Along with announcing Markakis was activated from the injured list on Friday, the Braves revealed Camargo will miss the remainder of the regular season with a right shin hairline fracture. Initially, it appeared Camargo sustained a contusion when he fouled a pitch off his leg on Wednesday in Philadelphia. But further tests revealed the small fracture.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said the injury will be treated like a bruise and there is a chance Camargo could be ready in three weeks. But it will still be a challenge for the switch-hitting utility man to make the necessary preparations to make himself a legitimate roster candidate at some point during the postseason.
“We’re still in good shape as far as the depth goes,” Snitker said. “It opens the door for somebody else. But he’s such a valuable asset off the bench, the way he was swinging from both sides.”
Camargo’s absence could further the value of Adeiny Hechavarria, who was signed by the Braves after he was released by the Mets in August. Hechavarria has lived up to his reputation as a supreme defensive asset, and he provided some timely hits while serving as the everyday shortstop when Dansby Swanson was on the injured list.
Hechavarria and Charlie Culberson will serve as the primary backup infield options. Camargo drew a pair of outfield starts this week in Philadelphia. But with Markakis back for the first time since fracturing his left wrist on July 26, there were going to be fewer outfield opportunities for Camargo, who struggled most of this season before going 5-for-11 with two doubles and two homers since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett this month.
“I hate it for him,” Snitker said. “He went back, revamped his swing and it was working. He was doing really well.”
Ronald Acuna Jr., Markakis and Matt Joyce will serve as the Braves’ primary outfield trio against right-handed pitchers. Adam Duvall or Austin Riley will replace Joyce when the opposition is starting a left-hander.
Because Joyce feels more comfortable in right field, Markakis will play left field when they are in the game at the same time. Markakis spent some time as a left fielder during his 2006 rookie season. But he’s since exclusively played right field, minus a three-game series last year, when the Braves felt more comfortable with Acuna patrolling Fenway Park’s right field.
“It’s just the opposite of right [field],” Markakis said. “Balls are going to come off [the bat] the opposite way. It’s just a matter of knowing the ballparks and what the left fields have to offer with the angles. It’s a little more homework to do now when you’re doing it kind of midseason. It’s just another position. I’ll go out and figure it out.”
The Braves also recalled right-handed pitchers Touki Toussaint, Bryse Wilson and Kyle Wright from Gwinnett on Friday. Each of them will provide bullpen depth. Wilson or Wright could also be used to start if there is a desire to get Mike Soroka or Max Fried extra rest down the stretch.