The Braves may soon welcome back veteran outfielder Nick Markakis. While a return this season once seemed in some doubt, he’s tracking to be activated as soon as the end of this week, as Paul Casella of MLB.com reports.
Markakis has been rehabbing a broken left wrist since suffering the injury in late July. His progress has evidently been quite good, as he’ll be back in action closer to the optimistic side of the anticipated timetable. So long as a live BP session goes well today, he could be available this Friday.
Manager Brian Snitker says that he’ll put Markakis back in the lineup once the esteemed veteran gives the word. “I don’t need to see anything really,” says Snitker. “We’ll give him a good workout, have him throw and run the bases. They want him to slide, just to see with his hand. But I trust him. If he feels like he’s ready to go, I’ll plug him in.”
With the NL East in hand, the Braves can focus on lining up their roster for the postseason (while hoping against odds to catch the Dodgers for home-field advantage). Getting Markakis up to full speed, while avoiding any further issues, will be one of the club’s top priorities over the next few weeks.
Markakis returned to the Atlanta organization over the winter for a $6MM guarantee. While he’s still a capable player and lauded leader, the 35-year-old has taken a step back from his 2018 output. Markakis is slashing a league-average-ish .284/.358/.429 (104 wRC+) while drawing below-average grades for his glovework and baserunning. But he has hit quite well against right-handed pitching, sporting a .300/.379/.462 batting line with the platoon advantage, and figures to be a productive part of the playoff roster if deployed with that in mind.
The Braves are slated to answer quite a few interesting outfield roster questions in the coming months. First, the team will need to decide among its many mix-and-match options for the playoffs. Then, it’ll have to make a partially related but quite different assessment in the ensuing offseason. Markakis is a certain part of the postseason equation, but his fate thereafter remains to be seen. With a pair of notable outfield prospects knocking at the door, not to mention trade and free agent possibilities, it’s unclear whether the club will pick up its $6MM option or insteady pay Markakis a $2MM buyout and wish him well after five seasons of service.
Welcome back Nick! We need ya, let’s go!…
Well the Braves certainly don’t need him. They seem to be doing just fine without him, but his return just makes the rich richer so to speak. What a team.
They need him. The Braves production of their third outfielder has been inconsistent and lacking.
I’m not sure if I buy that Markakis’s offensive value is only 4% above league average. Getting on base 36% of the time is pretty damn good, and he slugs slightly above average too. For the type of player that Markakis is and always has been, that slugging is a very nice extra bonus. I can’t speak to his baserunning but he’s always been regarded as pretty average, and he has always had a very reliable, consistent, and above average defensive track record with regard to both range and arm. Obviously age related regression happens, he’s up into his mid-30’s now, but he brings A LOT more value to the Braves than a slightly above league average player.
It’s apparent if you regularly watch the Braves that Markakis brings more value to the team than his stat line suggests, and I don’t just mean intangibles. He’s a solid ball player. Our lineup is much longer with Markakis on the field than with Ortega/Duvall, etc.
He’s a slightly above average hitter and he’s a decent defensive RF at this point. He doesn’t slug at an above average clip either. .429 is average. He’s useful piece but I think you’re way overvaluing him at this point. He’s no lock to even come back to ATL this offseason. He’s certainly a better option than the alternatives they presently have but That’s not saying a whole lot.
He doesn’t strike out too often and always has good, hard at bats. Not much power, but the Braves have plenty of those guys. It’s good to have someone who makes contact and makes the pitcher work.
“Good, hard at bats” is just hyperbole for is old and isn’t producing like he used to.
Markakis is roughly the same player to what he’s always been. A couple seasons he provided a bit more pop and when he was very young he swiped a couple bags. The metrics have soured on his D and base running. At the plate he’s been about the same for a long time now. Which is average to slightly above.
Slightly above average at the plate? Come on man, get serious. Ask the pitchers in the NL and they’ll tell u he’s still one of the toughest outs out there. Get a clue, dude!
Atlanta plays in a hitter friendly park so he’s getting dinged a bit for that
Picking up his option next year at roughly 4 Mil is really a no-brainer even if they eventually go a different direction and have to cut or trade him. The cost is small to hang on to him.
Yes, yes, yes and yes. In today’s game, when the winning team is often the one that makes the fewer mistakes, I’ll take the guy who almost never does anything stupid.
4M (the bottom line cost) is pretty cheap for a guy like that. And ya, they have OF talent coming; no one doubts it. But I have to think there’s value for a fundamentally sound player, of whom I’ve never seen anything negative said about him, clubhouse-wise.
I Guess Hitting .284 is Bad Huh. ?
Terrible new for the Brews, and worse for Yelich.
Class act. One of the four best players in all of baseball.
MVP chances gone, yes, but even Bellinger may have trouble holding off Freeman of the Braves.
Somehow Freeman isn’t getting much love. I think he’s probably the best candidate though.
His defense is far inferior to Bellingers.
BS Freeman is a Gold Glove first baseman. Bellinger is much more versatile than Freeman but “Far Inferior” to Bellinger is total, total, BS!
Welcome back with open arms kakes.. This team misses your good ab’s in the 5 hole and inciarte captaining the OF as well.
No one missed Ender at the plate, that’s for sure. Terrible to watch.
And thats why I didnt mention him at the plate…BUT if he’s in his second half form looking at hitting it down the 3rd base line or over short stops head on a line, watch out!
Guy has the same exact problem as texiera and goldsmidt have, takes 80 games to figure their timing and coordination out..
Take it to the bank, I started a season out like that and a good hitting coach has drills to fix it. Focus BP on hitting up the middle and to RF, have hitting coach soft-toss up balls behind you, hit tiny little pieces of rolled up masking tape.. BP in a cage should solely be focused on hitting the back of the cage and nothing else.
Would put up my Canadian baseball coach bound for the majors before a drastic soccer knee injury before many..
Watching him hit BP when he’d seldomly let us pitch to him and spectate was something crazy.. Hitting balls over 120 foot light poles on queue was crazy for this “sandlot” kid.
Sorry, ranted there but some guys ya never forget throughout the battle of life!
IMO no way the Braves don’t pick up Neck’s option next year. Snit will put him back in the line up the moment he says he is ready. I just wish he would bat him 6th or 7th–not 5th. I am a big fan of Neck and will be sad to see him leave after next season. He could get to 3000 hits which amazes me.
Well, I also hope the Braves pick up that option on Nick. However if Pache or Waters r ready next year (and they well might be) he might become a role/platoon player. But that’s all good.