Braves Roster Moves: The Meek, the Mild, the Bold, the Beautiful

Braves Roster Moves: The Meek, the Mild, the Bold, the Beautiful

Like them or not, there have been a lot of Braves Roster moves thus far, will be many more in the upcoming weeks, and will likely continue throughout the year.

The Meek Braves Roster Moves

Our Atlanta Braves are 7-5 and have been without:

  1. Their starting catcher Tyler Flowers for (nearly) all 12 games.
  2. Their starting 3rd baseman Johan Camargo for all 12 games.
  3. Arguably their highest ceiling Starting Pitcher in Luiz Gohara.

This led to some early Braves roster moves that have worked out pretty well, but on the surface, seemed meek, and lacked inspiration:

  1. Signing Ryan Flaherty
  2. Signing Peter Bourjos
  3. Signing Anibal Sanchez
  4. Trading for Carlos Perez
  5. Promoting Luke Jackson, known eater of boogers

I’ve tweeted numerous times about these Braves roster moves, and have even been adamant about the lack of inspiration the Braves put into the back end of their 25-man roster. Thus far, I’ve eaten a bit of crow as 3 of the 4 above have actually played/pitched pretty well in place of the aforementioned 3 that was placed on the DL.  However, let’s not pretend that these are bold moves.

Bold would have been grabbing Neil Walker, not signing castoffs. Bold would have been allowing one of the young guys the number 5 spot in the rotation rather than giving it to an afterthought like Sanchez. Bold would have been allowing Ryan Schimpf to work out some kinks at AAA and promote Rob Brantly to the MLB club rather than trading for a catcher that won’t make it through April in the organization. But now that the dust has settled, and this Braves team have inspired us to hope, these meek moves will likely move into the mild stage very soon.

The Mild Braves Roster Moves

We all know Luke Jackson, Anibal Sanchez, and Carlos Perez aren’t long for the roster. The obliques of Johan Camargo and Tyler Flowers will be healed soon. Luiz Gohara will be ready soon. Ronald Acuna will get promoted sooner rather than later. Come May, all 4 of these guys will be ready. We know it, the Braves front office knows it, and this is the sole purpose there’s been so many meek moves thus far. In all likelihood, Carlos Perez and Luke Jackson will pass through waivers.

There’s a chance that the Braves could stash Anibal Sanchez at AAA, but there’s likely a larger chance, with 1 more decent outing, that the Braves could trade him (don’t expect much in the return). My point is this: Early on, it’s not wise for a GM to make bold 40-man roster moves knowing that 3-4 guys will be on the 25-man that aren’t currently.  Whether I like it or not, depth is important.

So yes…

Luiz Gohara will replace Anibal Sanchez

Photo cred to @JeffMorrisAB. Thanks for letting us use your incredible work!

Ronald Acuna will likely replace one of Lane Adams or Peter Bourjos

Johan Camargo will likely replace one of Charlie Culberson or Ryan Flaherty (or an extra reliever)

Tyler Flowers will replace Carlos Perez

While these moves may have a huge impact on the team, they’re not bold moves, rather they’re mild obvious moves that need to be made to improve the roster.

The Bold Braves Roster Moves

So, if the above 4 moves aren’t considered bold, where do the bold moves come in? I’m glad you asked. There is talent in the Minors that need to get a taste of MLB and there are veterans in MLB that likely need to move to make room for that talent.  Two guys that come to mind right away are veteran leaders in Brandon McCarthy and Nick Markakis. There’s no doubt that it’d hurt to move these guys, especially if they continue to play the way they’ve played thus far, but it could prove necessary so that players like Preston Tucker and Mike Soroka get a shot to prove themselves worthy of a regular spot.

The Beautiful (and downright Dangerous) Braves Roster Moves

If you’re a regular watcher of our Atlanta Braves (like me), you get attached to the players.  Make no mistake, these strangers become a part of our lives and we feel like we “know” them. Over the last 3 years, disciples of Josh Brown have fallen in love with Nick Markakis’s consistency. However, let’s not pretend he’s a difference maker.

Let’s also stop pretending that Julio Teheran will ever be the ace that we all wanted him to be. If the Braves are contending later on in the year, there will have to be some beautiful, hurtful, and downright dangerous moves to acquire talent. I like Preston Tucker a lot, but I’m not going to pretend that I wouldn’t want to see an impacting outfielder acquired for the stretch run. Or a player like Josh Donaldson in his final year of a contract that allows the Braves to use Johan Camargo in the ultimate depth role, roaming the entire field. But, these moves, if made, will hurt. Guys in MLB will lose their jobs, could change uniforms. And yes, beloved prospects will leave us. This year? Next? At some point, it’s going to happen.

And no, let me say I don’t think these moves happen this year. However, if they do, that means things are going well and that should excite us all.

In conclusion, we’ve already seen the Meek. We will soon see the Mild.  The Bold might not happen at all, but if we get to the Beautiful this year? Oh boy…hold on to your britches as the sky is the limit.

7 Comments

I would add Biddle for Jackson in the “mild” section. Also, maybe Fried for Carle for middle relief and spot starts. We need to continue to improve the bullpen. We might wish for the “bold” moves sooner than later but I can’t imagine anything bold happening until closer to the trade deadline. I sure hope that, by July, AA has things figured out with the system (slow learner that he apparently is). I think you have to start sitting Markakis after Acuna is called up so that Tucker can get his shot – before you sell on Markakis. It’d be nice to know if Dustin has a chance before trading for an OF. Having Fried be stabilized as an active roster tool makes trading Teheran and/or McCarthy easier as he can be a back stop in case Soroka struggles. But trading these assets has to fill other needs – needs which still must be better defined. Do we need a 3B stopgap? OF? Relief pitcher? Closer? Catcher? I’m not sure which potential need has the highest priority yet. Any of Markakis, McCarthy, Teheran, Sims, Blair, Wisler, AAA relievers, Culberson, Santana, etc… could be reasonable fodder for trades without the least bit of impact to the major league team now or in the future. I, honestly, have to fall into the Lentz group of not thinking any “downright dangerous” moves need to happen this year before the end of the season. I’ve got to stop at “bold” for now. But this offseason, we should see at least one “downright dangerous” move to get the team into the elite. And no FA signing can be considered downright dangerous.

Good call on Biddle. I’ve been talking about him on Twitter. Braves most definitely have a few more moves they’re going to have to make before then as Chase Whitley’s rehab was moved to AAA which means he’s almost ready and I believe he doesn’t have any options.

Sigh, I guess you have to go though all the pennies to know exactly how many wheat-ears you have. Right after I posted the above, I saw Soroka and Biddle and then the next night Fried post excellent results in Gwinnett games where either the Braves could not hit (aka Acuna and Camargo) or the relievers (REX BROTHERS) blew it. These guys – Soroka and Biddle and Fried – are ready now. We may not want to call them up yet even though Biddle and Fried are already on the 40-man, but they are ready and waiting. The offense is going to regress soon (e.g. games against Strasburg and Scherzer) and that is where the focus for improvement needs to be, I think. Even when he gets hot and is called up, I’m not sure Acuna will be enough.

Just as a side note:

Moustakas current line = 2 HR, .333 AVG, .360 OBP, .563 SLG, .923 OPS
Frazier current line = 2 HR, .282 AVG, .423 OBP, .538 SLG, .962 OPS

Both are even better than Flaherty…… LOL. I bet the Royals would trade Moustakas even now. On a one year contract, Moustakas would be a great add this year without compromising anything – not even a comp draft pick. I just wonder how much the Royals would need in return. I’m sure the Mets are not in a trading mood.

Do not release Bourjos when Acuna is ready. He is a great asset off the bench. The guy always finds ways to contribute, even in limited duty.

When Gohara comes back, Annibal Sanchez SHOULD NOT be traded. Luke Jackson should be the one SENT DOWN IMMEDIATELY!

If Sanchez keeps going 5 innings while only giving up 2 runs…I’d LOVE to see Sanchez used as the long relief guy (who can save the bullpen when a starter simply doesnt have it that night)/spot starter type bullpen piece for the rest of 2018. Trading him makes LITTLE SENSE…because we’d get very little in return for him.

When Acuna gets called up….Burjouis should get sent down. I like having Lane Adams (who has more pop in his bat than Burjouis ever thought about having).

By May (when Gohara, Flowers, Carmago and Acuna should all be on the rosters…barring any unexpected injuries)…the bench should consist of 1. Lane Adams. 2. Preston Tucker. 3. Flowers/Suzuki. 4. Charlie Culberson. 5. Carlos Perez. The 7 man bullpen would be 1. Vizcaino. 2. AJ Minter. 3. Dan Winkler. 4. Peter Moylan. 5. Annibal Sanchez. 6. Sam Freeman. 7. Shane Carle.

That would mean that Ryan Flaherty, Peter Burjouis, Luke Jackson and one of the 7 other relievers would have to be sent down (my pick, Jose Ramirez). By going with that 5 man bench, The Braves would have two pinch hitters who can hit for power from each side of the plate (Tucker and whichever one of Flowers/Suzuki doesnt start that game). Keeping Perez would allow Snitker to use Flowers/Suzuki as a pinch hitter….while not worrying about what to do if the one who starts gets hurt. Adams and Culberson (AA’s ‘presumed boy’, lol) would provide defense in the outfield and infield respectively!

Going with a 7 man bullpen instead of an 8 man pen…would put the onus on The Starting Pitching to go deeper in the game. As the weather warms up, that is my expectation.

If The Braves can stay competitive until after The ASB…then reinforcements could be on the way with Soroka, Allard and Wright all possibly being ready to bring their talents to Atlanta!

Given the payroll flexibility that is coming after The 2018 Season ends…unless a ‘too good to refuse’ trade offer crosses AA’s path, I’d rather see AA wait until The 2018 Free Agent Offseason…before upgrading the offense!

How about them Braves!!! OK, I’m going to say it again. Call up Acuna and sit Markakis. That is all. We finally got a guy who knows how to hit a 3-run HR.

Ryan…great win by The Braves today. Annibal Sanchez pitching in front of Sean Newcomb…could be THE BEST Managerial decision that Brian Snitker EVER makes, lol! Seriously, if The Sean Newcomb that pitched on Sunday in Colorado shows up tomorrow…..(you know, The Newcomb who goes after hitters/who pitches into the 7th inning)….The Braves could very well be LEGIT playoff contenders in 2018. I cant help but feel that watching Sanchez pitch right before him (you know, see a pitcher who has WAY LESS STUFF than he does..go after hitters and GET THEM OUT)…has had a very positive effect on Newcomb. I’d like to think that seeing Sanchez pitch and get out hitters by GOING AFTER THEM….perhaps somehow CLICKED mentally with Newcomb.

Regardless of what happens the next two days, The Braves will come home with AT LEAST 4 wins from a pretty BRUTAL road trip! However, I see NO REASON why The Braves cant get AT LEAST one more win in the next two games! The Cubs are struggling right now….Rizzo not being in that lineup really makes a difference! Wins are wins!

Preston Tucker came through AGAIN today. I know that he’s trying to make it hard for Acuna to take his job away from him…however today’s game was a classic example of how starting Tucker really limits The Braves offense/bench ONCE Snitker replaces him with Peter Burjouis when The Braves have a lead going into the 6th inning. If the bullpen blows the lead, we’re limited offensively. Once Acuna gets called up (probably on Monday) Snitker wont have to replace Acuna at any point in the game!

Having Tucker as a pinch hitting option with power…would really strengthen our bench. That…and the starting pitching going at least 6/7 innings a night…would allow Snitker to go with a 5 man bench/7 man bullpen (with Carlos Perez the 3rd catcher..allowing Snitker to use Flowers/Suzuki as a right handed power threat as a pinch hitter when one is starting/the other one on the bench).

Peter Burjouis will probably be sent down when Acuna gets called up. Now if AA is able to make a trade to get rid of Markakis…then that would be great. However Snitker is not going to bench Markakis…so Tucker is the one we gets benched.

If it wasnt for The Mets 10-1 start…The Braves at 8-5 would be getting more attention. Now if we can sweep The Cubs and go home with a record of 10-5 (wow, who’d knew that this was a possibility?)…then I think the attention grows!

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