The Braves were smooth sailing into the playoffs as all their division rivals faltered late in the year. Unfortunately, Swanson experienced a partial ligament tear in his left hand down the final stretch. While there were some optimistic reports out there on Swanson’s status, being “ruled out” for the entire series is a clear indication it is nowhere near go time.
#Braves’ Dansby Swanson is out for division series. No official announcement yet, but he’s out.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) October 4, 2018
The Braves will have to hope that Charlie “Clutch” Culberson can spark some of his playoff magic in the place of Swanson. Braves fans know him for his clutch hits this season, but do not forget how well he played in the playoffs for the Dodgers just one year ago. He hit 8-for-16 with two doubles, a triple and homer.
As tough as it is to say, if the Braves were going to lose a bat, they are lucky it is Swanson. The team will take a huge step back defensively and depth-wise, but Culberson has been more impressive with the stick this year and clearly has a tendency to step up in big moments. He is more than a capable replacement, but it is a shame the team will not be able to use him as a swiss army knife for at least the NLDS.
All we can pray for now is a speedy recovery for Dansby, and that Charlie Clutch has another trick or two up his sleeve against his former team that used him as a throw-in in the Matt Kemp deal last offseason.