After last night’s outing, Snitker is unsure about Touki Toussaint‘s future. It could very well be that Anthopoulos wants to see more of Touki to see if 3 starts back, where he showed plus control and command, is still reflective of the pitcher he can be this year. However, even factoring in Touki, the Braves are desperate for starters and there are some Braves Prospects at the Gwinnett camp that could be utilized.
Speaking of desperation, we’ve all seen Ender Inciarte look lost at the plate for long stretches, especially at the beginning of a year. However, what we have not seen until the present is the carry over into the defensive side. A turn in being a defensive standout began in 2019, but has since progressed to the point where Ender’s defense can now be counted as below average. This isn’t good. According to Statcast his ground covered is well below average and his bursts are in the bottom 10% of the league. This is a real problem.
Adding the 2 scenarios up, it’s my opinon the Braves are in need of calling up 3 prospects, 2 already of the 40-man variety, and 1 not. Where do those spots come from? I’ll do my best to answer.
Spot 1: Cristian Pache
Anthopoulos cannot have it both ways. He cannot come out and say that this season is just as important as others and the goal is still the same, a championship, then see obvious holes in the lineup and rotation and leave them unaddressed. It’s time for action.
Cristian Pache may be replacing Ender Inciarte in the lineup, but in all likelihood, he’ll not be replacing him on the roster. The Braves likely cannot afford to release Ender, eating his 2021 salary, so I expect Ender to become a very expensive 4th outfielder. The first casualty of the roster comes at the expense of Charlie Culberson. We all like Charlie, but he’s seen 6 PAs this year and isn’t being used in the field. This brings the question…why is he here at all? Until I see an answer to that question in the form of action, I’m going to assume that he’s the first position player to go.
Spot 2: Tucker Davidson
Tucker Davidson is one of the shiniest toys in the Braves toybox and should’ve been brought up yesterday…and the day before. He’s already on the 40-man, so it doesn’t really make sense that he hasn’t been given an opportunity yet. For the present, I’m going to assume that Snitker’s non-commitment to Touki Toussaint is more that just words and Touki will soon be seeing a trip to the player camp, followed by a promotion of Tucker.
Spot 3: Ian Anderson
Even after promoting Tucker Davidson, the Braves are not in a position where their rotation is full. Adding Ian Anderson makes a ton of sense for this ballclub and his outing in the scrimmage showed real potential. The problem with his move is that Ian is not on the 40-man roster and it’ll take a DFA to open a spot. This is where Chad Sobotka, option extraordinaire, finally gets the ax.
Complications Needing to Be Addressed
While no 40-man moves will have to be made for these next 3, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr., and Chris Martin will need to be added to the active roster at some point. For now, my guess would be that one of Austin Riley or Johan Camargo will be sent back to the player pool along with Bryse Wilson. The last spot is tough, but when the time comes, I’m sure the obvious candidate will stand up.
Thanks for reading! If you liked this piece, check out Matt Pocza’s piece on Adam Duvall.