The Atlanta Bravescontinue to go through team workouts in Florida and will have the entire roster at their disposal by Friday at the latest. Just a few short weeks remain before the Spring Training games begin and everyone in camp will be looking to impress manager Fredi Gonzalez and the coaching staff. There are few looming questions with the 25-man roster, and Gonzalez addressed two of them on Tuesday.
A few weeks ago, the manager suggested Julio Teheran and/or Randall Delgado could be bullpen options for Atlanta to begin the season. Many were confused by this news, especially with Teheran and Delgado both being capable of serving as front-end rotation starters one day. David O'Brien of the AJC has the update from Dark Star.
After saying a few weeks ago that Teheran or Delgado would be bullpen candidates if one or the other didn't win a spot in the starting rotation, Gonzalez changed course Wednesday and said the two needed to pitch as starters, in the majors or minors.
Teheran and Delgado will compete with Mike Minorfor the fifth spot in the Braves' rotation, but two of the three are expected in the opening-day rotation with one filling in temporarily for Hudson.
You hate to send one of those kids to the bullpen as a long guy," Gonzalez said, "when we could have them in Double-A or Triple-A - I assume both will pitch Triple-A, or Minor would pitch Triple-A - where at least you could let them pitch every fifth day."
This is great news for the Braves and we can only hope Gonzalez does not change his mind once again. As O'Brien mentioned, it is likely Teheran or Delgado will begin the year in Atlanta regardless due to Tim Hudson missing time as he recovers from back surgery.
Most spots on the 25-man roster are already set, but there could be competition for the fourth outfielder's job coming off the bench. Jose Constanza, who became a fan-favorite after providing a boost to the team in July, fits perfectly on the roster, according to Gonzalez.
When asked if Jose Constanza would get a look this spring as a possible roster candidate, Gonzalez said the speedy outfielder would get more than that.
"He did enough last year that he deserves to get not [just] a look, but an opportunity," said Gonzalez, adding that Constanza could fit as a backup outfielder if the rest of the five-man bench is outfielder Matt Diaz, corner infielder/outfielder Eric Hinske, catcher David Ross and infielder Jack Wilson.
Given Constanza's ability to play all three outfield positions, along with his speed that can steal a base or two, it makes a lot of sense to include him on the roster as a fourth outfielder. He could occasionally fill in for Michael Bourn in center and would split time with Matt Diaz in left whenever Martin Prado is at third base.
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