Sean Murphy is headed to the injured list, so here is what the Braves could do next

The Braves may have won on Opening Day, but it may have cost them their primary catcher for a while.
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates
Atlanta Braves v Pittsburgh Pirates / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves took the Phillies to the woodshed on Opening Day, but not all the news was good for the good guys. In the seventh inning of the first game of the 2024 season. Murphy left the game with what was termed as oblique tightness at the time. Given how quickly the Braves got him out of the game, the odds were always good that he was going to miss more than a couple innings.

Braves manager Brian Snitker confirmed as much after the game and Murphy will hit the injured list with an oblique injury. Oblique injuries are notoriously tricky when it comes to recovery timelines and recovery. Sometimes, they can resolve themselves pretty quickly. Other times, it can take a whole lot longer. We don't have anywhere close to enough information yet to guess when Murph could return, but we can take some educated guesses to the Braves' next step.

Who could take Murphy's place on the Braves' roster while he is out?

Far and away, the best bet as to who the Braves will add to the big league roster to cover for Murphy while he is on the shelf is Chadwick Tromp. He isn't on the 40-man roster, but the Braves have the roster space to add him without making a move, he has been their go-to third catcher for three years now, and Atlanta signed him again on a minor league deal just for this sort of situation. Tromp only has 20 plate appearances in the big leagues with Atlanta, but he has extensive experience with their Triple-A affiliate and he has shown some pop at times down there.

A dark horse pick that the Braves COULD go with (but probably won't) is Drake Baldwin. Baldwin has jumped on to everyone's radar over the last year thanks to an .844 OPS across three levels of the minor leagues while handing his duties behind the plate well on top of having a pretty decent spring training. His lack of experience probably puts him behind Tromp on the depth chart, but the Braves' third round pick from the 2022 draft has more upside and could feasibly get the nod if Murphy is going to be out for a long time.

Other than the fringe possibility of the Braves going out and signing a catcher, those are the two options you can expect the Braves to choose from when the inevitable roster move happens. One hopes that Murphy won't be out for too long, because that is certainly preferable to relying on Tromp or Baldwin to carry the load for too long.

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