By CHARLES ODUM
AP Sports Writer
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies is headed to the 10-day injured list after missing Monday night’s game against the New York Yankees with a left hamstring strain.
It was Albies’ first missed start of the season. Following the game, Braves manager Brian Snitker announced plans to place Albies on the IL. Vaughn Grissom, who filled in at second base late last season, is an option to be recalled to fill Albies’ roster spot.
Nicky Lopez, who had three hits and drove in three runs while filling in for Albies in Atlanta’s 11-3 win over the Yankees, could continue to see more playing time.
Albies was pulled from the Braves’ 7-6 loss at the New York Mets on Sunday with cramping in his left hamstring. Braves manager Brian Snitker said Albies was “still feeling it a little bit” on Monday.
Albies has been one of Atlanta’s most productive players, hitting .267 with 28 homers and 90 RBIs, second in the majors behind teammate Matt Olson. Albies ranks eighth in the majors with 235 total bases.
“I had to get a new stamp out,” Snitker said of his first lineup without Albies at second base.
Albies is not the Braves’ only iron man of 2023. Olson at first base, third baseman Austin Riley and right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. also have started each of Atlanta’s first 117 games as the Braves have compiled the majors’ best record.
“If something happens and they need a day, we’ll give it a day,” Snitker said. “It hasn’t happened yet.”
Asked about his appreciation of having so many players make every start, Snitker said “very much so, and the fact they want to do that and they train to do that. I think it’s a very good thing. I think it keeps them strong.”
The Braves acquired Lopez from Kansas City for left-hander Taylor Hearn on July 30.
Lopez drove in five runs with four hits, including a homer and double, and scored three runs while making a fill-in start at shortstop for Orlando Arcia in Atlanta’s 21-3 rout of the Mets in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. He also pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
“It was pretty cool, obviously just given the opportunity to go out and play,” Lopez said Monday about his big game. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”
With so many position players making every start, Lopez said he knows his opportunities to start may be rare.
“I know why I came here, and I know my role on this team,” Lopez said. “Obviously we have a lot of studs across the diamond. I came here to fill a few spots here and there, stay ready if I’m called upon.”
Snitker said the strength of Albies’ hamstring was being tested on Monday.