A few weeks ago, I talked about what a potential Braves playoff roster might look like. I broke it up into two parts — position players and pitchers. For the month of September, I will be updating that roster weekly, beginning with this version.
The Braves have an embarrassment of riches at nearly every position, which will make many roster decisions for Brian Snitker and Alex Anthopoulos gut-wrenching. But it’s a dream problem to have, and I think a lot of the final roster spots will come down to matchups.
The first four guys on this list are locks and will likely start Games 1-4 in any potential playoff series. Soroka is the only one that may not be included. He’s still rehabbing in Gwinnett and doesn’t have much time to prove he can contribute to this team in October. But for me, it came down to Soroka’s health and whether or not he is one of the 13 best pitchers in the organization. I believe if he can stay healthy come October, he will sneak his way onto the Braves playoff roster.
- Kenley Jansen
- Raisel Iglesias
- Collin McHugh
- A.J. Minter
- Tyler Matzek
- Kirby Yates
- Dylan Lee
- Jesse Chavez
This is where things get very interesting. Of course, if Soroka doesn’t make the roster, the Braves could keep Jackson Stephens, which may be the route they decide to take. Stephens could also make it over the likes of Kirby Yates, Dylan Lee, or Jesse Chavez.
There are several ways this could work out, but for right now, I give the edge to Yates, Lee, and Chavez. Yates has too much upside to give up on, Lee has been a pleasant surprise all season, and Chavez should never have been traded. With that being said, there remains plenty of time for this to change.
When it comes to the infield, the Braves are loaded. I do expect Albies to come back and start at second base, but I don’t think that spells the end for Vaughn Grissom. He’s been working in the outfield, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he started games out there. It probably won’t be a full-time gig, but the Braves will find a spot for him if he continues to play well. Arcia may not be a lock, but I like his chances to make it.
With Chadwick Tromp hitting the injured list again, these will be the only two catchers on the Braves playoff roster.
Of this group, I would say there are only three locks — Acuña, Harris, and Grossman. I’m sure the Braves will likely include Rosario because he was so clutch last season and their other options aren’t very inspiring, but I wouldn’t say it is a certainty. Heredia provides the club with a defensive replacement, although his value is limited, so the Braves could go in another direction.