Predicting the Braves Opening Day Roster

Posted on Mar 22 2015 - 3:30pm by Harrison Coburn

Starters:

Alex Wood

Julio Teheran

Shelby Miller

Alex Wood

Wandy Rodriguez

Eric Stults

Summary: Obviously Teheran, Miller and Wood were locks here. The Braves announced last week that Wandy Rodriguez would occupy the 4th starter spot. For the fifth spot, I chose Eric Stults due to his Major League experience and the way he has pitched this Spring. When Mike Minor returns Stults and Rodriguez could become very attractive trade chips for Atlanta. Mike Foltynewicz will likely start the year in AAA to work on his mechanics.

DL: Mike Minor

 

Bullpen:

Craig Kimbrel

Craig Kimbrel

James Russell

Jason Grilli

Jim Johnson

Luis Avilan

Josh Outman

Arodys Vizcaino

Summary: The first thing that may pop out to a reader here is the fact that Atlanta has three lefties in their bullpen here. I think with the addition of Josh Outman that it is very likely that Luis Avilan may be moved. If so, expect Michael Kohn to earn a spot in the bullpen.

 

Catcher:

Christian Bethancourt

Christian Bethancourt

A.J Pierzynski

Summary: The Braves will likely only carry two catchers. While Bethancourt will be the starter, having Pierzynski come off the bench will allow him a lot of rest days. Expect to see Pierzynski get a start once or twice a week. He is a great insurance policy for the young Bethancourt.

 

First Base:

Freddie Freeman

 

Freddie Freeman

Summary: Freddie is the Braves’ iron man, as he played in all 162 games last season. He will aim to do so for a second consecutive year. Expect Joey Terdoslavich to see time at first in case of a Freeman injury.

 

Second Base:

Jace Peterson

Jace Peterson

Alberto Callaspo

Summary: Peterson gets the starting nod here. Callaspo showed up to Spring Training overweight and has struggled while Peterson has made a great impression on manager Fredi Gonzalez. Fredi has made it clear that Jace will likely be the starter. Callaspo remains on my roster as he was signed to a major league deal. I think Callaspo, like Avilan, is likely to be moved.

 

Third Base:

Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson

Phillip Gosselin

Summary: CJ is the clear cut starter as he looks to return to his 2013 form. Gosselin will assume his role as a backup infielder for Atlanta, and his versatility helps him substantially in making the roster.

 

Shortstop:

Andrelton Simmons

Andrelton Simmons

Summary: Simmons is the clear cut starter and has had a hot spring. Look for him to carry his great play over to Opening Day

 

Left Field:

Jonny Gomes

Jonny Gomes
Kelly Johnson

Summary:

Gomes is the starter in left for Atlanta. He likely won’t play every day due to his struggles against righties but will play a large majority of their games. I think Kelly Johnson earns a roster spot due to his ties with the organization, power, and ability to play both infield and outfield positions. Zoilo Almonte has not played well enough to earn a roster spot. Joey Terdoslavich has played well and should get consideration, but I believe he will start the year in Gwinnett.

 

Center Field:

Eric Young Jr.

Eric Young Jr.

Eury Perez

Summary: Until Melvin Upton Jr. returns, EY Jr. will likely be the starter due to his MLB experience, with Eury Perez getting some starts as well. Both of these guys offer the Braves enough speed to lead off. With Upton’s struggles, both of these guys could end up playing big roles for the team. Todd Cunningham got some consideration here, but I think Perez has a better chance.

DL: Melvin Upton Jr.

 

Right Field:

Nick Markakis

Nick Markakis

Summary: Markakis will return to action this week and will be ready for Opening Day as predicted.

 

 

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  1. Braves Fan March 25, 2015 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Hope the Braves can prove the naysayers wrong this year. Think the rotation and bullpen will help us exceed expectations

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