Chavez headlines Atlanta's list of non-roster invitees
ATLANTA -- Jesse Chavez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Ehire Adrianza, Kevin Pillar and Jared Shuster headline the list of non-roster players who have been invited to participate in the Braves’ big league Spring Training camp.
Twenty-six have been invited: 11 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and five outfielders. Here is a breakdown of the selections.
Pitchers (11): RHP Blake Burkhalter, RHP Jesse Chavez, LHP Dylan Dodd, LHP Brian Moran, RHP Roel Ramírez, RHP Alan Rangel, RHP Yacksel Ríos, LHP Jared Shuster, RHP Victor Vodnik, RHP Brooks Wilson, LHP Danny Young
Shuster will likely not make the rotation; instead the 2020 first-round selection will spend this year showing how close he might be to joining a big league rotation. The success that he, Bryce Elder, Ian Anderson and Mike Soroka have this year will give the Braves a better feel for their rotation needs over the next couple years.
As long as Chavez remains healthy, he’ll likely be in the Opening Day bullpen. The veteran right-hander has had great success with Atlanta over the past two years. If Atlanta begins the season with eight relievers, Raisel Iglesias, A.J. Minter, Joe Jiménez and Collin McHugh are all projected to be locks. Nick Anderson and Kirby Yates will get spots if they are healthy. Dylan Lee and Lucas Luetge are lefty candidates.
However it breaks down, it’s hard to see the Braves beginning the season without Chavez, who has become a leader and a valuable asset over the past couple seasons.
Catchers (4): Drake Baldwin, Ryan Casteel, Joe Hudson, Tyler Tolve
Infielders (6): Ehire Adrianza, Cal Conley, Joe Dunand, Adeiny Hechavarria, Yolmer Sánchez, Luke Waddell
Hechavarria could provide insurance if the Braves aren’t comfortable giving the starting shortstop job to Orlando Arcia or Vaughn Grissom, or he could compete with Adrianza to begin the season as Atlanta’s backup infielder.
Outfielders (5): Justin Dean, Cody Milligan, Kevin Pillar, Magneuris Sierra, Forrest Wall
Pillar will go to camp looking to win a job as a backup outfielder. He could serve as a late-inning defensive replacement for left Eddie Rosario, or the two could possibly platoon.