Per a Tuesday morning press release, the Braves have placed utilityman Ehire Adrianza on the postseason paternity list and activated infielder Johan Camargo ahead of tonight’s World Series Game 6. MLB rules require that Adrianza spend a minimum of one day and a maximum of three on the paternity list, though the latter will not come into play with the season set to conclude in less than 48 hours. Both players are switch hitters capable of offering serviceable defense at multiple positions.
While neither would be likely to see game action with the series shifting back to an AL park, the move represents a marginal downgrade for the Braves, who had used Adrianza as their top pinch-hitting option in the NLCS (when Jorge Soler was sidelined following a positive COVID test) and a secondary option in the World Series. Though he’s hitless in two at bats against the Astros, Adrianza did deliver a crucial two-out double ahead of Eddie Rosario’s game-deciding three-run homer in the fourth inning of Game 6 of the NLCS. Camargo, who had been on the Braves’ NLCS roster, is hitless in four trips to the plate so far this postseason.
With time at six positions in 2021 in something of a super-utility role, Adrianza also would have likely represented a top option at a number of positions in the event of an injury. He amassed a .247/.327/.401 across 209 plate appearances in his first season in Atlanta — all of which slightly exceeded his career averages — as he helped to bridge the gap that arose following Ronald Acuña Jr.’s season-ending injury and Marcell Ozuna’s season-ending legal troubles.
Should such a need arise, it may now fall to Camargo, who slashed .272/.349/.457 across 524 plate appearances as the Braves’ primary third baseman during the 2018 season. The 2019 arrival of Josh Donaldson and subsequent emergence of Austin Riley have largely rendered Camargo surplus to requirements in Atlanta, however. He’s struggled mightily since his breakout 2018, slashing a combined .212/.260/.361 (good for a dismal 58 OPS+), and has recorded a meager two walks and zero hits in 18 big-league plate appearances in 2021.
Camargo has mashed in Triple-A (.958 OPS in 436 PAs this year), however, suggesting his struggles with the parent club may be attributable to a small sample size and irregular playing time. He’s also been a significantly better hitter against lefties than righties, posting an .833 OPS hitting from the right side against .700 from the left, but the Braves are still likelier to turn to mid-season pickup Orlando Arcia should a pinch-hitting situation unexpectedly arise.
Still, Camargo does replace some of Adrianza’s positional versatility, potentially enabling Braves’ manager Brian Snitker to pinch-run for a starter in a late-game situation (speedster Terrance Gore is on the roster) without sacrificing too much defensively. All in all, the move is unlikely to amount to much with the DH in play from Game 6 (and a possible Game 7) of the World Series, but it is possible Camargo may be asked to play a role.