I’ll try to get full comments up for all the players I didn’t handle in the preseason soon. But after stewing on this for a couple of days…
DeWayne Wise made the roster because he had a good spring, but also because he’s lefthanded. The Braves obviously weren’t going to start the season without a lefty presence on the bench. It’s yet another hidden cost of the 12-man pitching staff that you can’t afford a pinch-hitting specialist. You only have five bench spots. With one going to the backup catcher, plus the first-base platoon, then the need to carry the Sucking Vortex of Utility Infielders so you have a backup shortstop… Wise’s presence, once a surprise, seems to become inevitable.
Six righthanded relievers? Why are the Braves hoarding these guys? Furthermore, other than Smoltz and Reitsma, they’re a pretty shabby lot. Juan Cruz probably needs to be in the minors to get his confidence back after his Year of Dusty. Gryboski’s arm is due to come off at the shoulder before tax day. Antonio Alfonseca looks like he’ll need both hands to count his ERA, and remember he’s Base 12. And it’s Will Cunnane, the best of the four, who was in danger of getting waived? I honestly don’t understand the thought process here. Trey Hodges, who should be the fifth starter (if it’s not Reitsma or Cruz) gets sent to Richmond, presumably to help on Damon Hollins’ re-election campaign, because he has options left and you wouldn’t want to risk valuable properties like Gryboski or Alfonseca.
Mike Hessman is on the team, probably, because he has options left, and maybe because he can play third base, or at least put on a glove and stand near third base. But he’ll be gone as soon as Marrero’s healthy, assuming they don’t dump Perez or decide Marrero should catch instead of Estrada.