In our last Atlanta Braves Roster Take, there were a whole lot of players optioned to the minors and/or moved to minor league camp. Those names:
- A.J. Minter
- Chad Sobotka
- Chris Nunn
- Jasseel De La Cruz
- Jacob Webb
- Bryse Wilson
- Huascar Ynoa
- Bryce Ball
- Thomas Burrows
- Trey Harris
- Kurt Hoekstra
- Greyson Jenista
- Connor Johnstone
- Carlos Martinez
- Kyle Muller
- Braden Shewmake
We also added Jeremy Walker to this list due, in large part, to shoulder injuries that sidelined him through spring, before it was abruptly halted. He gets added back into the mix of spring candidates.
Adding to the list above, there were more spring cuts:
In case you’re late to the game, here are our previous 5 pieces in this series if you need to play catch-up.
- Atlanta Braves Roster Talk: The Locks and the Battles
- Atlanta Braves Roster Talk 2: Opening Day
- Atlanta Braves Roster Talk 3: Opening Day
- Atlanta Braves Roster Talk 4: Opening Day
- Atlanta Braves Roster Talk 5: Opening Day
Atlanta Braves Roster Talk: The Locks
This is back to getting tricky once more. If the season really could be delayed until nearly June, that likely means Cole Hamels is back in the mix for locks on the roster, assuming health isn’t a problem. What a world. For now, he’s added back on as a lock.
- Catcher: Travis d’Arnaud
- 1st Baseman: Freddie Freeman
- 2nd Baseman: Ozzie Albies
- Shortstop: Dansby Swanson
- Left Field: Marcell Ozuna
- Center Field: Ender Inciarte
- Right Field: Ronald Acuña Jr.
- Bench: Nick Markakis, Tyler Flowers, Adeiny Hechavarria, Adam Duvall
Lock, but role undetermined: Sean Newcomb
TOTAL LOCKS: 22
Braves Roster Talk: 4th & 5th Starting Pitchers
Sean Newcomb, Felix Hernandez, and Kyle Wright could very well be competing for 1 rotation spot and that is most unfortunate for those 3 as all had remarkable springs, and showed above average control and swing and miss stuff.
Breakdown: Sean Newcomb deserves to start. Felix Hernandez deserves to start. Kyle Wright deserves to start. As of now, only 1 will and in all likelihood, that won’t be Kyle Wright considering he can go back to the minors and be ready when one falters and/or gets hurt. As you can see, I don’t know who that 5th spot goes to, and I guess they’ll be a lot going on behind the scenes that we as fans will never no in order to make that decison.
Braves Roster Talk: Reliever(s)
*Reminder that if Newcomb makes the team as a starter, his vacancy will create 2 spots needed in the bullpen. Pfeifer was up there in % for this group in my last piece, but was optioned to AAA, so there’s some guys that have benefitted from that move.
- Sean Newcomb-55%
- Touki Toussaint-20%
- Patrick Weigel– 25%
- Grant Dayton– 5%
- Josh Tomlin– 25%
- Tyler Matzek– 38%
- Chris Rusin– 38%
- Jeremy Walker- 5%
Breakdown: Matzek and Rusin seem like they’re battling it out to be the 2nd lefty in the bullpen after both Tucker Davidson and Phil Pfeifer were optioned. If Newcomb makes the roster as a reliever, Matzek and Rusin will either be pitching in AAA or pitching with another team when baseball resumes. I’d like to see Touki get the last spot in the bullpen, but my gut tells me they’d give it to Tomlin.
Starting 3rd Baseman
I’m still holding out hope that both Camargo and Riley make the roster and share time at 3B while subbing around the infield and outfield. There’s no clear frontrunner here:
- Johan Camargo: 50%
- Austin Riley: 50%
Breakdown: They both look really good and good teams carry their best 26. That’s what Anthopoulos believes…from his mouth.
Bench Bats (1)
- Johan Camargo– (should he not be starting 3B) 50%
- Charlie Culberson– 50%
- Charlie Culberson– 60%
- Alex Jackson– 10%
- Austin Riley– 0%
- Yonder Alonso– 10%
- Yangervis Solarte– 15%
- Peter O’Brien– 5%
Breakdown: Peter O’Brien keeps hitting dingers and for that, he made this list because 5 of the other 6 aren’t doing jack squat. Still feels like it’s Culberson’s to lose if the Braves don’t give Riley and Camargo the split time spot.
Thanks for reading our Atlanta Braves Roster Talk #5. If you enjoyed this piece, check out this piece on Tyler Matzek that was written in August of last year.