This is our 4th piece on the Atlanta Braves Roster Talk, and there’s been some big stories that likely change the odds quite a bit. Here’s the most attention-grabbing storyline of the spring.
If Johan Camargo wins the starting gig, it shouldn’t bother any of us that Austin Riley gets sent back down to AAA to continue sharpening his skillset to be “that guy” soon, but vice versa? I thought for sure that if Riley were to get the nod at 3B, then Camargo would go back to being the super-utility guy off the bench. However, Snitker doesn’t have a say so, but this is a problematic viewpoint, especially considering the situation in the outfield, where there are 5 guys that will be seeking starts.
Here are our previous 3 pieces in this series:
- Atlanta Braves Roster Talk: The Locks and the Battles
- Atlanta Braves Roster Talk 2: Opening Day
- Atlanta Braves Roster Talk 3: Opening Day
Let’s get dirty.
Atlanta Braves Roster Talk: The Locks
Unless any unforeseen circumstances such as trades and/or injuries, there are likely 21 locks for the roster.
- 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, Adeiny Hechavarria, Adam Duvall
Lock, but role undetermined: Sean Newcomb
TOTAL LOCKS: 21
Braves Roster Talk: 4th & 5th Starting Pitchers
With the news that Cole Hamels still hasn’t been cleared to throw, it sounds like best case scenario to have him back on an Major League mound might be May. Honestly, I’m quite excited to see what the young guys can do and many are showing well in spring thus far.
*It might be worth noting here that Folty was shaking his arm a lot in his last outing, of which he said it was just something he does. This exercise assumes that everyone is healthy, but Folty will be someone to watch out for in his next start, as this category could turn into 3rd, 4th, and 5th Starting Pitchers.
- Sean Newcomb– 50%
- Bryse Wilson-12%
- Felix Hernandez-60%
- Kyle Wright-60%
- Tucker Davidson– 4%
- Phil Pfeifer– 4%
- Touki Toussaint– 6%
- Ian Anderson– 4%
Breakdown: The big jump here is Kyle Wright who’s caught some eyes from Snitker, Anthopoulos, and every Brave fan that watched him pitch on Sunday. Newcomb has pitched really well, but with the emergence of Wright and the lack of LH options out of the bullpen, his chances go down slightly.
Braves Roster Talk: Reliever(s)
*Reminder that if Newcomb makes the team as a starter, his vacancy will create 2 spots needed in the bullpen.
- Sean Newcomb-50%
- Bryse Wilson– 10%
- Kyle Wright– 0%
- Felix Hernandez– 0%
- Tucker Davidson- 5%
- Phil Pfeifer-20%
- Touki Toussaint-20%
- Patrick Weigel– 30%
- Grant Dayton– 5%
- Jasseel De La Cruz-5%
- A.J. Minter– 5%
- Chad Sobotka– 5%
- Jeremy Walker– 5%
- Jacob Webb– 5%
- Huascar Ynoa–5%
- Chris Nunn– 5%
- Josh Tomlin– 30%
- Tyler Matzek– 10%
Breakdown: Weigel’s chances continue to rise, and if his innings increase to 3 the next outing, he could see time on both starting pitching and relief lists. Pfeifer’s lefty presence cannot be ignored as a lefty will be needed should Newcomb grab a spot in the rotation. Tomlin still feels like the logica choice for the 8th bullpen arm.
Matzek is a new addition to this list, and while I think his chances of making the Opening Day roster are slim, he’ll likely be on the team at some point this season. He’s been brilliant in spring and here’s a piece I wrote about him last year.
Starting 3rd Baseman
Both are performing well and this will be a battle going forward. For me, Camargo still has the slight edge.
- Johan Camargo: 53%
- Austin Riley: 47%
Breakdown: This would be the definition of a “good problem” if Snitker would be willing to utilize Camargo in a Super-Utility role to see if the 2nd go-around could make all the difference. However, it sounds like he has no interest in doing so, despite the fact that his first baseman, who should’ve taken a trip to the IL in those last weeks, was a walking corpse in the playoffs.
Bench Bats (1)
- Johan Camargo– (should he not be starting 3B) 50%
- Charlie Culberson– 50%
Breakdown: Right now, this position is Culberson’s to lose and it’s the worst battle going on in spring as no one is stepping up to accept it. Camargo would be my choice, but if Snitker has a say, that won’t happen. This also feels like a spot that could be filled outside the organization a few days before spring training is over. Solarte, who hasn’t particularly lit the world on fire, has entered the fray merely by default.
Thanks for reading this piece on our Atlanta Braves Roster Talk #4. If you enjoyed this piece, check out our piece from a few days back on The Braves Bullpen Being Ahead of the Curve.