Dansby Swanson hits a walk-off single as the Braves defeated the Padres 5-4 for the series sweep on April 17, 2017 in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)
Photo: Curtis Compton
Photo: Curtis Compton

Swanson, Albies team up in majors for first time

Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies are together again.

The infield duo was slotted in the same lineup for the first time at the major league level, with Albies manning second base and Swanson back at shortstop.

Swanson skipped Triple-A Gwinnett in route to his first taste of the bigs, but he and Albies played together last year in Double-A Mississippi.

“It’s always a joy playing with him, so I expect that tonight, and however long this lasts, it will be the same thing,” Swanson said. “We’re just going to go out there and enjoy it together and take each moment for what it’s worth.”

Swanson was recalled from Gwinnett on Wednesday after he was demoted July 27 for poor performance. After a dynamic late-season stint last August, Swanson couldn’t find a rhythm in 2017.

He slashed .213/.287/.312 while making 15 errors (second worst in the majors among shortstops) in the field. He struck-out 23 percent of the time.

Swanson had been playing better in Gwinnett, with hits in three of the last four games — including a homer Aug. 6. But he was hitting .237 overall, and his return was prompted by a freak injury.

Johan Camargo, who took the Braves’ starting shortstop job from Swanson, fell suddenly taking the field Tuesday and will be on the disabled list for roughly two weeks.

“It’s sad,” Albies said of Camargo’s injury. “Just the way it happened. Praying for him to get back, get healthy, get back on the field.”

However unfortunate, the injury gives Swanson another chance. And it reunites two players who are often regarded as critical pieces of the Braves’ future.

Swanson played two games at second base in Triple-A. While there are no indications he and Albies will switch positions long-term, their versatility doesn’t hurt.

“This is the first day we’re going to play together at the big league level,” Albies said. “I’m looking forward to that. Just keep it simple, make some plays, double plays, have some fun with it.”

The two played next to each other for the first time March 2, 2016, in an 11-4 spring training win over the Baltimore Orioles.

Former Braves third baseman Chipper Jones came away impressed with the then less-seasoned Swanson-Albies infield combo.

“The Braves are putting an awful lot of eggs in those two baskets to be the future up the middle,” Jones said. “You don’t know who’s going to play short and who’s going to play second, but the fact of the matter is, they’re both going to be there, and they’re both high on everybody’s radar to be part of the core for the next five to 10 years.”

Swanson joined the Mississippi Braves on April 30, 2016, the same date Albies was promoted to Gwinnett. The Braves demoted Albies to Mississippi on June 30, 2016, so he could play next to Swanson. They joined forces on double plays in Double-A until Swanson made his major league debut Aug. 17.

Swanson rejoined the Braves on Wednesday, a day after rookie infielder Johan Camargo injured a knee and went on the 10-day DL. (Video by David O'Brien)

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