Skip to main content

Braves star confirms he struggled with the Atlanta heat last season

The Atlanta Braves have reason to believe they'll get better production from behind the plate in 2024

Playing for the Atlanta Braves isn't a walk in the park. 

It's a historic franchise with lofty expectations, but there's an under-discussed element to it, as well: The climate. 

Braves catcher and offseason acquisition Sean Murphy addressed the Atlanta weather at BravesFest and admitted it bothered him at times this season.  

“I learned a ton in my first summer. Obviously I’ve never played every day in this kind of heat,” Murphy said, as first reported by Kris Willis of Battery Power. “The training staff and the strength staff, they do a good job of keeping us ready to go and hydrated. All the things we need to do, those guys are on top of it. So, yeah, those guys took care of all that for us. Knock on wood, stayed healthy pretty much throughout the year. Certainly a little speed bump in the middle, but I’ll just try to do it again.”

Murphy's overall stats were fine for the season - .251/.365/.478 w/ 21 homers - but it was a tale of two halves for the catcher. To open the season, he put up a .306/.400/.599 line with 17 homers in 67 games, including a streak where he played almost every single day while Travis d'Arnaud was out with a concussion. 

But in the 2nd half of the year, when the heat and humidity got worse, Murphy's production slumped. After the All-Star Break, Murphy put up a .159/.310/.275 line with only four homers and eight total extra base hits. There's extenuating factors, like a mild hamstring strain that Murphy may have been alluding to when he discussed the "speed bump in the middle" of the season, but it wouldn't be a surprise for the weather to play a significant part in his struggles, as well. 

In Oakland, where Murphy played his first four seasons, the average daily high from June 7th through October 19th is only 71 degrees, per WeatherSpark, with humidity rarely passing 50%. Atlanta, by contrast, is practically a sauna, with an average high of 88 degrees and humidity reaching 86% in the middle of the summer. 

We saw the weather cause other players issues last season, as well. Starting pitcher Max Fried, who missed more than two months in the middle of the season with a forearm strain, got a buzz cut upon returning in August because he hadn't been able to acclimate to pitching in the heat while on the injured list. 

But in a similar vein to Brian Snitker's comments about starting pitcher Bryce Elder being more prepared for the workload of a full season, it stands to reason that Murphy will be more prepared for the physical exertion required to not only survive, but thrive through the dog days of summer. 

Important Braves Today Offseason Stories
2023 MLB Free Agent Rankings
Current Atlanta Braves prospect rankings
Current Atlanta Braves 40-man roster
2024 International Free Agency tracker

Check out Braves Today on Socials!
Follow Braves Today on Twitter!
Like Braves Today on Facebook!
Check out the homepage for more Atlanta Braves News!
Subscribe to Braves Today on YouTube!
Get Exclusive Braves Merchandise