Hours before first pitch of an elimination game, the Brewers are getting a bit of a break: Braves slugger Jorge Soler is being removed from Atlanta’s NLDS roster after testing positive for COVID-19.
Soler has served as Atlanta’s leadoff hitter in this playoff series, proving to be a tough AB at the top of the lineup even if he had only gone 1-for-11 with 2 walks and 4 strikeouts to this point.
He hit .269/.358/.524 with 14 home runs and 11 doubles in 55 games with the Braves during the regular season after a deadline deal with Kansas City.
Under MLB’s COVID-19 policy, unvaccinated players are tested regularly, while vaccinated players are only tested if they present symptoms.
Soler will be replaced on the Braves’ NLDS roster by Top-100 prospect Cristian Pache, who appeared in only 22 big league games this year and hit .265/.330/.414 in 89 games at Triple-A. The 22-year-old is Atlanta’s top prospect, and MLB Pipeline’s 38th-best prospect overall. He’s generally known most for being an excellent defender with very good speed, but is less of a threat with the bat than Soler.
However, Pache is not in the updated lineup released by the Braves, as Brian Snitker is opting to go with Guillermo Heredia in centerfield to start the game instead.
First pitch is a little more than an hour away.