Braves make a flurry of roster moves ahead of Opening Day

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We are 10 days away from the regular season, and the Braves just made a flurry of substantial moves pertaining to the Opening Day roster. It began with Braden Shewmake and Vaughn Grissom, who have both been optioned to Gwinnett. The team will roll with Orlando Arcia as the starter and Ehire Adrianza as the backup to begin the season.

That is a shocking development, considering the Braves did not bring in a starting-caliber stopgap option earlier in the offseason. Now, they are forced to start Orlando Arcia for the time being, which is not a good look for Alex Anthopoulos.

The Braves also announced several other moves. Nick Anderson, who was a candidate for one of the final bullpen spots, has been optioned to Gwinnett, as well as outfielders Eli White and Jordan Luplow.

I still really like Nick Anderson’s upside and firmly believe he will be a valuable piece to the Braves this season. However, because he’s on a non-guaranteed deal, I understand why the organization will wait to give him a look in Atlanta.

Eli White’s offense was the surprise of the Spring, but he was always a long shot to make the Opening Day roster. He’s proven to be more of a defensive replacement in the past and has options. The Braves will need to see that offensive onslaught continue at the AAA level before giving him a shot in the bigs.

I thought Luplow had a great chance of making the Opening Day roster, but an oblique injury held him out of the first few weeks of Spring Training. We will likely see him and White at some point this season, but the decision to option them opens the door for Sam Hilliard and Kevin Pillar.

Because Hilliard doesn’t have options, I view him as a lock to make the roster at this point. He’s had a fantastic Spring. I thought Pillar was more likely to start the year in Gwinnett since he’s on a minor-league deal, but these moves paint the picture that he will be on the roster.

Photo: Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

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