Braves Set NLDS Roster

The Braves set their NLDS roster with some surprises in both position players and pitchers. And while I didn’t expect it, Ozzie Albies is not one of the surprises, but Braves are still hopeful he can return if they advance to later rounds.

Braves NLDS Position Players


  1. Ehire Adrianza
  2. Orlando Arcia
  3. Vaughn Grissom
  4. Matt Olson
  5. Dansby Swanson
  6. Austin Riley

Breakdown: I had assumed that both Arcia and Grissom would make the roster, but am a bit surprised Adrianza made the roster, especially considering it would’ve been a forward-thinking move to place a 3rd catcher on the roster to free up William Conteras’s bat.


  1. Ronald Acuna Jr.
  2. Robbie Grossman
  3. Michael Harris II
  4. Guillermo Heredia
  5. Marcell Ozuna
  6. Eddie Rosario

Breakdown: No real surprises here, but when he was signed, I thought Jake Marisnick would’ve made the playoff roster for his speed and late-inning glove.


  1. Travis D’Arnaud
  2. William Contreras

Breakdown: Wither Heredia. Give me a 3rd catcher all dang day.


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

Breakdown: The obvious surprise here is Tyler Matzek who had one of the most extraordinary relief appearances in MLB playoff history. Unfortunately, Matzek is having shoulder issues and is being evaluated in Texas. The hope is that he can join the team in the later rounds. I would’ve carried Bryce Elder over Odorizzi, but it’s straw grasping because if either one is pitching, it means the Braves are getting destroyed.

Author: Ryan Cothran

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

116 thoughts on “Braves Set NLDS Roster”

  1. Contreras is DHing game 1 so I don’t think they’re too concerned with a 3rd catcher. Sucks for Matzek but he’s been about our 7th option out of the pen lately. Hope he can get back to “Nutsack” form next year.

  2. A dispatch from the Philly ‘burbs: the phans up here are all swollen with confidence, sure that their team is going to shock the defending World Champs. I’ve gotten a predictable amount of shit when they see my Braves hat, whether it be in Starbucks, the grocery store, or the university campus where I work.

    I am pathologically pessimistic when it comes to the Braves–yes, even after last year’s glorious run–and these interactions with the locals induce all kinds of bad feels in me. Looking at the two teams on “paper,” one might conclude they are justified in their confidence. It seems every talking head on TV and the internet now takes it as a point of fact that homers win in the postseason, and the Phillies hit plenty of those. I’ve seen lots of suggestions, too, that the triumvirate of Suarez-Wheeler-Nola will silence the Braves bats–which is certainly possible. Suarez, for example, has eaten us up the last two times out, seducing Atlanta’s hitters into hitting ground ball after ground ball.

    So, yeah, I’m worried. Bigly.

    But if the Braves manage beat the Phils in the series, and shut all the smacking lips surrounding me, I will proceed through the rest of the postseason warmed by contentment, whatever the outcome in later rounds.

    Because I phucking hate the Phillies.

  3. @2 Yes, I have the same feeling. If they can get through this team, I’m confident they’ll go all the way.

  4. I’d be worried if we were playing the Nationals. Or Southwest Missouri State. Too much Larry Munson in my formative years I guess.

    I think this series is pretty even. They can pitch and hit for power. We can too. Our pen is better on paper, but we don’t have a guy that is “unhittable” or anything. Maybe it’ll come down to defense, and the Mets broadcast booth will get the last laugh.

  5. Obligatory comment about how carrying three catchers is stupid, particularly when the third one is completely worthless. Having both catchers get injured in the same game isn’t a likely enough event to even worry about. There’s no reason for Contreras’ bat not to be freed just because there isn’t a Triple-A catcher on the roster.

    Also, the Phillies can obviously win this series, but this is not an even series on paper. The Braves are clearly the better team. I get you nervous types need to get in early or whatever, but come on.

  6. Better team or not, this is a must-win game in my opinion. Nola and Wheeler have been very good against us.

  7. @8 I don’t like talking about ‘must win’ games early in a series, but of the first three games this is the only one where we have a pitching advantage, and it’s a sizeable one.

  8. Sure looked like Acuna should have caught that. Hard to tell with Fox’s shitty camera work.

    Horrible start. Still worried.

  9. Fox stinks as a production crew.

    Maybe we shouldn’t pitch outside when we are shifted over.

    @10 yep

  10. You hate giving up four straight singles with two outs, but 2-0 isn’t the end of the world. Let’s pick him up, guys.

  11. D’arnaud not hitting behind Olson .. great .. way da go Contreras …. damn ..we needed a answer there … Contreras in 5 hole when he is a part time player ??? dont get it … Hell id rather have Ozuna there .. with his post season experience over Contreras …

  12. Contreras swung through a 2-0 fastball right down the middle. He’ll be thinking about that more than the bad call.

  13. “I’d rather have Ozuna than Contreras” is my new favourite hot take.

    Ump screwed that one up big time. But it’s nothing this team can’t overcome.

  14. @20

    Contreras “is a part time player” is a pretty good one as well. When was the last time that was the case? April?

  15. Shew. Max’s curve plopping right into the zone like that doesn’t look to be fooling anyone.

    EDIT: well I’ll be d’Amned! Alright, Travis.

  16. LOL…I had a comeback that wasn’t nearly as good as @25 that I almost posted. Glad I didn’t.

  17. MH2 gonna see a lot of breaking balls. Smoltz’s commentary is pretty spot on today. It’s his delivery that’s nails on a chalkboard.

  18. Matt Olson is gonna need to come out wearing some stiletto heels next inning.

    Woof. Our team is looking a little off.

    A lot off.

  19. Fried picked a bad day to have a bad day.

    Also, postseason outcomes are basically random.

  20. Fried cant pitch or field .. its in his head now … hmmm .. still a ways to go but DP in 1st really hurt .. gotta hit with these boys ..they have shortened their swings and finding holes ..

  21. Dansby wants to be the hero every AB. We really need to get into unselfish playoff mode. Soon.

  22. I wanted to hate that strike three call on Riley, but it was a really good pitch.

  23. Nice! Matt Olson just hit an opposite-field line drive single. How often does he do that?

    Also, funny that they’re playing “Narco” at Truist right now. Is that always William’s walk-up music?

    Great job, William.

  24. #39
    Yeah, these days, he’s the only one it’s being played for…

    Ranger’s made a few good pitches… but overall, he’s been wild. Time to make him pay.

    EDIT: This game’s starting to remind me of Game 1 of the 2000 NLDS. The Rick Ankiel game…

  25. @39, yes, and Mets fans lost their minds about it every series we played at home. But he’s had that as his walkup all year.

  26. I would’ve pitched Strider and Wright at home, and given Fried game 3 in the hostile environment. But whatever. They all have to pitch, and we have to not play like dogshit.

  27. Well good thing MLB erroneously blacked out the game for me and saved me from wasting any further time today and the rest of the series.

  28. @46, Strider is our best option in the playoffs, assuming healthy. He should’ve been set up to pitch twice. Not pitching your best young stud first is exactly the 2019 mistake. I don’t want the current version of Fried pitching a game 5, but hopefully we’ll be able to get it there.

  29. Carl, I may be wrong, but it does not feel like we are completely out of the game at this point. The Phillies bullpen is still not great and we’ll be seeing plenty of it today. Our bullpen just has to stop the bleeding to keep us in the game.

  30. Ranger Suarez… talk about dancing thru raindrops today.

    The potential good news? Philly’s bullpen was 11th out of 15 NL teams (4.27 ERA) or 23rd out of 30 in MLB. Let’s rack up some runs here.

  31. @53 I appreciate the optimism, Td, besides the braves playing badly, I’m very ticked off from not being able to see the game. Gave a chance to the radio broadcast, but it’s just not the same.

    Phillies bullpen is rested, even if it’s not the best bullpen…..I figure they count on wheeler and Nola to go deep in their games, so they are going to use all their bullets today.
    I’d feel better if it were a 7 game series instead of 5

  32. @51

    You’re assuming Strider’s healthy enough to do that. I wouldn’t. I don’t think they know he can start Game 3 right now.

    And Max Fried is still our best pitcher.

  33. @51 – Strider just got off the IL. There is no way he should have pitched game 1. Fried was the obvious choice as long as he’s healthy. The guys on radio are saying that he was still affected by the flu, so if that’s the case, there could be an argument for starting someone else. We don’t have all the information that our coaching staff does, but I assume they had reasons for starting Fried we haven’t considered.

  34. Strider is the best pitcher in the league. Agree to disagree. If he can’t go then we’re not winning anyways.

    Great game Dansby.

  35. I’m just now tuning in (thanks, Manfred). As optimistic as I am during the regular season, for some reason I always expect the worst in the postseason. If they don’t come back in this one, on paper the next two matchups don’t look good. But that’s where the crap shoot metaphor is helpful. It’s easy enough to imagine the Braves beating Nola and Wheeler. Anything can happen!

    Actually, the reason I’m not generally hopeful in the postseason is the Braves’ postseason history. Take, for example, the 1993 season. That one has seemed the most like the current season–overcoming a double digit lead, winning over 100, and finishing ahead of a 100 win club. That year the Braves faced the Phillies, who had not been in the postseason for nearly a decade. The Braves outscored the Phils 33-21, but lost the series in six games. After the stirring regular season comeback, that was quite a letdown.

    What predictive value does that series have for this one? Absolutely none, of course.

  36. Whelp, we beat Scherzer and deGrom back to back and the odds looked bad there. Hopefully Wheeler and Nola make us rise to the occasion. This team doesn’t like doing it the easy way.

  37. That at-bat was one of Olson’s best in a Braves uniform. Terrific walk.

  38. Aw, Mike scorched that. I thought it would get down, but Marsh has a good glove.

  39. Quite a spot for a rookie that has barely played at all since Arcia came back. I’ll never understand what goes through Snit’s head sometimes.

  40. Vierling made a nice play on that ball by Harris.

    Tough to put Grissom in that spot against a slider specialist

  41. Dang. Dylan Lee was lights out until Harper. I understand him getting pulled, but I would have liked to have seen him pitch to at least 1 more.

  42. Dansby had a 94 wrc in the second half and 115 overall, it might sound like sacrilege, but I’m not gonna be that sad to see him go. Especially if he demands a lot over 100M.
    It’s like a Jeff Blauser situation; good player, but meh?

  43. This jackass has never met a mound he’s OK with. I’ve seen him delay no less than four games over the last month insisting that a perfectly good mound wasn’t good enough. At least one of them was in Philly, even.

  44. Here’s a dude throwing 100 through the shadows. We’re done scoring today. Tomorrow’s game should be low scoring as well since it’s nigh impossible to see. Good job Manfred.

  45. I was just about to say that I think the shadow issue is the most overrated talking point in all of baseball, so I guess we’ll disagree on that too. Somebody would actually have to study it to figure out how big of an effect it has, but if it’s as bad as they say, every game that starts in the late afternoon would be a pitcher’s duel…and that’s definitely not the case.

    Also, it’s supposed to be cloudy tomorrow. There’s also supposed to be a 50-50 chance of rain during the game tomorrow, and that goes significantly up tomorrow night, so plusses and minuses there.

  46. Admittedly it’s only for like an hour, not the whole game. Once the release point is also in shadow then it’s not nearly as hard. The batters eye being really bright is still distracting though.

  47. It has been good to seeing the back end of our bullpen, except for Chavez, be successful. Having Minter, Iglesias and Jansen available with full rest tomorrow should be helpful.

  48. Ugh. Sometimes the brief ray of hope is worse than just taking the routine loss and moving on. We got our work cut out for ourselves now. The team on the other side fully believes.

  49. 19 men LOB beats you every time … and that means Odorozi may have to pitch a game 4 If we make it to a 4th game . We’re toast …..

  50. I can’t shake the image of Acuna letting a catchable ball drop at his feet in the first. That was a killer in hindsight.

  51. Not surprisingly the guys who signed contracts during year .. were no shows … Riley and Harris .. 0-9 .. we get anything there we win. Riley has been crap since Aug 1 .. Harris has been better but he is looking bad on breaking pitches

  52. @85 – I agree that leaving so many runners on base was a big problem. To say we’re toast after 1 game is a little ridiculous though. We have Fried, Wright, Strider and Morton. Odorizzi may pitch but it will be in relief if so.

  53. MH2 knocked the shit of the ball to right center with runners on. Sometimes they don’t drop.

  54. On the radio, Joe Simpson opined that it would be a good thing if Eflin, the Phillies’ closer, got in today’s game. Now that the Braves have gotten a look at him, they’ll be that much better prepared for when they face him later in the series.

  55. We have yet to hear his plan for putting together a team where you don’t give players paydays, @91. No doubt it’s super brilliant.

    @92, Well, if the forecast is correct, that’s pretty unlikely. The chance for rain is currently hovering at 60% during the game window, goes up steadily from 60 to 90% from 7 to 10 p.m., and hovers at 90% from there into the wee hours. Obviously these things can change overnight, so we’ll have to see.

  56. FiveThirtyEight had us with a 2-in-3 chance to win the series prior to the game and has us at 2-in-5 now. I would’ve said 3-in-4 coming in and 50-50 now, so worse than I was thinking. But obviously not toast.

  57. Bases loaded and one out in the 1st with Contreras hitting into a DP is not a good omen. 3-run HR down 4 is too little too late. Everything broke bad today. An error that led to two unearned runs. Two unconverted bases loaded situations in the first three innings. Just bad breaks all around. Tomorrow is a new day.

    But Dansby’s 4 Ks are surely a low point. Whatever he changed early in the year, he needs to get back to.

  58. @87 – I’m not trying to be ugly or sarcastic, but are you serious or are you just trying to mess with people? Surely you know that hardly anyone on this site or anyone who knows anything about baseball agrees with you that Riley is playing dead because he signed a whopping big contract. Now you are trying to attribute Harris going hitless for one game in the playoffs (despite hitting the ball well at times) to him signing a contract? Again, I don’t want to be rude, but that is insane.

  59. This is why I’ve never been a ‘believer’ in Fried. He’s clearly the Braves’ ace, I’m not saying he’s not, but he lacks that ‘it’ factor. He’s not someone I’ve ever thought of as “oh yeah, he’s starting, the Braves got this in the bag.”

  60. I do see what you’re saying, but would you consider Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom to both be in “in the bag” territory? Because that didn’t work out very well for the Mets.

    The point is that there’s pretty much no pitcher who has it in the bag going into a playoff start. Going back through Fried’s playoffs last year, he was nigh unhittable in three starts and got his ass kicked in two starts. Justin Verlander got shelled by the Mariners today. There’s the aforementioned late-season travails of the Mets two aces. The Dodgers raft of starting pitching always seems to run into problems in the playoffs. The examples go on and on.

  61. Verlander did get shelled today but his offense bailed him out with a 2-run bomb in the 8th and a walkoff 3-run jack in the 9th. Ugh. Stupid Astros. But they seemingly know how to always at least get to the ALCS.

  62. Smoltz is the only pitcher for us where I thought “we got this”. Strider’s FIP and K/9 are otherworldly and I’d give him the ball in any must-win game. If he’s not at full strength then I’ll retract my rotation criticisms. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

    Frustrating part today is that Suarez probably pitched one of his worst games ever against us, and we let him off the hook.

    As I type this the Astros just walked off Seattle, playing an eerily similar game to us, just with a much better outcome.

  63. Rerun the Monte Carlo of this game and I think we win it a good portion of the time. If Max didn’t get jumpy on that throw to first, we would’ve won despite his poor start. To be honest, it felt like the team was caught a little offguard at first and took a few innings to hit their stride. Once the middle innings came around, our pen was nails and theirs was iffy. That’s the way to beat the Phillies. It really sucks to be down a game, but I’d still take our’n to beat their’n.

  64. Tonight it will be interesting to see if the other two division winners look rusty after the week off.

  65. My favorite part of October – all of the football-mentality fans who pipe in with their predictions of doom when one baseball game is lost. Wrong sport, folks.

  66. I’m blaming Rob Manfred and the 1:00 start for yesterday’s loss. Not because the Braves somehow can’t play well in daylight. It’s true that the record in day games this year is significantly worse than night games. But that’s likely just a random difference based on small sample size.

    No, the problem was that I was not able to sit in my lucky chair wearing my lucky shirt. I have ample data to support how crucial those factors are to the Braves’ success. But don’t worry, folks; today’s 4:30 start will allow me to be in the right place wearing the right attire.

  67. 538 still gives us good odds, 41% to advance. But, today is totally must-win. Facing elimination against Nola in Philly will not be good.

  68. @110 – I could be wrong, but I don’t think 538 took tfloyd not sitting in his lucky chair or wearing his lucky shirt into account. I think that ups our odd by at least 20% – 10% for each item.

  69. I’m teaching right now and have no time to do it but is there anyone that can do a recap and a game thread? Rob, who is our normal recapper for today, cannot do it.

  70. @113 This is not totally surprising. He lost like 4-5 mph off the fast ball and I figure the shoulder could have been part of the reason I was afraid it could be his elbow

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *