We will finally get to see the Atlanta Braves in action today as they take on the Boston Red Sox in their Grapefruit League opener at 1:05 PM EST today. Kolby Allard will take the hill to start the game, but before just a few minutes ago, that is all we knew for certain in terms of who would take the field for the Braves today.
Typically, early in spring you will see SOME everyday guys get a couple of at-bats before yielding to the non-roster invites and random minor leaguers filling in from MiLB camp. However, seeing THIS many lineup regulars in the first game of spring is a bit unexpected.
To be clear, no...this lineup doesn't actually matter because it is a spring game and no, these guys are not going to play the entire game. Some of what we are seeing here is being driven by the upcoming World Baseball Classic. It was known information that the Braves participating in the WBC would be getting more early playing time than usual this spring before they head off to play for their respective national teams. Ronald Acuna Jr. is famously going to be playing for Venezuela while both Eddie Rosario and Chadwick Tromp will be playing for Puerto Rico and the Netherlands respectively.
As for why this particular lineup configuration is happening or what it could mean going forward, I wouldn't read much more into it other than "lol spring training is weird". Ozzie Albies is only DHing because the Braves want to ease him back into playing the field after undergoing shoulder surgery this offseason which means no DH spot for the guys that are actually going to fill that role during the season (Ozuna, TdA, Murphy, etc). Eddie Rosario in the cleanup spot is pretty funny, but that feels more just like the Braves alternating handedness and trying to instill some confidence in Eddie.
A couple of actually interesting things of note, though. First, it is nice to see Luke Waddell taking the field. Luke was on a tear for Double-A Mississippi for a stretch until he went down with an injury in June and missed the rest of the season. Also, Vaughn Grissom is getting the first shot at the shortstop spot, so we will get to see an early glimpse of Ron Washington's magic (hopefully).