Ozzie Albies was removed in the eighth inning of Sunday's game featuring the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets with a cramp in his hamstring. There was cause for concern as Nicky Lopez got the start on Monday at Truist Park against the Yankees.
At first, the Braves were just being cautious and that was the right move. It turns out Albies had a strain in his left hamstring and will be placed on the 10-day IL. This left Atlanta with an open roster spot and a need for another infielder.
Nicky Lopez was acquired at the deadline to provide Atlanta with more depth on their bench for this exact reason. Lopez has gotten off to a great start in his first two appearances in a Braves uniform. He's gotten 8 RBI on 7 hits since coming over to Atlanta and that's the most by a player in their first 4 games since the league began tracking the RBI statistic.
That's absolutely impressive and when you add that to his sound defense, it was a perfect addition to this team. He fits right in and gives the Braves a fast baserunner and competent contact hitter in their lineup. He will likely stay in that bench role, however, as Vaughn Grissom was called up by Atlanta on Tuesday.
Grissom started the season at Triple-A but eventually got to play shortstop for Atlanta due to an injury to Orlando Arcia. He performed fairly well offensively and batted .270 in his time in Atlanta but his defense was very lackluster and once Arcia returned, he was sent back to Gwinnett to get regular playing time.
He has played very well for Gwinnett since being sent down and found his offensive stroke again. He is currently batting .327/.412/.494 with a .906 OPS. Grissom has gotten 113 hits including 32 doubles, 4 triples, 6 home runs, and 50 RBI.
The month of August has been especially good for Grissom as he is putting up great stats through 11 games including a .390 average.
His offensive ability has never really been a question as it's always been quite good. However, his defense at shortstop left a lot to be desired but that has improved lately and he's been making plays you'd expect a good player to make.
His range works better for second base so he should be totally fine manning second base daily for the Braves. Grissom batted .291 for the Braves in 2022 with 5 HR and 18 RBI through 41 games. He's had success at the MLB level so I doubt it will be different this time around.