March 7, 2021 –
BY KEVIN MCALPIN
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – On Sunday morning, as the Braves were getting set to take on the Red Sox in North Port, it appeared as though Brian Snitker showed his hand a little bit when it came to the starting lineup. A few days ago, I put it out there on Twitter that we were likely seeing the everyday top five in the order with Acuna, Albies, Freeman, Ozuna and d’Arnaud. Today, Snit added Dansby Swanson to the sixth spot in the order, followed by Austin Riley seventh. Cristian Pache was hitting ninth, but just because the club is still using the DH at this point in camp. Relatively soon, we’ll see pitchers start hitting but that certainly seems to be the direction the club is leaning in with their lineup top to bottom.
Some have made the argument that Cristian Pache could end up hitting ninth behind the pitchers spot, however, it doesn’t seem like the club is willing to go that route as of yet. As I mentioned, you could argue that Pache would benefit from having Acuna, Albies, Freeman, etc to protect him in the order. But it will more than likely have a much more traditional look to the order when it’s released on the morning of April 1 in Philly.
I like this lineup a lot. I like the depth, and power potential from just about every spot in the order. I consider myself a traditionalist when it comes to the National League game, however, after witnessing the benefits of the DH last season, I really think I’m going to miss it this year. It’s not a knock on pitchers, but I really think the Braves were one of a few teams around the game that really saw tremendous returns from having that extra offensive weapon in the lineup every day.
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.