It’s been a long winter, but spring is here (at least, in spirit) and Atlanta Braves baseball is going to be underway shortly. Braves Journalers, it’s Opening Day, Braves at Phillies, and we’ll start this piece by grading the offseason, then get into the roster and the Opening Day Lineup.
Grading Atlanta Braves Offseason
I thought this was the offseason. The offseason the Braves push their chips in on a player and put the team over the top. Alas, it was not, but the Braves did make some moves. Let’s recap the additions that are still here, whether it be MLB or MILB deals:
Braves Offseason Additions
- OF Abraham Almonte (outrighted to Alt-site)
- RP Josh Tomlin (MLB deal)
- SP Drew Smyly (MLB deal)
- SP Charlie Morton (MLB deal)
- RP Emmanuel Ramirez (MiLB deal)
- 2B Kevin Josephina (MiLB deal)
- IF Sean Kazmar (MiLB deal)
- OF Jaycob Brugman (MiLB deal)
- SS Ambioris Tavarez (IFA signing)
- SS Gabriel Liendo (IFA signing)
- RP,Victor Arano (Waiver Claim)
- IF Ehire Adrianza (MiLB deal turned MLB)
- OF Marcell Ozuna (MLB deal)
- RP Nate Jones (MiLB deal turn MLB)
- Jason Kipnis (MiLB deal, released, re-signed)
- Pablo Sandoval (MiLB deal, turned MLB)
- C Hendrick Clementina (MiLB deal)
- OF Travis Demeritte (Waiver Claim, DFA’d, stayed in org)
- OF Guillermo Heredia (Waiver claim, optioned to MiLB)
- IF Ryan Goins (MiLB deal)
- OF Travis Snyder (MiLB deal)
- RP Benjamin Dum (MiLB deal)
- C/1B Ryan Casteel (MiLB deal)
- RP Chasen Bradford (MiLB deal)
- C Carlos Martinez (MiLB deal)
- RP Mitch Horacek (MiLB deal)
Grade: The Braves went with an interesting strategy in regards to filling out the roster. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out very well as Carl Edwards Jr., Jason Kipnis, Jake Lamb, Phillip Ervin, Victor Arano, and Guillermo Heredia did not work out. Jake Lamb re-signed with the White Sox and, as of now, it looks like the rest of the players are still in the org (just an educated guess on Ervin) and maybe the Braves have something worked out with Kipnis that he’ll join the team after the 2nd road trip. Still, If one were to add up the money it took to bring in the aforementioned 5 as well as the cost of Johan Camargo, you’d get enough to pay for a solid reliever and I feel like that would’ve been a better investment. Anthopoulos did confirm (today) on 680theFan that the Braves were cash strapped and that kept them from re-signing some of last year’s guys like Darren O’Day, Adam Duvall, Mark Melancon, and Shane Greene.
Still, the Braves did the heavy lifting and solidified the rotation with Smyly and Morton and the lineup with Ozuna. However, a trade or 2 or a few solid signings would’ve provided depth to both the bench and relief core. Overall, I’d give the offseason a solid B.
Braves Opening Day Roster
There area few surprises here as the Braves go with 4 starting pitchers, 10 relievers, and a 4-man bench…in the NL…without the DH. Hopefully it’s for a short period and hopefully the bench doesn’t suck as hard as it looks like it’ll suck.
I thought, for sure, Sean Newcomb would’ve been traded or back to the minors but he pitched great, even hit 100MPH in spring, and Anthopolous had this to say about him:
“If you had asked me before Spring Training, Newcomb wouldn’t even have been on my mind. But he earned it. He never said a word, he worked his tail off and he just went out blew the doors off!”Alex Anthopoulos
Also, Anthopoulos with a little nugget from last trade deadline (would things have been different?) regarding Drew Smyly and doubling down on the signing:
“So Drew Smyly was the guy we had to have. I knew there would be criticism, especially over the number. We tried to get him at trade deadline but he was coming back from injury and we didn’t know how he would look. There’s a pre-eport card and a post report card. We think Smyly will check all of the boxes on the post report card.”Alex Anthopoulos
Braves Opening Day Lineup
This is really good. Watch it, Braves Journalers.
Thanks for reading Opening Day, Braves at Phillies. Let’s get it! Game 1 of 162.
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