Atlanta Braves: Can Maybin-Bourn Outfield Coexist?

With the Atlanta Braves acquiring Michael Bourn in a well-executed trade with the Cleveland Indians by President of Baseball Operations John Hart, Atlanta now has two starting centerfielders on its roster.  Cameron Maybin has had a career year for the Braves manning centerfield in 2015, but Michael Bourn was an All-Star for the club back in 2012.  Can a Cameron Maybin-Michael Bourn outfield work in Atlanta?

As it stands now, the Atlanta Braves starting outfield features Nick Markakis in right, Cameron Maybin in center, and Michael Bourn in left.  Markakis starts in rightfield every day and Maybin won the centerfield gig from Eric Young, Jr. by mid-May.  Bourn will likely have to stick in left for it to work for the Atlanta Braves this season and into next.  However, I don’t see that as a major issue.

-= Mike Foltynewicz: Future as a Starter or Reliever with Braves? =-

If you care to remember when the Atlanta Braves traded for Justin Upton from the Arizona Diamondbacks, he was their starting rightfielder.  Since Frank Wren and Fredi Gonzalez liked Jason Heyward in rightfield, Justin found a home in leftfield for the Atlanta Braves the next two seasons.

Atlanta has the luxury of again having three sound defensive outfielders in Bourn, Markakis, and Maybin.  Don’t fret Atlanta.  Michael Bourn is not taking Cameron Maybin’s job away, certainly at least not this year.

The reason behind bringing back Michael Bourn to Atlanta was to solidify the leadoff spot in the Braves’ batting order.  It had been a revolving door of mediocrity atop the Braves’ lineup since Bourn left via free agency in 2013.  Putting Michael Bourn back in the leadoff spot allows guys like Jace Peterson and Nick Markakis to move down in the order in run producing roles.

This actually benefits Cameron Maybin, too as he will more likely than not start to get something good to hit.  Having a sound leadoff hitter like Michael Bourn in a lineup does wonders for the entire batting order in general.  Maybin’s newfound approach at the plate in 2015 should score Bourn from second base if Cameron can make solid contact to the outfield.

-= Atlanta Braves, Shelby Miller Fall to Fish 4-1 =-

Defensively Atlanta improves with Bourn in left as the Atlanta Braves now have one of the rangiest outfields in all baseball.  Stellar outfield defense should help save more runs for the pitching staff to keep their team in close ball games.  With Atlanta’s lack of power at the dish, every defensive run saved is a blessing for the 2015 ball club.

Unless egos get in the way, I expect the Atlanta Braves outfield of Michael Bourn, Nick Markakis and Cameron Maybin to help get the club back to playing solid baseball in the remaining 50 games on the slate for 2015.  Hopefully their chemistry develops nicely in the final two months so that the Braves can become surprise contenders as early as next year.

It’s nice to see John Hart finally bring back some Major League players to this very young club.  I think that Bourn and Nick Swisher‘s presence in the clubhouse does a ton of good for this Atlanta Braves team in slight rebuilding mode.  Go Braves!