Pache is out of the lineup for the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader with the Nationals. The rookie will be sitting for the first time this season, ceding duties in center field to Ender Inciarte. While batting near the bottom of the order through Atlanta's first four games, Pache has gone 2-for-14 with a double and a run scored.
Pache is expected to begin the season as Atlanta's starting center fielder, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. The team's No. 3 fantasy prospect didn't show much at the plate this spring, slashing .162/.238/.243 with a 4:11 BB:K in 42 plate appearances, but Ender Inciarte wasn't much better and Pache's outstanding defensive skills made the difference. The 22-year-old has the athletic tools to be a power/speed asset down the road, but he'll be a risky option on fantasy rosters as a rookie.
Pache was denied a home run to right field in Monday's Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox by an over-the-fence catch, David O'Brien of The Athletic reports. The 22-year-old is considered the favorite to win the starting center field job this spring based on his exceptional defense, but Pache has shown signs of emerging as a useful offensive player as well. He hit 12 homers in 130 games in the high minors in 2019, offering a glimpse of his power potential, but the real key to his offensive development will be improvement in his ability to make consistent contact.
Pache will be given every chance to win the starting center field spot this spring, Gabriel Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "We're going to give him a lot of opportunity," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said Friday. "The kid has to come to camp feeling really good about things, having a lot of confidence off his performance in the NLCS. This'll be his third or fourth camp, so he'll know what to expect and have a better idea about himself." The 22-year-old is still working to turn his athletic prowess into consistent production at the plate, but Pache's defense has been big-league worthy for a couple years already, and his ability to excel with the glove becomes even more important with Marcell Ozuna headed for left field barring the last-minute return of the DH to the National League. If Pache experiences significant growing pains, Atlanta still has Ender Inciarte on hand, and Ronald Acuna could also slide over from right field.
Pache will bat ninth as the center fielder in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Tuesday, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Pache entered Game 1 in place of Adam Duvall (oblique) and will remain in the lineup for Game 2 after the veteran was removed from the roster. Nick Markakis moves from right field to left in Duvall's absence, with Ronald Acuna sliding from center to right.
|vs ALCANTARA (CAREER)||0/0||0||0||0||0||0||0|