How Braves can weather Murphy’s absence

June 19th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Mark Bowman's Braves Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click hereAnd subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Losing an All-Star-caliber catcher for any length of time could cause problems for many clubs. Because the Braves have two All-Star-caliber catchers, though, they can’t necessarily relate.

produced MVP-worthy stats while catching in a significant majority of the games in which the Braves were without , who missed a month due to a concussion this year.

Now, while determining whether Murphy will need a few days or a little longer with a right hamstring ailment, the Braves can comfortably put d’Arnaud behind the plate knowing they could still get high-quality production at catcher.

The good news is an MRI exam just showed irritation around Murphy’s hamstring, meaning there’s a chance he could be ready to play again as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. The Braves can also opt to place Murphy on the injured list if it looks like he needs a little more time. If a decision is made by Wednesday, the move could be made retroactive to Sunday.

In other words, there wasn’t a need for Atlanta to make a decision before Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies. Nor will there be any need for Murphy to return any earlier than necessary.

Hours before Murphy tweaked his right hamstring while rounding first on a potential double on Saturday, Braves manager Brian Snitker had said he was going to get d’Arnaud regular playing time to keep both him and Murphy fresh during the hot summer months.

d’Arnaud was an All-Star last year and Murphy leads all NL catchers in All-Star voting this season.

Given the lopsided results of the deals that brought Matt Olson and Murphy to Atlanta this year, I think it’s safe to say the A’s won’t be taking any calls from the Braves this winter.