Yesterday, the Braves activated Tyler Matzek and Eddie Rosario from then IL. In corresponding moves, Silvino Bracho was designated for assignment and Mike Ford was optioned to AAA Gwinnett. However, those are just the first dominos to fall. Mike Soroka, Ozzie Albies, Kenley Jansen and Kirby Yates could also re-join the team at some point after the All-Star break, meaning the Braves could be looking at removing four more players from the active roster over the next couple of months. Let’s take a look at some candidates that are most likely to receive the boot.
Stephens has been a fantastic story for the Braves this season after they acquired him from the Mexican League. He has a 3.16 ERA on the year, and his Baseball Savant page suggests his success might be sustainable. However, Stephens does have a 7.00 ERA over his last eight appearances; plus, he has options, so the Braves can avoid designating someone for assignment by sending him to Gwinnett.
It’s pretty gross that I even have to bring this up, given Dylan Lee has a 1.06 ERA so far this season, but it’s just a testament to how loaded the Braves bullpen is when everyone is healthy. Simply because Lee has options, he could find himself back in Gwinnett later in the season; however, if he keeps performing as he has so far, I don’t think the Braves will have any choice but to keep him in Atlanta.
O’Day’s 4.29 ERA is close to the highest ERA he’s ever posted in his career, and while his FIP suggests he’s been the subject of some poor luck, it’s evident he’s beginning to regress in his age-39 season. The Braves will give him some more opportunities before Jansen, Soroka, and Yates return, but if he doesn’t improve substantially, he will definitely be a candidate to be designated for assignment.
Anderson is undoubtedly the most high-profile name on this list; he’s been one of the Braves’ best starters over the last two seasons, but he’s facing severe regression in his third year with the team. His lack of a third offering is killing him, and as I wrote about last week, it may be time for him to spend some time in Gwinnett until he works out the kinks. If Anderson doesn’t have things figured out by the time Soroka is healthy, he’ll be optioned to AAA. Frankly, he won’t even make it that long unless he turns it around.
Gosselin is a journeyman that just keeps finding his way onto major-league rosters, but his time in Atlanta will end this season once Ozzie Albies is reinstated from the injured list.
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