The Atlanta Braves are about to get a former all-star back in the lineup. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud was reinstated from the injured list Monday after being away from the team for a month due to a concussion.
An all-star last season, d’Arnaud’s return brings another solid bat to an already daunting Braves lineup. Atlanta has the second-best team OPS in the league and is fifth in runs scored.
Despite several injuries to key players throughout the first five weeks of the season, the Braves haven’t looked like a team that is dealing with the injury bug. They have the best record in the National League at 24-11 and already hold a seven-game lead in the NL East, a division they’ve won five years in a row.
In eight games this season, d’Arnaud has a .333 batting average with three doubles and five RBIs. This was the fourth concussion that he suffered in his career, possibly raising some concerns about his long-term future behind the plate.
d’Arnaud figures to primarily feature as a designated hitter upon his return but will see some time behind the plate to give Sean Murphy a rest. Murphy immediately established himself in the Braves lineup and has quickly become a fan favorite. He leads the NL in slugging percentage and OPS.
Some teams struggle to find a decent catcher to fulfill their backstop duties. The Braves are one of the few teams who possess two starting-caliber catchers. Atlanta should certainly be excited about the return of Travis d’Arnaud.
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