The Atlanta Braves made a surprising decision at shortstop over the weekend, sending Vaughn Grissom to Triple-A to start the season. Orlando Arcia rewarded Brian Snitker right away.
Consistency is key for Atlanta at shortstop.
While Vaughn Grissom has the best bat of the bunch, he has yet to show the defensive makeup needed to play the position on an everyday basis. It’s safe to say that eventually, he will get there. Now is not that time, which is why Grissom was sent down, and Arcia will open the season at short.
Arcia’s bat normally leaves much to be desired, but in Wednesday’s spring training game, he lit up Tigers pitching.
Arcia went two-for-three on the day with a walk and four RBIs. While it may have only be an aberration, it’s worth noting that he’s capable of such a display.
Did the Braves make the right call with Orlando Arcia?
When it comes to young players in baseball, it’s always best to be safe than sorry. Grissom played well last season, but he played primarily second base in relief of Ozzie Albies, who was dealing with an injury at the time. Grissom hit 291/.353/.440 for a wRC+ of 121 in his first 156 plate appearances, but tailed off after Sept. 7. Perhaps it was the workload, or failure to make an adjustment.
Either way, Atlanta hopes it’s not a sign of things to come. In spring training, Grissom looked excellent, making his demotion a surprise to anyone who watches this team on a daily basis. Ron Washington took it in stride, and believes Grissom will be better for it.
“I’m looking at the process. The process is sustaining, and consistency. That’s what it is. And they’re in the process right now. And they’ve got a very, very, very bright future. It just didn’t happen this spring,” Washington said, per David O’Brien of The Athletic.
Grissom has a long future ahead of him. For now, the safe choice is working for Snitker.