The Braves have announced that the second baseman Ozzie Albies fractured his left foot. He left tonight’s game against the Nationals in the fifth inning after sustaining the injury.
Albies stumbled out of the batter’s box after hitting a ground ball at shortstop. He was able to leave the field under his own power, but he left the game immediately and the first x-rays revealed a fracture. The club will no doubt provide a more precise timetable for his recovery over the next few days, but he is likely to be out for a long time.
The switch-hitting Albies have started 61 of Atlanta’s 62 games at the keystone. The only other departure went to utility Orlando Arcia, who would appear to be the most likely candidate to take over the position in the future. Aside from the starting infield of Matt Olson, Dansby Swanson and austin rileythe only other primary infielders on Atlanta’s 40-man roster are first baseman/DH Mike Ford and recent waiver request Kramer Robertson. The latter is capable of playing second base but has exactly one MLB plate appearance under his belt.
Arcia has hit hard in limited playing time off the bench this season, but he’s been a below-average offensive player in every other year of his career. The former Brewer shortstop is a lifetime .244/.295/.365 hitter in just over 2,000 plate appearances at the big league level. Albies is a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner who has been above par at the flat in every full season of his career.
Albies has had a bit of a slow start this year, as he owns a personal line of .244/.289/.405 in 263 trips to the plate. He had ranked well defensively, however, and his career record suggested he was likely to turn the corner offensively. These efforts will now be suspended.
The Braves have played as well as anyone in the sport over the past few weeks. They’re in the middle of an 11-game winning streak that took them 34-27 coming into play on Monday. A slow start coupled with the Mets’ excellent first few months has Atlanta still five and a half games in the NL East standings, but the defending champions currently sit in third and last Wild Card spot in the league.
Depending on how long Albies is expected to miss, general manager Alex Anthopoulos and his team could turn to the trade market for help. Players such as Brandon Dry (Reds), Coarse odor (Orioles) and Cesar Hernandez (The Nationals) are imminent free agents on uncompetitive teams and aren’t going to demand a huge trade return. If the club is looking internally for depth behind Arcia, unregistered veterans Philippe Gosselin, Hernan Perez and Pat Valaika are at Triple-A Gwinnett, as is the recent waiver request Joe Dunand. Gosselin, in particular, is hitting well for the Stripers this season.