The Braves will be fine without Ozzie Albies

The Braves can’t count on Arcia and Gosselin to be hard-hitting bats in the lineup. It’s not their profile. The Braves don’t need that. Arcia and Gosselin just need to play solid defense while others pack the punch on offense. Almost everyone except Albies was a catalyst during Tuesday night’s 12-game winning streak.

The Seven Braves regulars posted a .900 OPS or better during the streak. The roster includes the hitters you’d expect: Acuña, Austin Riley and Travis d’Arnaud. But that also includes Dansby Swanson, who has the best career pace at home plate. Adam Duvall is a big part of the wave after it seems he can never start. The Braves get surprisingly strong production from young hitters William Contreras and Michael Harris.

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The current wave of strikes will not last for all of these players. This is especially true for young people. But you can see a glimpse of how the Braves can settle into a consistent, long-lasting offensive outing even with Albies sidelined.

Acuña, Riley and d’Arnaud continue to produce as usual. Matt Olson is coming out of his crisis. Swanson continues to punch. Duvall and Marcell Ozuna reverse their terrible starts. Contreras and Harris continue to prove they belong at the big league level. Eddie Rosario returns in July and hits better after surgery that repaired his sight.

All of these scenarios are possible. Good offensive production from Arcia and Gosselin would be a plus. General manager Alex Anthopoulos can turn to the commercial market if these two aren’t up to the task and the Triple-A’s other options aren’t the answer. The trade deadline is August 2 this year, a little later than usual. Albies is expected to return approximately two weeks after that, so it’s possible the Braves are just going through internal options until he returns.

The advantage of an Arcia-Gosselin squad is that no player should produce like a regular. The potential downside is that both players are right-handed. Another infield veteran at Gwinnett, Ryan Goins, hits left, but the Braves decided Gosselin was a better choice.

Arcia is hitting .313 with a .393 on-base percentage, and five of his 15 hits have been for extra bases (all stats prior to Tuesday’s game). That’s more than 56 plate appearances, and Arcia has been lucky with results on live balls. When the Brewers asked Arcia to be more than a backup, he couldn’t do it. .

Gosselin broke into the majors with the Braves in 2013 and stuck around as a utility player. Last season, he hit .226 with a .314 OBP for the Angels in 104 games (373 plate appearances). It’s a bonus that Gosselin can also play in the outfield, where the Braves need help.

Seeing Albies on the 60-day disabled list will take some getting used to. He’s played 158 or more games in three of his four full seasons. Albies missed a month with a wrist injury during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and has played 236 of 242 games since.

“It’s weird when you look over it, and he’s not there,” shortstop Swanson said in an interview with Bally Sports after Monday’s win. “But, ultimately, these things happen in sports. And I know that we will be able to grow and continue to improve.

Losing Albies is a setback for the Braves, but they’ll be fine without him.

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