Deciding where Rio Ruiz should start the season is one of the most interesting decisions facing the Atlanta Braves. Ruiz has looked great this spring but has no clear path to a roster spot.
The Atlanta Braves have had an interesting spring training mixing a mass youth movement with an influx of veteran talent to help bridge the gap. Rio Ruiz has been one of the most impressive young hitters still in camp.
He leads all current Braves in camp with 14 hits and has maintained a healthy average and on base percentage. Ruiz has also made it known that he wants to make the roster out of spring training and that has been his goal. The question remains should the Braves put Ruiz on the opening day roster?
Ruiz is a young player who struggled to be consistent at the triple-A level last season one spring training performance shouldn’t decide whether he is ready to be a starter. Sending Ruiz down to Triple-A is important for no other reason than to see how he responds if he is productive in the first month or two the Braves will have a decision to make.
Adonis Garcia is able to play left field somewhat and could bring a bit of pop of the bench compared to the power the Braves currently posses. The other option would be to explore trading Garcia is the Braves believe that Rio Ruiz is the answer long term.
Garcia is a serviceable defender that would be better off in the American League giving him the ability to be a designated hitter. It is hard to guess what type of return or even how much interest there would be in Garcia considering both his age and the fact that he has little track record to go on.
Rio Ruiz has been impressive early this season but isn’t ready to be named the starter just yet. Seeing how the young player responds to starting the year in the minors will be key to deciding his future with a Braves team that is moving in the right direction.