It’s an unwanted development for a Braves club that lost several key players to injury in the first two months of the season. Mike Soroka required exploratory surgery after experiencing a setback in her recovery from last year’s Achilles tear, as Travis d’Arnaud had surgery to repair a ligament in the thumb and an escape right Huascar Ynoa is sidelined with a broken pitcher’s hand.
Ozuna, 30, was one of baseball’s best hitters of the shortened 2020 season, punctuating the NL in home runs, RBIs, total goals and home plate appearances while hitting .338 / .431 /. 636. His decision to sign with Atlanta on a one-year, $ 18 million contract rather than take a lesser multi-year bid elsewhere last winter paid off, as the “Big Bear” ended up signing a contract for four years of $ 65 million to return to the Braves last winter.
Sadly, the first year of this season couldn’t have had a much worse start. Ozuna was just hitting .213 / .288 / .356 in 208 appearances on the set. He’s still connected on seven homers and six doubles, but Ozuna’s isolated power of 0.144 (less than batting average percentage) is less than half of last season’s career high of 0.298. Its walk rate, exit speed, and hard hit rate have also dropped so far in 2021.