USA TODAY Sports
Talking Chop takes a look at every hitter in the Atlanta Braves spring training camp, and examines the chance each one of them has at making the club to open the season.
The Atlanta Braves Making the Team Meter continues for week three with the hitters in Spring Training camp. Click here and here for last week's hitters MTM. Let's take a look at which positions on the team are up for grabs. First off, the following hitters already have a spot on the opening day roster:
That leaves two spots available for the bench and back-up catcher. There's still over two weeks of games left, so a lot could happen between now and the start of the season, and the odds of these guys making the team could change a lot.
|Player, Position||Trend||Last Week||Roster Status||Notes and Comments|
|Christian Bethancourt, C||40-man||He was spared from the first round of cuts, but he likely won't be spared from the next round. He's had a good spring and made a good impression, so that should bode well for the future. He should get assigned to AAA, and if all goes well, he could be a strong contender to be the starting catcher next season.|
|Jose Constanza, OF||40-man||He's still stuck on the island with visa problems. Meanwhile, Schafer is taking full advantage of his increased playing time. Constanza has an option, Schafer doesn't -- that also has a big impact on his spot on the roster. He's still got a small shot to make the team if he can get state-side.|
|Todd Cunningham, OF||
Cut from MTM
|NRI||He survived the first round of cuts, but he'll be among the second round of cuts. He's once again used his time in camp to soak up all the knowledge he can from the veteran players. With a big season this year in the minors, he could see time as a backup or make himself a valuable trade candidate.|
|Blake DeWitt, IF||Cut from MTM||NRI||We'll cut him from the MTM, but he should be good depth at AAA this season.|
|Evan Gattis, C/OF||NRI||El Oso Blanco looks like he's forcing the Braves hand with how well he's hitting. The word is that he can catch good enough to split time with Laird until McCann returns (especially if Laird continues to hit as poorly as he has been). We'll see if he can continue to hit through the end of spring. If he does, he's on the team.|
|Ernesto Mejia, 1B||40-man||Gattis and even Terdoslavich are hitting better than Mejia, but Mejia is still hitting really well. He started slow this spring, but he could be one of those guys who comes on strong at the end of March and makes the team. But right now it doesn't look like there's a spot for him.|
|Matt Pagnozzi, C||NRI||With the emergence of Gattis, a spot on the roster looks like it's slipping away from Pagnozzi. He's hitting well, and he's a strong all-around defensive catcher, but he's not Evan Gattis. He's still got a shot if the team prefers to let Gattis play full time in the minors.|
|Jordan Parraz, OF||Cut from MTM||NRI||Parraz is not hitting much this spring, and he'll be among the next round of cuts, and he'll be in the outfield mix at AAA. He's still an option in case of injury in the outfield.|
|Tyler Pastornicky, IF||40-man||Rev is swinging a hot bat this spring, and trying his best to make himself into a valuable utility-man who can also bring speed to a spot on the bench. He may still have a chance, but Pena will be the backup infielder for now. Pastornicky needs to keep himself ready, he will likely get a chance sometime this season.|
|Jordan Schafer, OF||40-man, out of options||With Constanza still stuck in the Dominican, Schafer looks like he might make the team as a fifth outfield. His chances are aided by the fact that he's out of minor league options, so if the Braves don't choose to put him on the 25-man roster, he could get claimed by another team. He might be the odd man out once McCann returns when teams might be less likely to claim him.|
|Joe Terdoslavich, 1B/OF||NRI||He's hitting great! About as good as Gattis, but his chances are hurt by his lack of a position, and by his inability last year to handle skipping a rung of the minor league ladder. That could convince the Braves that no matter how well he's hitting this spring, he needs to prove himself at AAA before they are convinced he could handle a Major League job. Still, I'll keep a guy hitting over .450 on our watch.
|= Chance of making the team is good.|
|= Chance of making the team is slightly better than 50-50.|
|= Chance of making the team is slightly worse than 50-50.|
|= Chance of making the team is bad.|