“He’s a lot better today, [better] than we thought he would be,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said before Wednesday night’s series finale against the Dodgers.
Albies and the Braves breathed a sigh of relief when X-rays showed the All-Star second baseman’s left knee was not fractured after he fouled a Walker Buehler pitch of it in the fifth inning of Tuesday night’s loss to Los Angeles.
The Braves were encouraged when Albies returned to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday and was able to walk around without much problem. If the swelling and remaining discomfort continue to subside, there’s a chance Albies could play in Thursday’s series opener against the Rockies at Coors Field.
Albies has hit .259 with 23 homers and a .800 OPS. He leads the National League with 63 extra-base hits.
Smyly’s role unknown
Snitker said Touki Toussaint would start Thursday night’s game against the Rockies. But he wasn’t sure how Drew Smyly will fit into the rotation plans going forward.
The Braves' probables for the Rockies series are Toussaint, Huascar Ynoa, Ian Anderson and Charlie Morton. Ynoa, Anderson and Morton will all be starting with an extra day of rest. Smyly’s place in the rotation had been between Anderson and Morton.
But Smyly’s tenure in the rotation became less certain when he allowed four home runs in Monday’s loss to the Dodgers. The lefty has allowed home runs to seven of the past 44 batters faced and his four-seam velocity dropped throughout the month of August.
Asked what the team plans to do with Smyly now, Snitker said, “I don’t know.”
There won’t be nearly as many players clogging active rosters during the season’s final month this year. Teams were allowed to add just two players to increase their active roster to 28 players when September arrived and rosters expanded on Wednesday.
A good cause
On Wednesday, MLB and its 30 clubs recognized Cancer Awareness Day. All on-field personnel, including players, managers, coaches, and umpires wore gold ribbon decals and wristbands during all games.
The Braves were one of 15 clubs selected to receive Starlight Nintendo Switch Lites, which will be donated to a local children’s cancer hospital or hospital pediatric cancer care unit. The Starlight Nintendo Switch Lites will also include complimentary versions of R.B.I. Baseball 21.