Braves: Orlando Arcia struggles could make second baseman trade a necessity

The Orlando Arcia the story was fun while it lasted. He took over for Ozzie Albies after fracturing his foot, and by mid-June Arcia had an OPS north of 1,000. His background, however, always suggested that severe regression was in line. The highest OPS Arcia ever posted in his career is 0.734, which came during the COVID-shortened 2020 campaign. For most of his career, he’s been a sub-700 OPS player, known mostly for his defense, which is what he’s looked like for the past few weeks.

In his last 13 games (47 at bat), Arcia is hitting a meager .128 with no extra hits, leading to a .324 OPS. That won’t be enough, and while the sample size is small, it’s large enough that the Braves realize they need to find another option at second base to move forward.

At the very least, Alex Anthopoulos should be looking for a platoon partner he can pair with Arcia, who could be a left-handed or right-handed bat. During his career, Arcia has hit lefties and righties at a very similar clip, and he’s actually reverse splits this season, hitting the right-handed throw much better than the left-handed throw.

However, much of that depends on how much time Albies is still expected to miss. We know it will take at least another five weeks, but if it’s something that could potentially end the season, the Braves should look to add a starting caliber piece. In both cases, a player like Brandon Dry for the Reds makes a lot of sense. He has a career year in Cincinnati, smashing 17 home runs and is on an expiring contract. He also crushes the left-handed throw to the tune of .978 OPS this season.

There are other options like Whit Merrifield, Coarse odorand Adam Frazier it shouldn’t cost the Braves dearly in terms of prospects. Either way, expect Anthopoulos to add to the position before the trade deadline, and it could happen sooner rather than later.

Photo: Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire

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Garland K. Long