Examining the Braves roster decisions for September/October

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In a few days, the rosters will expand to 40, and the Braves will have loads of flexibility to test things out. We could see some brand new faces, but with a current 40-man full of potential playoff contributors and talented prospects, I don’t think we see many people, if any, added to it. The main concern will be determining who belongs on the 25-man come October, and there are going to be several battles for only a few spots.

Starting Pitchers

  1. Mike Soroka
  2. Max Fried
  3. Dallas Keuchel
  4. Julio Teheran
  5. Mike Foltynewicz
  6. Bryse Wilson
  7. Kyle Wright

Biggest Question: Can Mike Foltynewicz return to form?

This group is pretty set in stone for the postseason. Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson come up. They could be used minimally in relief roles and might receive a spot start if the Braves widen the gap and clinch the division early. However, neither of them should be considered for the playoff roster. Their goal should be to join the rotation permanently in 2020. The other five are penciled into the 25-man roster, except for Folty. However, Foltynewicz can be the X-Factor of the Braves postseason run. If he continues to better himself throughout September, Atlanta has a lot of weapons in their rotation.

Relief Pitchers

  1. Jerry Blevins
  2. Shane Greene
  3. Luke Jackson
  4. Chris Martin
  5. Mark Melancon
  6. A.J. Minter
  7. Sean Newcomb
  8. Chad Sobotka
  9. Anthony Swarzak
  10. Josh Tomlin
  11. Jeremy Walker

Biggest Question: Will Darren O’Day get healthy, and what does he have left in the tank?

* Darren O’Day (currently on the 60-Day IL but progressing in his rehab assignment) is expected to come off the IL in September. I don’t think any players on this list are in danger of being DFA’d, but someone will be released or moved to the 60-Day IL when O’Day comes back healthy.

All these relievers could see some time in September. I left Touki Toussaint off because he’s been absolutely dreadful in AAA, and I don’t think it makes much sense to throw in back into the fire that is the major leagues. The Braves will use Jeremy Walker, and he could potentially make a case for the playoff roster. A.J Minter and Chad Sobotka also can be utilized to give the normal relievers a break down the stretch, as they have been better in Gwinnett, but they should have no chance of earning their way onto the 25-man playoff roster.


  1. Brian McCann
  2. Tyler Flowers
  3. Francisco Cervelli
  4. Alex Jackson

Biggest Question: Do the Braves keep Tyler Flowers on the playoff roster?

If McCann and Cervelli are healthy, they have to be the catching duo entering the playoffs. Will the Braves opt to keep a third option? It’s a popular play during the postseason, but I don’t think they will. Flowers has been putrid with the bat and even worse with the glove. There are too many players in the organization that deserve that spot more than he does.


  1. Ozzie Albies
  2. Johan Camargo
  3. Freddie Freeman
  4. Dansby Swanson
  5. Josh Donaldson
  6. Adeiny Hechavarria

Biggest question: Can Johan Camargo do enough to prove he belongs on the playoff roster?

Camargo has been lighting up Gwinnett, but he has a lot to prove to Braves management in September if he wants to play in October. The task also got a lot more difficult with Adeiny Hechavarria proving to be a valuable commodity. The Braves will give Camargo some reps, but he’s going to have to be stellar if he wants to compete in the playoffs.


  1. Ronald Acuña Jr.
  2. Austin Riley
  3. Ender Inciarte
  4. Billy Hamilton
  5. Charlie Culberson
  6. Nick Markakis
  7. Matt Joyce
  8. Rafael Ortega
  9. Adam Duvall

Biggest question: Can the Braves outfielders get healthy?

I don’t see any reason why Atlanta wouldn’t call up all of these guys during September. Each one of them has played a role in putting this team 5.5 games up in the NL East. Unfortunately, only a few can make the playoff roster, and there are only two guys I would consider locks entering September – Ronald Acuña Jr. and Charlie Culberson. Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte are both nursing injuries. If they come back healthy, I would expect both of them to be active for October. Austin Riley will get his chance to earn his spot in September. He should be healthy and ready to join the Braves this homestand. Matt Joyce is deserving, but as you can see, there are a lot of variables. Health and performance will determine who makes it out of this group. The longshots are Billy Hamilton, Rafael Ortega, and Adam Duvall. Whenever O’Day is ready to return, I would expect one of those three to be released, unless the Braves opt to move someone to the 60-day IL.


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