2 Atlanta Braves players who could lose their jobs and 2 potential replacements

The Atlanta Braves starting lineup is pretty clear as we enter the 2024 season. We take a look at two players who have the most potential to cede playing time to other players. We also take a look at two players who could replace them.

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

It is no secret that the Atlanta Braves have one of the most stacked rosters in the game. They currently have the second-best odds to win the World Series, behind the Dodgers. A roster this loaded leaves little room for other players to break through. Today, we take a look at two players who might be at risk of losing their jobs in 2024, and who their replacements could be.

Players can lose their starting spots due to spotty track records, regression to the mean, or overwhelming talent looming over their shoulders. We'll try and avoid injuries as an opportunity. They can be too random and would certainly open up an opportunity for someone to make an impact. Today, we'll only be looking at opportunities based on skills and production.

Jarred Kelenic

The Braves acquired Jarred Kelenic to put him in left field and allow him an opportunity to live up to his massive potential. He showed a little of what he was capable of in the first couple of months of 2023. Other than that, he hasn't been very good.

In 252 career games, he has an OPS+ of 85. Kelenic is only 24 and the Braves believe in his talent enough to trade for him this offseason. However, that doesn't mean he will have it all figured out right out of the gate. Kelenic will likely have a long leash to start the season, considering the incredible depth around him in the lineup. But eventually, if he doesn't get it figured out this season, left field could present some opportunities to other players.

Who is a threat to take Jarred Kelenic's starting job?

Forrest Wall is having a great spring and had a solid showing with the big club in limited appearances last year. He went 6-13 with two walks and five steals in 2023. Wall not only has speed, but he can get on base. In four Triple-A seasons, Wall has a .349 OBP, posting a .372 OBP last year. He also posted a respectable .427 slugging percentage to give him a .799 OPS. Speed is his game with six triples, 16 doubles, and 52 stolen bases in just 90 Triple-A games.

If Kelenic hits near his career average of .204, we might see the Braves begin to allow a guy like Wall to stabilize the position. If he can get on base at the bottom of the lineup he could score a lot of runs with Ronald Acuna Jr. and the deadly top of the Braves lineup behind him. Wall's ability to get on base, hit for average, and play defense could serve as a nice tourniquet if they need to stop the bleeding.

It's also worth noting that Forrest Wall is having a standout spring. He currently has a .409/.519/.818 with three homers, 10 RBI, and two steals.

Orlando Arcia

Orlando Arcia
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Orlando Arcia had the best season of his career in 2023. He was a first-time All-Star and set career highs in various statistical categories, including homers, RBI, and slugging percentage. All of this resulted in a 98 OPS+. Arcia has a career OPS+ of 79 over eight seasons. He had a hot start to 2023 but came crashing back to Earth in the second half, slashing .235/.297/.416.

Who is a threat to take Orlando Arcia's starting job?

You may have missed it, but in the whirlwind of seemingly innocuous trades the Braves made this offseason, they may have found a fill-in for Arcia should he continue his second-half struggles. It may surprise many of you how favorably David Fletcher compares to Orlando Arcia.

Check out my full analysis of why David Fletcher could overtake Orlando Arcia.

We hope Kelenic can live up to his potential and Arcia continues to provide stability at shortstop. However, if they create a hole or two in the lineup for an extended period, these were just two potential options Brian Snitker and the Braves could turn to.

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