Oct. 1: Swanson didn’t take any swings Monday, Bowman tweets, adding it “seems highly unlikely” he’ll end up on the Braves’ NLDS roster.
Sept. 30: Swanson felt discomfort while taking dry swings on Saturday, manager Brian Snitker said (Twitter link via Bowman). The Braves will further evaluate Swanson on Sunday, though they may not know until Wednesday whether he’ll be available to play, per Bowman.
Sept. 28: Swanson’s hand has improved in the past couple of days, tweets MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. There’s no determination yet on whether he’ll be healthy enough for postseason play, but he could hit off a tee this weekend. The organization remains hopeful that Swanson will indeed be ready for the NLDS.
Sept. 26: Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson has been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his left hand, the team announced today on Twitter. He’ll receive daily treatment over the season’s last few days before being reevaluated prior to the start of the National League Division Series. It’s the same hand that sent Swanson, 24, to the Disabled List for two weeks this May.
Swanson, the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, was in desperate need of a rebound following his disastrous 2017 campaign, which saw him post below replacement-level marks in nearly a full season’s worth of time. For the most part, he eased concerns, upping his ISO from .092 to .157 and posting career highs across the board defensively, where his 11 DRS was good for 6th among all Major League shortstops.
His bat, though, projected by many to deliver perennially above-average marks in the average and on-base departments, has again failed to deliver on its promise. Swanson slumped to a miserable .213/.296/.376 over the season’s second half, struggling mightily against left-handed pitching and striking out nearly 23% of the time. His .283 xWOBA ranks 198th out of 205 players with at least 400 PA in 2018, which certainly doesn’t augur well for seasons to come.
Despite the struggles, though, Swanson has established himself as a legitimate regular in the middle of the diamond for the NL East-Champion Braves, who rode a coterie of hype-exceeding prospects to their first division title (and winning season) in five years. Swanson, to be sure, will be afforded ample opportunity to right the ship, what with his four years of team control remaining and not-too-distant status as a former #1 overall prospect.
In the interim, the Braves will almost surely turn to a mix of Charlie Culberson – he of the startling .279/.330/.484 line this season – and Johan Camargo, whose 117 wRC+ has wildly surpassed any available preseason projections, to man the position, with the other figuring to receive the bulk of the time at the hot corner.