Atlanta Braves make first roster response to Ozuna arrest

Abraham Almonte #34 of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Abraham Almonte #34 of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Internal options only for the Atlanta Braves at this point in the wake of Marcell Ozuna‘s arrest.

It’s still only Memorial Day on the calendar and not nearly to the trading season — which is ushered in at some point in July.  Thus, the Atlanta Braves can’t really be expected to find a true replacement for Marcell Ozuna at this point.

But they do have some options they can turn to.

31-year-old Abraham Almonte has been called up to be the next emergency backup outfielder as Ehire Adrianza is expected to continue toiling in left field for the foreseeable future.

Almonte last appeared in the majors for the San Diego Padres in 2020 for a 7 game stint in which he got one hit in 13 plate appearances (11 official AB that included a pair of walks).

Overall, his MLB stats give him a .237/.298/.370/.668 slash line with 18 career homers and 97 RBI in 1151 PA for 5 different clubs (including San Diego twice).  He’s stolen 25 bases and hit 58 doubles along the way while striking out close to 25% of the time.

By comparison, Gwinnett has been a playground for him:  he’s been hitting .403 with an OPS of 1.167 in 83 plate appearances — easily the best sustained stretch of his professional career.

He needed to be added to the 40-man roster, and thus the move to put Huascar Ynoa on the 60-day Injured List — which really doesn’t change his prognosis, as it was almost certain Ynoa would be out for at least 60 days regardless.  That procedural move does permit the Braves to augment their 40-man list without having to remove a name, though.

So that likely gives Atlanta a base outfield alignment of Adrianza / Heredia / Acuna from left-to-right, with a few more options available depending on how the bench (Almonte, Inciarte) is used.

It also speaks to the need to eventually acquire an additional bat in the coming weeks.  Ozuna wasn’t hitting particularly well (.213 with a 72 OPS+), but his presence at least gave pitchers something to think about when facing Freddie Freeman.  But such changes will have to wait.

Next. An arresting development. dark

The Atlanta Braves can now only hope that Almonte catches fire at the major league level like Guillermo Heredia did… but don’t hold your breath just yet on that.