Braves: Anthopoulos again shows confidence in Vaughn Grissom starting

Vaughn Grissom

Before the season, I said multiple times that there was next to no chance that Vaughn Grissom would open next season as the starting shortstop for the Braves. It’s not because I didn’t believe in his game, either. Grissom is oozing with potential, and I was one of the first people raving about him as he tore up the minor leagues. With that being said, he struggled to end last season offensively, and defensively, there were always questions about whether he would stick at short. Asking him to fill Dansby Swanson‘s shoes as the starting shortstop on a team with World Series aspirations isn’t exactly easing a young player into things. Which is why I never thought the Braves would even think about it, but I was wrong. Not only are they thinking about it, but it very well may be their top option right now.

For the second time in the span of a month, Alex Anthopoulos brought up Ron Washington‘s time spent with Vaughn Grissom this offseason. The two have set up workouts throughout the winter, but Washington already seems convinced that Grissom is ready to take over as the team’s starting shortstop if need be.

Unless the Braves go out there and sign Carlos Correa, nobody is going to fill the shoes of Dansby Swanson. He’s among the top shortstops in the game, both offensively and defensively. But the Braves are all about finding value, and it’s become evident they aren’t sold on Swanson replicating his 2022 campaign throughout the remainder of his next contract.

If that’s the case, the Braves don’t have much of a choice but to trust Orlando Arcia and Vaughn Grissom. They don’t seem seriously interested in handing out a mega contract to a player like Carlos Correa, and they don’t have many assets to trade following the acquisition of Sean Murphy. If the Braves are really out on Dansby Swanson, it looks like they are rolling with their internal options. Of course, Alex Anthopoulos also reiterated yesterday that they don’t have to name a starting shortstop tomorrow.

Perhaps they reach out to Elvis Andrus to take a one-year contract. He had a nice year last season and is familiar with Ron Washington from their days with the Texas Rangers. Andrus and Arcia could take Grissom under their wings and ease him into the role of an everyday starting shortstop in the majors. Hopefully, Grissom would be the full-time starter at some point next season, but if he wasn’t ready, the combination of Andrus and Arcia should be enough to hold down the fort.

I feel like that would be the best course of action. Even if the Braves do feel Grissom is ready, it’s better to be safe than be caught with your pants down in the middle of the season. I expect Atlanta to add to the position in some capacity, but it looks as if they are serious about Grissom potentially taking over the reins at shortstop for good next season.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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