MLB News: Braves Lose Another Key Piece Of Lineup

The Atlanta Braves are sitting in their usual spot atop the NL East Division standings at 10-5, but have suffered their third crucial injury already this season. We've already seen Spencer Strider, the top starting pitcher in the NL, lost to season-ending elbow surgery, while starting catcher Sean Murphy has been out since spring training with an oblique injury.  

Now, they'll have to do without another key piece for a time, as second baseman Ozzie Albies has suffered a fractured toe on a hit-by-pitch and has gone on the IL. 

Albies was in pain after getting dinged in the foot, but managed to stay in the game. Afterwards, however, he was limping and was sent for x-rays, which came back with the fractured toe diagnosis.

It's not yet known how long he'll be out, but one baseball database shows that players who suffer a fractured big toe are sidelined for an average of 35 days. Albies, however, won't need surgery, and there's some hope that he could be back sooner, in about three weeks. 

In 2022, Albies suffered a foot fracture in the middle of June, and missed, essentially, the rest of the season. 

Veteran utility infielder David Fletcher is coming up from Triple-A to take his roster spot. Fletcher is a six-year major-league veteran with a career .277 batting average. He certainly won't replace the pop of Ozzie's bat, but he should be an adequate fill-in on defense.

Albies is off to a strong start to the season, driving in 14 runs in 15 games while batting .317 with an .878 OPS. Last year, he earned his third All-Star nod, finishing with a career-high 33 home runs and 109 RBIs.

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