The Braves have been one of the National League’s best teams all year long, and more help will be on the way soon.
As of September 1st, rosters expand and anyone on the 40-man roster can be added to the Braves’ active roster. The club has primarily utilized roster expansion in recent years to let their young prospects get a taste of the majors, but they have a division title to win this time around. Excluding any possible trades over the next week, here’s a preview of who might be on their way to Atlanta at some point in September.
Touki Toussaint, Bryse Wilson, Michael Reed, Max Fried, Shane Carle, Chris Stewart
Alex Anthopoulos recently said that he feels some of the in-house options to upgrade the club are better than those who have cleared waivers elsewhere. He was likely talking about Toussaint and Wilson, who shined recently in their debuts. As the Braves look to keep their rotation fresh it seems probable that Touki and Bryse will be given a chance to start when opportune for everyone else. They could also be bullpen weapons given their stuff and command.
Reed has been on the shuttle between Gwinnett and Atlanta recently and makes for a decent bench bat. What the Braves really need is a good left-handed pinch hitter, alas that person isn’t currently in the organization. Maybe (hopefully) a trade happens.
Fried is on the DL with a groin strain, but it appears he will be back sooner than later. He is scheduled for a rehab start on 8/25.
Carle is also on the DL with a shoulder issue, and it’s unclear exactly what his timeline is. If he’s healthy, he has a spot on the roster.
Stewart is up with the big league club now as Kurt Suzuki’s elbow recovers, but he will likely head back down in a few days. The Braves will surely carry three catchers in September.
On The Bubble
Luiz Gohara, Wes Parsons, Dustin Peterson, Rio Ruiz
These are all guys who have appeared in the majors over the last year, although their roles aren’t clear. Gohara is still working his way back from a multitude of injuries. He has the stuff, but I’m not sure the Braves would trust him starting or tossing important innings out of the bullpen until he gets back into a groove. Parsons has decent numbers with Gwinnett but would be an emergency relief piece if brought up.
Peterson (106 wRC+) and Ruiz (98 wRC+) didn’t do much to inspire in Gwinnett, although they’ve been in the majors before. They would be bench depth, and I’m leaning towards Ruiz getting the call to be a left-handed bench option for Brian Snitker.
Kolby Allard, Austin Riley, Kyle Wright, Corbin Clouse, Jacob Webb
Allard’s first taste of the majors has not been kind to him, although he has the potential to be better than what he’s shown. It’s hard to see the Braves really needing his services once Fried gets healthy and Toussaint and Wilson arrive.
Riley has found his power stroke in Gwinnett over the last two weeks and is having his usual strong end to the season. Will he get the call? It would certainly be fun to see what he can do, but barring an injury to Johan Camargo, at-bats will be tough to come by.
Wright is nearing the end of his first full professional season and is pitching well since moving to Gwinnett, but he’s already up to 135 innings and likely wouldn’t start over Toussaint or Wilson.
Clouse and Webb are in Gwinnett’s bullpen and have big time stuff, although neither are currently on the 40-man roster. I’m not sure September is the time for relievers to make their debuts, but bullpen depth never hurts to have.