Marcell Ozuna Working Out at First Base, What This Means for Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves slugger has started working out with Ron Washington at first base.
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs
Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Atlanta Braves DH and former Gold Glove outfielder (I know some of you just choked on your own tongues) Marcell Ozuna has been working out with Ron Washington on defensive skills at first base. Once upon a time, Marcell Ozuna was a gold glover with the Marlins.

Why is Ozuna Doing This?

Well, he probably just really hates Jesus Aguilar (who has a .807 OPS in the Braves' minor leagues). If something (cross my heart and hope to die) happens to Matt Olson, Aguilar appears to be a decent veteran option to get the call. However, I'm sure Ozuna doesn't want to learn first base just because he hates Jesus Aguilar.

Did You Know? Marcell Ozuna Used to Have a Good Arm!

In 2016, Marcell Ozuna had 16 throws over 90 mph. He used to have an average velocity well above league average. That seems like ages ago now. He has had one of the worst outfield arms in the league for several years now. Back in 2019, he was quoted as saying inflammation in his shoulder was causing the weakness. He blamed a surgery he had to clean it up. He assured everyone that he was working hard and the strength would return.

Flash forward to the 2023 pre-season (that would be a few months ago) and Ozuna was still singing the same tune. The guy hasn't given up and appears to have a determination to play defense. He doesn't want to be relegated to a DH-only role as he enters his mid-30s.

How Could Ozuna Impact the Braves at First Base?

During tonight's broadcast, Braves announcer Brandon Gaudin revealed that Ozuna began working with Ron Washington to learn how to play first base. Ozuna expressed the desire to Wash and they got to work.

Should Matt Olson go down, it could be a real blow and finally put a hole in the lineup that hasn't been there all year. Ozuna has had a very good year. He's had an exceptional year if you pretend like April didn't happen. If he is able to step in at first base it would really help keep the lineup impenetrable. The alternative would be to hope Aguilar or someone else can step in and not be terrible.

Good for Ozuna, I say. Let's hope the Braves don't need his services at first base... ever. But being able to play first base with his big bat could bode well for him after his time with the Braves is done.