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Dansby Swanson will likely not be on the Braves NLDS roster

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The Braves will travel to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in the NLDS, with action kicking off on Thursday. That action will be kicking off without Dansby Swanson, however.

Swanson is still dealing with ligament damage in his left hand suffered in a game a week ago against the Mets. It’s a serious injury, the type which you would normally expect to put a player on the disabled list for a good while if it occurred earlier in the season, but the Braves and Swanson were holding out hope. He took some swings over the weekend and felt pain. He was scheduled to take swings again yesterday, but he didn’t even bother. All of that points to him not being ready for Thursday’s game. Brian Snitker will not want to be shorthanded for the best-of-five series, so expect Swanson not to be on the NLDS roster. I’d guess that he’d not be available for the NLCS either, should the Braves advance that far.

That means former Dodger Charlie Culberson will play short. Culberson’s bat has been better than Swanson’s all year, and it’s unlikely that who is playing short for Atlanta will be a top-3 determining factor in how they fare in the series, but it’s certainly the case that the Braves will take a defensive hit without Swanson at short.

Francisco Cervelli shines in his Braves debut

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Last week the Pittsburgh Pirates released Francisco Cervelli. Yesterday he was signed by the Braves. Atlanta gave him the start behind the plate and he went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in to help his new team to victory over the Mets. Welcome to Atlanta, Frankie.

Cervelli had been rehabbing from a concussion and hadn’t seen big league action since late May. He was ready to come back, though, and the Pirates — who are going nowhere — gave him his release so that he might join a contender for the stretch run.

The performance he put up last night, obviously will not be the norm for him going forward. But it’s also the case that his early 2019 batting line of .193/.279/.248 is not indicative of his talent level either. He posted an .809 OPS (122 OPS+) in 2018, and if he gives Atlanta anything even approaching his usual production it’ll help stabilize a shaky catching situation for the Braves.