The Atlanta Braves front office got busy on Wednesday and claimed former Angels catcher Rene Rivera and traded cash considerations for former Kansas City Royals first baseman Lucas Duda.
Lucas Duda has hit .242/.311/.415 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI across 341 plate appearances for the meager Royals in 2018. Duda has been significantly better against right-handed pitching with an .839 OPS as opposed to his .642 OPS against left-handers this season. This means that manager Brian Snitker will most likely pinch-hit Duda to play the matchup game since Duda is not taking the great Freddie Freeman’s job at first.
Duda will be a free agent at the end of this season, meaning that he is strictly a rental for the Playoff hopeful Atlanta Braves. Duda will be a solid bench bat for the Braves going forward and will be able to man first base if Freddie Freeman needs a day off.
The Atlanta Braves also picked up catcher Rene Rivera, who hit .244/.287/.439 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI in 87 plate appearances this season with the Angels. Rivera will rank third on the Braves’ depth chart at catcher following catchers Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers.
Rene Rivera endured a torn meniscus in his right knee in May and didn’t return until a few weeks ago. He had been the alternate to Martin Maldonado, but Maldonado was traded to the Houston Astros near the conclusion of July. With Rivera now out of the picture in Anaheim, Francisco Arcia figures to take over starting duties with José Briceño backing him up.
While neither Rivera or Duda will be starting for the Braves any time soon, they will serve as solid backup as Atlanta attempts to make a deep Postseason run…and possibly win it all!