Braves

Predicting the Braves Playoff Roster 2.0

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Believe it or not, the Braves are less than three weeks from taking the field in October. Their magic number is down to eight with 14 games remaining, and the Nationals are still 8.5 games back. Not too much has changed from my initial playoff roster that I announced last week, however, I do feel like a couple of players that were on the fringe of making it earlier this month have done enough to cement their spot on the 25-man for the postseason.

Starters

  1. Dallas Keuchel
  2. Mike Soroka
  3. Max Fried
  4. Julio Teheran/Mike Foltynewicz

It is no longer a question of if all five of these guys will make the postseason roster; it is how they will be used. You also might notice I switched Dallas Keuchel and Mike Soroka. Keuchel has turned into the ace of this staff, and he’s the only one with substantial playoff experience. He will take the mound in a Game 1 with Soroka receiving the ball in Game 2. As of now, I have Fried third with Julio Teheran or Mike Foltynewicz filling in the final starter’s slot. One of these three arms is going to have to come out of the bullpen, and I could see it being any of them. Fried has the most experience coming out of the pen, but I think right now he’s a safe bet to pitch a Game 3. As far as the choice between Teheran and Foltynewivz, I believe Folty has taken an edge in that race for the first time all season.

Bullpen

  1. Mark Melancon
  2. Shane Greene
  3. Chris martin
  4. Luke Jackson
  5. Sean Newcomb
  6. Jerry Blevins
  7. Darren O’Day

I stayed true to this entire group as well. I don’t feel as confident about Darren O’Day because the Braves have barely used him since calling him up, but I still think he could be a valuable piece in the postseason. Swarzak eliminated himself from contention last night. Remember, one of the starters from the group above will also be in the pen, so the Braves could decide to rock with eleven pitchers and carry an extra bat.

Catchers

  1. Brian McCann
  2. Francisco Cervelli
  3. Tyler Flowers

Guys, it’s time to say sorry to Tyler Flowers. I thought the Braves were going to go with three catchers anyways, but he has earned his spot back on the roster regardless. Over the last month, he has an OBP of .436, an OPS of .971, and has seen his defense improve dramatically.

Infielders

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

We know what the starting infield is going to be – the first four are locks. When I did this last week, Camargo certainly was not, but his performance since being recalled suggested something was clicking for him. Then he goes down with an injury, and the Braves diagnosed him today with a right shin fracture. They only placed him on the 10-day IL, but I don’t see how he comes back and plays this season. That opens up a spot for Adeiny Hechavarria.

Outfielders

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr.
  2. Austin Riley
  3. Matt Joyce
  4. Charlie Culberson
  5. Nick Markakis

I haven’t changed anything on this list… yet. Nick Markakis was activated from the IL, and he will be in the every day starting lineup moving forward. Matt Joyce’s role has expanded, and he will be starting against right-handed pitching. Culberson is your do-it-all pinch-hitter, and of course, there is Ronald Acuña Jr. If there is one person on this list that might not make the final cut, it’s Austin Riley. He continues to look lost for the most part in his return. The Braves would love to have him as an option when facing southpaws, but he has to be better than he has been. Ender Inciarte is reportedly getting healthy as well; he could be the one that takes Riley’s spot.

 

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