With the Atlanta Braves losing Marcell Ozuna for 6 weeks we take a look at who needs to step up the most in his absence.
There is no question that without Marcell Ozuna in the lineup this Atlanta Braves lineup doesn’t look nearly as scary.
Despite Ozuna’s struggles, pitchers still fear him in the middle of the order. Not only that, but it helps protect Freddie Freeman.
There isn’t really anyone internally that brings that kind of presence to the lineup. Perhaps Austin Riley can be that guy, but I don’t really want to mess with him right now and ruin and confidence he has by adding more pressure on him.
That’s why the player who needs to step up the most is the guy who is taking his spot in the lineup — at least to begin with — in Ozzie Albies.
Honestly, the Braves already needed Ozzie to step up, but even more so now.
The second baseman was slashing just .233/.308/.483 coming into Wednesday’s game. However, he’s been pretty unlucky with a .229 BABIP. His XBA, according to Baseball Savant, is .284.
There is certainly reason to believe Ozzie is due for a hot streak and he got off to a good start in Ozuna’s spot in the order on Wednesday.
If the Braves are going to survive this stretch without Ozuna they really need Ozzie to go on a tear, and again, he’s certainly due for one.
The lineup gets really thin after the first three or four hitters now, the top of the lineup has to produce in order for this offense to put up a bunch of runs.
They’re certainly capable of getting it done. Ronald Acuna Jr. has been excellent all year and Freddie Freeman is heating up.
Now if Ozzie joins the mix with the way Riley has been hitting, suddenly this is back to being one of the better 1-4s in the league.