Will Pache, Langeliers make NLDS roster?

October 8th, 2021

ATLANTA -- Top prospects and were part of the Braves’ traveling party that flew to Milwaukee following a Wednesday afternoon workout at Truist Park. But this does not necessarily mean they will be placed on the team’s National League Division Series roster.

“We still have a taxi squad,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We’ll cut the roster on Friday.”

The Braves have until 11 a.m. ET on Friday to announce the roster they will carry into their Game 1 matchup against the Brewers. Their traveling party consisted of the 26 players who will fill that roster and the taxi squad, which can include up to nine players.

It is interesting to see Atlanta traveling with Pache and Langeliers, who rank as the Braves' top two prospects per MLB Pipeline. Pache spent most of the year in the Minors and Langeliers played just five games after he was recently promoted to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Pache was part of last year’s postseason roster and became Atlanta’s starting center fielder after Adam Duvall strained his oblique in Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against the Dodgers. Pache began this season in Atlanta’s lineup, but his offensive woes led to him spending most of the year with Gwinnett.

Still, Pache could provide value as a late-innings defensive replacement or pinch-runner. The latter role would also perfectly fit , a 30-year-old speedster who was used to fill spots on the Royals’ and Cubs’ postseason rosters in the past.

, Duvall, and are the outfielders who are locks for the postseason roster. Atlanta can debate whether to carry and Pache to have late-innings defensive replacements for Soler and Rosario.

“We discuss every scenario and that will be ongoing, probably through [Thursday],” Snitker said.

Rich Rod?
provided some value after he was initially acquired from the Pirates at the Trade Deadline. But while Rodríguez allowed 13 hits, including five homers, over his final 9 1/3 innings, he made himself a candidate to be excluded from the postseason roster.

If the Braves didn’t carry Rodríguez, they might be able to add both and to the roster. Strider is a hard-throwing prospect who made a good impression during a two-appearance audition against the Mets this past weekend. Smyly’s value would likely be to simply provide length if the Braves do indeed use an opener in a potential Game 4.

Excluding Rodríguez from the roster could also give Atlanta a chance to carry an extra position player. It seems unlikely the Braves would carry a third catcher because will likely be slated to catch every inning of the postseason. So, there would be no need to carry an extra catcher to create opportunities where d’Arnaud could pinch-hit.

But that roster spot could be used to carry another position player like Gore, Pache or maybe even , who is tied with Prince Fielder for the most postseason homers (four) in Brewers history.

Pitchers, hitters staying sharp
threw a simulated game on Monday to keep his body on schedule to start Game 2 on Saturday. threw a sim game on Wednesday to keep him on schedule to start Game 3 on Monday at Truist Park.

While the exercise certainly benefits the pitchers, it was also a way to allow the Braves’ position players to see live pitching during this four-day stretch that separates the regular-season finale and Game 1 of the NL Division Series.

“I hopped in there to track some pitches,” Braves first baseman said. “Now I can see why everyone talks about [Anderson’s] changeup when they get to first base.”