Culberson went 1-for-3 in Saturday's Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox. The utility player has had a sluggish spring, going 5-for-30 with a 2:8 BB:K through 12 games. Culberson became a fan favorite in Atlanta last year after hitting .270 with a career-high 12 homers, but his .678 career OPS suggests he could have trouble repeating the performance.
Culberson and the Braves avoided arbitration Friday with a one-year, $1.395 deal, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Culberson was an effective utility man in his first year in Atlanta, playing seven positions while receiving a career-high 322 plate appearances and finishing with his first above-average batting line (.270/.326/.466, good for a 108 wRC+). He'll likely be reprising that role again this season.
Culberson is out of the lineup Wednesday against the Cardinals. Culberson saw his five-game starting streak come to an end in Monday's series opener, when Johan Camargo was cleared to return from a groin injury. With Camargo emerging as one of the Braves' top hitters in the second half, he should continue to stick in the lineup on a regular basis, closing Culberson's path to an everyday role over the final week and a half of the regular season.
Culberson went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run in Tuesday's win over the Giants. Culberson entered the game in the top of the third inning after Johan Camargo exited with a groin injury, and he'd go on to deliver his 11th homer of the season. If Camargo is forced to miss any amount of time, Culberson -- who's slashing .280/.327/.494 -- will likely be the top option to take over third in his stead, though the initial word is Camargo may not be out long.
Culberson went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer Thursday against the Marlins. Culberson took Elieser Hernandez deep in the second inning for his 10th home run of the season. He was called upon to start at shortstop, giving Dansby Swanson a breather. While he is most frequently used as a pinch-hitter, Culberson has put together an impressive .513 slugging percentage across 234 at-bats this season.