Impatiently waiting on Swanson, Albies

Dansby Swanson literally is the future - here playing in the Futures Game as part of this season's All Star festivities. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Dansby Swanson literally is the future – here playing in the Futures Game as part of this season’s All Star festivities. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Each day dawns with the same hope: Sometime in the early afternoon the AJC’s Dave O’Brien will Tweet out the Braves lineup and somewhere in those precious few characters will appear the revelation, “Swanson 6.”

If “Albies 4” is also included, all the better.

And each day that passes without the appearance of Dansby Swanson at shortstop – the name Aybar still entrenched at the position – seems like another day wasted. OK, one less reason to put aside the book and watch the Braves that night.

We have witnessed a half-season-plus of Erick Aybar, and that is enough. Even on a good day like Tuesday, in which Aybar went 2-for-3 to “boost” his average to .212, he is still the focus of discontent with where the Braves stand in their great rebuild.

Aybar, through no design of his own, has come to represent nothing of the Braves’ better future but rather a roadblock to better days. A clog in the drain of progress.

Of course, he arrived in a difficult position, as part of the trade that sent the immensely popular and defensively brilliant Andrelton Simmons to Anaheim. Aybar supposedly represented an improved offensive option, yet here he is now one of the most offensively inept regulars in the game, hitting 55 points lower than Simmons (who was slowed by a thumb injury early this season).

After 94 games, it is clear that the ultimate test of that trade will not be Aybar’s bat but rather the arm of Sean Newcomb, the pitching prospect part of the deal who is now showing great promise in the Southern League. Aybar has played himself into the role of afterthought, of an irritation whose mere presence at the plate can make a Braves fan break out in a rash. Nothing personal, that’s just what happens when your performance leaves no room to argue for being the better option.

Much more encouraging to watch from afar the goings-on in Mississippi, where in the Double-A Braves most recent game, Swanson hit his seventh home run of the season and drove in four runs. His compadre at second base, Ozzie Albies, who was brought down from Triple-A Gwinnett in order to bond, added an RBI and a pair of hits. That took his M-Braves average to .375.

They are virtually screaming down on the farm: “Hey, we’re ready. And even if we’re not, we’d be a far more intriguing watch and a much wiser investment in the future than anything you have going on now in Atlanta.”

Every day that begins with Aybar on a Braves lineup card is an insult to the great rebuild, actively working against the idea that this team is headed anywhere brighter.

Meanwhile, I await that uplifting tweet of change. It will come. Just seems like it is taking forever to compose.

Reader Comments 0

15 comments
GymAnalytics315
GymAnalytics315

Bringing them up now would start the clock on when they become FA's.  They also likely wouldn't hit any better than Aybar - because they are not ready yet!

Mike1735
Mike1735

Thanks Steve for your comments...Right on the mark !! There was an article a few weeks ago about how uncoachable Aybar is....it shows in everything he does !! Hope he saves some of the $8MM he is getting this year...he will need it in the future !! Add to the "why the hell are they on the roster" list...Jim Johnson who never met a 1st batter he couldn't walk and AJ who can't catch balls thrown to the plate and can't hit a lick. I just hope Coppy is not working on the parking plan for SunTrust Park or, if he is, perhaps he can sign Aybar (Spanish for piece of manure), JJ and AJ to park cars !!

POV1948
POV1948

Johnny C's glowing pre-season projections about Aybar's offense stand as one more sign that the Braves' biggest problem is the front office.  Flush the Johns.

GeorgeSteele
GeorgeSteele

Swanson couldn't hit his way out of a plastic bag!

AABraves
AABraves

Hope to see them both in September...not sure either one really destroying minor league pitching overall yet? Be patient and let them develop without the pressure..

neutral site
neutral site

sorta...no.

I understand the fandom "get the new kids up", but your hope is the Braves organization is more diligent at developing and evaluating the young guys.


khd713
khd713

Another point is that Albies and Swanson, by themselves, are not going to turn this team around. There are multiple positions that need to upgrading, and that's going to take time as the prospects we've acquired keep developing and the front office decides which ones we can trade for significant position upgrades, and which pitchers we are going to keep to fill out a consistent starting five. It will be a long process, and in the meantime, Albies and Swanson can keep maturing and developing in the minor leagues. I believe we are at least two years away from seeing a lineup that we can call "The New Braves", so there's no urgency to get Albies and Swanson here next week. If they are called up, then so be it, but I think it's way too soon. There's no way these two – especially Swanson – are ready for the big leagues yet.

khd713
khd713

This is not a season that can be salvaged, so what's the point of rushing Swanson and Albies to the Show? The rebuild is being carefully orchestrated by the Braves front office, and they are going about it the right way by making sure that all of the prospects they have acquired are properly nurtured before they are thrown into the spotlight. Not to mention the front office needs time evaluate the talent they have and determine which players they want to keep, and which ones they are going to deal later. Personally, I hope that we don't see Swanson and Albies on the big stage until much later in the year, if at all this year. What's the point of bringing up these kids and watching them struggle worse than Aybar? They need more time to develop, and Braves fans (and Mr. Hummer) need to learn to have a little patience. This is all going to be worth it in the end.

Gritzblitz
Gritzblitz

Seriously Mr. Hummer? It would appear baseball is not your area of expertise. The Braves should NOT rush these kids into the Majors in a meaningless losing season, just to appease a few impatient fans (and sportswriters). A rebuild is a long game, it needs to be done right.

kstewart21
kstewart21

"Every day that begins with Aybar on a Braves lineup card is an insult to the great rebuild, actively working against the idea that this team is headed anywhere brighter."

Completely illogical. Aybar playing is exactly what should be happening in a rebuild. He's holding their places until they are ready. Those young guys need time. Absolutely no reason to rush them. 

I would imagine that somehow, sitting at your desk,you  seem to know more about these two young men than coaches that work with them everyday....

ErnestB
ErnestB

What's the rush?  How about giving both players time to develop physically and build chemistry while in the minors.  There is not a reason to start the clock on when they can become free agents when placeholders are available.  We need to think more long term than short.


I should add, I remember when Bob Hoerner came to the Braves from college.  From what I've seen from Swanson so far, he is not Bob Hoerner.

jmccoy1252
jmccoy1252

@ErnestB The name is spelled Horner, not Hoerner.  Secondly, one of my favorite Braves was Bob Horner, unfortunately he was also one of the most disappointing Braves.  He could have been so much more if he had been in shape.  So at this point, if Swanson isn't a Bob Horner, that may be a good thing.

TheBystander
TheBystander

@jmccoy1252 @ErnestB Horner had one of the best compact swings. One more of the "if he had only stayed heathly" in the history of baseball