Riley admitted that the quadriceps strain that cost him the final two games of the 2020 regular season had been bothering him much longer than that, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. "I hate making excuses any time, but I definitely was feeling it," said Riley.

The third baseman posted a .609 OPS over his final 18 games in the regular season and then a .489 OPS in the playoffs while playing at less than 100 percent. Atlanta is hoping Riley can take a big step forward in what will be his first full season in the majors after he managed a .232/.288/.448 line with 16 homers and a 31.2 percent strikeout rate through his first 131 big-league games, and knowing that last year's season-ending slump was at least partly due to injury offers some reassurance that the league simply hasn't figured him out at the plate.

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