What should the brave do with Marcel Ozuna?

For obvious reasons, Marcell Ozuna is the most polarizing character in the Braves. After the domestic violence dispute, many fans did not want him to wear a tomahawk on his chest again. Quite understandable feeling. However, for many reasons – essentially contractual – I always thought these were a long way off. Nobody was going to trade with him last season, and the Braves weren’t just going to eat $50 million. Alex Anthopoulos had only one choice: to bring Ozuna into the squad, we pray he plays as he did in 2020, and he hopes all the extracurricular noise will dissipate.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. After a stinging hot start for Ozuna, he’s become virtually unplayable during his last 22 matches, coming in at just 0.157 with a 0.473 OPS. It also doesn’t help that his left-field defense is terrible. In season, Ozuna has now collected -0.4 bWAR, and I’d like to sit here and say I have the answer to the question posed in the article title, but Braves are in a tough spot.

When it comes to Ozuna traded or set for appointment, the answer is still no. First and foremost, no one is in the market for a 31-year-old outfield player with off-field baggage owed nearly $50 million over the next three years. Second, patience is a virtue, my friends. Not only would the Braves set Ozuna for the task because he’s been cool in 20+ games. If they worked like that, they wouldn’t be in the business of winning trophies.

The only thing Braves can really do is try to mix things up with the lineup. Needless to say, but I had the Ozuna in the field as little as possible. He must always be a designated hitter once Acuña is cleared to play on the field each day. Ozuna might be coming out of the cleanup spot with some pressure on him, but honestly, there are very few Braves players hitting. Not sure if the dead balls had something to do with it, or if these guys are just struggling, but it was a terrible start to most of the Braves attack. The good thing is that many of these guys have a track record of success, so the best thing to do is just hold on to hope and see a light at the end of the tunnel. There aren’t many good options that Brian Snitker can reference right now.

Photo: Rich von Pepperstein/IKON Sportswear

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