The trade deadline has passed and the rosters are set. Normally, I wouldn’t start this series so early, but with the Braves so far up in the division, it’s a foregone conclusion that they will make the playoffs. So, consider this my way-too-early guess at how the postseason roster will shake out. Over the next couple of months, I’ll be adjusting these predictions several times, so stay tuned.
In the playoffs, only four starters are needed. Right now, these are my four guys, and this is how I expect the order to go if the postseason started today. There’s the potential for Elder to move ahead of Morton, but Morton’s playoff experience wins out for now. There’s also a chance Kyle Wright enters his name into the conversation, but he’s still over a month away from returning, so I can’t include him until I see him pitch.
- Raisel Iglesias
- A.J. Minter
- Joe Jiménez
- Pierce Johnson
- Dylan Lee
- Jesse Chavez
- Michael Tonkin
- Kirby Yates
- Brad Hand
This is by far the most difficult part of the roster to predict, and it will change several times between now and October. For now, I’m assuming Dylan Lee and Jesse Chavez return and pitch well. That may not happen, which could cause me to switch things up. Brad Hand will have to earn his spot, but his dominance against lefties could prove valuable in the postseason. The most notable player I excluded, for now, is Collin McHugh. He just hasn’t been good this season. His experience will give him an edge when it is decision time, but right now, he has to prove he deserves it the rest of the way, which is why I gave Michael Tonkin the nod over him.
Nothing to see here. Unless there is an injury, these are the two catchers that will be on the roster as the Braves feature the best backstop duo in baseball.
Again, not much debate here. The starters are included, and Nicky Lopez needs to be around in case someone is injured. His defense also could provide some value in the late innings. Although, the Braves infield defense is pretty stout.
The top five on this list are not up for debate. All of them will be included on the postseason roster. The last spot could go to Forrest Wall or Sam Hilliard. Since it’s unlikely either of them are needed in the field or at the plate, I went with Wall, who is a maestro at stealing bases and could prove impactful as a pinch runner.
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