Braves: Should Bryce Elder make the playoff roster?

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Just as we all expected, Bryce Elder threw the first complete game nine-inning shutout of the season for the Braves last night, which was also the first complete game shutout by an Atlanta rookie since 1990.

Elder had it all working and never really ran into any trouble. He allowed just six hits while striking out six on 106 pitches. Atlanta’s offense did their job as well, racking up eight runs thanks to three homers from Matt Olson, Marcell Ozuna, and Orlando Arcia. It was as complete of a performance that the Braves have had all season, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, as they trimmed the Mets’ lead in the NL East to just one game with eight games left to play.

All of the Braves’ goals for the regular season remain right in front of them, but regardless of how the division plays out, we know this team will once again return to the postseason. Which brings me to my next question — does Bryce Elder deserve a sport on the playoff roster?

Elder’s complete game shutout on Monday night was just the latest gem he’s turned in for the Braves. In his last four major-league starts, he’s recorded a 0.65 ERA over 27.2 innings. The University of Texas product has come alive when the Braves have needed him the most, and he’ll likely be asked to make at least one more appearance before the end of the season.

How that final outing goes could determine whether or not Elder is included on the postseason roster, but as of now, I think it’s a no-brainer, especially if it’s between him or Jake Odorizzi. There’s also the possibility that both of them are needed, given the status of Spencer Strider is up in the air.

Assuming Strider returns for the playoffs, I still think Elder has done enough to earn a roster spot, serving as a long reliever out of the bullpen, like Drew Smyly did last season. However, if Strider — or anyone else — isn’t healthy enough to start come the postseason, Elder could be tossed into the rotation. Last season, we saw unexpected contributions from Dylan Lee, Kyle Wright, and Tucker Davidson, so I would say there’s a very good chance Elder plays a role if the Braves are to make another deep playoff run.

Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire 

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