ATLANTA -- From his first Major League game and hit on Wednesday to his first error on Friday, this week has been full of new experiences for Dansby Swanson.Ahead of Saturday's 11-9 loss to the Nationals, the Braves' top prospect added another entry to that list, as he found himself
ATLANTA -- From his first Major League game and hit on Wednesday to his first error on Friday, this week has been full of new experiences for Dansby Swanson.
Ahead of Saturday's 11-9 loss to the Nationals, the Braves' top prospect added another entry to that list, as he found himself out of the starting lineup for the first time since being called up.
For some time, club brass has addressed the fact that it wants to be careful with Swanson's workload. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker conveyed that same message once again on Saturday, saying the team will pick and choose matchups for the shortstop as he grows accustomed to big league pitching.
"He doesn't need to go out there every day," Snitker said. "It's going to be a big enough acclimation to the Major Leagues and doing what he's been doing. But I've been really pleased with everything so far. He's going to learn by his mistakes and his experiences, and he's going to be fine."
In three years at Vanderbilt, Swanson played in 154 total games and no more than 72 in a season. But this year alone, he has appeared in 108 games with Class A Advanced Carolina, Double-A Mississippi and the Braves.
So with Max Scherzer on the hill for Washington on Saturday, Snitker opted to hold the 22-year-old rookie out of the lineup.
"He's getting experience with Major League pitching every day, and I think we'll pick guys like [Scherzer]," Snitker said. "I mean, eventually he's going to hit off everybody. But I think right now, he's going to play more games than he ever has in his life in this period of time, and I think that's as much as anything, just giving him a physical and mental break every now and then."
Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair both took the mound for Gwinnett on Friday in its doubleheader against Triple-A Charlotte. Wisler pitched all seven innings of the first game, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits.
Blair, meanwhile, struggled in his return from a left knee injury, surrendering a second-inning grand slam and exiting the contest after giving up five runs in two frames.
"I think [Blair] said he felt good and all of that, but he kind of was looking for a better result," Snitker said. "Wisler, he went seven innings and I guess struggled early in the game. I keep an eye on those guys, and it would be great if both get on a roll."
Pat James is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.