Ozzie Albies’s Latest Injury Keeps the Spotlight on Rookie Vaughn Grissom

Vaughn Grissom
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The go back of Ozzie Albies didn’t remaining lengthy. Out for 3 months because of a damaged left foot that required surgical procedure, the 25-year-old 2nd baseman rejoined the Braves’ lineup on Friday, however he made it most effective a few sport and a part sooner than struggling a fractured proper pinky that can sideline him for a minimum of the rest of the steady season. Once once more, the protecting champions must make do with out a core participant for a while.

After going 1-for-4 with a two-run double off the Phillies’ Nick Nelson in a 7–2 win on Friday night time, Albies reached base two times in opposition to Aaron Nola on Saturday by way of a stroll and a unmarried. Upon tagging up and advancing from first base on an Eddie Rosario fly ball in the fourth inning, he slid into 2nd headfirst, jamming his proper hand into Jean Segura‘s foot as he did so. Albies remained in the game long enough to score on Ronald Acuña Jr.’s resulting double however used to be changed in the box through Vaughn Grissom at the get started of the 5th.

Albies received’t want surgical procedure, however he’ll wish to put on the solid for which he used to be fitted on Saturday night time for 3 weeks, and then the group will assess how quickly he can go back to motion. If the Braves (91–55) don’t surpass the Mets (93–55) to win the NL East, or achieve this however fall at the back of the Cardinals (87–61) and don’t earn a first-round bye, they’ll get started the playoffs on October 7, reducing the chance that Albies is to be had for the Wild Card Series. If they do earn that bye, they wouldn’t play their first Division Series sport till October 11, purchasing him extra time.

Either manner, it’s been a disappointing and irritating season thus far for Albies, who in 64 video games has hit simply .247/.294/.409 with 8 homers and a 93 wRC+ in 269 plate appearances. He started with a bang, homering six occasions in the Braves’ first 16 video games, however hit for only a 70 wRC+ from that time till June 13. In a sport in opposition to the Nationals that may mark the Braves’ twelfth win in a 14-game profitable streak, Albies hit an infield grounder by way of an ungainly swing, then tripped whilst leaving the batter’s field and limped off the box. X-rays printed a fracture in his left foot. He underwent surgical procedure to stabilize the spoil two days later and didn’t start a rehab task till September 1.

For the first 8 weeks of Albies’ absence, the Braves patched issues in combination at 2nd base the use of Orlando Arcia, Phil Gosselin, and Robinson Canó, they usually persisted to win regardless of that trio’s subpar manufacturing. On August 10, when Arcia landed on the IL with a left hamstring pressure, they recalled Grissom, a 21-year-old who positioned 3rd on our Braves height prospect record this spring, at the back of Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider. An Eleventh-round 2019 select of Paul J. Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida (the place he used to be teammates with the Tigers’ Riley Greene), Grissom started the season with High-A Rome, the place he completed remaining 12 months. Between Rome and Double-A Mississippi, he hit a blended .324/.405/.494 (146 wRC+) with 14 homers and 27 steals. As with Harris, the Braves determined to advertise him instantly from Double-A, and the gambit has paid off.

Grissom homered off Darwinzon Hernandez in his primary league debut, and he’s persisted to hit at a scorching clip since. His 130 wRC+ is fourth on the Braves since the day of his debut:

Braves Offense Since Vaughn Grissom’s Debut (8/10/22)

Michael Harris II 137 8 .336 .380 .641 180 2.2
Travis d’Arnaud 85 6 .316 .388 .632 180 1.4
William Contreras 99 4 .326 .364 .489 134 0.6
Vaughn Grissom 126 5 .302 .357 .474 130 0.9
Marcell Ozuna 48 2 .295 .333 .500 127 0.2
Ronald Acuña Jr. 142 4 .266 .338 .438 115 0.5
Robbie Grossman 109 5 .240 .330 .417 110 0.5
Austin Riley 155 6 .212 .316 .379 96 0.4
Eddie Rosario 82 1 .253 .317 .360 90 -0.1
Dansby Swanson 159 4 .243 .296 .368 83 0.8
Matt Olson 148 7 .187 .257 .381 73 -0.2
Total 1311 52 .265 .331 .454 117 7.3

It’s an not likely workforce that’s been hitting the snot out of the ball in recent times, serving to to offset the sagging manufacturing of Riley, Swanson, and Olson, who to be truthful have achieved their stocks of the heavy lifting at different occasions this season. The Braves have bashed out 5.42 runs in keeping with sport since Grissom’s debut, going an MLB-best 26–9 (.743). It’s helped that the pitching group of workers has accompanied that outburst through keeping fighters to an excellent 3.0 runs in keeping with sport in the period in-between.

For as spectacular as Grissom’s manufacturing has been, maintaining it will seem to be a tall order except he can persistently hit the ball tougher. The aggregate of his .345 batting reasonable on balls in play and 84.2 mph reasonable go out pace is an not likely one, with just one primary leaguer proudly owning each a decrease EV and better BABIP over the process a minimum of 100 PA this 12 months:

Ozzie Albies’s Latest Injury Keeps the Spotlight on Rookie Vaughn Grissom

“Williams” is the Marlins’ Luke Williams, whose .354 BABIP is offset through a 31.9% strikeout price and 83.3 mph reasonable go out pace, and who hasn’t been very productive total:

.320 BABIP with Average Exit Velocity 85 mph or Lower

Garrett Stubbs PHI 107 84.5 .338 .287 .368 .511 145
Vaughn Grissom ATL 126 84.2 .349 .302 .357 .474 130
Kris Bryant COL 181 85.0 .338 .306 .376 .475 125
Alejo Lopez CIN 121 84.4 .337 .297 .355 .387 103
José Iglesias COL 451 83.9 .336 .300 .337 .392 91
Luke Williams SFG/MIA 135 83.3 .354 .238 .289 .317 72
Jason Delay PIT 137 84.0 .325 .219 .270 .266 53

Minimum 100 plate appearances

All of the avid gamers with mixtures of EV and BABIP which can be very similar to Grissom’s are both pulling it off inside a small pattern or play in Colorado or each (yikes, Kris Bryant). And already there are indicators that the league is catching as much as Grissom, as The Athletic’s David O’Brien famous:

The just right information is that Grissom’s 33% hard-hit price (the share of batted ball occasions 95 mph or upper) and 34.1% candy spot price (the share of batted ball occasions with a release attitude in the 8–32 level vary) are each inside a few issues of the primary league averages (35.8% for the former, 33% for the latter), and his 7.7% barrel price is a complete level above the reasonable. His exact slash stats are smartly forward of his .267 xBA and .433 xSLG, which is indubitably considerable manufacturing for a center infielder, if now not as eye-opening as the line he’s hanging up.

On the different aspect of the ball, Grissom is slightly new to taking part in 2nd base, and his defensive metrics — to the extent that we will be able to put inventory in them after 290 innings, which is actually a stretch — are a bit of tough. As Eric Longenhagen wrote in his prospect document in June, the Braves drafted Grissom believing that he may just stick at shortstop, and in the minors he’s performed 161 video games there, in comparison to 29 at 3rd and 19 at 2nd. He’s a bit of in the crimson at the keystone by way of each DRS (-2) and RAA (-3), which jibes with Eric’s document of him being “back to projecting more in the 2B/3B area, and [possibly] en route to a super utility role” that would come with time in the outfield quite than him being the shortstop in ready if Swanson departs by way of loose company on the heels of a career-best season (115 wRC+, 5.7 WAR).

In the quick time period, the Braves it is going to be superb with Grissom filling in for Albies, regardless that the department race is tight, and the distinction in paths between the winner (most probably a first-round bye) and the runner-up (most probably a chain in opposition to the 2nd Wild Card group, lately the Padres, with the winner taking part in the top-seeded Dodgers) is very important. Our Playoff Odds give the Mets the edge at keeping onto their lead (67.3% to 32.7%) and at profitable the World Series (16.5% to 11.8%), regardless that it’s the Braves who will host the ultimate regular-season matchup between the two groups, from September 30 to October 2. The NL East name stays up for grabs, and whilst shedding Albies is a blow for the Braves, they received remaining 12 months after shedding Acuña for part a season. Neither the Mets nor every other group who crosses their trail is prone to desire a reminder.

Leave a Comment