The first-place Atlanta Braves will be without two lineup stalwarts for some time. On Saturday, the team announced that shortstop Dansby Swanson (right foot contusion) and outfielder Nick Markakis (fractured left wrist) were placed on the 10-day IL.
Swanson hasn't played since injuring his heel on Tuesday, so his move is retroactive to July 24. The Braves had been hoping to avoid a roster move, but Swanson wasn't able to recover in a timely enough fashion. This season, the 25-year-old is enjoying a productive season by positional standards. In 100 games, he's got a slash line of .265/.330/.468 (101 Johan Camargo figures to get most of the reps at shortstop.) with 17 home runs and seven stolen bases. While Swanson is out,
As for Markakis, he took a fastball off the left wrist against the Phillies on Friday, and his absence is likely to be a lengthy one. This season Markakis in his age-35 campaign is batting .284/.358/.429 with nine home runs and 22 doubles in 104 games. The Braves figure to fill the hole with more playing time for Austin Riley, and manager Brian Snitker also has Duvall and Ender Inciarte at his disposal. Charlie Culberson is also comfortable in the outfield corners.
These are significant losses for Atlanta, but the good news is that they enter the weekend slate with a 5.5-game lead over the Nationals in the NL East. Right now, the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) gives the Braves a 74.3 percent chance of winning the division for a second straight year and a 95 percent chance of making the postseason. Through 104 games, the Braves are on pace for 95 wins.