Despite losing Ozzie Albies for the regular season in his first game back from injury, the Braves have bigger concerns.
The Atlanta Braves just got their second baseman Ozzie Albies back from an injury before he immediately was sidelined again. Though this is concerning, it may not be their worst situation, as the Braves have Vaughn Grissom in tow.
First baseman Matt Olson has been in a slump, and his performance may hurt the defending World Series champions.
The former Oakland Athletics player was viewed as a good replacement for Freddie Freeman, but he’s not measuring up to his expectations. While Freeman is thriving with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Olson is struggling to live up to his potential in Atlanta.
He started the season pretty well, but September has been especially difficult. In August, he hit .243/.315/.459 and over September so far, he’s hit a worryingly low .080/.193/.140. In this final stretch, barely trailing behind the New York Mets, it’s crucial that Olson delivers.
Out of all full seasons Olson has played, this is his worst one. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have much backup either.
Braves 1B Matt Olson doesn’t have much room to underperform
On ESPN’s depth chart, Orlando Arcia and Austin Riley are the other first base options. Arcia, however, hasn’t played first at all through his career in the majors, and Riley is the starter at third. Olson will not be benched, as he still provides value at first base defensively, plus he usually gets on base at a decent clip.
Olson has the second-largest contract in Atlanta, just behind Riley. Olson’s contract is worth $168 million over eight years.
Olson is having one of the worst seasons of his career, and if he can’t turn things around soon, there’s no telling how it may impact the Braves in the playoffs.