Braves News: Brian Snitker on Vaughn Grissom’s potential move to left field
By Eric Cole
The Atlanta Braves have few actual roster questions going into spring training this year. In fact, the only real questions in terms of their lineup for 2023 are who is going to be starting in left field this year and will Vaughn Grissom be given significant time at shortstop in 2023.
The latter of those two questions seemed to be fairly certain when Dansby Swanson left to join the Cubs and the Braves didn’t make any moves to replace him. However, beat writer Mark Bowman (who doesn’t usually say such things without having some information) recently floated the idea that Vaughn could end up playing in left field and then the Braves could look at an external option like Elvis Andrus to play short in 2023.
When asked about this possibility today, Braves manager Brian Snitker did not mince words in shutting it down.
To be clear, this does not mean that a position switch for Vaughn is completely out of the question in the medium or long-term. If the Braves want his bat in the lineup but things aren’t working out defensively at short for whatever reason, they’ll find a way to keep him in there. However, Snit’s comments do show that the team doesn’t feel like they have a shortage of candidates for left field and if Vaughn makes the team (which seems likely), it will be at shortstop.
For what its worth, Snit does seem to be right about the amount of competition for the Braves’ left field spot as they have a ton of guys that, in theory, will be competing for time there including the newly acquire Kevin Pillar. Bowman’s skepticism about Grissom’s abilities at shortstop are fair given what we saw out of him in the minor leagues, but the Braves’ options that actually improve the overall club at this point are limited and signing a stopgap shortstop who probably won’t hit while adding yet another guy to the left field mix doesn’t seem ideal.