Braves: Who will get the boot when the rosters shrink to 26?

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By next week, all MLB rosters must be trimmed from 28 to 26 players, which means decisions are on the horizon for all 30 major-league teams. However, there has been one tweak to the scheduled rule change. Teams will still be allowed to carry 14 pitchers throughout the month of May instead of 13.

This will allow the Braves to roster one more pitcher and just three bench pieces throughout May if they would like. So which players are likely to get the boot? Considering Ronald Acuña is expected to join the active roster sooner rather than later, I’ll actually be forced to remove three current players from the roster. Here’s how I anticipate it to look on May 2nd.

Starting Lineup

  1. Ronald Acuña (RF)
  2. Matt Olson (1B)
  3. Austin Riley (3B)
  4. Marcell Ozuna (LF)
  5. Ozzie Albies (2B)
  6. Travis d’Arnaud (C)
  7. Adam Duvall (CF)
  8. Alex Dickerson (DH)
  9. Dansby Swanson (SS)

Ronald Acuña will surely pick up the slack left by the absence of Eddie Rosario for the next couple of months, but there remains a hole in the lineup, which I filled with Alex Dickerson. Against lefties, expect to see Travis Demeritte, who I also have staying on the roster for the time being.

Starting Rotation

  1. Max Fried
  2. Charlie Morton
  3. Kyle Wright
  4. Ian Anderson
  5. Bryce Elder

It’s about time that the Braves fully commit to a five-man rotation. The first four of this group aren’t going anywhere, and I believe Bryce Elder has done enough to keep the final spot in the rotation for now. However, it’s a fluid situation. If Elder begins to struggle at any point, the Braves will turn to the likes of Spencer Strider, Tucker Davidson, Kyle Muller, and others.


  1. Orlando Arcia
  2. Manny Piña
  3. Guillermo Heredia
  4. Travis Demeritte


  1. Kenley Jansen
  2. Will Smith
  3. Collin McHugh
  4. Tyler Matzek
  5. A.J. Minter
  6. Spencer Strider
  7. Darren O’Day
  8. Tyler Thornburg
  9. Jesse Chavez

I have the Braves rolling with 13 pitchers for one primary reason — Travis Demeritte has earned the right to stay up. I think it will be hard for them to make a decision on whether to let go of Darren O’Day, Tyler Thornburg, or Jesse Chavez. Both O’Day and Thornburg have been great for the Braves so far this season, and Chavez was just traded for and looked very sharp in his first appearance back with Atlanta. So giving those three some extra time to battle it out makes the most sense, which means leaving Spencer Strider off the roster. He looked rough his last time out and could probably spend some time stretching out even more in Gwinnett. Eventually, I believe Strider will be a key piece to the team this year, but for now, it makes the most sense for him to be optioned.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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