Braves: Vaughn Grissom really struggling with Red Sox

MLB: MAY 08 Red Sox at Braves

The blockbuster move of the Braves offseason came in a trade with the Red Sox, and it could end up being one of Alex Anthopoulos’ best trades as general manager. That’s saying something, considering all of the good AA has accomplished in Atlanta, but the early returns are heavily skewed in the Braves’ favor.

Chris Sale is coming off NL Pitcher of the Month honors after going 5-0 with a 0.56 ERA in May. He did lay an egg against the Athletics in his first start in June; however, nobody is questioning the kind of impact he is going to have with Atlanta if he’s able to stay healthy. Sale is one of the best strikeout pitchers this game has ever seen, and he looks like the guy he was when he made seven straight All-Star games from 2012-2018.

In return for Sale, the Red Sox got Vaughn Grissom, who showed a lot of potential with the Braves, but his defensive woes left him without a place to play. He’s clearly not a shortstop, and that’s about the only place that was open for competition in Atlanta, a competition he ultimately lost in Spring Training before the 2023 season to Orlando Arcia. In Boston, they are letting him play second, but defense is never going to be Grissom’s strong suit. The bat is what made him a highly touted young player, and to this point, that hasn’t been there either for the Red Sox.

Vaughn Grissom began the year on the injured list with a hamstring issue. He returned in early May and has played in 23 games, boasting an unsightly .148 average and .397 OPS. He has just one extra-base hit and is striking out in 21.7% of his plate appearances. It’s been ugly, and now Grissom is back on the IL with another hamstring strain.

The sample size is too small to make conclusive judgments, but the Red Sox are essentially paying Chris Sale’s entire salary this season while he looks like a Cy Young candidate for another team. That has to be incredibly frustrating, considering all of the injuries Sale dealt with while he was in Boston coupled with Vaughn Grissom’s early-season struggles. I still believe very much in Grissom’s potential, but it’s hard not to absolutely love this trade as a Braves fan right now.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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