Everything That Has Gone Right and Wrong For the Atlanta Braves So Far
By Colin James
We are almost 15 games into the the regular season and the Atlanta Braves are currently sitting at a record of 9-4 overall. The Braves, as of this writing, sit at the top of the NL East standings and are one of two teams in the division above .500 for the season. While it is still very early in the season, the team is on a solid trajectory despite some early hiccups to begin the new season.
With that being said, here is everything that has gone right and wrong for the Braves more than ten games into the regular season.
Spencer Strider Picks Up Where He Left Off
Braves picher Spencer Strider tries to pick it up where he left off last season, when he was a runner up for NL Rookie of the Year. Last week against Cincinnati, Strider threw a 3.38 ERA, allowing four hits and three runs while striking out nine times in 5.0 innings pitched.
Through three starts this season, Strider has a 3.38 ERA with 27 strikeouts, while allowing 11 hits and six runs. While not completely dominant, it is still early in the season and he has plenty of time to fully get settled. Let's just hope that the Braves don't rely too much on him given the state of the bullpen at the moment.
Injury Bug Hurts A Solid Start
The Braves' health hasn't been the best to start the season. Pitcher Kyle Wright just returned from injury but they are still missing much of their bullpen, including Collin McHugh, Raisel Iglesias, and Jackson Stephens. Their ace Max Fried got injured during the opening series at Washington, but could return as early as next week. In addition to their active roster, pitcher Ian Anderson, who started the season in Triple A Gwinnett, will undego season-ending Tommy John surgery.
It's not just the bullpen either. The Braves' bats have also had their fair share of injuries to start the season. Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II was placed on the 10-day IL with a lower back strain, while catcher Travis d'Arnaud is on the 7-day IL with a concussion. Even short stopOrlando Arcia is injured with a wrist fracture, likely meaning he will miss some time.
The injury bug has not been kind to the Braves to start the season, and a few games might of had diffferent outcomes if the roster was fully healthy. The only thing for them to do now is to hope everyone has a speedy recovery.
Braves' Bats Looking Stellar
The Braves' batting has been looking good despite the injuries. Right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr leads the team in batting average with a .370 while also recording six stolen bases so far this season. Third baseman Autin Riley trails him, hitting a .340 average.
First baseman Matt Olson, who lead spring training in home runs, currently leads the Braves in homeruns with four as well as in RBI's with 12. Meanwhile, Olson is hitting for an average of .294. Catcher Sean Murphy has also helped contribute to the Braves in his first season with the team, hitting a walk-off home run in Game 1 against Cincinnati, his first home run as a Brave.
The Braves' bats have been looking pretty good so far, and this has been mostly without Michael Harris II, who was on the IL. It will be intersting to see if they can keep up the production.
Vaughn Grissom Likely To Start Earlier Than Expected
Speaking of Orlando Arcia, it is very likely Vaughn Grissom joins the Braves' active roster as they begin a road trip that start at Kansas City. He started the season in Triple-A Gwinnett, where he slashed .366/.458/.585 before Arcia's injury.
While defensively he is questionable, he offense has looked promising. In over 41 at-bats in Gwinnett, he was only struckout four times, while walking six times. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the active roster with Arcia missing time.