The Braves announced their NLDS roster a few minutes ago. You can see it here. There aren’t many surprises.
Takashi Saito is off because his shoulder is still wonky. His replacement — Craig Kimbrel — has been pretty fantastic anyway. Jair Jurrjens is off due to his knee. There are still expectations that he would be able to pitch in the NLCS if the Braves make it that far, but at that point rust, rather than health, may be his biggest concern. I think the Braves are on a three-man rotation for the duration, with Brandon Beachy stepping in if things get out of hand.
The biggest takeaway: oh so many rookies. We’ve known that they have a lot just by watching them, but the youth of this team is really made clear when the names are all listed like that: Jason Heyward, Brooks Conrad, Craig Kimbrel, Cristhian Martinez, Brandon Beachy, Jonny Venters and Mike Dunn.
It’s also, once again, made clear how many tomato cans the Braves are relying on too: Kyle Farnsworth, Rick Ankiel, Nate McLouth and Melky Cabrera, most notable among them. Really: the Giants left Jose Guillen off their roster. There’s an argument that he’d be the second best outfielder on the Braves’ roster.
But, that’s why they play the games . . .
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.