BRAVES PLUG AND PLAY MARCELL OZUNA

FILE – St. Louis Cardinals’ Marcell Ozuna reacts after hitting a solo home run during the first inning in Game 4 of a baseball National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson FILE)

BUCK BELUE
ATLANTA, Ga – Shout out to Alex Anthopoulos: Good job covering up the Braves big weakness in the clean-up spot! The free agent signing of Marcell Ozuna makes the Braves line-up legit heading into the 2020 season, because it eliminates the lack of a power-hitting RH bat behind Freddie Freeman.

Ozuna is an above-average major league hitter, who has the upside to throw up a monster season. Last season for the Cardinals, Ozuna hit 29 homeruns, scored 80 runs and drove in 89 more. That matches up with what Josh Donaldson delivered on the stat sheet last season.

Time was running out, with spring training just around the corner. Options were limited, but Anthopoulos found an answer for the problem area. What a relief for Braves Country!

Is Marcell a Gold Glove outfielder? Not exactly, but he’s not bad out there. I’m not concerned about that part of the deal. He can field his spot. He is not a liability.

Anthopoulos also covered up a huge void without shipping off some of his top prospects, which is good too. It also doesn’t block Pache or Waters in the outfield. Both are close to getting a shot in The Show. This move also doesn’t put Austin Riley back in the outfield, which is important…I like him playing his natural position, while he focuses on hitting the slider this spring.

The Braves bench improves, with Markakis and Duvall getting bumped from a rotation in left field.

The Braves are now ready for spring training…and the fans in Braves are too!

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