Following a string of earlier reports regarding the hamstring injury sustained by Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte yesterday, the team has officially placed him on the 10-day injured list. Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution shares that Inciarte is expected to be out 4-6 weeks after an MRI scan revealed a strain of the Grade 2 variety (link). Outfielder Adam Duvall has been recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Inciarte’s place on the active roster.
2019 has been a hard-luck season for Inciarte so far: it was just four weeks ago that the defensively gifted outfielder was activated after missing 55 games with an injury to the lumbar region in his torso. Since that activation, Inciarte had rebounded with a .293 batting average and 15 RBI in 90 plate appearances. Though his contact-and-defense profile has never been a glamorous one, Inciarte’s absence is sure to cause frustration for a Braves team already thoroughly bitten by injury bugs.
While the Braves hold a 4.5 game lead on their NL East counterparts, the team has had a hard time keeping key players on the field in recent weeks. After injuries to Nick Markakis and Austin Riley, Inciarte’s month-plus departure will reduce Atlanta’s grass patrol to Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Joyce, Charlie Culberson, Rafael Ortega, and the just-promoted Duvall–a rather thin crew after the talented sophomore from Venezuela.
Braves fans may have hoped that an Inciarte injury would, at least on the bright side, result in the promotion of one of Cristian Pache or Drew Waters, but Atlanta will turn instead to the veteran Duvall as a depth fill-in. After being acquired from the Reds last year, the Braves tendered a $2.875MM salary to the battle-tested slugger this offseason. He’s spent the majority of 2019 in Triple-A but has been a roughly league-average hitter when called upon in 19 MLB games this year (.250/.297/.500 slash line and 99 wRC+). Inciarte’s injury will also precipitate a temporary move back to center field for Acuna Jr., per Burns’ report.