Braves News: Sean Murphy disappointingly exits first game of season with apparent injury

The 2023 All-Star left Thursday's game after taking an awkward swing in the late-innings

Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees
Atlanta Braves v New York Yankees / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves' worst fears were realized as they were unable to avoid injury on Opening Day. In the seventh inning of Friday's contest with the Phillies, right before the Braves rallied for two runs to tie the game, their starting catcher, Sean Murphy, took an awkward swing and immediately dropped his bat in pain.

He limped towards the dugout holding his side, and after a brief conversation with the Braves trainer, he walked into the clubhouse and left the game. He was replaced by Travis d'Arnaud with a 1-2 count.

About twenty minutes after exiting the game, the Braves announced that the catcher left the Opening Day match with left oblique tightness.

What will the Braves do if Sean Murphy's injury requires an IL stint?

Although the Braves have much more depth at the catching position than your average team, Murphy's injury could be a serious blow to the team nonetheless if he has to miss an extended period.

Travis d'Arnaud was an All-Star in 2022 and would get the bulk of the playing time if Murphy needs to go on the Injured List, but the Braves do play 19 games in the first 20 days of the season. This would mean that the backup catcher would still see plenty of playing time.

The club does not currently have another catcher on the 40-man roster, but Chadwick Tromp, who played six games with Atlanta last season, is within the organization and could be recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett.

Sean Murphy was excellent with the Braves in the first half of last season, slashing .306/.400/.599 with a 166 wRC+. Although he cooled off significantly in the second half, he still finished his 2023 campaign with a 129 wRC+ and a 4.2 fWAR. He had the fifth-highest fWAR among catchers.

This season, Murphy is expected to repeat his success from last year, although hopefully in a more even manner.

Stay tuned to House That Hank Built for more Sean Murphy updates.

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