Braves: Ron Washington comments on Vaughn Grissom being optioned

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The surprise of Spring Training came a couple of days ago when the Braves decided to option both Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake to Gwinnett, leaving Orlando Arcia as the starting shortstop heading into Opening Day.

Like most Braves fans, I’m looking for answers. Unfortunately, we probably aren’t going to get anything other than coach speak. Ron Washington, who reiterated over the entire offseason that Vaughn Grissom was ready to play shortstop if needed, was asked about the decision to go with Orlando Arcia, and he didn’t give fans much to work with.

The Braves placed their trust in Grissom by deciding not to add another shortstop this offseason. The expectation was for him to win the starting job out of camp, and from the outside looking in, he did nothing to change that during Spring Training. Grissom hit a remarkable .371 at the plate, and even if he wasn’t Dansby Swanson defensively, he wasn’t running around like a giraffe attempting to field groundballs. Grissom did about as much as the Braves could have possibly asked of him, and the Braves still chose to roll with the “safer” option in Arcia.

I’m not sure what the Braves saw that we didn’t, but Arcia has barely been a replacement level player over his entire career. He’s nothing more than a utility piece that is well below average offensively and slightly above average defensively. However, it’s important to note that Arcia hasn’t consistently played shortstop since 2020, when he was with the Brewers. He’s not going to be Dansby Swanson defensively, either.

I understand that the Braves believe Grissom needs more seasoning before becoming the starting shortstop. In fact, that’s what I’ve been saying all offseason, which is why I was clamoring for them to sign a stopgap shortstop option for months. They didn’t, and now they have a big hole in their lineup. Hopefully, Grissom can continue to progress quickly in Gwinnett and find himself in Atlanta sooner rather than later.

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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