Atlanta Braves players are reportedly considering filing a complaint to the MLB Players Association about the infield at Turner Field as a means of forcing their club to improve the current conditions.
Doug Padilla of ESPN.com reported the news Thursday, citing a source with knowledge of the situation. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts spoke to Padilla about the lackluster infield after his team played the Braves in two prior games at Turner Field this week.
"This is a tough infield,” Roberts said. "You look at Dodger Stadium versus this field, and this field, the guys talk about it around the league that it is not the best infield as far as playing."
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal also weighed in on the situation, implying any potential changes aren't up to him.
"Behind home plate, I felt it was very soft. But then again, it's not our home field. It all depends on how the infielders like it here," Grandal said, per Padilla. "We just have to adjust to every playing field we go to and make plays. Obviously it was a little hard for us the last two days, making a couple of errors, but that's all right."
Padilla's source suggested Turner Field's crew isn't taking as good of care of the infield as it could since the team is moving to a new stadium next season. Uneven grass and the area where the infield dirt meets the turf were cited as the most troublesome areas.
The threat of filing a complaint may well lead to Atlanta solving the matter internally without the MLBPA getting involved.
But if the current status quo is maintained and the Braves infielders adjust, they may be able to use the adverse conditions to their advantage at their home ballpark.
It may also benefit Atlanta's need to play small ball. The Braves entered Thursday's game ranked last in baseball with only three home runs as a team. They were last in that category with 100 dingers last season, too, so perhaps a rough infield would help them manufacture offense in lieu of power in the lineup.