Breaking News: Two Braves starters that need to be replaced

It appears that the Atlanta Braves are making progress. The club still plays like one of the best teams in the league, and the pitching was never an issue. With recent runs from Austin Riley, Matt Olson, Jarred Kelenic, and Ozzie Albies, the offense appears to be catching up now.

The Braves will win a lot of games in the second half of the season if the offensive output keeps up, and Alex Anthopoulos can make a few improvements before the trade deadline that might make things much simpler.

Orlando Arcia
A season ago, Orlando Arcia was a captivating tale. Arcia was a good substitute for Ozzie Albies after he was traded for pennies by the Brewers before the start of the 2022 season. After Dansby Swanson left, Arcia was named the team’s starting shortstop. That in and of itself was unexpected, but given his play in the first half of the previous season, he was more than deserving of an All-Star campaign, which nobody anticipated coming.

But ever since, there has been a marked retreat. Orlando Arcia had a scorching hot start to the season, but in his final 50 games, he has a pathetic.163 hitting average and a.477 OPS. Although his OPS has dropped below.600 and his yearly average is currently on the verge of the Mendoza Line, this problem has actually been there since the All-Star break last season. He is hitting just.221 with a 73 wRC+ since July 15 of last year, which is 27% below the league average.
Though it hasn’t always been the case lately, it was possible a few months ago to argue that Arcia’s defense was so strong that it offset his offensive shortcomings. He has effectively been a slightly above average defensive player who is an automatic out at the plate for the entirety of the current calendar year, which is what he was for the majority of his Brewers career.

In 2024, the Braves took a chance by relying on Arcia to be their starting shortstop once more, given how his season ended. It hasn’t worked out, and a month ago was the right moment to start considering your alternatives.

By the trade deadline, there might not be a viable shortstop available. Though Bo Bichette is a name to watch closely, the Braves would be better served by believing in Nacho Alvarez, who they already have on staff. Having recently been promoted to Gwinnett, he is one of the team’s best prospects and has been tearing it up, hitting.375 with a 1.080 OPS in 11 games. In the event that these patterns persist, I anticipate seeing Alvarez eventually.
Adam Duvall

Adam Duvall’s 2024 campaign has been just as awful as Orlando Arcia’s throughout the previous 50 games in the field. Over 57 games this season, he’s only hitting.170 with six home runs and a.564 OPS, good for -0.7 WAR.

Particularly repulsive have been the numbers versus right-handed pitchers. Duvall has a.247 OPS and is hitting.095 in 95 at-bats. He’s actually been pretty strong against lefties, hitting.263 over 91 plate appearances with six home runs and a.900 OPS.

Since Ronald Acuña Jr.’s season-ending injury, things have shifted, but Adam Duvall can still only be considered a platoon option, which is all he was brought in for. Improving the outfield is an obvious choice. Duvall should not be getting many at-bats against right-handed pitching, even if he manages to shake off this slump to some extent.

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