The Atlanta Braves have been in a tailspin, and that downtrend has predated the injury concerns to defensive anchor Andrelton Simmons. However, it will certainly be a breath of fresh air for Fredi Gonzalez and company on Wednesday, when Simmons returns to the lineup after a six-game absence.
Tonight’s lineup vs. LAD (7:10, SS//680AM/BRN). pic.twitter.com/OVYunkR38h
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) August 13, 2014
Simmons, who suffered a sprained ankle during Atlanta’s west coast swing last week, was originally scheduled to return on Tuesday, but the Braves elected to hold him out for an additional day due to soreness. For the season, the 24-year-old has struggled to a .249/.297/.340 slash line with just 5 home runs in 107 games, but Simmons provides such a positive defensive impact that he has maintained real value despite a significant decrease in power.
In his stead, the Braves were forced to deploy a combination of Emilio Bonifacio and Ramiro Pena at shortstop, and because of Bonifacio’s limitations on the defensive side, that was less than ideal. It has been noted that Simmons will likely rest during Thursday afternoon’s series finale against Los Angeles, but provided everything goes according to plan, the best defensive shortstop on the planet should be in the lineup on a daily basis beginning this weekend.