Atlanta Braves News: Braves activate Michael Harris II from the injured list
By Eric Cole
The Atlanta Braves have certainly been through quite a bit early in the 2023 season when it comes to injuries. The rotation saw Max Fried and Kyle Wright miss some starts, the bullpen has been banged up with Raisel Iglesias being the big name out there, and the lineup lost Michael Harris II and Orlando Arcia.
Harris hit the injured list at the beginning of April due to a back injury. He originally got hurt on a play at the wall, but played through it and aggravated the injury while sliding into second base after a stolen base. The Braves played things safe and put Mike on the shelf and he finally made a rehab appearance earlier this week with Gwinnett where he had a hit and a stolen base.
It looks like the Braves liked what they saw in terms of his progress during rehab and decided to activate him before the team takes on the Mets for a high stakes series this weekend.
Harris' return likely means a few things. One, he will pretty clearly get the vast majority of starts in center field which means Sam Hilliard will likely get shifted over to left and Eddie Rosario will be the team's primary DH (hopefully) against right-handed pitchers with Kevin Pillar seeing time in left as well.
The question of Marcell Ozuna's future will likely be answered once Travis d'Arnaud returns from the injured list. With TdA in the fold, it is unclear when it would ever be preferable to have Ozuna in the lineup as there will always be a strictly better hitter to play in the DH spot and I think we can all agree that he shouldn't be playing in the field basically ever.
For now, though, the Braves are approaching full strength again at just the right time. Considering everything the team has went through so far, that they have the third best record in the league behind the Rays and (shockingly) the Pirates is pretty remarkable.