LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – As much as Dansby Swanson hates sitting and watching baseball games rather than playing, the Braves’ rookie shortstop understands why the team has been so cautious with him over a relatively minor back stiffness.
There are still more than three weeks until opening day, and the Braves want to make sure the budding face-of-the-franchise player from Marietta puts this injury behind him rather than let it become a nagging condition. Swanson was out of the lineup again Friday and hasn’t played in a week, since his back stiffened after a four-plate appearance game Saturday.
“I feel good,” Swanson said before doing infield drills Friday morning. “It’s just kind of a reality check that it’s March 10. I’d rather be completely healthy for the season.”
He fielded ground balls Thursday and did infield work twice before Friday’s game against the Mets, and the next step will be for Swanson to be cleared for batting practice and throwing before he returns to the lineup. He’s not on the travel roster for road games Saturday against the Cardinals or Sunday against the Yankees, but is expected to be back in the lineup soon.
The situation is not a concern, Swanson said.
“My dad called me about it last night,” Swanson said, “and, like, the first thing I said was, I’m not worried, you shouldn’t be worried. So he said, ‘OK, that’s all I needed to hear.’”