The Atlanta Braves great season has been interrupted by a string of injuries to key players. As they attempt to hold onto their division lead down the stretch Atlanta’s depth is going to be tested.
More than a third of the Atlanta Braves starting lineup is now on the disabled list. Leaving the Braves playing with a top-heavy lineup that is going to have to carry a team holding onto a division lead.
It appeared to be smooth sailing for the Atlanta Braves with the Phillies fading and the Braves offense clicking. A few short weeks later and much has changed for Atlanta. It is now the Nationals at their heels and the Braves have a much smaller margin for error.
Austin Riley, Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, and Dansby Swanson are all currently on the injured list and unlikely to be back before the end of the season.
The only exception to that could be Dansby Swanson who appears on track to rejoin the roster soon. In the meantime, however, Atlanta’s depth is going to be tested as they attempt to hold on to a five-game lead over the Nationals with a big piece of their team injured.
Matt Joyce and Charlie Culberson will both be expected to step up and play a lot more innings than they have grown accustomed to.
If the Braves are unable to continue to pile up runs it seems likely the Nationals will catch them sooner or later. This Braves team is built around an offense that never says die and carries a terrible bullpen.
If they cannot continue to do this it seems doubtful Atlanta will be able to continue to hold their division lead. If they can, Atlanta will certainly be in for a boost when their lineup is fully healthy once again come postseason time.