Duvall was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday. After struggling following a midseason trade to the Braves in 2018, Duvall picked up where he left off this spring, hitting just .171/.306/.317 through 19 Grapefruit League games. As such, Atlanta opted to send the 30-year-old to the minors to open the season, leaving Matt Joyce, Charlie Culberson and Johan Camargo to compete for work as the team's fourth outfielder.
Duvall's roster status is "tenuous at best," David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. Duvall struggled mightily following a midseason trade to Atlanta in 2018, and he's done little this spring to suggest he'll turn things around in 2019. As such, it sounds like the Braves won't hesitate to release the outfielder if a better option comes along. Should Atlanta stick with Duvall, he'll be limited to a bench role, seeing most of his opportunities against left-handed pitching.
Duvall went 2-for-3 with two solo home runs in Sunday's Grapefruit League game against the Marlins. The first blast came against Dan Straily, so the veteran outfielder wasn't just feasting on minor-league pitching. Duvall is set to begin the season on the bench for the Braves, primarily spelling Nick Markakis in left field against LHP and seeing DH at-bats during interleague play, so while he still has some pop, his fantasy value will mainly come as a DFS option.
Duvall is hitless (0-for-5) through his first three appearances this spring. Duvall has yet to get things going this spring, continuing a trend that dates back to his arrival in Atlanta last July. The outfielder hit just .132/.193/.151 in 57 plate appearances for the Braves following a trade from Cincinnati. The Braves brought back Nick Markakis, pushing Duvall back to a bench role heading into the season.
Duvall and the Braves reached agreement on a one-year, $2.875 million deal Friday, avoiding arbitration, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. Duvall did not play a major role in Atlanta following a late-July trade from Cincinnati, starting very infrequently and hitting just .132/.193/.151 in 57 plate appearances for his new team. He currently lines up as the Braves' primary left fielder, though the team could bring back Nick Markakis or sign another outfielder to move Duvall back to a bench role, which probably fits him best.