2021 Braves Spring Training Roster Talk, Number 3

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This is our 2nd Braves Spring Training Roster Talk since games started and 3rd overall. Here are the first 2 installments if you’re late to the series:

Braves 40-Man Roster and *Non-Roster Invitees

PITCHERS

  1. Ian Anderson
  2. Victor Arano
  3. Tucker Davidson
  4. Grant Dayton
  5. Jasseel De La Cruz
  6. Max Fried
  7. Luke Jackson
  8. Chris Martin
  9. A.J. Minter
  10. Tyler Matzek
  11. Charlie Morton
  12. Kyle Muller
  13. Sean Newcomb
  14. Philip Pfeifer
  15. Will Smith
  16. Drew Smyly
  17. Chad Sobotka
  18. Mike Soroka
  19. Josh Tomlin
  20. Touki Toussaint
  21. Jacob Webb
  22. Bryse Wilson
  23. Patrick Weigel
  24. Kyle Wright
  25. Huascar Ynoa
  26. *Thomas Burrows
  27. *Carl Edwards Jr.
  28. *Daysbel Hernandez
  29. *Kurt Hoekstra
  30. *Connor Johnstone
  31. *Nate Jones
  32. *Nolan Kingham
  33. *Freddy Tarnok
  34. *Victor Vodnik
  35. *William Woods

INFIELDERS

  1. Ozzie Albies
  2. Johan Camargo
  3. Freddie Freeman
  4. Austin Riley
  5. Dansby Swanson
  6. *Ehire Adrianza
  7. *Bryce Ball
  8. *CJ Alexander
  9. *Sean Kazmar Jr.
  10. *Jason Kipnis
  11. *Pablo Sandoval
  12. *Braden Shewmake
  13. Jake Lamb

OUTFIELDERS

  1. Ronald Acuna Jr.
  2. Abraham Almonte
  3. Travis Demeritte
  4. Ender Inciarte
  5. Marcell Ozuna
  6. Cristian Pache
  7. Phillip Ervin
  8. *Justin Dean
  9. *Michael Harris
  10. *Trey Harris
  11. *Drew Waters

CATCHERS

  1. William Contreras
  2. Travis d’Arnaud
  3. Alex Jackson
  4. *Logan Brown
  5. *Shea Langeliers
  6. *Jonathan Morales

2021 Braves Spring Training Roster Predictions: The Locks

Starting Pitcher: Max Fried, Charlie Morton, Ian Anderson, Drew Smyly (1 spot available)

Relief Pitcher: Will Smith,Chris Martin,Tyler Matzek,Josh Tomlin, A.J. Minter(3 spots available)

Position Players: Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna Jr., Marcell Ozuna, Travis d’Arnaud(6 spots available)

Positions of Need

Here are the needs as I see them:

  • Backup Catcher
  • Utilty Infielder
  • Starting Outfielder
  • Backup Outfielder
  • Bench Bat
  • Bench Bat
  • RH Relief Pitcher
  • RH Relief Pitcher
  • Relief Pitcher
  • Starting Pitcher

Braves Roster Talk: Starting Pitcher Candidates (1 available slot)

Breadown: Both Wright and Ynoa looked great in their last appearance and recency bias is going to win out when it comes to these rankings. Muller was strong, pumping 98 but I feel he’s way down the chain for now. Bryse Wilson is on the outside looking in again as his stuff just didn’t look like the blip we saw in the playoffs.

Braves Roster Talk: Relief Pitcher Candidates (3 available slots)

Breakdown: While I think the Braves still go the route of veterans out the gate, William Woods at age 22 is making a strong case for a RH bullpen spot. Sure, it’s unlikely but we never know the shelf life of these young hurlers with elite velo and Braves are desperate for RH relief. Crazier things have happened. Nate Jones has now had 2 good outings and Arano has made it to camp and looked good once and bloody awful once. I’ve made no real commitment to anyone (hence the highest candidate being 50%) and it sure does look like it’s a full-on tryout for the last 3 spots.

Also, I don’t want to give up on him after having such high hopes, but Weigel just doesn’t look like the same pitcher post-surgery. This makes me sad.

Braves Roster Talk: Catcher Candidates (1 available slot)

Breakdown: I don’t think anything has changed here, and while Shea Langeliers might be the best defensive catcher of the 3, I cannot imagine they’ll be clearing a 40-man spot for him.

Braves Roster Talk: Infield, Outfield, and Bench (5 available slots)

Breakdown: My gut tells me Ervin, Lamb, Adrianza, Kipnis, and Pache are the 5, but there’s a part of me that feels it’s a true tryout and, if so, Kipnis hasn’t performed and might not make it. Also, there could be a fringe addition and subtraction that occurs before the team goes north. For real though, the aforementioned 5 brings balance to the roster and 2 capable defensive utility players (one OF and 1 IF) in Adrianza and Ervin. On a side note, Ender hasn’t played in a week and isn’t in today’s lineup. My hope is that he’s been traded and Braves are just waiting on medicals for the return, but admittedly it could be injury.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

65 thoughts on “2021 Braves Spring Training Roster Talk, Number 3”

  1. I think if healthy that Webb is a 90% to make the team, he’ll be the second most high leverage RHP in the pen.

  2. Sent out 2 more Hammers hats to Braves Journalers today! Thank tfloyd and MarsPR for the orders.

  3. After today’s performance, Wright’s stock has to have gone up some. He may finally be ready to grab a spot and not let go. It’d be pretty good if Wright could force Smyly into being a highly paid middle reliever.

  4. Many thanks to Nick for his contributions in Atlanta, and congratulations for his fine career.

  5. Nick Markakis has retired.
    And the announcement was going well until it rolled over to the right side.

  6. Congrats and enjoy life after baseball, Kakes.

    But thank God we can finally move past the beat writers drooling over his Stoic Professionalism™.

  7. Braves are apparently interested in Maikel Franco. He had a good 2020, but nothing really changed about his batted ball profile. If they’re really in on him, it’s likely a MiLB deal.

  8. A marker in our baseball lives, quite unlike any other in as much as the qualities and standards he projected were above his innate abilities to perform them at the levels he wished. You always thought he knew that but his pride insisted he contribute.

    Appropriate don’t you think that he waited until the last days of spring in case we bit once more, might need him like last year. An exemplar of all that is best in a greedy game.

  9. Braves starting with 33% capacity at Truist Park games for 2021 season! Get your tickets now.

  10. From where I sit, the Braves expressing interest in Maikel Franco says more about Austin Riley than it says about Franco.

  11. @15: There were plenty of years in which 33% of capacity would have been a gigantic windfall of ticket revenue.

  12. I went to a Braves/Giants game once at Candlestick when they were both terrible in the mid 80’s. Nearly everyone who was at the game had a front row seat. The bullpens were down the foul lines. I sat down by the Braves bullpen and talked to Bruce Benedict and Terry Forster for a while. They were bored to tears and we were all freezing our asses off when the fog started rolling in.

  13. @17 Maybe it says more about Jake Lamb’s slow start.

    Would Franco be better than Camargo?

    The guy I see having a great Spring is Sean Kazmar. Seems like he ought to have a chance to stick for a while. I mean what really better candidates do we have for the bench?

    Michael Harris and William Woods have looked great. It’s unfortunate that they’re “not ready”.

    As soon as the NL makes the DH permanent, either Waters or Harris will join Pache and Acuna in the OF. Either way, we’ll have a great defensive OF.

  14. Franco would be nothing more than a roll of the dice on a 28 year old former prospect. If it were up to me, I’d sign all the 26 – 28 year old former prospects.

  15. An Invocation To the Fates for Opening Day.

    Surround us, metaphorically,
    with talent we can clearly see
    dismissive always as You’re wont
    of those who’ll say bye bye but don’t.

  16. Johan Camargo
    too good to send out
    remember MaMa
    She’ll fly in to check he’s still about.

  17. MacKenzie Scot
    Melinda Gates you’re not
    take your smaller purse, your time is far from run
    read the morning paper and see if you’ve won!

  18. I’m shocked that Kazmar is 36 years old. He had a decent year in 2019 at Gwinnett and has been there since 2013. Wow, that’s a long time. In my opinion he’d probably hit slightly better than Adrianza or Heredia off the bench. It won’t happen, but it would sure be nice if he got a shot. His fielding seems to at least be passable.

  19. I knew Kazmar was old but I didn’t think he was that old. Is he the oldest minor leaguer?

    I always think of Lane Adams when we’re talking about old minor leaguers since he was ready to quit at 27 or 28, and then he got some cups of coffee the next couple years. But I’d say at 36, you’re starting to get a liiiiiittle old.

  20. I remember when Mac joked that Damon Hollins was the mayor of Richmond. Sean Kazmar is the mayor of Gwinnett.

  21. @ 33,

    I’ll take Monday, but at this point, I still haven’t resolved television viewing. I think VPN and MLB TV may be what I have to do.

  22. Thus far, we have 4 recappers for the week and likely Alan for the weekends. That leaves only 1 spot. Who wants it? I’d rather it not be me as I’ll already be providing game threads that’ll likely have Minor League stuff in it.

  23. @36

    Happy to be available on call usually to plug a gap.

    We talked last season having someone to write a short intro about our new opponents at the start of each series. Home and away. Who’s hot, who’s not plus gossip. Profound or irreverent. Has to be good with numbers which rules me out. Volunteer, bet you enjoy it.

  24. @30 So, embarrassing but still funny story about Mac calling Damon Hollins the mayor of Richmond. I was probably 14, 15 years old at the time when I read that on this here website. And I didn’t know he was kidding. So my 14 or 15 year old self is at some Richmond Braves/Jacksonville Suns game, and I was talking to somebody next to me, and I proceeded to mention that Damon Hollins was the mayor of Richmond. The person next to me went silent, probably thinking, “That doesn’t sound right,” but I was like 14 years old and they just let me run with it. It wasn’t my first, and I haven’t stopped speaking mistruths since.

  25. #36
    FWIW, I can do the occasional fill-in, if nec.

    Tough to commit to anything permanent ATM, but I enjoy doing them when I can.

    Jeez, we’re getting close…

  26. Braves have not let a pitcher hit in a live ST game yet. Also…important info below.

  27. The recappers are set!

    Sunday- Rusty S
    Monday- Cliff
    Tuesday- Alex R
    Wednesday- TFloyd
    Thursday- Jonathan F.
    Friday- Alan C
    Saturday- Alan C

  28. @43 I don’t know who we would replace him with on the bench.

    If I wanted to infer what their plans for the bench were based on how they’re divvying out PAs, this is how that is happening:

    Panda – 26 PAs
    Camargo – 22 PAs
    Phillip Ervin – 22 PAs
    Jake Lamb – 21 PAs
    Guillermo Heredia – 21 PAs
    Abraham Almonte – 21 PAs
    Ehire Adrianza – 20 PAs
    Jason Kipnis – 18 PAs
    Ryan Goins – 17 PAs

    It would seem like they’re at least running Panda and Camargo out there to solidify the third base bench spot. Admittedly, though, I don’t really know what the heck they’re thinking. Middle infield is either solidified with Adrianza, who has been a complete walks machine as well, or they don’t seem to have a great plan. Overall, I trust AA with these things, but the bench just seems so weird with what seems to be a near complete turnover of the entire bench.

  29. @45–thanks, Ryan. Strong lineup overall, although being sandwiched between two all stars like AAR and JonathanF, I feel like Dansby Swanson asked to hit in the 3 hole between Freeman and Ozuna. Am I providing protection for Alex, or perhaps setting the table for JonathanF?

  30. Why isn’t Trey Harris getting any love this spring? He’s hit at every level and is having a great spring.

  31. Along with the recaps, Matt P and I will be providing MiLB updates twice weekly, as well as game threads. Going to be a fun 162!

  32. We may not win a World Series, but this blog is at least the best in the league.

  33. With that lineup, I probably need to hold out… Unfortunately, my agent sucks. I was going to be represented by Boras, but my finger slipped on the keyboard and I’m represented by Borat.

  34. @54, thanks! I had missed that both Big and Little Poison were on that 1941 Braves team. On June 11 and June 12, Lloyd Waner hit second in front of Dahlgren batting third, but crucially, on May 25, Lloyd hit second, Paul hit third, and the Babe batted cleanup.

    The correction is gratefully accepted!

  35. In 2006 Chipper became only the 2nd player to record an extra base hit in 14 consecutive games after Big Poison in 1927.

  36. Just saw this headline in my email:

    “In Braves’ No. 5 starter race, Kyle Wright and Touki Toussaint get mixed results”

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…

    Or, as former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin once put it:

    «Хотели как лучше, а получилось как всегда».

    (That quote basically translates as, “We wanted things to be better, but it turned out the same as always.”)

  37. Headed to the game tonight! Pretty surreal considering how the last year has gone.

  38. @59 – When we hopefully get our rotation fully healthy who will be our 5th starter? We will have:
    1) Morton
    2) Soroka
    3) Fried
    4) Anderson
    5) Smyley

    Due to health concerns I would leave it in that order and consider Smyley the 5th starter. If everyone’s healthy, that has the potential to be a really good rotation.

  39. So, Camargo does look great. Much leaner. But he just kicked it at SS. Very sad.

  40. I’m actually more concerned with his stick. Have you had a chance to see him at the plate? How’s his swing look?

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