LOS ANGELES -- Shortstop Dansby Swanson is distraught about the fact that he will not play during the National League Division Series against the Dodgers, but he has not lost his sense of humor."I enjoy watching all my teammates play, especially somebody that looks like me," Swanson said before Thursday's
LOS ANGELES -- Shortstop Dansby Swanson is distraught about the fact that he will not play during the National League Division Series against the Dodgers, but he has not lost his sense of humor.
"I enjoy watching all my teammates play, especially somebody that looks like me," Swanson said before Thursday's Game 1. "So it'll be like watching myself out there, almost."
:: NLDS schedule and results ::
Going back to the early days of Spring Training, there has been a lot of talk about Charlie Culberson being Swanson's doppelganger. Over the next week, Culberson will attempt to once again shine while filling in for an injured shortstop.
The Dodgers' run to the World Series last year was aided by Culberson, who went 5-for-11 with two doubles and a triple while filling in for Corey Seager during the NL Championship Series. The valuable utility man will now try to damage his former team while subbing for Swanson, who has been sidelined since tearing a ligament in his left hand last week.
Swanson's hope of making a quick recovery and being available for the NLDS essentially died on Saturday, when he continued to feel discomfort while taking a dry swing. He made the trip to Los Angeles and will be with his teammates throughout this best-of-five series, but he is now just hoping to be available if the Braves advance to the NLCS.
• 12 pitchers, no Swanson on Braves' roster
"I can still be here to, like I said, be supportive, have an extra set of eyes, try and be a part of this team from a different perspective," he said. "So that's what I'm going to do, and I'm going to take pride in it."
The Braves were initially hopeful that Swanson would be ready for the NLDS, but his hand never improved enough to eliminate the chance he could suffer long-term damage if he tried to play right now.
"It has been a struggle, understanding, you know, like, why now?'" Swanson said. "I think that's been, like, the biggest battle for me, but at the same time, there's nothing I can do about it other than try and get better."
Game 3 starter:Kevin Gausman is the most likely choice to start Sunday's Game 3 at SunTrust Park, although manager Brian Snitker has been hesitant to make this official. But one of his other options, Sean Newcomb, lost his candidacy for the assignment when he replaced Mike Foltynewicz after just two innings of Game 1 on Thursday night.
Julio Teheran is also an option to make a start for the Braves during this best-of-five series, but because of his short outing on Thursday, Foltynewicz now stands as the top option for Game 4 if necessary.
Writing a new story: Snitker was Atlanta's third-base coach when the Braves lost to the Dodgers in the 2013 NLDS. Freddie Freeman is the only current Atlanta player who was active during that series.
Left-handed reliever Jonny Venters was with the Braves that season, but he was recovering from Tommy John surgery.
After the Braves struggled through a disappointing 2014 season, they began a massive rebuilding process that resulted in three consecutive 90-loss seasons from 2015-17.
"Hopefully, we can turn it around this year," Freeman said. "But I've always said the rise back up from the last few years is going to be a lot sweeter, and it sure is."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.