Atlanta Braves Roster Talk #4: Opening Day

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:

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.



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


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.

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.

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)


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.


Author: Ryan Cothran

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

20 thoughts on “Atlanta Braves Roster Talk #4: Opening Day”

  1. He should…and he was. Edited now. WordPress was really battling me for some reason and I had to redo this thing about 4 times. I think it was on my end as internet here has been unreliable this last week.

  2. Greene shouldn’t be a lock IMHO. He most likely is, but I watched that guy in Detroit last year and in Atlanta and he just doesn’t have elite stuff. I would rather see Matzek or one of the young guys and save the $

  3. @3
    I’m not going to be too reactionary on Greene, but if he has another awful outing before the next update, my mind could change.

  4. Doing fine, thanks. Some friends affected, although nothing that can’t be fixed, thankfully. We live in Brentwood, a bit south of this morning’s tornado line.

  5. @9
    I’m not. I’m totally fascinated with the amount of depth and talent that is in camp this year. Focus on that and not the results, and you might find a new appreciation.

  6. @12
    Yeah. AA is due for a cut. When he comes in, I’ll get a scoop.

    Ozuna isn’t having a good start.

  7. I sure don’t like the way we’re losing these games. I know it’s ST but the pattern is awfully ugly. Getting and blowing big leads every day. However, today’s 6th inning HR is just what the Riley-doc ordered. That’s what he was so good at during his initial streak – busting loose on a baseball at just the right time in the late innings. That is a great sight to see.

  8. @14 I was thinking the same thing. These leads are being coughed up by guys we either have booked for the roster or who are openly trying to win a spot. I get that the pitchers are working on things but some of these guys look bad. It’s only Spring Training but worry time for some of these guys is coming up quick

  9. Most seasoned pitchers ha e a yearly routine, but take time off of throwing. The younger guys don’t have that luxury and they’re throwing nearly year round in an effort to grab attention in the early going.

  10. I’m going to guess without watching that Riley’s home run was on a fastball.

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