Injured Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte is officially on the path back to the majors. He launched a rehab assignment today, per a club announcement.
Inciarte will start things off with the club’s High-A affiliate. The Braves will surely exercise some caution in ramping him up. Back injuries can linger, as has already occurred in this particular case.
So long as Inciarte’s back doesn’t start barking again, he ought to move fairly swiftly back up the chain. The Braves ought to have at least a few weeks to see how Inciarte looks and fits on the MLB roster before making final deadline decisions.
As I argued about a month back, the left-handed-hitting center fielder still figures to be a useful piece for the Atlanta roster now and into the future. It’s hard to see Inciarte re-taking his everyday role, but he’d still fill a significant niche if he can get the bat going upon his return.
That said, his ultimately activation will still pose tough roster and playing-time questions. Austin Riley is still slugging, though his on-base numbers are sagging, while reserves Johan Camargo, Charlie Culberson, and Matt Joyce are all hitting quite well. It’s a good problem to have for the division-leading Braves.