We’ll see a repaired and healthy Dansby Swanson and the debut of Josh Donaldson as Atlanta Braves spring training continues
The Atlanta Braves currently have a 2-2 W-L record for spring training, but in each game there were good signs like Touki Toussaint and Max Fried each getting through their 2-inning starts pretty well and making their cases for a rotation spot, Freddie Freeman picking right when he left off with a 2-run homer, Cristian Pache having a bases clearing double, and more.
But through 4 games now, some fans are asking, “Well where’s Josh Donaldson? Where’s the early Christmas gift the Braves got in late November?” Well it’s time.
Following the win on Monday, manager Brian Snitker said we can expect to see both Donaldson AND Dansby Swanson make their 2019 spring debuts on Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Donaldson is the biggest fish the Braves hooked this offseason and it seems some fans forget how big of a player he is. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the bigger power threats in the game – not to mention being a former MVP.
He’s definitely one of those players that when fan bases of other teams watch him, they go, “Wow, I wish he was on our team” and we now have one of those guys.
Now with this debut, begins the path of Donaldson proving doubters wrong. He’s out to prove he can stay healthy and prove that his good days aren’t over yet after dealing with a multiple injuries throughout 2018. He came back strong in the final month of the season with the Cleveland Indians hitting a .280 average with 3 homers but some think it could be a fluke.
A full season of Donaldson with a loaded bat would be a huge weapon for the Atlanta Braves. As a advocate for wanting Donaldson to be a Brave since his Oakland days, I’m totally behind him.
Another Guy With Something To Prove
Something else that we’ll get to see is hopefully a 100% Dansby Swanson.
A week ago, it was reported that the Braves wanted Swanson to continue to rest his wrist and therefore will sit out for the early part of the spring schedule and not participate in “live action.”
During the offseason, Swanson underwent surgery to remove damaged cartilage from his left wrist which is tracked back to that cold game in Chicago last April.
However, now it seems that he is ahead of schedule and is expected to play Friday. The Braves will still most likely keep a close eye on him and use him lightly for now. If Swanson can return to his form before his injury or even like his short period in 2016, the Braves will be a force up and down the line-up.
Many fans have been quick to voice their opinion of wanting to move on from Swanson after a disappointing 2017 and somewhat forgetful 2018 even though the guy has been giving his all while fighting with a wrist issue.
If Swanson was able to turn in 14 home runs and 59 RBIs while dealing with the wrist injury, imagine what he could do now that he’s healthy and the pressure of being a 1st round pick & ROY contender is gone?
Not having Swanson’s defense was something others pointed out as a factor during the Divisional Series. There were a couple times I saw on Twitter where fans would say “Swanson would’ve at least stopped the ball…Swanson would’ve kept that play from being a scoring play.” Now whether or not that is true, there’s no denying Swanson’s ability and having some of the better defensive skills on the roster.
Are you looking forward to seeing Donaldson and Swanson on Friday…against Donaldson’s old team?