With only days left in the regular season, every injury has season-ending or playoff-affecting ramifications. Braves manager Brian Snitker announced as much on Friday, telling reporters that outfielder Ender Inciarte will be shut down with a right hamstring strain through the National League Division Series, if not longer.
Inciarte, 28, sustained the injury in mid-August and has been on a slow path back to the field ever since. Although the Braves were preparing to activate the outfielder for their final series of the season, those plans were nixed when he reportedly felt some discomfort while working out on Friday.
Instead of prepping for the postseason, he’ll finish his sixth major-league campaign batting .246/.343/.397 with five home runs, a .740 OPS, and a career-worst 0.9 fWAR through 230 plate appearances. While he’s far removed from some of the All-Star numbers he posted with the Braves in 2018, it’s been a considerably more difficult season for the veteran Inciarte, whose time on the shelf has been complicated by both a hamstring injury and a lumbar strain this year.
Snitker hasn’t ruled out Inciarte’s return just yet; per The Athletic’s David O’Brien, the outfielder could make an appearance in the NLCS if the Braves manage to advance past the NL Central winner in the first round. For now, however, it looks like they’ll take a more cautious approach to avoid complicating Inciarte’s chances of returning fully-healed in the spring.