Braves shortstops easing concerns early on

Braden Shewmake

Without a doubt, the Braves biggest concern coming into Opening Day was at shortstop. The club chose to roll with the veteran Orlando Arcia over Braden Shewmake and Vaughn Grissom, to the surprise of many. I’m not sure how long that will last, but so far, it is working out for all parties involved.

Arcia has been nearly flawless in Atlanta over two games. He’s made every play that’s been called of him defensively, which was expected, but offensively, he’s also racked up four hits and a walk over nine plate appearances. That will play everyday of the week, and most importantly, it should have the Braves feeling comfortable about giving both Shewmake and Grissom more time in AAA, who are already making noise in Gwinnett.

Shewmake’s first game at the plate started off a little rocky. He struck out his first four times up, but then this happened in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Shewmake followed it up with a two-hit performance yesterday, which included a double. He’s now hitting .300 with a 1.000 OPS. The sample size is mall, but if he can keep this up, it won’t be long before he’s in Atlanta. Consistent offense is all the Braves need to see from Shewmake before they deem him ready. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come.

Grissom is also off to a promising start early on. He has a couple of hits, including a triple, and has walked three times through two games, giving him an on-base percentage of .500 to begin the season.

However, what the Braves need to see from Grissom at the AAA level is the opposite of what they need to see from Shewmake. They know Grissom can be a productive offensive player at the major-league level. He proved that last year with the Braves and has dominated at the plate everywhere he has played. Defensively, it’s a different story. That’s why the Braves chose to roll with Arcia to begin the season, and they will continue to do so until they feel like Grissom can be a competent major-league shortstop defensively.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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