There is just a little over a week remaining in the Grapefruit League season and there are still several spots that are up for grabs. Vaughn Grissom came into the spring as the odds on favorite to be the Opening Day shortstop and was thought to be competing with Orlando Arcia. However, 2019 first round pick Braden Shewmake is apparently making a late push. Shewmake has seen a lot of playing time of late and has held his own. Brian Snitker told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman Saturday that it will likely be one of Grissom or Shewmake who heads north with the club.
Snit on the SS battle: "We're going to take one of the two (Shewmake or Grissom) more than likely. We'll see who we leave with in a couple of weeks."— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) March 18, 2023
It is an interesting development given that Grissom has played well this spring going 9-for-28 at the plate with two doubles. He hasn’t been flashy defensively, but has made the plays that he has needed to make.
Shewmake is a better defensive shortstop and is 9-for-27 at the plate with two doubles and a triple. He however has struggled offensively at the upper levels of the minors posting an 84 wRC+ in 83 games in 2021 at Mississippi and an 89 wRC+ in 76 games last season at Gwinnett.
After being absent from the lineup for three straight days, Grissom will serve as the DH on Saturday. If the Braves are concerned behind the scenes about Grissom’s defense, then this development makes more sense, However, that would be in contrast to everything they have said publicly about Grissom’s progress defensively dating back to the offseason.
Just another subplot to keep an eye on over the final days of spring training.