With the void (if you want to call it that) left by Alonso, Palka brings power from the left side of the plate to a lineup that has been craving lefty production. He figures to get quite a bit of time at DH, as well as the corner outfield positions and first base. Covering the outfield will particularly be important as Leury Garcia has proved more than capable of manning shortstop in the case of an extended absence of Tim Anderson.
Palka had a very slow start to the 2019 campaign after suffering a lower-body injury in Spring Training, although still earning the Opening Day start in right field. Across 42 plate appearances, he mustered only one bloop single to beat a shift and was good for a .029/.190/.029 slash line. These stats are a far cry from his rookie numbers in 2018, where he was fifth in AL Rookie of the Year voting and hit 27 home runs in only 124 games.
Even players with potential like Palka sometimes need to click the refresh button and regain some confidence in the minors. Winning organizations especially take this approach, as evident by what the Braves recently did with struggling starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz. This approach seems to have worked well enough for Palka as he hit .271/.374/.548 to go along with 16 homers and 42 RBIs in 59 games leading up to his promotion. The front office mentioned that Palka needed to work on some things in Charlotte, and it appears as if he’s finally passed the test.
Welcome back, Daniel! With three righties (Jose Berrios, Michael Pineda, and Kyle Gibson) on tap for the upcoming series against his former organization, the Twins, hopefully Daniel gets some action and we get our fix of “Palk Smashes” that we have certainly missed this season. Anyone else excited?
Featured Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson