By Kevin McAlpin
ORLANDO – With just 13 days remaining until Opening Day, things have certainly gotten a lot more interesting as far as the 25 man roster is concerned. Up until a couple weeks ago, guys that seemed like locks have been slowed with
minor injuries that may cause them to miss the start of the regular season. So, without further adieu, let’s take a second stab at how the roster could look on March 28 in Philly:
Starters (4): Julio Teheran, Sean Newcomb, Kevin Gausman, Kyle Wright. While Mike Foltynewicz seemed like the odds-on favorite to start his first ever Opening Day, his sore elbow will cause him to start the season on the Injured List. As far as the best remaining option, it does appear as though Teheran will start his sixth consecutive Opening Day. And, as far as the final spot goes, it seems like it’s Kyle Wright’s job to lose after three strong performances in Grapefruit League play. We’ll see Wright on the hill tomorrow against the Red Sox in Fort Myers.
Relievers (9): Jesse Biddle, Shane Carle, Sam Freeman, Max Fried, Luke Jackson, Chad Sobotka, Jonny Venters, Arodys Vizcaino, Dan Winkler. Notice, AJ Minter and Darren O’Day are absent from this list. While both maintained they’d be ready for Opening Day, Minter still needs to throw live BPs before getting back into game action. O’Day is still listed as “no throw” as of Friday morning, so it looks as though neither will have sufficient time to be ready in just 13 days.
Catchers (2): Brian McCann & Tyler Flowers. No real need for explanation on this one.
Outfielders (4): Ronald Acuna Jr, Adam Duvall, Ender Inciarte & Nick Markakis. A month ago, it seemed like Duvall could have been the odd man out here. But, with a lack of other depth options in the outfield, and his power potential, Duvall seems like he’s in a good spot to break with the club without any other internal options.
Infielders (6): Ozzie Albies, Johan Camargo, Charlie Culberson, Josh Donaldson, Freddie Freeman and Dansby Swanson. Note: Camargo could have been listed as both infield and outfield, as he’s gotten reps at both positions during Spring play.
So, there you have it, the latest Opening Day roster projection that’s sure to be completely inaccurate in less than two weeks. Stay tuned, we’ll do one more prediction next week as we get to the final few days of camp.
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet