Is the Braves Roster Built for the DH? Game Thread

With news that OF Nick Markakis has opted back in to the MLB season and will be returning soon (along with LHP Will Smith but not relevant to this topic), the Braves are going to be getting back a left-handed bat that could really help the team. But who will he be replacing? In an MLB world that has went all-in on the DH, playing time for 1/2 of the bench is seldom. And since every game counts, it’s likely not going to get better especially with Brian Snitker at the helm. This begs the question: Is the Braves Roster Built for the DH?

In the 7 games that the Braves have played in the 2020 season, Charlie Culberson has received 2 at-bats and Adeiny Hechavarria, 1. Scott Schebler, who has been with the team for 2 games, has received 0 at-bats. Adding Nick Markakis back to the pot likely removes the need for Schebler, but still leaves Hechavarria and Culberson without a clear line for any type of playing time. With news leaking that the union might be asking the 30-man roster to stick around for the entire 2020 season, let’s take a look at the current position players on the roster to see if there are better fits for an NL team in a DH world.

Hech and Charlie, The Lost Boys

We all know why both of these guys are here. Charlie is here as a RH bench bat that can play darn near anywhere and Hech is a backup SS whose stick played way up in September of last year. However, there’s redundancy here…

  • Both are right-handed hitters
  • Both are (primarily) backup infielders
  • Neither are considered fast

When adding back Markakis, which I’d be willing to bet happens within a week, the DH spot is going to be a rotation of Marcell Ozuna, Austin Riley, Johan Camargo, and Matt Adams, with maybe glimpses of Travis d’Arnaud if his bat comes around. With Camargo’s ability to play the entire infield as well as being equipped to switch hit, his spot leaves little need for 1 backup infielder, much less 2, especially when they’re lacking elite speed.

Not so Fast?

If the roster shakes out like I think it will, Markakis will replace Scott Schebler, but is this what should happen? Does Schebler’s bat provide more than what Culberson’s or Hechavarria’s bat provides? Maybe the argument is Schebler’s bat provides less redundancy than Hech and Culberson, and therefore should be carried to give the Braves better options for late and close games. However, I’m still not sure that’s the route I would go for a transaction.

My choice would be Cristian Pache. The Braves have 0 speed on the bench and truly could use Pache’s defense in the outfield in late and close games, as well as his PH/PR capabilities (not to mention he should also get some starts in CF). The need for speed in this bizarre 60 game season is more than ever with the extra inning rule and Pache could provide a weapon that the Braves don’t currently have on the active roster.

Don’t be ANGRY!

While I like the guy and the player, Charlie Culberson seems to be the guy that just doesn’t fill a real need. Fans love him and rightfully so as he’s come up with so many big hits in the past, but he’s withering away on a bench that cannot get him at-bats and his only real use would be as a pinch runner and that is not what I’d call maximizing a skillset.

So in my mind, when Nick Markakis comes up, the Braves are going to be forced to re-evaluate what a bench should look like in a DH world. And when the dust settles, Charlie Culberson will be granted freedom and we as Braves fans will just have to be ok with that.

Check out our game thread and roster news from yesterday to get caught up on the latest moves. As always, thanks for reading!

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

62 thoughts on “Is the Braves Roster Built for the DH? Game Thread”

  1. Does anyone know how I can listen to a live stream of tonight’s ballgame for free? My local affiliate in NW Florida isn’t broadcasting on the radio, and 680 The Fan terminates the live stream after ten minutes or so.


  2. @3: I recommend the MLB Gameday Audio subscription. It’s $7.40 for the season this year.

  3. For real. My brother asked me if he should bet on this game, and I said, “Ehhh, you never know with Newcomb.”

    And watch him walk 3 next inning…

  4. The reason the Braves picked up Hechavarría last season is because Camargo appeared to lose the flexibility and range to play shortstop. I don’t think Hech is going anywhere. It would be Culberson most likely if they release someone other than Schebler.

  5. Not a great effort by Ozuna at the wall, I figure he might be hesitant on wall climbing after his previous gaffes.

  6. The arrival of Markakis creates a logjam best solved by the departure of Markakis.

  7. But… but… what about Markakis’ leadership?

    (If you can’t tell, I agree with sansho1.)

  8. I don’t know how long they’re gonna continue running Newcomb out there as a starter…and I do realize that it may be for a couple starts more than would’ve happened had Folty not lasted all of one start. However, I hope it’s not too long.

    At some point, it becomes clear that he works as a reliever and not a starter. We’re quickly approaching that point.

  9. Forgive me if this has been posted at some point, but this rotation is “Soroka and Fried and the rest we’ll concede.”

  10. Let’s just run a 4-man rotation with Soroka, Fried, and 2 days of all-bullpen games. At least then you could reliably get a few innings from Newcomb before he explodes.

  11. Anyone notice that the bullpen meltdowns have always happened when the starter is pulled mid inning?
    Touki, Oday, now Chacin. It might be a matter of not enough advance warning/warmup for these guys.

  12. @28 hard to just yank him. Then you’ve got three holes in the rotation. He’ll probably get more of a leash than Folty, but we’re reaching the stage where Newcomb is what he is.

  13. He pitched so well last inning, let’s run him right back out there after a rally…

  14. Heh, good thing I hadn’t turned it off since the season might be cancelled at any moment, apparenty.
    Hopefully most of you were watching

  15. I had turned it off and checked back in in the middle of the 8th. This team under Snitker the past three years does somehow come back more than any team I remember.
    Of course LOLMets bullpen helps.

  16. Well, I think this is a start to answering one of my questions. Will the Braves have as many come from behind victories this year with no crowd cheering them on? Let’s hope it continues. If our starting pitchers outside of the big 2 keep performing like they have been, we’re going to need it.

  17. Soroka and Fried, and hope you’ve got the Mets bullpen on which to feed.

    Had it all the way.

  18. According to Fangraphs, we had a 3.3 percent chance to win this after the Mets led off the eighth with a single and a 4.8 percent chance midway through the eighth.

  19. Sure, but to get a little technical, the Fangraphs probability calculations are unconditional, not conditional on the Mets bullpen. Our probability of winning at that point was actually 237 percent.

  20. Ozzie acknowledged to be at less than 100%, wrist. The eyes have it.

    D’Arnaud – after his first AB the other night…well, I had no idea.

  21. LOL..Chris Martin apparently thought he was pitching the eighth. Clearly we should just convince everybody they’re pitching the eighth, therefore there are no ninth-inning jitters or whatever.

  22. @2

    Eephus. Kelsey. You ain’t alone…a disastrous PR performance by the Braves, whatever led to it. No explanations of any merit of course.

    And then, incredibly, they compound their error by replacing her with a deja vue all over again lady. Another blonde, another etc etc…without a tenth of her poise, smile and zest. I mean no disrespect to the person in question who likely had no idea of the situation she was getting herself into.

    Why is it the Braves allow these awful self inflicted wounds to happen as often as they do? Truist Park, now this. Heads should roll but they won’t you suspect. Mediocre organizations don’t consider things like this as any big deal, why bother?

  23. @49

    to get a little technical
    avoiding the heret(n)ical
    so clearly unconditional
    with hints of the medicinal

    two hundred and thirty seven?
    pshaw! too easy for the likes of you
    en route to Numbers Heaven.

  24. Well, that was one great victory.

    I’ve lived in NYC for 30 years now & I know first-hand how much self-loathing & PTSD the Braves have put on Mets fans over the years — well, that was another glorious chapter tonight. (Eh, I’ll worry about our very-real pitching woes tomorrow…)

    Wanna see some wicked self-flagellation from the Mets side? Here’s longtime Mets fan/comic Jim Breuer (ex-SNL) from last summer, just as the Mets had gotten their hopes up… and then had them quickly dashed by the Braves & the Cubs.

    The whole thing is pretty funny (there’s fairly accurate Met fan vs. Yankee fan bit in there), but if you only wanna see the Braves bit, go to 9:20 & it’ll definitely make most Braves fans chuckle & rewind:

  25. BTW, apparently Chris Martin closed out the game thinking it was only the 8th inning. If you see the final out, Martin begins walking to the dugout, oblivious that the game was actually over. From Bowman’s game story:

    “[Martin] had no idea it was the ninth inning,” Travis d’Arnaud said. “He thought it was the eighth. I was walking to the mound laughing the whole time and looking at the guys in the dugout. They were all pointing and laughing at him, too. He was just laughing about it. It was really funny.”

    Hey, no pressure at all…

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