At least the lines aren’t very long for playoff tickets outside of SunTrust Park. Actually they are nonexistent.
But everyone already knew this was going to be another rebuilding season for the Atlanta Braves. It could be worse. The Braves aren’t in last place.
Atlanta is holding down third place in the Eastern Division of the National League. The Braves have drawn two million fans to the ol’ ball yard. Atlanta has some of the brightest and most ballyhooed youngsters on the Major League baseball scene.
The Braves aren’t dead in the water – not yet. Atlanta’s demise has been over exaggerated. One of the reasons to remain hopeful for the future comes in the person of Ender Inciarte.
He is Atlanta’s young stud in center field. The Braves have many regrets this season, but No. 11 is not one of them. Inciarte is upbeat and positive. He is willing and energetic. He is faster than the stopwatch indicates.
Inciarte has played some winning baseball on a losing Braves team this year. Going into the four-game set with the Marlins last weekend, Inciarte was batting .309 with some other desirable numbers – 21 doubles, 20 stolen bases, 85 runs and 180 hits.
He just might be durable after all. After missing 31 games due mostly to an injury in 2016, Inciarte has come back healthy this season. And he has produced.
He is the least of the Braves worries. Two years ago when the Braves traded for Inciarte (from the Diamondbacks), Atlanta got a player with all kinds of potential and room for improvement.
What the Braves have gotten in return is an All-Star caliber player. Inciarte did play in the mid-summer classic this year. But more than that, Inciarte has given the Braves someone that they can count on as they try to turn this franchise into a winner like it once was back in the Chipper Jones, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine days.
Inciarte is still young at 26 years old. He can be and wants to be a part of the Braves future winning. It is going to happen in the years ahead. As for now, what Atlanta has with Inciarte is one of the best gloves in the National League and an underrated hitter.
He brings a lot to the backyard table for the Braves – enthusiasm, talent, speed and the ability to run down almost any ball on the field of play. Inciarte is becoming one of the best players in the National League. That is what No. 11 has done for the Braves in the last two years.
Ender Inciarte is not an anchor. He is more like a flotation device, and Inciarte is a lifesaver for a Braves team that is trying to stay afloat during one more rebuilding campaign.
Inciarte is a bright light and a stunning baseball player. He is a big part of Atlanta’s future game plan. That is for sure. You can bet the ball park on that.