Ozzie Albies

He may be new to the major league club, but Vaughn Grissom is already a fan favorite in Braves Country. After Orlando Arcia suffered a hamstring injury in the first of two games against the Boston Red Sox, Grissom was promoted to the major league roster. While making his debut with the Atlanta Braves, he went deep and stole a base.

Atlanta, though, does have an All-Star who generally plays second base and is recovering from a broken foot in Ozzie Albies. This is a welcome dilemma, but how to solve it?

Ozzie Albies

If Grissom does score, the future was laid out for us by Tomahawk Take’s Jake Mastroianni. Fans are already making predictions about the team’s lineup after Ozzie’s comeback if Vaughn Grissom is successful, as Mastroianni noted in his article. And that’s the rub: Vaughn Grissom needs to produce at a high enough level for the team to justify keeping him on the roster as the season winds down and possibly into postseason play.

The only way this could be argued is if Grissom actually hits, thus Mastroianni is completely correct. Grissom will likely share time with Albies at second base and act as a designated hitter if his stay in Atlanta is as successful as it has been for former minor league colleagues Michael Harris II in centerfield and Spencer Strider at the bottom of the rotation. If they are healthy, Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson, and Matt Olson must start every game in the infield.

The Braves All-Star duo of Travis d’Arnaud and William Contreras at catcher takes a hit from this decision. This effectively makes Marcell Ozuna and his contract a useless albatross. It’s too much to ask a rookie infielder like Grissom to learn how to play left field in September so that his bat can stay in the order.

In a New Found Glory head-on collision at the plate two series earlier, d’Arnaud was mauled by Polar Bear Pete Alonso. Eddie Rosario, the outfielder, has been out for some time due to an eye issue. In sum, the current World Series champs aren’t in peak physical condition at the midway point of August. Things will work themselves out in due time. Grissom’s status on the Braves roster, if he can hit, will extend well beyond the September 1 call-ups.

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Career

ozzie albies

On a double that scored a run, Albies reached 500 hits for his career against the Washington Nationals’ reliever Sam Clay. Albies will be attending the 2021 All-Star Game as a substitute. On September 4, 2021, when Albies hit his twenty-fifth home run of the season, the Atlanta Braves became only the second team in Major League Baseball history to have all five of its starting infielders hit at least twenty-five home runs.

Albies hit his 30th home run of the season and drove in his 100th run on September 22. This was the first time either of these marks had been attained in his career. By the end of the year, he had become the first second baseman in Braves history to smash 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. On September 29 against the Phillies, Albies drove in his 100th run of the year.

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In 629 at-bats (2nd in the NL), he hit.259/.310/.488 with 103 runs (4th), 40 doubles (3rd), 7 triples (3rd), 30 homers, 106 RBIs (3rd), and 128 strikeouts (T-3rd). More often than any other MLB player, he took a swing at pitches inside the strike zone (83.4 percent of the time). He had the most assists (389) of any second baseman in the National League and the fourth-most mistakes (8).

After finishing with an NL East-clinching 88-73 record, the Braves went on to win the 2021 World Series, the franchise’s first championship since 1995. After the 2021 season, Albies was honored with two awards: the Silver Slugger and the Heart and Hustle Trophy.

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