Our first piece, titled “Atlanta Braves Roster Talk: The Locks and the Battles” was posted 13 days ago, and we’ve already had a major update that changes the locks for opening day.

Also, there was a signing that likely factors into the bullpen equation as Josh Tomlin inked an MiLB deal with an invitation to Spring Training. With Snitker’s preference to give the ball to a veteran relief pitcher for mop-up duty, Tomlin’s presence in camp could alter the Atlanta Braves Opening Day roster. Let’s get to it going over the locks.

Excluding injuries or unforeseen trades that could alter the 26-man roster, the Braves have a large chunk of their team that will no doubt break camp on the big league team due to lack of options, or the fact that they’re really good at baseball. That’s where we’ll begin our Atlanta Braves Roster Talk. Reminder that these predictions are made entirely on the basis that each player remains healthy throughout Spring Training.

Atlanta Braves Opening Day Roster: The Locks

I chose not to do the exercise alone this time and reached out to our writing panel to give me their % chances for players on Opening Day. I got 3 takers in Rob, Matt L., and Matt P. They agreed on all players for locks on the roster (assuming no trades) with 2 exceptions. Last post, there were 22 locks. With the Hamels injury and the disagreements on locked spots, there are only 19 players that have made the list as locks.


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


Starting Pitchers: Mike Soroka, Mike Foltynewicz, Max Fried

Relief Pitchers: Mark Melancon, Will Smith, Shane Greene, Chris Martin, Luke Jackson, Darren O’Day

Lock, but role undetermined: Sean Newcomb


The Battles, 4th & 5th Starting Pitcher

With Cole Hamels on the shelf for an unknown amount of time, this greatly changes things for the rotation on Opening Day and opens up 2 spots for starting pitchers from this lot:

Breakdown: For now, our panel believes that the 4th and 5th starting spot will go to Newcomb and King Felix with Bryse Wilson moving into that 5th spot should Newcomb head to the bullpen. This feels right. Josh Tomlin didn’t get put in this section merely because of his usage last year. If we hear that he might be getting stretched out to start, this will change next week.

The Battles, Reliever(s)

Breakdown: If Newcomb lands a starting job, then our panel thinks that Tomlin and either Jacob Webb or A.J. Minter round out the bullpen. As before, this feels right with Minter getting the upper hand for being a lefty. It’s worth noting that if this is the way it would shake out, Grant Dayton would have to be DFA’d as he is out of options.

The Battles, Starting 3rd Baseman

In our piece from yesterday, we’ve seen what we as fans wanted to see from both candidates for the 3B position as Johan Camargo has lost considerable weight and is the frontrunner for Atlanta Braves BSOHL. Not to be topped, Austin Riley has made a HUGE swing adjustment, coming in more compact with less backward movement in his load which should greatly increase his chances of catching up with any pitch.

  • Johan Camargo: 47%
  • Austin Riley: 53%

Breakdown: This is where I have to play a bit of a guessing game with the board. 3 of the 4 were at 50% with Riley, and one was 60%. I’m assuming they’re thinking like I’m thinking in that if Riley is up, he’s the starting 3B, not a bench bat and so I consolidated all of his % points into the starting gig.

The Battles, Bench Bats (3)

  • Johan Camargo- 97%
  • Adeiny Hechavarria- 93%
  • Charlie Culberson- 40%
  • Alex Jackson- 8%
  • Adam Duvall-63%
  • Austin Riley- 0%

Breakdown: There were some small % points left off for Adeiny and I can understand that as his contract would be nothing to let go. Most thought Camargo a lock to be on the roster, but not sure the role which makes sense. Honestly, I thought for sure that Duvall was a lock on this team, but others see it differently. He is an arb guy and his contract isn’t guaranteed, so I guess there’s a chance that the Braves would opt to carry Culberson over him, but I think it’s his spot to lose.

Thanks for reading about on our Atlanta Braves Roster Talk. If you enjoyed this piece and were off of Braves Journal on Sunday, check out our Atlanta Braves Spring Training piece from yesterday.

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