3 moves Braves can still make to steal the NL East
The Atlanta Braves still have some work to do if they want to win the NL East this year.
While the Atlanta Braves have made a series of excellent moves on the 2021 MLB trade deadline, they need to do a few more calibrations if they are to steal the NL East under the New York Mets.
Atlanta begins its three-game road streak against the St. Louis Cardinals Tuesday night with the Mets’ 3.5 games in the NL East race. The Braves are a comeback game from the Philadelphia Phillies, who have also decided they are alive and well in the divisional race this summer. Given that the Braves have yet to play their best baseball, there’s reason to believe Atlanta can make four rounds in 2021.
Here are three moves the Braves still have to make to snatch the NL East from the hated Mets.
Atlanta Braves: 3 moves to win NL East for fourth year in a row
3. Assimilate Eddie Rosario into the outfield rotation ASAP
Atlanta made four trades in July to improve their outfield, most notably for Eddie Rosario with the Cleveland Indians. It was Rosario’s first year with Cleveland after having had great success against them playing for AL Central rival the Minnesota Twins for years. A lean season for Cleveland and a nagging abdominal injury led to Rosario being sacrificed at the trade deadline.
Being still on the 10-day IL, Rosario has yet to make his Braves debut. Although he offers great power on the left side of the plate, he really helps this team with that slick glove in the outfield. He could be asked to play anywhere in the outfield defensively. We know Joc Pederson will start center or right, but Rosario’s glove will be a welcome addition as well.
The other two Atlanta outfielders for Adam Duvall and Jorge Soler are serviceable and below par on defense, respectively. Soler can have great power on the right side, but he cannot be a defensive passive on the right. Duvall played a lot last year in Atlanta left field, so he could stay there. But by adding Rosario to the rotation, Atlanta’s outfield improves by raising the ground.
If Rosario can go to the yard regularly and make a web gem every now and then, his addition will be huge.