The diagnosis is in, and it’s a right index finger sprain for Charlie Morton. It sounds rather harmless, but it will indeed keep him out of the NLDS, leaving Alex Anthopoulos with some intriguing decisions to make in regard to the NLDS roster.
Due to the schedule, the Braves will only need three starters for the NLDS as long as everyone remains healthy. Spencer Strider and Max Fried can take the ball in the first two games and then come back on full rest for Games 4 and 5, with Bryce Elder starting Game 3. Of course, this will shake up even more if Max Fried cannot return on time. He’s currently on the IL with a blister.
- Raisel Iglesias
- A.J. Minter
- Pierce Johnson
- Joe Jimenez
- Kirby Yates
- Michael Tonkin
- Jesse Chavez
- Kyle Wright
- Brad Hand
- Collin McHugh
With only three starting pitchers, the Braves will have 10 relievers on their NLDS roster. The first seven guys are locked in unless something dramatic happens. Kyle Wright also looked solid out of the bullpen his last time out and can offer the team some length in a pinch. Brad Hand will be included as a lefty specialist. A.J. Minter is the only other left-handed pitcher in the bullpen, so Hand being on the NLDS roster is almost a certainty.
For the final spot, I went with Collin McHugh. The Braves could also consider some guys like Allan Winans, Daysbel Hernandez, Darius Vines, or Jackson Stephens. I wouldn’t argue with any of those options, but McHugh looked good in his last rehab assignment and has a lot of postseason experience, so I gave him the nod for now. That could change by the time the season ends, however.
You should know the drill in this section by now. Nothing to see here. Next.
Again, there’s not much discussion here. Vaughn Grissom was spectacular for the Gwinnett Stripers this season as they just wrapped up their season, but I don’t see a place for him on the Braves NLDS roster.
The only real conversation here is whether Forrest Wall makes it over a guy like Vaughn Grissom. I think he gets the nods because bench bats aren’t nearly as valuable with the designated hitter. There aren’t many situations where I could see someone like Vaughn Grissom pinch hitting, while Forrest Wall could be used in every close game late as a pinch runner.
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