Ken Rosenthal recently wrote a piece for The Athletic titled “Completely unserious Opening Day predictions for every MLB team in 2023,” and he wasn’t lying. Some of these are quite humorous, and his prediction for the Braves might take the cake. Rosenthal has Ron Washington taking over the starting shortstop role in mid-season, giving a classic Wash response for why he’s now playing the most important position on the diamond for the Atlanta Braves.
Infield coach Ron Washington, 70, takes over at shortstop in the ninth inning of a blowout loss to the Phillies. “They took away Dansby. They asked me to work a miracle with Grissom. Might as well just play the m—– f—– myself,” Wash says in the most cleaned-up version reporters can offer.
Because the Braves didn’t add a shortstop during the offseason, everybody expected Vaughn Grissom to win the job out of camp, despite his defensive deficiencies. He worked on his defense with Washington throughout the offseason, and the Braves infield coach was adamant that Grissom would be ready to play the position if the team needed him. Unfortunately, he wasn’t correct, and now the Braves are relying on Orlando Arcia as their starting shortstop going into the season.
Arcia filled in admirably for the Braves last year in place of Ozzie Albies. He had the best offensive season of his career, recording a 104 wRC+ over 68 games, and nobody has ever questioned his defensive abilities. He is the “safe” option, but nobody should expect him to be something that he’s not. Arcia is a massive step down from what the Braves had last year in Dansby Swanson, and his ceiling might be lower than any other starting shortstop in baseball.
This is a situation the Braves wanted to avoid, which is why I always thought they would add a shortstop during the offseason as a precaution. Hopefully, Arcia’s offensive surge continues, or they are going to desperately need Vaughn Grissom to step up sooner rather than later and run away with the job as the starting shortstop.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
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