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Texas Rangers vs Atlanta Braves Series Preview Q & A

Three questions on the Braves

MLB: Houston Astros at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For the weekend series against the Reigning World Series champions Atlanta Braves, I had a Q & A with Demetrius of Battery Power!

Coming into the season, is it a little bittersweet with the team being reining world series champs but having lost a franchise player in Freddie Freeman?

This was a very weird situation for the fanbase here to deal with, so I can only imagine what it was like for the players in the clubhouse. The vast majority of people involved with the Braves wanted Freddie to come back and it was definitely sad to see him go. After all, he’d been here through the fall and rise of the Braves from cellar-dwellers to World Series champions. It would’ve made all the sense in the world for the Braves to make Freddie Freeman a one-club man like they did with Chipper Jones. That’s how popular he was here.

With that being said, that’s where the “sweet” part comes in because most fans understood immediately when the trade went down and Matt Olson was coming in. Olson especially assuaged even the most skeptical Braves fans’ concerns when he hit the ground running in the first week. It really didn’t take long for Olson to get popular here. I think at this point, most fans think that while it’s sad that Freeman is gone (and playing for the Dodgers, no less), they know that they’ve got a good one in Olson so this may be a situation where all’s well that ends well.

Player(s) that are under the radar but everyone should watch?

It’s actually a guy who y’all drafted back in 2013 and the Braves traded for in 2016: Travis Demeritte.

Granted, Demeritte didn’t make his major league debut with Atlanta since they traded him to Detroit in 2019 but he eventually found himself back with the Braves and got called up. He did pretty well in Triple-A last season and got off to a similar start before he made it to the big league squad here.

So far, he’s been doing pretty well at the plate as he’s been hitting the ball harder now than he did back in 2020 and he’s provided a much-needed boost on Atlanta’s defense in the outfield. He’s definitely the one lineup regular right now who is an unfamiliar face, but I believe that he can be reliable if his work from Triple-A continues to carry over. If he’s the one coming up with a big hit this weekend, then you heard it here first.

Ronald Acuna will be active for the series against the Rangers — any concerns about his ability to get all the way back after the torn ACL?

The only question for this series in particular is whether or not he’ll play all three games.

Right now, he may end up only playing one or two games but Acuña being the 24-year-old dynamo that he is, he’s been angling in the media to play as many games as possible. I’m a believer that he’s going to be just as good as he was before the injury. I wasn’t really concerned about him as a hitter since he’s been crushing the ball going back when spring training started back up and he was also mashing during his Triple-A rehab stint.

The main concern was whether or not he could retain the speed that he had before and so far, so good. He’s only been back for one game but he picked up two stolen bases. I’m not going to guarantee anything but he’s definitely going to go full tilt as long as he’s able to play.