Generally speaking, when the phrase “partial ligament tear” is involved, that usually does not bode well for a player’s availability in the short term.
However, that was what Braves fans were wondering for the last week or so when Dansby Swanson was injured during an at-bat against the Mets at the end of the regular season. The Braves clearly thought there was a chance that he could heal up enough to play in the NLDS, but after taking some dry swings earlier this week showed that the hand was not healing quickly, the chances were minimal that he was going to be able to go.
As it turns out, those guesses were correct as Dansby will not play in the first round of the playoffs.
#Braves’ Dansby Swanson is out for division series. No official announcement yet, but he’s out.— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) October 4, 2018
While Dansby has struggled at plate this season with a .238/.304/.395 line in 2018, his defense at shortstop has been exemplary and losing him not only weakens the Braves defensively, but hurts the team’s bench significantly. Charie Culberson, who has been a key contributor off the bench for the Braves, will slot into shortstop for Atlanta. One can only hope that he can duplicate his performance for the Dodgers last season in the playoffs and continue to come through in big moments like he has done multiple times for the Braves this season.