The Atlanta Braves made a series of roster moves Sunday morning to replace an injured reliever, add starting depth, and potentially, a new utility man.
The Atlanta Braves started Sunday morning by placing Luke Jackson on the 60-day IL after his MRI revealed a damaged UCL. Replacing Jackson is veteran reliever Darren O’Day. The same Braves tweet announced Kyle Muller’s assignment to Gwinnett.
The addition of O’Day wasn’t a surprise. This spring, the veteran righty’s looked good in limited innings, and the TT staff projected him to join the roster in our last podcast. Sending Jackson to the 60-day IL opened a roster spot without removing anyone via release or DFA.
Barring another injury or late addition, the opening day roster is now complete.
- Rotation – Fried, Morton, Anderson. Wright, Ynoa, Davidson
- RHRP Janson, McHugh, Thornburg, O’Day, Strider
- LHRP Matzek, Minter, Smith, Newcomb
- Catchers – d’Arnaud, Pina, Contreras
- Infielders – Olson, Albies, Riley, Swanson, Arcia
- Outfielders Rosario, Duvall, Ozuna, Dickerson, Heredia
Atlanta Braves roster surprises
The only addition that surprised most is William Contreras. When the Braves traded Shea Langeliers to acquire Matt Olson, it seemed that the club would concentrate on developing Contreras behind the plate.
The other surprise for some is Newcomb remaining in the pen. When the Braves called Newcomb up in 2017, he simultaneously became one of the club’s most promising and frustrating pitchers.
Since throwing 8-2/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Dodgers in 2018, he’s pitched to a 4.57 ERA and walked a batter for every two strikeouts, mostly in relief. Jackson’s injury gave him a reprieve; time will tell what he does with it.
The rise and rise of Spencer Strider
The best story of the spring is the emergence of Spencer Strider. The Atlanta Braves selected Strider in the fourth round of the shortened 2020 Rule 4 draft. He began the 2021 season in low-A ball and, seven starts later, jumped to AA.
After 14 starts in Mississippi, Strider moved to AAA for one inning and made his Major League debut on October 1. This spring, he’s shown he can strike anyone out and has a lot of swag on the bump.
While we both see him as a starter, Alan and I predicted that he’d make the pen out of camp on the linked podcast.
That’s a wrap
The Atlanta Braves roster is complete until May 2 or when Ronald Acuna Jr. returns, whichever comes first.
Like every roster, it isn’t perfect, but it is strong top to bottom and offers a lineup no pitcher will relish facing.