The Braves made two more transactions on Monday, optioning relievers Chad Sobotka and A.J. Minter to AAA Gwinnett, leaving the Spring Training roster at 52 players.
The #Braves today optioned LHP A.J. Minter and RHP Chad Sobotka to Triple-A Gwinnett. The club now has 52 players on the spring training roster.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) March 9, 2020
The irony in all of this is these two were expected to be critical pieces to the bullpen last season, with A.J. Minter being one of the closer options. They both fell flat on their face, however, which left Atlanta’s relief core in shambles for months. Luckily, unsung heroes like Luke Jackson, Anthony Swarzak, and Jacob Webb stepped up until reinforcements arrived. Now, with the addition of Will Smith this offseason, the Braves have one of the deepest bullpens in baseball.
Minter and Sobotka are two power arms that the organization still believes could play a role down the road, but after their inconsistency in 2019, they are going to have to prove it down on the farm before receiving another opportunity in the majors. I’d still expect to see one or both of them at some point this season, and Minter especially could provide a substantial boost if he’s able to turn things around. It wasn’t that long ago Braves fans were referring to him as the left-handed Craig Kimbrel. Hopefully, he starts off much better in 2020.
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