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Snitker: Inciarte 'the last guy I worry about'

Outfielder off to slow start this season; Acuna gets first two hits in Triple-A
Special to MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte has not looked like himself in the batter's box this season. After Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Nationals, Inciarte owned a .213/.255/.255 slash line.

Manager Brian Snitker is hardly concerned, though, and is confident his leadoff man will turn things around sooner rather than later.

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WASHINGTON -- Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte has not looked like himself in the batter's box this season. After Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the Nationals, Inciarte owned a .213/.255/.255 slash line.

Manager Brian Snitker is hardly concerned, though, and is confident his leadoff man will turn things around sooner rather than later.

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"Ender can go 10-for-15. He can throw hits together. That's the last guy I worry about," Snitker said.

Despite his skipper's confidence, Inciarte has not been able to string hits together so far. He went a combined 1-for-8 through the first two games of the Braves' three-game set against the Nationals.

On Tuesday, Inciarte encountered some highly unusual struggles on defense, too. He dove for and missed a couple of line drives, in the first and fourth inning, that resulted in a combined three runs for the Nationals. Inciarte's first miscue saw the ball roll to the wall and Ryan Zimmerman reach third base on a triple.

Video: ATL@WSH: Zimmerman lines a two-run triple to center

But Snitker was quick to point out this is hardly the first time Inciarte has started slow. Inciarte hit .230 in April of last season before finishing the campaign with a .304 average. In 2016, he owned a .219 average through May, only to raise it to .291 by Atlanta's final game.

So, no, Snitker is not concerned. He's waiting patiently. Inciarte will start hitting more like himself, Snitker believes. It's just a matter of time.

"He's going to go off," Snitker said. "It's just accentuated early. When this happens in July, you don't think anything of it."

Johan Camargo, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a right oblique muscle strain, hit a home run during a rehab game with Triple-A Gwinnett on Tuesday. Ryan Flaherty has filled in admirably for Camargo at third base, having recorded a .375/.474/.500 slash line through Monday's game.

• Center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr., the Braves' No. 1 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, recorded his first two hits of the season for Gwinnett on Tuesday, snapping an 0-for-11 streak. Acuna's Major League debut could happen as soon as this coming weekend.

Joshua Needelman is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. and covered the Braves on Tuesday.

Atlanta Braves, Ender Inciarte