Braves fans were sent into a state of panic on last week when word spread that top prospect Ozzie Albies had left Double-A Mississippi’s playoff game with an apparent arm injury. Albies could be seen writhing in pain after fouling off a pitch, but the severity of the injury was still in question. Last Thursday, Albies met with Dr. James Andrews and received a diagnosis that should be of some relief to the concerned Braves faithful: rather than a ligament injury, as was the initial fear, Albies suffered a fractured olecranon, which is the bone at the tip of the elbow. Albies is scheduled to undergo surgery next week and the timetable for his recovery is said to be January, though spring training will likely be the true test for the prized 19-year old.
Albies’ injury is no doubt a huge loss to Mississippi, as they were positioned to make a run in the postseason after a very successful campaign. Albies finished the season with a .321 batting average, which was good enough to earn him the Southern League batting title, and his first season of predominantly playing second base was very impressive by all accounts. Though Albies will miss the remainder of the season, it is the 2017 season that should now be on the minds of Braves fans who wish to see Albies in Atlanta. The hope is that a January recovery will allow Albies to regain his strength and be ready for spring training with an eye on breaking camp with the big club as they open SunTrust Park.
Now comes an offseason of waiting and hoping for fans, while Albies will go through what could be a painful and trying recovery period. Injuries to a player’s throwing arm are always cause for concern, so for Albies this will be a very important time for him to heal, as re-aggravation of this injury could cause long-term issues. The Braves have to be hopeful that their top prospect will soon be ready to join shortstop Dansby Swanson as one of baseball’s youngest, most exciting double play combinations, and usher in a new era of success in Atlanta.