Ramón Laureano Debuts with Braves

May 12, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Ramon Laureano (22) runs to first base after hitting a triple against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2023; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics right fielder Ramon Laureano (22) runs to first base after hitting a triple against the Texas Rangers during the fourth inning at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves have added another face that is familiar to Oakland A's fans, calling up outfielder Ramón Laureano ahead of Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The 29-year-old signed a minor league free agent deal with the club after being released by the Cleveland Guardians at the end of May. With the injury to Michael Harris II, that created a need for Laureano in Atlanta. To make room for the former Oakland A, Atlanta transferred Spencer Strider to the 60-day IL. According to Mark Bowman, Harris II will be out for a "long time."

In his debut, Laureano went 1-for-4 with a single while batting ninth. He also flew out to left on a ball that would have been a home run in 25 of 30 ballparks. Truist Park is not one of those parks.

Part of the reason that Cleveland decided to part ways with Laureano was due to his lack of performance offensively. In 31 games (81 plate appearances) he hit .143 with a .265 OBP and a 53 wRC+. You could look at those numbers and say that they're in a small sample size, but his 38.6% strikeout rate is certainly cause for concern. That is ten percent higher than in any previous season in his career.

With Laureano in Atlanta, he joins more former fans favorites from their time in Oakland, Matt Olson and Sean Murphy, both of whom were traded to the Braves, and Jesse Chavez, who had some solid seasons in the green and gold in the earlier part of his career.

Olson, Murphy, and Laureano were all teammates from 2019-21 in Oakland. Laureano's previous stop with Cleveland this year included another reunion with a former teammate in Stephen Vogt, who was named Cleveland's manager during the offseason.

Laureano is an intense competitor that is remembered most in Oakland for the ridiculous throws he made from center field, and for attempting to fight the entire Houston Astros dugout in 2020 after being plunked one too many times. When he's going good, he's an All-Star caliber player. We'll see if Atlanta can return him to that level of play.


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Jason Burke

JASON BURKE

Jason is the host of the Locked on A's podcast, and the managing editor of Inside the A's. He's a new father and can't wait to take his son to his first baseball game at the Coliseum.