The Philadelphia Phillies will likely see a familiar foe in the starting lineup for the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night for National League Wild Card Series Game 1. The 2023 National League Batting Champion, Luis Arraez, is expected to return to the Miami lineup after nursing a sprained ankle, according to Miami manager Skip Schumaker. That news should come as no surprise as the Marlins look to shock the heavily favored Phillies.
Arraez has been hobbled by a sprained ankle since September 18 and only appeared in three-games during that time period. Despite the lack of action over the past week-plus of the 2023 MLB regular season, the 26-year-old was able to slash .354/.393/.496 over 147-games this season. His .354 average led the NL by a wide margin, Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr., was in second with a .337 AVG, giving him the NL batting title.
The question becomes: what Arraez do the Marlins get for Game 1 of the 2023 NL Wild Card Series? Arraez appeared as a pinch-hitter last Saturday for the Marlins and contributed to a four-run rally that ultimately sent the Fish into the postseason. However, Arraez was promptly lifted for a pinch-runner in that game. Arraez has appeared in three-games since the injury, going 2-for-7 and looking rather ineffective. Perhaps Arraez has been healed over the past two-days or the Marlins are simply hoping his presence changes the Phillies approach. Either way, it’s worth keeping an eye on during the early stages of NLWCS Game 1.