Atlanta Braves Position Profile: First Base

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Aug 12, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman

Joey Terdoslavich

(53) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On the 40-Man

Currently, on the Braves roster there are four players that saw any time at first base other than Freddie Freeman: Pedro Ciriaco, Joey Terdoslavich, Ryan Lavarnway, and Nick Swisher. While Chris Johnson and Kelly Johnson both saw playing time there, their days wearing the Atlanta Braves unis, to this point, are now over. Meanwhile Lavarnway and Ciriaco are not candidates to see playing time at first base beyond late inning or desperate fill-in duties.

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Joey Terdoslavich was once a switch hitting third baseman with excellent gap power, raking in the doubles with occasional home run pop. In some circles, he was the heir apparent to Chipper Jones. Today he is, well, he can still switch hit. For whatever reason, Terdo fell off with his initial jump to AAA Gwinnett, and only recovered after his switch to first base. Over time the Braves have gotten him some work in the corner outfield in an attempt to boost his value to the organization. In 2015 with Atlanta, Joey got himself 59 at bats and put up a measly .214/.254/.375 slash line.

Terdoslavich has never been able to tap into his potential beyond AAA Gwinnett. His power has all but vanished as he has squeaked out a single home run in 92 major league at bats. It could be argued that with more consistent, consecutive at bats, Terdoslavich might begin to illustrate the smooth contact and consistent doubles that landed him on to people’s radar, but with Freeman manning the bag that seems unlikely. Terdo will likely either be moved, demoted, or continue to see his role limited to a corner outfield and first base sub.

Sep 6, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Nick Swisher (23) in the dugout before the game between the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit:

Brad Mills


Nick Swisher provides a similar package as Terdoslavich. He is also a switch hitter who has limitations to corner outfield and first base. He provides more pop that Terdo and has significantly more big league experience. All of last season between Cleveland and Atlanta, Swisher managed to hit at a .196/.312/.320 clip, which is bad, obviously. Fortunately he did it while only getting paid $15 million. Oh wait I see the problem. The similarity between Swisher and Terdoslavich along with Swisher’s price tag makes it difficult to keep them both on, if either.

Nick Swisher’s infectious personality makes him a prominent figure in any clubhouse, but at a certain point he has to hit. On a rebuilding club, his veteran presence does have some merit, so it will be interesting to see what his future with the organization is.

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