Braves Release NLDS Roster With Some Surprising Inclusions and Omissions


Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves have announced the much anticipated roster for the NLDS that starts tomorrow.  Here is the quick break down:

Eleven pitchers: Medlen, Teheran, Minor, Garcia, Wood, Kimbrel, Carpenter, Avilan, Ayala, Hale & Walden

Three catchers: McCann, Laird, Gattis

Five infielders: Freeman, Elliot Johnson, Chris Johnson, Simmons & Janish

Six outfielders: Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, BJ Upton, Schafer, Reed Johnson, Constanza

So there you have it, folks.  No Dan Uggla, no Scott Downs, no Joe Terdoslavich, no Anthony Varvaro. Some of these moves are quite shocking, others not so much.  Dan Uggla is the biggest story here. He is the Braves highest paid player, and he isn’t even good enough to make it onto a 25-man post-season roster.  Not that I am arguing this move, just surprised that they actually did it. I am also pretty surprised at the Anthony Varvaro omission.  He has had a really solid season (2.82 ERA) and has pitched in more games out of the ‘pen than anyone other than Kimbrel and Avilan. I think the Downs omission and his recent struggles have more to do with his finger injury not being totally right yet than anything. Terdoslavich hasn’t had a hit since August, so I understand why he was left off.

As for the surprise players that made it, the biggest shocker has to be Jose Constanza.  He wasn’t even with the Braves for most of the season and only had 31 at-bats for the year, but he was 4-6 as a pinch hitter down the stretch, so I guess they saw that as a positive. Also, I am pleasantly surprised that they took David Hale. He pitched great in his two starts late in the season, but he is very unproven and almost a question mark out there. I will assume he is penciled in as the long relief guy in case of a starter blowing up or getting hurt.  I was also mildly shocked that they took Jordan Walden with his injuries and ineffectiveness lately. Walden is clearly the better option when healthy, but he hasn’t really proved that he is healthy since coming back from his hamstring issues.

If you count Gattis as an outfielder, which is what he will be playing, the Braves have SEVEN outfielders on the NLDS roster, but only five infielders.  Janish is the only backup on the infield, but he can play 2B, 3B and SS.

Here is what this roster tells you as of right now.  Freddy Garcia is the 4th starter for sure now, and Elliot Johnson will be starting every game at 2nd base. Those are both things that most of us anticipated, but they are now pretty much set in stone.

Let’s go get ’em boys!