2. Ender Inciarte’s Bad, Ugly Day
Ender Inciarte is leading off for the Braves this season, at least he was on Opening Day. This move has been met with some questions, including myself, because of the success that Ronald Acuna Jr. had last season in the lead-off spot. Brian Snitker, Braves manager, likes Inciarte at the top of the lineup for his speed and ability to get on base.
Unfortunately, Inciarte didn’t get to show off either of those skills on Opening Day. It’s not time to move on from this plan yet, but any more games like yesterday, Inciarte will be moving down sooner than later.
Inciarte must have been a little nervous because of Opening Day. Aaron Nola was pitching yesterday, so maybe it was the Phillies pitcher dealing, but Inciarte struck out in his first three at-bats looking. That means he didn’t even get the bat off his shoulder to swing at the ball. On his fourth at-bat, he at least made contact but grounded out to go 0-4.
The Braves were able to find some offense without their lead-off man getting on base, but that won’t be the case all season. If Inciarte wants to stay at the top of the lineup, there will be some changes.
Maybe he wasn’t seeing the ball yesterday, but I expect a much more aggressive approach in the Braves second game. If Inciarte continues to struggle, we could be seeing Acuna back up top soon.