Predicting the Braves’ Opening Day Roster

Posted on Mar 24 2016 - 4:30pm by Harrison Coburn

The Rotation

Julio Teheran

Jhoulys Chacin

Matt Wisler

Manny Banuelos

Mike Foltynewicz

The Lowdown: Julio Teheran anchors a very inexperienced rotation after he looks to return to form after a topsy-turvy 2015 campaign. Honestly, in all likelihood, Bud Norris somehow ends up in the rotation due to his major league deal but I am omitting him due to the fact that I think Jhoulys Chacin has been too good to not earn a starting spot, and the young guys need innings to figure things out. Matt Wisler, Manny Banuelos and Mike Folynewicz form the young trio of arms with high upside, hopefully they can remain healthy this season.

The Bullpen

Alex Torres

Alexi Ogando

Jason Grilli

Jim Johnson

Jose Ramirez

Arodys Vizcaino

Daniel Winkler

The Lowdown: Though he has reversed splits, Alex Torres is really all we have as far as southpaws go. There’s also the possibility that Manny Banuelos winds up in the bullpen and Bud Norris takes his rotation spot, but then the team would lack a lefty starter. Ian Krol just isn’t going to cut it. I expect Alexi Ogando and Jose Ramirez to earn bullpen spots as they have been hot this Spring. Daniel Winkler is left on board so the team can keep him due to Rule 5 regulations. Jim Johnson, Arodys Vizcaino and Jason Grilli form the late inning crew.

Catcher

A.J. Pierzynski

Tyler Flowers

The Lowdown: I expect Pierzynski to be the starter with Flowers catching every third game or so.

First Base

Freddie Freeman

The Lowdown: Freddie is the obvious nod here. Kelly Johnson assumes backup duties.

Second Base

Jace Peterson

Gordon Beckham

The Lowdown: If we get first half of 2015 Jace Peterson, I expect him to remain the everyday starter. If he plays like he did in the second half, I expect a platoon situation between him, Gordon Beckham and Kelly Johnson.

Third Base

Adonis Garcia

Kelly Johnson

The Lowdown: Adonis Garcia will be given the opportunity to start at third, but he will have to keep up his production from 2015 to keep his job, which may not be sustainable due to a small sample size. Kelly Johnson could end up starting at the hot corner more times than not.

Shortstop

Erick Aybar

The Lowdown: Aybar holds down shortstop as Ozhaino Albies and Dansby Swanson develop. He provides an offensive upgrade from Andrelton Simmons and is expected to serve as the 2 hole hitter.

Left Field

Hector Olivera

The Lowdown: Olivera has seen no action at the hot corner this spring, so it is clear the team is adamant about him playing in left field. Olivera is going to surprise people this season, just wait. Nick Swisher is cut after Spring Training when no team is stupid enough to take on his contract.

Center Field

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Ender Inciarte

Michael Bourn

The Lowdown: Ender Inciarte mans center field and takes over the leadoff spot in the lineup. Michael Bourn serves as an expensive backup until the arrival of Mallex Smith.

Right Field

Nick Markakis

Jeff Francouer

The Lowdown: Markakis returns in right field. Frenchy rightfully earns his roster spot and serves as the team’s best pinch hitter.

 

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