Braves call up Swanson – not a moment too soon

Dansby Swanson in action earlier this summer in the All-Star Futures Game in San Diego. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Dansby Swanson in action earlier this summer in the All-Star Futures Game in San Diego. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Enough waiting. Enough watching a shortstop who was an obvious short-timer. Enough sitting through this Braves season with one eye on the losingest team in Major League Baseball and one on a long list of prospects working distant fields, longing for a tangible return on our patience.

It is time to throw Dansby Swanson into the deep end. Time to remove the 22-year-old former first-overall pick from his Double-A egg carton and expose him to the uncompromising world of big-boy baseball. Time for this much-anticipated production to make its world premiere.

About. Freaking. Time.

The Braves traded Erick Aybar to Detroit Tuesday mostly for the chance to add some badly needed catching to their system (Kade Scivicque is his name, don’t ask me how to pronounce it) and to clear space for Marietta’s Swanson to get a little on-the-job Major League training.

Because of his hometown roots, because of the big fuss made when the Braves acquired him as a key part of a big Winter Meetings deal (upon parting with starter Shelby Miller), Swanson has become the position-player face of the team’s rebuild. It was time to put that face on the big video board at Turner Field.

His scheduled Major League debut Wednesday and the regular work the Braves can give him in a season without consequence will provide a reason to watch this product for at least a few days more. He figures to move right in and immediately become the Braves second most popular regular player – behind just his first baseman – at least down the stretch of a season that is otherwise as compelling as unbuttered grits.

While he had emerged from his season-opening coma, Aybar had been demoted by most to a place-holder until the infield tandem of Swanson and Ozzie Albies was ready to move up from Mississippi (Albies stays behind for now). Every game that Aybar played was one less opportunity for the future to take root.

First, what Swanson isn’t, at this stage:

“We don’t expect him to come up here and be the savior,” Braves president of baseball operations John Hart said.

“This isn’t a guy we’re going to run into the ground. It’s his first full year playing,” Hart said, while adding that Swanson nonetheless will enjoy plenty of playing time

“And we don’t think he’s going to be overwhelmed when he comes up,” he said.

What this situation represents is a jump-start for Swanson, a six-week internship that can be nothing but beneficial for everyone. The fans included, because they badly need a shot of something to believe in.

“Six weeks now is going to pay off down the line,” general manager John Coppolella said. “We will know more going into next year whether he can be our starting shortstop.”

If Swanson isn’t a perfectly polished gem now, so what? It’s not like he is going to kill the Braves drive for the pennant.

If he sputters, again a big so what? He’s making the leap from Double-A to the Majors, so expectations have to be tempered. And the relief of October is near.

“In a perfect world we would have liked to have given him a little more time,” Hart said, “but I think this presented an opportunity for us.

“I think Dansby is going to be able to handle it mentally. He’s not a kid who if he comes in and really struggles out of the gate that it’s going to affect him. This is a kid who finds a lot of ways to win games other than what he does with the bat. This is a kid who is going to learn a lot up here as well. He’s a sponge.”

Yes, it will be a significant step up from Mississippi, where Swanson was hitting .261 with 8 home runs in 84 games while playing nice in the field. All that resets Wednesday in likely his first at-bat for his hometown team.

Which leaves only one question.

What took so long?

Reader Comments 0

10 comments
MichBravesFan
MichBravesFan

Too early. He's only hitting .261 in AA. Now the arbitration clock starts running and he'll prob end up being sent back down. Again, he is hitting .261 in AA.


ChristineHR
ChristineHR

@MichBravesFan Exactly!  I don't get it!  Why start his arbitration clock before you have to, especially when it's not like he's tearing it up in the minors.  I mean look at the Cubs, they kept Kris Bryant in the minors at the beginning of last year just to delay his arbitration clock and he was a monster in the minors.  Just don't get it....I guess they're eager to trade him once he becomes arbitration eligible and too expensive.

gobraves333
gobraves333

Please stop with the "arbitration clock starts top early" or "now hell be a free agent too early." Both are incorrect. There is NO difference in bringing him up now versus any time before mid-June 2017 as far as when he becomes arbitration eligible or a free agent. The first only happens after the end of a season on which a player accrues 3.000 years of service time and the second after a season in which a player accrues 6.000 years. The exception as to service time is for Super Two players, and the cutoff for that varies but it's typically around mid-June. The only actual or potential financial consequence of promoting him now is they have to pay him a major-league salary, which is around $400k.

ErnestB
ErnestB

@gobraves333


We can say that if he has 130 At Bats, he will not be eligible for the ROY next year.

SebGuy
SebGuy

Ok then, using the same logic for bringing Swanson up, why not bring up Albies too then? Jace Peterson is not the answer at 2nd and neither is Beckham. And it looks as if Albies might be slightly better offensively. Heck why not bring up a couple of the starters too for that matter?

JeffCriswell
JeffCriswell

@SebGuy Peterson has been pretty good at 2nd. Albies is still on the young side. Braves have some decisions to make at second - Luke Dykstra is also playing really well at Rome. 

GymAnalytics315
GymAnalytics315

@SebGuy Albies is younger than Swanson.  While Swanson is not old - he's also not 19-20 either.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

Hey Hummer, you mean 120 games too late?

Dandy Swanson buys them nothing. They will remain the worst in the majors  sorry..

Wrecker
Wrecker

@LOGS1973 You are just a regular ray of sunshine.  I bet all the girls love your sunny disposition.

LOGS1973
LOGS1973

@Wrecker @LOGS1973 Thanks Wrecker man! Let's

put it this way, I get lucky and win more than

the Braves win without really trying or getting paid!! Things are what they are my friend!