Atlanta Braves Making The Team Meter 2012: Hitters, Week 3

Week three of the hitters edition of the Atlanta Braves Making The Team Meter (MTM). An interesting development last night that affects the MTM as infielder Brandon Hicks was waived by the Braves and claimed by the A's. We previously had him dropping in the MTM, but still with a better than 50-50 chance of making the team; though with his 1-for-10 performance this spring and seven strikeouts, that would likely have fallen greatly this week. His absence greatly increases the chances for a couple of other guys to make the team.

To begin with we'll assume that there is a group that has already made the team:

Starting Lineup: Michael Bourn, Martin Prado, Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, and Freddie Freeman (1 spot available at shortstop)
Bench: David Ross, Eric Hinske, and Matt Diaz (2 spots available)

We'll make a few cuts this week as we did with the pitchers on Monday, as I expect the first round of official Braves cuts to come sometime this week.

Player, Position Trending Last Week Roster Status Notes and Comments
Jose Constanza, OF
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40-Man
The move to let Hicks go may signal that the team will only carry one backup infielder. If that's the case, then Constanza could be moving towards a roster spot as a backup outfielder. Of course, with the team testing out Jason Heyward in center field this week, that could be a sign that they intend to let him serve as the backup to Michael Bourn; that would be bad news for Constanza. Also, Durango is doing a LOT better so far this spring.
Todd Cunningham, OF
Cut
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NRI
He's had fun at Major League camp, but has shown that he needs more time in the minors. I expect he'll be among the first round of cuts, so we'll go ahead and cut him.
Luis Durango, OF
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He's making the most of his opportunities. He's a light-hitting guy, but he's showing a great ability to get on base with a mind-numbing .692 OBP this spring and no strikeouts. I would put him ahead of Constanza right now if the Braves want to carry a slap-chop type player on their bench.
Stefan Gartrell, OF
Cut
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NRI
He hasn't really gotten into that many games, and when he has he hasn't put himself ahead of the other guys. He might survive the first round of Braves cuts, but he won't survive our first round of cuts.
Jordan Parraz, OF
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NRI
He's getting more chances to play than Gartrell, and he's showing the team a lot more offensively and defensively. If they wish to carry a more all-around type player than Constanza or Durango, Parraz could be the guy. He could also be making a case for getting called up if an injury happens to one of the starting corner outfielders.
Tyler Pastornicky, SS
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40-Man
Tyler is having a slow start to spring training, and there has been a lot of talk about Simmons leap-frogging him. But there's still a lot of spring left, and Pastor is showing signs of coming around. He did pick up the Braves first stolen base of spring training, and he's controlled his strikeouts. His bat should wake up eventually, so there's no need to drop his chances just yet.
Andrelton Simmons, SS
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NRI
The Sizzling Simmons talk has ignited a fire in many Braves fans this past week, as just about every news source wrote a piece about the Braves possibly preferring him over Pastornicky. The defense is definitely superior, and so far this spring his bat has been too. We'll see if that continues, but for now he gets a big bump up to make the team.
Drew Sutton, IF
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NRI
Sutton was already winning the competition for one of the open bench spots, but with Hicks gone it's pretty much a sure thing, provided he remains healthy and continues to show an ability to get on base.
Joe Terdoslavich, IF
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NRI
With Chipper back in the lineup more regularly, Joey will get less playing time. I imagine the Braves will keep him around through the first cuts of the spring, but unless the Braves have multiple injuries he will start the year in the minors.
Josh Wilson, IF
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"Josh" Wilson is the biggest beneficiary of Hicks being waived. He hasn't played that much this spring, but if the Braves are to carry two backup infielders, then Wilson would be the second one.
Arrow Key:
Nav_up_green_medium = Chance of making the team is good.
Nav_down_red_medium = Chance of making the team is bad.
Nav_up_yellow_medium = Chance of making the team is slightly better than 50-50.
Nav_down_yellow_medium = Chance of making the team is slightly worse than 50-50.
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