With the MLB season in full swing again, that also means a lot of action is going on in the minor leagues. The Atlanta Braves made quiet a few moves before the season began, with several players being sent to the Braves' Triple-A affiliate, the Gwinnett Stripers, who opened their season this weekend against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.
With Gwinnett's first series of 2023 in the books, here are a few notes on what stood out during the Stripers' opening series versus Jacksonville.
Vaughn Grissom Flashes Offensively In Opener
Vaughn Grissom lost the shortstop competition to Orlando Arcia during spring training, and was sent to Triple-A Gwinnett to start the season, being told by the Braves' third base coach Ron Washington that "If you don't like it, play better."
Nonetheless, Grissom had a decent offensive output inGwinnett's season opener against Jacksonville on Friday, going 1-for-3 with two walks, a triple, three runs and a stolen base. However, his defense was shaky at times, commiting a fielding error during Friday's contest.
In the Sunday matchup of the series, Grissom went 3-for-5 with two runs, three RBI's, and a walk, batting .417 in the 13-12 loss to Jacksonville. While offensively, Grissom played well, the organization seems more worried about his defensive skills, which is probably why they decided to let him play in Triple-A to begin the season before making the jump to the Braves' active roster.
Ian Anderson's Pitching Struggles Continue
Pitcher Ian Anderson was one of the players competing for the fifth spot in the Braves' pitching rotation during spring training, but he end up getting optioned to Gwinnett to begin the season, and made his first start of the season in Sunday's matchup against Jacksonville. While he aims to improve his pitching game, the issues he had in the majors continue to haunt him in the minor league.
In Sunday's game versus Jacksonville, he allowed four hits, six runs, and two walks in just 0.2 innings pitched. Not exactly a hot start for Anderson, who is seeking to get back on the Braves' active roster at some point in the future.
Other Things to Note
Braden Shewmake, who was also in consideration for the Braves' shortstop position during spring training, struggled to get on base at times, going 0-for-6 and recording a singular RBI in Sunday's loss versus Jacksonville.
Centerfield prospect Justin Dean made his first Triple-A home run during Sunday's game. He finish the game going 2-for-4 with three runs, three RBI's and a walk, averaging .250 at bat.