Braves World Series hero makes surprising debut with a division rival

A former Atlanta Braves World Series winner is playing for a division rival at a surprising new position.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Three
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Three / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Former Atlanta Braves World Series winner Eddie Rosario is no longer with the team. However, his new squad, the Washington Nationals, begin the next step of their rebuild on Thursday in Cincinnati against the Reds.

Rosario was let go by the Braves this offseason in favor of a different plan in left field, headlined by Jarred Kelenic and Rosario's former teammate, Adam Duvall, who will platoon. Rosario took awhile to sign in free agency but eventually settled in Washington, where he will have a chance to receive more playing time and perhaps build up his trade value as a rental player.

Rosario isn't in the Nationals long-term plans, as their prospect pipeline is beginning to make its way to the major leagues. James Wood and Dylan Crews are both outfielders, and at least one of them could make their way to the big-league roster in the coming months.

As for Rosario, he isn't that far removed from being a productive MLB bat. Rosario won the NLCS MVP with the Braves in their 2021 World Series run. At his best, he can provide some pop and stable corner outfield play. However, that is not where he'll be playing for the Nationals on Thursday.

Washington Nationals give Eddie Rosario a new position on Opening Day

No, Washington will start Rosario in center field, a position he has not played in three years. As detailed by's Jessica Camerato upon signing, Rosario is an above-average left fielder. How he fares in center is anyone's guess:

"Rosario gives the Nationals another option as they evaluate their outfield with three weeks remaining in camp. He has played the majority of his career in left, where he accrued 2 outs above average and a .983 fielding percentage in 130 games at that position last season."

Rosario will bat seventh in center, giving way to Jesse Winker in left field. Considering Rosario is a more versatile defender in the outfield than Winker, it's clear Washington prefers the latter in left because it's an easier defensive position and he can provide more pop near the top of the lineup.

The Braves are rained out on Opening Day in Philly, so this provides fans someone to root for on Thursday.