The Braves Bench Needs Revamping

The Braves have had their fair share of ups and downs to start the season. Going into Sunday’s game against the Phillies, Atlanta is 6-11, which is not great but it could be worse. There are many areas that can improve, but none more needed than the bench. Many people believe the Braves have one of the worst benches in baseball, and the first 17 games of the season have proven that theory correct. The Braves bench needs revamping.

The Braves Bench Needs Revamping

Regulars

The bench consists of Jace Peterson, Emilio Bonifacio, Chase d’Arnaud, Anthony Recker, and either Kurt Suzuki or Tyler Flowers, depending on who is starting that day.

Peterson is the best player on the bench, as he can play all seven positions if needed. Although he can play multiple spots of defense, he is only hitting .200 with a .294 OBP. These numbers are simply not good enough for key hits late in games. Bonifacio is the fourth outfielder, but is getting up in age. At 32 years old, he does not have the speed he once had. Couple that with the .111 batting average and he is lucky to still have a spot on the 25-man roster.

D’Arnaud is another utility player than can play multiple spots on defense. He also has been the best hitter by far. While he only has eight at bats, he has a .375 batting average and a .500 OBP. The problem is that he is a pinch runner or defensive sub late in a game. Getting him more at-bats should be something Brian Snitker does.

Recker is the third catcher for the Braves. In addition, he only has one hit on the season. This is a spot that can be used as more of an actual bench bat instead of a third catcher who barely produces on the field. As for Suzuki and Flowers, they are solid catchers who bring some experience to the team. While they might not be long term solutions, both are getting the job done in addition to giving each another off days when needed.

Solutions

The first thing that needs to be done is replace Recker with someone who can produce when called upon. Signing someone like Kelly Johnson would be a huge addition to the team. He is a good pinch hitter, and can play multiple positions in the field. Another option would be to bring up Ryan Howard from Triple-A Gwinnett. He is a huge power bat from the left side, something the Braves have not had in years. Also, allowing d’Arnaud to hit more frequently would help the ball club.

While there are many different things Snitker can do to help the team, addressing the bench will be the most beneficial. There are many avenues to pursue as well, and any of them are better than what the Braves have now.

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