ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves are facing lineup changes after placing second baseman Ozzie Albies and designated hitter Matt Adams on the 10-day injured list.
In another move on Wednesday, outfielder Nick Markakis was reinstated from the restricted list. Markakis announced on July 29 that he was returning to the team, three weeks after opting out due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.
Albies is batting only .159 after he was held without a hit in Tuesday night’s 10-1 win over Toronto. He is in a 2-for-21 slump as he tried to play with a bruised right wrist. The injury led the switch-hitter to bat left-handed against left-hander Anthony Kay in the seventh inning.
Adams has been the team’s primary designated hitter and has made two starts at first base. He hit a second-inning homer on Tuesday night before leaving the game with a strained left hamstring.
Charlie Culberson is making his first start at second base since 2018 in Wednesday night’s game against Toronto. Manager Brian Snitker’s other options at second base include Johan Camargo, who replaced Adams as the designated hitter against the Blue Jays, and Adeiny Hechavarria.
Camargo is starting at third base. Austin Riley is making his first start of the season at first base with Freddie Freeman out of the lineup. Riley started three games at first base in 2019.
Riley said it’s important to avoid a letdown with the new-look lineup.
“When you’ve got a 60-game season, every game counts that much more,” Riley said Wednesday. “… If guys were to go down, I think we’ve got guys to step up and fill that role. I feel like it’s a luxury thing, the depth that we do have.”
Markakis is not starting in his return to the active roster.
The 36-year-old opted out on July 6, when he said he was uneasy about playing the season without fans and then was swayed by his telephone conversation with Freeman, who tested positive for COVID-19 but returned for the start of the season.
The Braves also recalled catcher Alex Jackson, creating depth at the position if Tyler Flowers or Travis d’Arnaud is in the lineup at designated hitter.
The injuries to Adams and Albies follow the season-ending torn Achilles tendon suffered by Atlanta’s top starting pitcher, Mike Soroka, on Monday night. The Braves have not announced a replacement for Soroka in the rotation.
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