The Atlanta Braves will be taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the upcoming National League Championship Series, and they may be without a key contributor throughout that showdown with a World Series berth on the line.
ESPN's Buster Olney reported Wednesday it's "likely" Atlanta right fielder Jorge Soler will miss the entire NLCS after he tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of Tuesday's NL Division Series clincher against the Milwaukee Brewers:
The roster administration re: COVID is different than usual injury rules in playoffs/WS. Once Jorge Soler gets through 10 days and tests negative for COVID, he theoretically could be activated -- for Games 6 and 7 of the NLCS, perhaps. But it's more likely he misses all of NLCS.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 13, 2021
According to The Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Braves manager Brian Snitker strongly suggested on Thursday that Soler won't be available through the NLCS even though he is vaccinated against the coronavirus.
"We've got to approach it like I don't know if he'll be here for the NLCS," Snitker explained. "That's how we have to approach it. Until he shows up and is cleared and does everything that MLB needs him to do, we're going to look like it's like he's not going to be here."
Cristian Pache took Soler's spot on the active roster and will begin the NLCS available for the Braves. Shortstop Dansby Swanson will likely continue to hit leadoff, and Guillermo Heredia could stay in center field as part of a necessary defensive restructuring.