Who will the Braves call up when rosters expand?

Braves roster moves

By the end of the week, MLB rosters will expand from 26 to 28 players. Each team will be allowed to add one pitcher and one position player for the stretch run leading up to the postseason when the rosters will be trimmed back down to 26 for October.

For the Braves, that extra pitcher could prove to be beneficial. They have essentially already wrapped up the NL East. The only thing left to play for is home field advantage throughout the playoffs, which is important but not necessarily vital to success. What’s most imperative for the Braves between now and October is staying healthy, particularly their pitching staff.

Max Fried missed several months due to injury, so his arm should be rather fresh for the final couple of months. Spencer Strider and Bryce Elder, on the other hand, have already thrown more innings than they ever have before. Charlie Morton is also no spring chicken. All three of them could benefit from some rest down the stretch, and the Braves have the luxury to make that happen. Going to a six-man rotation could be a wise move, and I think we will see a plethora of different faces make starts.

The first looks like it will be Darius Vines, who has already been added to the active roster. He’s my pick to start Wednesday’s series finale against the Rockies, and if he tosses the ball well, he should get some more opportunities. Michael Soroka could also find himself up at times, as well as Allan Winans and Jared Shuster also didn’t look abysmal last night against the Giants. Hell, even Yonny Chirinos could get some more burn in September.

The Braves are going to take their upcoming series with the Dodgers very seriously. If they take care of business, that should all but wrap up the top seed in the National League. At that point, going to a six-man rotation and even skipping the starts of some of their top horses could be in the cards. But the big question is, when will Kyle Wright return?

The Braves also have to eventually call up Dylan Lee. Bringing him up when rosters expand would allow them to avoid moving another one of their relievers off the active roster. However, it is worth noting that Lee has not pitched since August 20th, even if there has been no update suggesting he re-injured something during his rehab assignment.

For the position player, I’m leaning toward Vaughn Grissom. He’s by far the most deserving candidate on the farm and could actually see some action in the postseason if an injury were to arise. The only reason the Braves would go with someone else is because they want Grissom to continue playing every day.

That would be understandable, but as Brian Snitker said when Grissom came up to replace Ozzie Albies on the roster, the Braves aren’t necessarily worried about getting Grissom a bunch more reps at this point in the season. He’s played plenty; having him up around the major-league team and working with these guys could prove just as beneficial as a few more at-bats in Gwinnett.

Plus, there’s the off-chance the Braves might actually want to give some position players some time off as well. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath. If the Braves do decide they want to give Grissom more reps in Gwinnett, perhaps we see more of Forrest Wall or Lucas Williams. Or here’s an interesting candidate — Jesus Aguilar. He has major-league experience and has hit the ball well in Gwinnett, posting an .839 OPS. Regardless of who it is, they likely won’t see the field.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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