Swanson to rest wrist early in spring

Shortstop recovering from surgery, will sit out portion of Grapefruit League schedule

February 20th, 2019

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Dansby Swanson’s surgically repaired left wrist has healed well enough that he'll be able to go through the motions over the next few weeks. But the Braves' shortstop understands it’s in his best interest to miss an early portion of the upcoming Grapefruit League season.

“The strength is there, but the only question mark is how I will respond back-to-back-to-back days and that kind of stuff,” Swanson said. “The strength on the field and the range of motion is all there. It’s just a matter of doing it two days in a row, and then three days in a row, and then hopefully being able to do it every day.”

Swanson underwent surgery to remove damaged cartilage from his left wrist in November, and the former first overall Draft pick was cleared to begin swinging a bat in January. Most of his drills have been hitting off a tee and completing soft-toss drills. But he has also mixed in regular rounds of batting practice over the past two weeks.

The Braves have not yet cleared Swanson for live batting practice. But he was cleared to take regular BP on the field earlier this week.

“We’re building bricks, block by block,” Swanson said. “There are a lot of boxes that need to be checked that you don’t even think of, like sliding, diving, getting up and all that stuff. But I’m doing good.”

Swanson dealt with left wrist discomfort most of last season and was shut down when he aggravated the injury in the regular season’s final week. He’ll continue his rehab process over the next few weeks, but he is expected to be in the Braves’ lineup for the March 28 Opening Day game in Philadelphia.

Blister fix

Max Fried has proven he has the stuff to be an asset in Atlanta’s rotation or bullpen this year. But his chances of earning a roster spot might come down to his long, frustrating battle against blisters.

“I was able to talk to [Dodgers pitcher] Rich Hill about it, just throwing ideas at each other,” Fried said. “But it’s still something to this day, there’s not one certain remedy. With a blister, they show up whenever they want and heal on their own time.”

Fried was plagued with multiple blisters throughout the 2017 season, but after developing one just before last year’s All-Star break, he went through the remainder of the season without any further problems. The Braves' medical staff has aided the fight with the introduction of a technological device that limits perspiration around the lefty’s hand.

“There’s no proven science; it’s a lot of trial and error,” Fried said. “It felt like at the end of last year, we had a pretty good routine to avoid it. For me, it’s about staying on that routine. I started it earlier in the past just to try to get it out of the way. It’s definitely a priority for me. I don’t want them to be an issue."

Folty set for first GL start

Likely Opening Day starter Mike Foltynewicz will make his Spring Training debut in Sunday afternoon’s game against the Astros at West Palm Beach. Touki Toussaint will begin his bid for the rotation when he starts the Braves’ Grapefruit League season opener against the Mets on Saturday in Port St. Lucie.

Kolby Allard will follow Toussaint and Bryce Wilson will come out of the bullpen when Foltynewicz completes what will likely be a two-inning stint.