definition of a mainstay in Atlanta’s right field for the past several years.

The real impact of Markakis, though, has always been from a leadership standpoint.

The veteran outfielder has long been renowned for his quiet professionalism, work ethic, and lead-by-example nature.

Details will emerge on the injury’s severity over the next day or so.

In the meantime, Atlanta Braves players and fans alike are most certainly hoping for the best for Nick Markakis, while the front office will be forced to explore any possible options ahead of them.