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What the Braves Need to Do With Ender Inciarte When He Returns

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 29:   Ender Inciarte #11 of the Atlanta Braves hits a single in the third inning during the game against the San Diego Padres at SunTrust Park on April 29, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)
Mike Zarrilli

The Atlanta Braves placed Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte on the injured list with back tightness, and they called up top position player prospect Austin Riley to take his place on the roster.

If you haven't been paying attention to Riley since he was called up last week, the kid has destroyed the baseball and is doing things that has never been done in the history of the game.

That's great for the Braves, but a problem for Inciarte. What do they do with him when he's ready to come back? I mean, you aren't sending Riley back to Triple-A.

Atlanta could do a number of things, including trade Inciarte to improve the bullpen or add a starter, but that won't happen right now. So, to get Inciarte back on this roster and not send Riley down, the Braves should demote Johan Camargo for the time being.

Camargo brings a lot of value to this team, especially because of his defensive versatility, but the Braves should take advantage of his minor league options and get him regular at-bats at Gwinnett.

He's struggled thus far in his new utility role, slashing a measly .214/.264/.330 with two home runs and 13 RBI over 103 at-bats. Let him work out his offensive woes down in the minors and then bring him back up.

Now, this doesn't mean Inciarte is immediately inserted into the everyday lineup, but manager Brian Snitker can use him as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner and get him a couple starts a week.

This is a great problem to have if you're the Braves, but the one thing they can't do is get Riley's bat out of the lineup. It's not everyday you see a player belt five home runs and drive in 12 runs in his first nine career games.