The Atlanta Braves will have plenty of tough decisions to make about their postseason roster and lineup. What role Ender Inciarte will play will be on of the team’s bigger decisions.
Ender Inciarte has been too good for too long for the Atlanta Braves to simply write him off now. He is a gold glove center fielder who has the ability to make dynamic plays in the outfield or create runs on the base paths.
He isn’t the strongest hitter and is having his worst season as a Brave thus far. However, this season has been the exception for the usual very sturdy and productive center fielder.
The postseason is a fresh start and Inciarte should be a starter. Austin Riley simply hasn’t been consistent and lacks the track record that Inciarte has. If Braves fans set aside their frustration with the outfielder for a moment and look at the back of his baseball card they will remember just how good Inciarte can be.
His upside and defensive abilities should demand the Braves start him this postseason. If his struggles were to continue then the Braves can make the choice to go with Riley or Matt Joyce if they believe either will be better options.
Billy Hamilton could be the odd man out if Atlanta decides to carry Riley and Joyce. They could choose to carry all three, however, considering the recent injury to Charlie Culberson. Hamilton would offer the Braves a base running weapon most teams will lack. Hamilton and Inciarte are both great center fielders and would allow the Braves to deploy Ronald Acuna at one of the corner spots.
Nick Markakis, Acuna, and Inciarte should be Atlanta’s starting outfield this postseason it gives them their best chance to win and a great defensive alignment. Sticking with Riley will be a mistake considering the holes in the young slugger’s swing. More to come as the postseason nears.