Sunday, March 8, 2015

Roster Prediction: Where the 25 Stand

Ah, yes, it's that time of spring where we make often wrong predictions of what the 25-man roster will look like when the season opens. I'll even go the extra mile with a lineup. I hope to do this every Sunday morning until the season begins.

Starting Rotation
1. Julio Teheran
2. Alex Wood
3. Shelby Miller
4. Mike Minor
5. Eric Stults

My Take? Simply put, Stults out-pitched Wandy Rodriguez in their first outings and I think Michael Foltynewicz is a little behind them both in perception and as a result of the Braves hoping to get Folty some more development time. That said, things can change and I believe Folty's chances of making the roster would improve dramatically if Mike Minor's MRI doesn't come up looking good.

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

My Take? Tough to get a real read on the bullpen due to a lot of pitchers having a bad first outing, but Avilan took a step forward with his effort against the Tigers and we all know Fredi Gonzalez loves him. Unless his production falls to unacceptable levels, I imagine Avilan will be in the mix unless traded. Jose Veras is definitely on the bubble with Michael Kohn and Arodys Vizcaino around.

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
UT - Kelly Johnson
OF - LF Platoon Guy Not Starting (Gomes/Almonte)

My Take? Again, it's tough to get a read this early in camp or to know what the lineup will look like, especially since Markakis is hurt, but if he does start the year with the team, I imagine he'll be in the first or second spots. If it were me, I'd have Jace hitting first, but I am going with Fredi's love of VROOMMMMM! Eury Perez could be a fit for added defensive flexibility and a guy like Philip Gosselin could also make some noise. Both could also benefit from Markakis opening the year on the DL. Personally, I'd keep Eury over EY, but this is a prediction of what will happen and not so much what will happen.

Is it me or could you literally bat any player not named Freeman in four-or-five other spots? I don't think I've ever seen a harder to predict Braves lineup before.

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