Key Waiver Claims Prove to Make a Difference
Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
By. Andrew Rodberg (twitter.com/AndrewRod2019)
ATLANTA, GA— As most baseball fans know, as shown in previous years, injuries occur and teams must use a full 40 man roster in order to make a push into October. With the Braves a key example of that (losing Nick Markakis, Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte, and Austin Riley), they went out an acquired some players with upside through waiver claims. In doing so, they picked up Adeiny Hechavarria (August 16, 2019) and Billy Hamilton (August 19, 2019), but little did they know that those two would make an instant impact on a playoff contending team fighting back the injury bug.
With Hechavarria (unrestricted free agent after 2019 season) being claimed mainly as a defensive player, while Dansby Swanson tries to get healthy, his bat has come alive as his glove continues to shine in the shortstop position. Before being claimed by the Braves, Hechavarria struggled to get anything going with the Mets as he went 29/151 and held a .204 batting average. With a new change of scenery, Hechavarria has come alive with key hits and runs that have resulted in wins for the Braves. Since coming to Atlanta, Hechavarria has gone 8/24 and is currently holding a .333 batting average.
On the other side, Billy Hamilton (due $7,500,000 in 2020) was designated for assignment from the Kansas City Royals (August 16th 2019) after going 58/275 with 74 strikeouts. With his inability to get his bat going and the Royals out of contention while owing him quite a bit of money, they dropped him and the Braves were a more than willing to pick him up. With that being said, Hamilton was welcomed with open arms and was given his role on a contending team. Hamilton would be a late inning defensive substitute along with being a pinch runner specialist. In 93 games with the Royals, Hamilton stole 18 bases, but upon coming to Atlanta, he had himself a night against the Mets on August 23rd 2019, when he came in as a pinch runner, stole 2 bases and ultimately gave the Braves a 2-1 win with a RBI single in the top of the 14th.
With these two veteran additions playing their hearts out for the Braves, this is exactly what Alex Anthopoulos and company envisioned when they claimed them off waivers. With just 32 games remaining in the regular season, Alex will have some big decisions to make when it comes to who will make the Postseason roster and who will be signed to long term deals at years end. This is just one of many “good problems” to have with the Braves organization on the rise.