The Atlanta Braves have made a decision on the shortstop position after a spring training position battle between the likes of Vaughn Grissom, Orlando Arcia, and recently, Braden Shewmake. The Braves made it apparent which way they're leaning on Monday, as the club will option both Grissom and Shewmake to Triple-A and will start Arcia at shortstop on Opening Day, according to David O'Brien of The Athletic.
Grissom, 22, had entered spring training as the favorite to win the Braves' shortstop job. In fact, Atlanta's faith in the talented young prospect is part of the reason they let Dansby Swanson walk in free agency this past winter.
So, Grissom and Arcia entered this spring in a battle for the starting job, which the former was leading after posting a .323 batting average in 11 games played.
But Shewmake, the 21st overall pick in the 2019 draft, has forced the issue in recent weeks with his performance, prompting Braves manager Brian Snitker to declare that the shortstop battle was between Grissom and Shewmake.
But this decision to option those two players suggests otherwise.
O'Brien sheds some light on the Braves' thinking, saying that this was a move made with an eye towards the club's depth, as utility player Ehire Adrianza, who is out of minor league options, would have been lost in the event that Arcia was made the full-time utility.
Plus, Atlanta is completely fine with the idea of Grissom and Shewmake receiving more at-bats at the Triple-A level, given that each has shown they are just a call away from the big leagues after their stellar spring performances.
It's a shocking decision by the Braves.
But it would be even more shocking if Grissom or Shewmake weren't in the big leagues at some point in 2023.