Braves: Orlando Arcia comments on winning the starting job

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In arguably the most shocking turn of events this Spring Training, the Braves chose to roll with Orlando Arcia as their starting shortstop to begin the season, optioning both Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake. Ron Washington and Brian Snitker both reiterated Grissom and Shewmake did nothing to lose the job, but the Braves wanted to start the season with players who already have experience, while letting the young guys continue to get some seasoning in Gwinnett.

“They can go down and get repetitions and innings (at Gwinnett), and the experience,” Snitker said, via The Athletic. “As we’ve seen in the past with our young players, the more we can give them time to season and develop, the better they’re going to be in the long run for us.”

I can’t argue with that reasoning. Grissom, who skipped AAA entirely and only played in 22 AA games before being called up last year, could undoubtedly benefit from more work in Gwinnett before being thrust into the role as Atlanta’s starting shortstop. The same could be said for Shewmake, who has really struggled offensively over the last two seasons on the farm. Hopefully, it won’t be long before one of them is ready to take over, but until then, the team has confidence in Arcia, who is excited for this opportunity.

“And then I got all the congratulations from everybody,” Orlando Arcia said, via The Athletic. “I feel very grateful for this opportunity. With that said, I just want to give my absolute best effort and to help the team win every game possible and to win championships. That’s what we’re here for.”

Arcia also had nothing but positive things to say about Grissom and Shewmake.

“Obviously tremendous talent, both of them,” Arcia said, via The Athletic. “Can’t say that enough. The team does things for a reason. As far as my involvement in it, all I can do is give my best effort every time, and just continue to support the team in any way that I can.”

The new Braves starting shortstop followed up the good news with a tremendous performance in the Grapefruit League yesterday, mashing a three-run home run. Hopefully, that’s a sign of things to come when the regular season begins. Arcia is coming off a career-year offensively, recording a 104 OPS+. Albeit, the sample size wasn’t very large. He played in just 68 games. However, if Orlando Arcia can perform similarly at the plate while Grissom and Shewmake get more reps on the farm, the Braves will be just fine.

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