Looking Ahead to Tomorrow

September 1st used to be loaded with excitement for many players as each team could carry their entire 40-man roster should they choose to do so. That’s no longer the case as MLB implemented a rule to keep roster expansion to 28 players, meaning the Braves (along with every other team) can add 1 pitcher and 1 position player tomorrow. In today’s piece, we will take a look at what the roster might look like tomorrow, as well as what it could look like when other players are finished rehabbing.

Predicting Tomorrow’s Roster

Tomorrow’s news got a little less juicy with today’s news:

Look, if Ronald Weasley can convince dark wizards that a ghoul in his attic dressed up in his clothes is Ronald, himself, with spattergroit, I guess it’s not impossible to convince MLB that Darren O’Day sprained his big toe. It feels cliche to say this after the Harry Potter reference, but AA truly is a wizard. Let’s look at the crew that will likely be on the expanded roster come tomorrow:

Hitters

  1. Travis d’Arnaud
  2. William Contreras
  3. Matt Olson
  4. Vaughn Grissom
  5. Dansby Swanson
  6. Austin Riley
  7. Ehire Adrianza
  8. Ronald Acuña Jr.
  9. Michael Harris II
  10. Eddie Rosario
  11. Robbie Grossman
  12. Marcell Ozuna (ugh)
  13. Guillermo Heredia
  14. Orlando Arcia

Breakdown: There’s an outside chance that Arcia isn’t ready to return, and in that case, the only other solution currently on the 40-man is Rylan Bannon, a waiver claim from the Dodgers. There’s also a new piece to the puzzle as the Braves signed Jake Marisnick to a MILB deal. While I can’t see a current fit, I can also tell the smartest blog on the planet that, you know it and I know it, Heredia and Ozuna do nothing for this team. Marisnick would.

The interesting decisions will come when players are deemed ready, either physically or mentally. Those players: Ozzie Albies, Chadwick Tromp, Mike Soroka, Jackson Stephens, Darren O’Day, Ian Anderson.

There’s also a player that isn’t in the org (or any other org) that the Braves could add, and he’s a really good player, but hasn’t played baseball in a year. Would the Braves take a gamble on Michael Conforto, allowing him to get his reps in at AAA, then activate him for the postseason? Crazier things have happened, but make no mistake, Eddie Rosario isn’t exactly filling up the stat-sheet and a backup plan could very well be in AA’s mind.

Pitchers

  1. Charlie Morton
  2. Max Fried
  3. Spencer Strider
  4. Kyle Wright
  5. Jake Odorizzi
  6. A.J. Minter
  7. Tyler Matzek
  8. Dylan Lee
  9. Collin McHugh
  10. Tyler Yates
  11. Jesse Chavez
  12. Jay Jackson
  13. Raisel Iglesias
  14. Kenley Jansen

Breakdown: I almost chopped Jay off this list, but kept him due to a strong outing recently. He’ll stay up for now, but has options and we all know AA sure likes to use those. Some guys, outside of Soroka and Jackson Stephens, that could get battle tested in the bullpen would be Freddy Tarnok and, when healthy from that major big toe injury, Darren O’Day.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

38 thoughts on “Looking Ahead to Tomorrow”

  1. A big toe issue could be unusually problematic for O’Day. He throws from such a low angle he might scrub across the top of that toe every 10 pitches, PARTICULARLY if the toe is sticking up more because it is swollen.

  2. I laughed audibly at this, which made me cough a lot. COVID sucks. It’s my first bout with the dreaded 5 letters.

  3. Following up on my post @13 from the previous thread, I took a closer look at Willie Montanez’s trade history. He was traded eight times (plus taken once in the Rule 5 draft & returned), which seems like a high number. Counting only the players his teams received for him (and for the 6 other players shipped out with him in the various trades, only 2 of whom were any good), there were four All-Stars: Dick Allen (7 times), Gaylord Perry (5), Cookie Rojas (5), and Darrell Evans (2). Tony Phillips and Garry Maddox were very good players who never made an All-Star team, and it seems like Phillips’s 50 bWAR should be one of the higher totals for non-All-Stars. John Milner and Mike Jorgensen also had some value, and Jerry Johnson, Marty Perez, Tommie Boggs, Adrian Devine, Eddie Miller, Ed Lynch, Joe Carroll, and Tucker Ashford didn’t have much. All this for a player with a career 1.6 bWAR over a 14-year career.

    I’d like to see FanGraphs do an article on the four-team, eleven-player December 1977 trade in which the Braves shed Montanez. It went as follows:

    The Braves sent Willie Montanez to the Mets
    The Mets sent Jon Matlack to the Rangers
    The Mets sent John Milner to the Pirates
    The Rangers sent Tommy Boggs, Adrian Devine, and Eddie Miller to the Braves
    The Rangers sent Tom Grieve and PTBNL Ken Henderson to the Mets
    The Rangers sent Bert Blyleven to the Pirates
    The Pirates sent Al Oliver and Nelson Norman to the Rangers

    I can’t imagine how they set that up. I guess the Pirates got the best of the deal, because Blyleven had the best remaining career of any of the players, but Oliver and Matlack gave the Rangers value too. The Braves did ok, as all three of the players were slightly above replacement level and Montanez was below for the remainder of his career.

  4. Wow! And to think that they did that back in the days before iPhones…

    Hope you get better soon, Ryan! What do you see in Marisnick, though? He was a highly touted prospect back in his day, and has always been considered a fine athlete as far as I know, but do you basically just see him as a better Heredia?

    Honestly, I wouldn’t mind signing Conforto to a show-me contract in the offseason, but after the experience of watching Keuchel and Kimbrel play iffy ball in the second half after not signing a contract in the first half, I don’t believe that Conforto will be capable of playing at game speed this year, let alone playoff game speed.

  5. Now THAT particularly opposite field blast is a sight for sore eyes.

  6. @4–Thanks–that’s really interesting about Willie Montanez. It’s true that Boggs, Devine, and Miller, although no great shakes, were better than Willie Montanez. But the sad part of that story is that a year and a half before the Braves had traded Darrel Evans for Montanez. Howdy Doody (the most underrated player in mlb history, according to Bill James), went on to accumulate about 35 bWAR after the Braves got rid of him. Montanez had a career bWAR after 1976 of roughly zero. It’s hard for you younger folks to realize, but front office folks were not particularly bright or well informed in those days. The Braves really did believe that Evans and his career BA of about .250 was not as valuable as Montanez, who had a career BA of close to .300 to that point. The difference is that Evans walked at a higher rate than anyone in the league, plus he had a lot more power. But on base plus slugging was not something anyone paid attention to back then.

  7. I thought Contreras was in there, but it was actually a really bad slide. His legs popped up and never touched the plate.

  8. The Rockies with a two-out rally, so the Braves organist starts playing “Always look on the bright side of life.” Wright immediately induces a pop-up. What a great game.

  9. That’s more like it, fellas… but yeah, bad slide.

    #4
    I remember that crazy trade. I was kinda excited about getting Eddie Miller, who had outrageous speed, but, unfortunately, just couldn’t hit a lick.

    Adrian Devine had a weird career — came up with Atlanta, traded to Texas, traded back to Atlanta, traded back to Texas.

    And I always loved Willie Montanez, who was quite the hot dog. If he ever hit a home run, it took him a half-hour to get around the bases.

    Get well soon, Ryan.

  10. Montanez was a hot dog–I remember him snapping at pop flies rather than waiting for them to settle into his glove. It always looked like he would drop it, but I don’t remember that he ever did.

  11. @4–love the reference to Tony Phillips. Another guy who was very much underrated. 50 career bWAR, which is more than Orlando Cepeda, Fred Lynn, Ted Simmons, and Jason Giambi. But people don’t seem to think of him in that category.

    Tony and I were on the same little league team. I was almost four years older than him, and a foot taller, but he was better than I was even then. I was the oldest player in the league, and he was the youngest. Everyone knew even then that he was special.

  12. For a guy who started his big league career by not walking a whole lot, Michael Harris II just worked one absolute whale of a ten-pitch free pass.

  13. @12, you guys are a bit older than me but I played with and against some of Tony’s relatives in all sports. Amazing athletic ability in that family. Had no idea he accrued 50 bWAR…wow…that’s knocking on the door to the HoF in some cases.

  14. Tony’s older brother Leonard was the starting point guard on our HS basketball team that won region and went to the state tournament (I was just a back up). They were quite a family. More of you will remember his nephew Jermaine Phillips, UGA Bulldog and Tampa Bay Buc.

    Tony was only about 5’6″ in high school, but he was an outstanding basketball player. He is still in the all time top ten in scoring in school history.

  15. I realize Olson has had a non-terrible month, but man it seems like he goes O-fer every night. Looking forward to the hot streak that’s on the way.

  16. @11 Montanez got nine rbi’s against the Mets once. A rare high point for the Braves.

    He was the most notorious hot dog in the league. When he was with the Giants, he started a brawl with the Braves. He liked to slap his glove against the ass of the baserunner. Vic Correll (who for once was on base) took offense. It was a big enough fight that it headlined in the papers. The Giants had some huge assholes in those days.

  17. Answer me one question .. how in the hell is CB Buckner still a major league umpire. . The league has to have video a mile long of his balls and strikes blunders .. I’ve counted tonight at least 15 missed balls and strikes tonight .. he is by far the worst I’ve ever seen ..

  18. We all know that pitcher Wins are an overrated and misleading stat, and that Chip in particular puts too much emphasis on Wins. Even so, it’s pretty cool to see Kyle Wright leading MLB in Wins. How many of us predicted that in the spring?

  19. Mets win, hold Dodgers to 3 hits. They can easily win the WS with their pitching, or they could go out early due to lack of offense. Who knows. Gonna be a fun couple months.

  20. That’s the best Minter has looked in weeks. But the hitters are back to their May form: they can’t cluster anything, and the scoreboard just shows you when they periodically ran into one.

  21. Jansen is so washed. I swear his walks always score. I don’t care how many saves he has, he was a bad signing

  22. Welp–all the talk of 17 Wins for Wright and 30 Saves for Jansen may have been premature….

  23. Wow, C.B. Bucknor just gave us an utter gift on the 3-1 count to Bouchard. That should’ve been ball 4 and the second walk of the inning. Instead he gave us a full count and now we have a win.

    I guess he finally giveth after a whole lot of taketh-ing away.

  24. @21 – The only explanation I’ve found anywhere is that the umpires union is all about protecting bad umps. He is a multiple time winner of the worst umpire in baseball award. I’m sure he is the favorite to win it this year also – he helped his cause tonight.

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