Charlie Culberson has high expectations as a Braves relief pitcher

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Arguably, the most fascinating story to keep an eye on during Braves Spring Training is fan favorite Charlie Culberson, who is making a full-time transition to the bullpen after being a position player for 11 years at the major league level.

Of course, this isn’t totally out of left field. Culberson has made some appearances as a pitcher in garbage time throughout his career and turned heads, allowing just one earned run over 7.1 career innings. He’s capable of humming it in the mid-90s with some intriguing secondary offerings, and that was without practicing it every day. Now, it’s Charlie Culberson’s full-time focus, as he aims to make the Braves Opening Day roster out of camp.

Charlie Culberson making the roster out of camp is a Hail Mary. The Braves bullpen is absolutely loaded following the additions Alex Anthopoulos made this offseason. There are literally 11-12 arms that are vying for just eight spots on the Opening Day roster, not including Culberson.

But professional athletes didn’t get to the pinnacle of their respective sport by setting the bar low. Culberson has a new goal, and while it would be absolutely shocking to see him on Opening Day, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that he eventually makes an appearance for the Braves.

Culberson clearly has the entire support of the organization to pursue this goal. He’s comfortable with the Braves, and injuries, as we see every season, are inevitable. The Braves used well over 20 pitchers at different points last year. Hopefully, they’ll have a little better luck with injuries in 2024, but I think everybody in Braves Country is hoping deep down they eventually get to see Charlie Culberson get an opportunity as a full-time pitcher.

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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