The Atlanta Braves have optioned SS prospects Braden Shewmake and Vaughn Grissom to AAA Gwinnett in the latest string of cuts for the season.
The Atlanta Braves have optioned SS prospects Braden Shewmake and Vaughn Grissom to AAA Gwinnett as the organization’s most recent transactions. This move came as a shock for most Braves fans. At the beginning of Spring Training, fans were under the impression that there was a battle for the shortstop position, so, oddly, the shortstop with the worst numbers this spring is getting the nod for Opening Day.
Alex Anthopolous has always kept his cards close to his chest. This has caused fans to come up with their own ideas as to what has happened. Through extensive thoughts and discussions on Reddit, I have come up with the following ideas.
Braves’ Injury Concerns
The first reason I have seen is the injury concerns around Grissom. It came out that those involved in the organization are concerned about a hernia situation. This makes sense, but it also gets confusing because we saw Grissom playing and looking healthy and delicate yesterday. No team ever puts a remotely hurt player in a Spring Training game, and especially not on defense. The front office might have leaked this to distract from the real reasons.
Need For Infield Depth
The second option I have seen via David O’Brien of The Athletic on Twitter is that the Braves chose to keep the depth in the infield with Ehire Adrianza. Braves may have some injury PTSD, with Ozzie Albies being gone essentially all season and Ronald Acuña just now getting back. Adrianza is a utility guy, and his added depth helps the Braves know the infield has a decent backup.
The issue is Adrianza has no more options, so the Braves have to keep him on the roster or expose him to waivers. This is a very crucial aspect of roster construction during Spring Training. When deciding on the final bench spot, teams often go with the player out of options so that they do not risk losing them entirely.
Service Time Issues
The last reason I can think of and what I find the most reasonable is this all being a service time problem. MLB players only accrue service time when they are on the Major League roster. If Atlanta keeps Grissom in the minors long enough, he won’t get credit for a full year of service, which would keep Vaughn Grissom out of arbitration and free agency one year longer. This reality, wrapped up with the team not being 100% on board with Grissom, makes me feel like the demotion is a move to keep watching Grissom before making any long-term decisions without using his vital service time.
The saga continues for the Braves and their shortstop situation. At the time of writing, Orlando Arcia will be the Braves’ shortstop. It is interesting to me the way this all played out. Ron Washington worked with Grissom all summer just to option him at the end of Spring Training. RonWash has not steered me wrong yet so I will keep following his guidance.
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