Braves: A few surprising pitchers make the Opening Day roster

Braves roster moves

With Spring Training coming to an end, the official Opening Day roster will be released soon. But after today, we have a much better idea of what it will look like.

Most of the major decisions regarding position players were made a week ago. Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake were optioned to Gwinnett, leaving Orlando Arcia and Ehire Adrianza on the roster. Jordan Luplow and Eli White were also optioned, making room for Kevin Pillar and Sam Hilliard.

The Braves still had some decisions to make regarding their pitching staff, however, especially with Raisel Iglesias and Kyle Wright dealing with injuries. Iglesias will begin the season on the 10-day IL. Hopefully he experiences a speedy recovery, but arm injuries are always tricky when it comes to pitchers. Wright will also be held out to begin the season. He’ll start with the Gwinnett Stripers as he continues to get ramped up. Assuming everything goes well, he should be back in Atlanta by mid-April.

That leaves two spots open, which will be taken to start the season by Nick Anderson and Michael Tonkin. Anderson is a player that could end up being a huge piece to the Braves bullpen, and I’m glad he’s starting the year in Atlanta, even if it is at the expense of Iglesias. Tonkin is a journeyman reliever that is only holding a spot for Dylan Dodd, who will make his first start in the second series against the Cardinals. I doubt we see Tonkin unless a game is way out of hand, and he could be DFA’d before the first week of the season even ends.

Once Dodd takes Tonkin’s place, he and Jared Shuster will continue their battle for the final spot in the rotation. My money is the 2020 first-rounder out of Wake Forrest, but Dodd has exceeded expectations at every turn over the last couple of years. It will be interesting to see if that stays true in his first stint in the majors.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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