What Will the Braves’ NLDS Roster Look Like?

FILE PHOTO – Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (2) forces out Miami Marlins’ Adeiny Hechavarria (3) on a ground ball fielder’s choice by Ichiro Suzuki in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, in Miami. Suzuki was safe at first base.(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Today, while Braves players enjoy a well deserved day off, the front office and coaching staff are hard at work trying to narrow down what the 25 man NLDS roster will look like. While it seems safe to assume they will carry 12 pitches (4 starters and 8 relievers), the club may still opt to carry a third catcher in Rene Rivera to add the ability to use either Tyler Flowers or Kurt Suzuki off the bench, in the event that Dansby Swanson isn’t healthy enough to play. If Swanson can’t go, it would mean Charlie Culberson becomes the starting shortstop, thus weakening the depth on the bench.

As for who makes up the Atlanta bullpen, strong showings from both Touki Toussaint and Max Fried on the most recent road trip have bolstered their candidacy to give the team length from the pen. As for the final spot in the rotation, I’d say the last month has been enough for Julio Teheran to be the fourth starter.

A lot of tough decisions still need to be made, and again, health will prove to be a major factor. Along with Swanson, Lucas Duda has been bothered by a sore back of late. Arodys Vizcaino appears to have erased any concerns about his shoulder but the club still may be hesitant to use him on back to back days, thus meaning AJ Minter or Brad Brach could be called on for a save situation. Brian Snitker said the majority of Monday would be spent trying to go over multiple scenarios as far as the final spots go, and that it wouldn’t be a surprise if those final decisions weren’t made until Wednesday’s workout day on the road, meaning there may be guys who travel but don’t make the cut. There’s lots to keep an eye on over the next couple days, but most importantly, time to do the laundry, pay some bills and get ready to pack and head back on the road tomorrow afternoon!

@KevinMcAlpin has covered the Braves for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet since 2012.

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