Braves' Ender Inciarte Exits vs. Cubs with Hamstring Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistApril 16, 2021

Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte (11) slides into third base against the Baltimore Orioles during a spring training baseball game Wednesday, March 17, 2021, in Sarasota, Fla.. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte left Friday's game against the Chicago Cubs because of a left hamstring injury.

Inciarte was lifted after being hurt while running the bases after a fourth-inning single:

David O'Brien @DOBrienATL

Just when Inciarte was showing some life at the plate, getting a few hits, he pulls up going to third on Kyle Wright's two-out double. Inciarte out of the game with what looked like a hamstring pull as he winced and pulled up between 2nd and 3rd.

Inciarte, who was 1-for-2 on the day, was replaced by Guillermo Heredia.

At his best, the 30-year-old is a multi-tool weapon who can hit for average and power while bringing impressive speed to the basepaths. 

He hit just .190 during the shortened 2020 season and has followed that up with a .294 average through his first 12 games in 2021, going 5-for-17.

The eight-year veteran was slightly more effective in 2019 than he was last year, slashing .246/.343/.397 with five home runs and 24 RBI while missing significant time with injuries on the way to 65 games.

Inciarte remained largely healthy in 2018 and helped lead the Braves to a National League East title with a .265/.325/.380 slash line, 10 home runs, 61 RBI and 28 stolen bases in 156 games.

The Venezuelan is still best known for his glove. According to FanGraphs, he was responsible for a head-turning 79 total defensive runs saved above average entering the 2021 campaign.

Atlanta has enough pieces to contend without Inciarte, but it could use his glove back as a potential late-inning defensive replacement down the stretch. With Cristian Pache (groin) recently being placed on the injured list, Heredia may see more playing time should Inciarte miss time.