Braves Opening Day Thoughts

Before we get to today’s piece, David Lee and Jeremy Timmerman joined me last night for a special Opening Day podcast that’s ready for you (right here) to crush before today’s game!

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 ( )*

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. Acuña
  2. Albies
  3. Freddie
  4. Ozuna
  5. Adams
  6. Riley
  7. d’Arnaud
  8. Dansby
  9. Ender

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Thanks for reading on Braves Opening Day Thoughts! Binge all of our Offseason Analysis here!

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

80 thoughts on “Braves Opening Day Thoughts”

  1. It has been 289 days since the last Braves game that counted.

    Boys, let’s play some extra baseball this year.

  2. Ruh roh.

  3. Thanks for the info. I saw the lineup that was posted and thought Jackson being in the lineup was a mistake. He wasn’t even showing up on the 30 man roster.

  4. As I understand it, there is no days limit for the COVID list. D’Arnaud and Flowers can be activated at any time whenever they are ready.

  5. It’s killing me that the game is just down the road from me & I still can’t sit in the stands, but finally… go Braves!

  6. DOB has this wrong. He has no options so he has to go on the active roster. My guess is either Grant Dayton (if he still has options…jury’s out) or Touki Toussaint go back to the player pool.

  7. I’m pumped about the game! Good to see you ububba. Do you still want a tee?

  8. ububba! I had tickets to the first CitiField game in April. May we meet up again in healthier times.

    deGrom lifetime day W/L 25-11 ERA: 1.85. But the good news is that there were fans at all those games.

  9. I’m very thankful for all of you. Go Braves!

  10. DeGrom just blew away Acuna with 99-mile an hour cheese. Since when did he start throwing 99?

  11. Man, a couple hard hit balls. Soroka not as sharp as you’d like immediately out of the gate.

  12. There’s a Chipper Jones cutout sitting in one of the seats in NY, next to his son Shea. That’s crazy and makes me feel better about the Mets somehow. I feel icky…

  13. Oh, much better. Chipper buying one for him and his son makes me feel good about Chipper, not the Mets, as you say.

  14. 2 innings played… Feels so good to have baseball back. What a treat to watch deGrom and Soroka.

  15. Happy Game 1 everybody!

    My predictions for the crazy, weird, sprint season:
    Braves win the East, but Lose in first round while some other East team finisheS 30-30 and wins the World Series as a wild card.

  16. Ronald Acuna with a seeing-eye 18-hopper that will look like a line drive in the box score.

  17. Ha! Ronald knocked the hell out of that one.

    @29 – He absolutely destroyed his bat on it, too.


  19. Albies had a good cut on the fifth pitch of the at-bat, and just barely missed it.

  20. Mike is settling in nicely. Now, if we could get more than one bat-exploding, worm-burning, seeing-eye hit off of de Grom, we’d be in business.

  21. That strike call on Marcell Ozuna was worthy of Eric Gregg.

  22. ESPN sucks so bad. Let’s watch more of an interview instead of the game…idiots

  23. The ESPN broadcast is blacked out in Atlanta. I hope we get Boog and Chipper on Sunday’s national ESPN broadcast instead of A-Rod…I think there’s a pretty good chance we will given the A-Rod/Mets situation.

  24. YEAH!!!! Ronnie got a cannon!

    Ah well, he was safe. But still.

  25. Man, I had hoped de Grom’s very minor injury thing earlier this week would take some starch out of his sails. So freaking much for that…

  26. deGrom is deGrom. But Mike is matching him. The bullpens will decide it. We’ll see how Snit uses his many good options there.

  27. As long as he’s bringing back two-run homers, Ender doesn’t need to hit too much.

  28. The angle was weird (I’m on and I couldn’t actually tell if it was going over the fence or just gonna be extra bases off the wall.

    To be clear, it saved runs regardless.

  29. I hear that the Marlins are expecting a bigger crowd at their home opener this year than last year.

  30. And now deGrom is done. As Gary Cohen just said here, deGrom has a 1.45 ERA against the Braves, a record of 2-3, and the Mets are 3-8 in those games.

  31. Snitker’s got to go with the hot hand (if neither are hitting, then defense) at 3rd. If Riley starts off slow then expect Camargo to quickly take over.

  32. Was hoping for another passed ball there…

    #53, Yup
    Typical story for us: deGrom is just impossible, but somehow we cobble out a win. I went to a game last year where he even hit a HR & we somehow still won.

    Ryan, yes! Thnx! Wanna email me?

    Jon… indeed, we will. I went nuts & bought tix to 5 of the 6 early-season Flushing games. I gotta say, though, that this season is one really made for radio.

  33. But I was told the great Chris Martin was the only thing between the Braves and a World Series appearance last year?

  34. Let’s hold ’em here & hope Edwin Diaz maintains his 2019 form: He gave up 15 9th-inning HRs — the most in MLB history.

  35. This game has reminded me a lot of Game 3 of the NLDS last year, which was the last time I sat in my living room watching a baseball game. Let’s hope it continues reminding me of that game.

  36. I think I once heard you can’t win if you don’t score.

  37. Play of the Game…never mind the strikeouts, Riley’s takedown of Jeff Macneil a classic. And we got to see it three times as the ESPN crew kept reminding us JM lost track of the number of outs.

  38. Well if those cardboard cutouts enjoy an old fashioned pitcher’s duel, they certainly got their money’s worth.

  39. Soroka had a shaky first, but he picked himself up real nice. That’s one more example of that makeup. He just does not lose it out there.

  40. Riley long term is going to be a AAAA player. He doesn’t have the bat speed to hit MLB pitching.


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