The Atlanta Braves have tried to trade Marcell Ozuna on at least two occasions. This spring training, he may have turned a corner.
For the better part of two seasons, Marcell Ozuna has been a gaping hole in the Atlanta Braves outfield. In fact, he was just about the only true weakness in the Braves’ lineup.
Combine that with his off-field issues — a domestic violence arrest and a DUI — and it’s a miracle Atlanta kept him around at all. In fact, they tried not to, and failed to find a team interested in taking on Ozuna’s contract.
This offseason, Atlanta failed to address that need, as well. Rather than signing or making a trade for a better left fielder, the Braves brought in under-the-radar players to challenge and compete with Ozuna, rather than completely overtake his position.
So far, it’s working.
Braves answer in left field could still be Marcell Ozuna
Atlanta baseball fans would be silly to trust Marcell Ozuna in left field just because of some spring training play. However, he’s looked capable in the field and has some respectable splits.
Admittedly, the initial reaction to criticize the Braves for keeping Ozuna in the fold may have been too harsh, especially if he still has something to add from the dish. It’s important to note that Ozuna does have a gold glove in his past with the Marlins, albeit prior to receiving shoulder surgery, which impacted his throwing ability.
“He came in my office and we talked,” manager Brian Snitker said of Ozuna, per The Athletic. “He’s in great shape. … He wants to have a good year. He’s still a young man. I still remember that was a guy who would hit all the good pitching. He was such a force. And you forget he was an MVP finalist two seasons ago. I think there’s still a lot in there.”
It’s been a long road back to relevancy for Ozuna. But by all accounts, it looks like he’ll receive one more chance to prove himself.