The Atlanta Braves begin the season at 0-3 after getting swept by the Philadelphia Phillies.
If there are positives to glean from this dreadful series defeat, the pitching staff only allowed nine runs at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park. All three starting pitchers (Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson) had their moments on the mound. Even a few relief pitchers in the bullpen seemed to not skip a beat from a season ago. However, all we can talk about is how putrid their offense was.
Atlanta scored a grand total of three runs over the weekend. All three runs were scored by way of the long ball. Pablo Sandoval had a pinch hit two-run jack on Opening Day to plate Cristian Pache. After getting shut out 4-0 on Saturday, Travis d’Arnaud delivered the only Atlanta run Sunday by way of a towering solo shot. Is it too early for the Braves to make a move? What should they do?
Mixing up the lineup will serve the Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals
Yes, it is way too early for the Braves to do anything drastic to its roster. However, the only two position players hitting above The Mendoza Line after the Philadelphia series are d’Arnaud at .273 and third baseman Austin Riley at .222. When Anderson has the best batting average of anyone on the team at 1.000, you know something has gone horribly wrong at the plate for Atlanta.
What Brian Snitker needs to do is at least once during the Braves’ next series vs. the Washington Nationals is trot out a new lineup. We all understand that what he put out there for the first three games of the series is the best lineup the Braves can offer right now. However, being able to Mix It Up will do wonders for getting this way too talented team’s on-field chemistry back. They need it.
Even though d’Arnaud has hit better than nearly all of his teammates, he does play catcher. So with that in mind, he may get a scheduled day of rest and see Alex Jackson start behind the dish. Jackson will not hit fifth for the Braves, so that could allow Riley to briefly move up in the batting order, or possibly allow bench players like Sandoval, Johan Camargo or Ender Inciarte to get a start.
Yes, I fully understand that it is early, but it is frightening to see Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman without a hit through three games. Ronald Acuña Jr., Dansby Swanson and Marcell Ozuna are not even combining to hit .600 between the three of them. Again, the Braves will figure it out at the plate once Chipper Jones gets to do some work with them in the cage. However, this is troubling.
Snitker needs to trot out at least one different looking lineup in their next series vs. Washington.