As Braves fans watched team after team release their 30-man roster for Opening Day, fits of rage began to trickle from social media, probably from Andrew Boyer (if you’re on social media, you’ll know that name). Finally, well after the other 29 teams, Anthopoulos provided us the Braves 30. There were some surprise omissions, but overall I think the Braves have a solid 30 that will require the team to get really creative when slimming the roster down to 28 in 2 weeks then 26 after 4. Today’s piece will go through the roster, look at options for each player and then end with a few thoughts on the season and individual goals to look out for in the 2020 season.
Braves 30-Man Roster
*For those that can’t read the graphic, here’s list with options in ( )*
- Catchers: Travis d’Arnaud (0), Tyler Flowers (0)
- Infielders: Matt Adams (0), Ozzie Albies (3), Johan Camargo (2), Charlie Culberson (0), Freddie Freeman (0), Adeiny Hechavarria (0), Austin Riley (3), Dansby Swanson (3)
- Outfielders: Ronald Acuña Jr. (3) Adam Duvall (0), Ender Inciarte (0), Marcell Ozuna (0)
- Pitchers: Jhoulys Chacin (0), Grant Dayton (0 or 1), Mike Foltynewicz (0), Max Fried (1), Shane Greene (0), Luke Jackson(0), Chris Martin (1), Tyler Matzek (0), Mark Melancon (0), A.J. Minter (2), Sean Newcomb (2), Darren O’Day (0), Mike Soroka (2), Josh Tomlin (0), Touki Toussaint (2), Kyle Wright (2)
It’s really important to note options, especially considering the roster trimming down to 26 in a month, the return of Will Smith, the uncertainty of Cole Hamels and the likelihood that the Braves consider Yasiel Puig after he gets a double negative. Subtracting 4 from the above might be easy (Chacin, Dayton, then yoyo relievers/starters), but subtracting 7? That would be difficult.
Thoughts on the 30-Man Roster
- Wither Yonder Alonso– It seemed obvious at the time, but Alonso’s time on the Braves 40-man roster was doomed when Matt Adams became available. He’s just a better fit. Alonso was outrighted to make room for Adams.
- Left-handed Trials: We all wondered how the Braves were going to address the need for left-handed relief with the absence of Will Smith and Anthopoulos answered by carrying 3 arms. Of the 3, I’m most excited about Tyler Matzek as I’ve been driving that hype train since last August. I was a bit surprised that Tucker Davidson did not make this list, but like Rob C. said, this could just be roster manipulaton.
- Camargo is here: While Camargo hasn’t seen much action late, it’s good to see his name here as they’re going to need him.
- Piggybackers: If the Braves do go the piggyback route, there’s plenty of pitchers to make that happen. In all likelihood, Soroka, Fried, Foltynewicz, Newcomb, and Wright are the 5 starters with Tomlin, Touki, and Chacin as piggyback options. I’d wager that Soroka won’t need piggybacking.
Predicting the Opening Day Lineup
Pretty straightforward here. It’s possible Flowers in there, but I think the other 8 are set. This leaves Duvall, Flowers, Camargo, Culberson, and Adeiny as a very solid bench.
Braves Milestone that Could be Met in 2020
Drake Dodd was gracious enough to put together some Braves player milestones that could happen in this crazy shortened season.
- Mark Melancon is the first name to keep an eye out for as he is all but a lock to reach his milestone. Melancon enters the season with 197 saves in his career aiming to hit the magic 200 save mark. Melancon has put together a solid career thus far as he enters his 12th season.
- Health permitting, Freddie Freeman will be only 49 hits shy of 1500 hits in his career. Freeman continues to climb organizational leaderboards as he nears the top 10 all time. Adam Duvall needs only 3 home runs to get to 100 career homers. Dansby Swanson is 10 home runs and 8 RBI’s shy of 50 and 200. Mike Foltynewicz currently has 44 wins as he nears 50.
- Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. will always be players to look out for in any season. Both could potentially hit the career 200 RBI mark. Albies is already only 72 hits from 500 hits. Acuña could very well win his first of many MVP awards. Each young star should continue to hit many more milestones in the coming years.
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