Thursday, March 24, 2016

My Braves Roster and Opening Day Starters

It's that time. We're almost done with Spring Training, the Braves have been cutting young talent left and right, and we're nearing the completion of the 25 man roster for the Braves. So of course I have to take a stab at what my roster would look like for this upcoming season, and who would be starting on opening day. Here it is:

Opening Day Starters:

P - Julio Teheran
C - AJ Pierzynski
1B - Freddie Freeman
2B - Jace Peterson
3B - Adonis Garcia
SS - Eric Aybar
LF - Hector Olivera
CF - Ender Inciarte
RF - Nick Markakis

Pitchers: (this is way tougher to predict)

SP - Mike Foltynewicz
SP - Bud Norris
SP - Matt Wisler
P - Williams Perez
P - Jhoulys Chacin
P - Jose Ramirez
P - John Gant
P - Jason Grilli
P - Arodys Vizcaino
P - Dan Winkler
P - Alex Torres

Bench:

Jeff Francoeur
Tyler Flowers
Gordon Beckham
Nick Swisher
Emilio Bonifacio

I'd cut Michael Bourn simply because we have too many good options for CF right now. I'd also cut Kelly Johnson because he costs next to nothing and Emilio Bonifacio is a switch hitter in the lineup while Kelly is just a lefty stick, of which we have a ton. Nick is also a switch and you have to keep at least one bloated contract between Bourn and Swisher, so I'll keep the positive guy for the clubhouse.

Will this actually happen? No of course not. Some of these guys cost too much to cut, and some are too young to put on the MLB roster just yet. But if I was running things, I'd want to start this way based on what I've seen in training.

I also tend to favor bench vets over younger guys to start the season. You want to see the pitching staff get some support it needs on offense, and more veteran position players can hopefully provide that spark. Hopefully, we're not seeing a ton of games where the Braves have to hold on to a diminishing 6 run lead, or suddenly find themselves in a 6 run hole.

Most people are concerned about Bud Norris in the rotation, but you have to let him ply his trade when it matters and not in spring training. He's a vet and he's earned that shot for the first month. Folty and Wisler I think are ready to go right now as starters along with Teheran. The only question I have is the 5th spot, which will go either Perez or Chacin in my mind. I don't trust Banuelos right now and don't want him on the roster until he figures it out.

Hopefully whatever roster the Braves decide to go with can score a ton of runs, and the bullpen doesn't spontaneous burst into flames with a huge lead.

GO BRAVES!

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