Atlanta Braves: 4 discouraging signs from the Braves' four game losing streak
By Eric Cole
The Braves bullpen is banged up and has struggled
I'm going to go ahead and head off the doomsayers here: the Braves bullpen is going to be very good over the course of the season. There are just too many good arms in it for their recent struggles to linger for too long especially when guys like Raisel Iglesias, Collin McHugh, and Lucas Luetge get healthy.
However, this four game skid has featured some highly unfortunate bullpen implosions that cost the Braves some wins. AJ Minter lost two high profile battles with Yordan Alvarez, Jesse Chavez had a bad outing against the Astros, and Nick Anderson struggled on Sunday in giving up a lead as well. Once those key bullpen arms come back, guys can start getting more rest and the relief corps should be fine, but that doesn't make this any less brutal.
The bottom of the lineup has been particularly rough, especially when Ozuna is in
The Braves' injury situation has weighed heavily and that is particularly pronounced at the bottom of the lineup. Eddie Rosario was hitting the ball hard, but that has been less frequent of late and the results haven't been there. Marcell Ozuna is all but a free out in the lineup when he is in there which is the exact opposite of what you want out of your designated hitter. Guys like Kevin Pillar and Eli White have been pressed into service with very limited production.
Again, this is a short term problem. Once Michael Harris II returns, the rotating cast in left field can been culled back a bit. Once Travis d'Arnaud returns from a concussion, that gives the Braves better options at designated hitter especially if they finally stop playing Marcell Ozuna.
Don't worry, everything should be fine with the Braves
All of that said, the Braves are going to be fine. Despite a list of injuries that would have completely decimated most other rosters, Atlanta has still managed to put together a 14-8 start even with this losing streak while remaining at the top of the National League East. Anything can happen over a long season, but this Braves' squad has weathered a tough stretch and once they can get their ideal lineup together once guys get healthy, they will be okay.