Braves’ Dansby Swanson won’t play in division series against Dodgers

Mike Foltynewicz will start for the Braves and Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series (NLDS) Thursday in Los Angeles. (Video by Leo Willingham)

Braves manager Brian Snitker had his arm around shortstop Dansby Swanson as they stood on the infield grass during Wednesday night’s workouts at Dodger Stadium.

It was a somber moment in a ballpark that was, in a rare occasion, silent. They looked on as other players began their batting practice.

After optimism through much of the past week, Swanson will miss the National League Division Series against the Dodgers due to a torn ligament in his left hand.

Snitker had called Swanson playing a “long shot” when speaking with the media Wednesday evening. Charlie Culberson said he hadn’t yet been informed he’d play shortstop, but that’s the likely case. He filled in for Swanson over the last week of the regular season after the 24-year-old was injured in the second-to-last series of the season in New York. Swanson returned to Atlanta for treatment.

“One thing about (Swanson), being around him, this is one type of stage where he’d really shine,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. “That’s a tough loss because of what he brings to this team and what he’s done. I feel bad for us but as much for him because he lives for this. He’s all about winning. He prepares, he works, he studies, he cares. If you asked him at the time he got drafted, this is what it was all about for him.

“I don’t think it’s about his numbers. It’s about winning something on a stage like this. If he’d been playing, I’d expect him to come up with a big hit, make a big defensive play. He’s just that type of guy.”

Swanson was arguably the Braves’ best defensive player. Offensively, he slashed .238/.304/.395 with 25 doubles, 14 homers and 59 RBIs in 136 games.

He could conceivably return if the Braves were to advance to the NLCS, though that’s far from a guarantee. The NLDS begins Thursday night in Los Angeles.

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