Sunday, March 15, 2015

Roster Prediction: Where the 25 Stand (March 15 Edition)

Last Sunday, I had my first 25-man prediction. Obviously, we are still a couple of weeks before having a better idea of where the Braves stand, but it's still fun to guess. Let's see how things have changed. Spoiler: Not too much yet.

Starting Rotation
1. Julio Teheran
2. Alex Wood
3. Shelby Miller
4. Eric Stults (up from #5 starter)
5. Wandy Rodriguez (added to rotation)
Dropping: #4 Mike Minor

My Take? With the news this week that confirmed that Minor will miss the start of the year, it opened a spot for someone to step in and after a weak first start, Wandy has looked much better. This may come down to the Braves wanting to see if Stults or Wandy can have some early success and possibly turn that into a trade. Cody Martin has looked impressive at times, but he has options. Chien-Ming Wang had been a bit of a sleeper until stinking it up on Saturday.

Bullpen
Closer - Craig Kimbrel
RH - Jason Grilli
RH - Jim Johnson
LH - James Russell
LH - Josh Outman
---
LH - Luis Avilan
RH - Michael Kohn

My Take? The first five are set in stone (though roles aren't set), but that still leaves two open spots for competition. After a week of action, I haven't wavered from my original two picks. You can look at Brady Feigl, who profiled here, but I imagine injuries will have to pile up for Feigl to jump to the bigs. Justin Jackson and Sugar Ray Marimon have also looked good, though I think they are playing for a look later in case a spot opens in May or June. If Martin makes a surprising jump to the rotation, could we see Wandy or Stults go to the pen? Possibly.

Lineup
1. Eric Young Jr., CF
2. Nick Markakis, RF
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B
4. Chris Johnson, 3B
5. Jonny Gomes / Zoilo Almonte, LF
6. Andrelton Simmons, SS
7. Jace Peterson, 2B
8. Christian Bethancourt, C

Bench
C - A.J. Pierzynski
1B/OF - Joey Terdoslavich
IF - Alberto Callaspo
OF Eury Perez (added to bench)
OF - LF Platoon Guy Not Starting (Gomes/Almonte)
Dropping: UT Kelly Johnson

My Take? Not yet ready to make a lineup adjustment, though I am leaning toward dropping Almonte from the LF platoon in favor of Terdo, who has raked this spring. His minor league numbers don't scream platoon like Almonte's do, but if he's going to hit, who cares? If Almonte drops from a time share at one of the outfield slots, could he lose his job on the team? Absolutely and in that case, I imagine Phil Gosselin will get a longer look. As for KJ...he hasn't hit...at all. That said, if Markakis misses the start of the year, it could open a spot for KJ to sneak onto the team. Also, in that case, I imagine Jace will bat second. He might hit there anyway and maybe Markakis will be in the five spot regardless.

Truthfully, I could spend all days with just those eight guys and come up with a billion different examples.

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