Forgotten on the incredible run the Atlanta Braves are on is the fact that they are still without their starting center fielder. Despite his rough start, Ender Inciarte could be a key player for Atlanta down the stretch.
Ender Inciarte was off to a rough start for the Atlanta Braves giving fans few reasons to complain when he hit the injured list. While there have been few updates Inciarte is expected to return at some point this season.
Inciarte despite his rough start could be a huge key for Atlanta down the stretch. He has always been a second-half player at the plate putting together big numbers after the All-Star Break.
Ender is also a gold glover in center field and plays much better defense than current center fielder Ronald Acuna. Working him into the lineup may be a challenge but using him as a pinch runner or defensive replacement is just the depth the Braves need.
They lack a true backup in center or speed from their bench. Inciarte is a career .286 hitter and would offer a great platoon option with rookie left fielder Austin Riley. Riley has been struggling as of late after an incredible start.
Pairing him with a veteran hitter like Ender could help Riley bounce back. For Inciarte it would help him avoid facing lefties and allow him to ease back into a starting role.
The biggest question for Inciarte is when he will be able to return to the Braves roster? There have been few updates given on the Braves outfielder since he hit the injured list.
Once he returns to the team it will be interesting to see what Atlanta chooses to do considering how well their bench has fared. Charlie Culberson and Tyler Flowers are certainly going nowhere. Leaving Matt Joyce and Johan Camargo as the other options for Ender to replace. More to come as the Braves season continues.