How Braves’ remaining non-roster invitees are faring this spring

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

After trimming their roster late last week, the Braves have nine non-roster invitees remaining in camp. Those are players who aren’t on the 40-man roster.

A look at how each remaining NRI’s immediate and down-the-road outlook:

RHP Carl Edwards

Edwards has shown the same good and bad this spring that’s defined his career. He owns a 1.69 ERA in five games, striking out five and walking five. He’s issued four walks across his past two outings, including a three-walk performance.

The 29-year-old remains in the mix for a bullpen spot, though he’ll have to leapfrog a player like Luke Jackson who’s already on the 40-man roster. The next few weeks are crucial for Edwards’ opening-day roster bid. If he doesn’t make the cut but remains in the organization, he’ll be nice depth to have later in the year.

RHP Nate Jones

Manager Brian Snitker praised Jones on Saturday. The 35-year-old, whom the Braves signed to a minor-league deal in February, hasn’t allowed a run in four appearances. Like Edwards, he’ll have to make a very strong impression in the coming weeks to unseat a reliever on the 40-man roster. To this point, he couldn’t be doing much better.

Catcher Shea Langeliers

The Braves’ top pick in 2019, Langeliers has met every expectation since day 1. He’s one of the team’s long-term solutions at catcher, joining fellow prospect William Contreras. Langeliers was 1-for-9 this spring before launching a homer Sunday. He’ll require further development at the alternate training site and minor leagues, but he isn’t too far away.

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Catcher Jonathan Morales

Morales gives the Braves more catching depth. Snitker has been complimentary of the 26-year-old, who’s had just two at-bats. Morales is a reason the team is so pleased with their organizational catching depth, especially in comparison to years past. He last played in Triple-A Gwinnett in 2019, hitting .289 with two homers and 12 RBIs over 34 games.

Infielder Ehire Adrianza

Adrianza has a real shot at making the initial roster. History says he won’t provide much with the bat, but he’s a steady presence defensively and would give the Braves a legitimate back-up shortstop. He’s having a productive exhibition season, hitting .385 (5-for-13) with five RBIs and three runs scored. He helped his case further Sunday with a walk-off three-run homer. The known qualities and spring success make Adrianza arguably the best bet on this list to crack the opening-day roster.

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Second baseman Jason Kipnis

Kipnis, who can also play some outfield, signed a minor-league deal in February. The two-time All-Star was having a quiet spring until notching a two-hit game last week. He homered for the first time Sunday, so perhaps he’s finding his groove. He provides a little more offensive upside than most of the Braves’ other bench candidates, so that’s his best selling point.

Infielder Pablo Sandoval

The Braves didn’t use Sandoval much in the 2020 postseason, but they liked him enough to bring him back to camp. He’s 6-for-18 with three RBIs this spring. Like last year, he could get an opportunity down the line if he remains with the Braves.

Infielder Ryan Goins

The Braves signed Goins to a minor-league deal last week. He’s produced in a small sample, going 5-for-15 (.333) with two RBIs entering Sunday. He bolsters the team’s infield numbers and provides another MLB-ready player who could handle shortstop in case of an emergency.

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Infielder Sean Kazmar

Kazmar is a mainstay at Braves camp. He last played in the majors in 2008 and has been with Gwinnett since 2013. “Kaz is the MVP of camp every year,” Snitker said last week after the veteran belted a three-run go-ahead homer. Kazmar is having a great spring - he belted his third homer Sunday - and is highly respected, but he won’t factor into their roster plans.

Notes from Sunday:

- The Braves hit five homers in their 8-7 win over the Rays. Ronald Acuna went deep for the second time, while Kipnis, Langeliers and Kazmar also contributed long balls. Adrianza won it with a three-run blast in the ninth.

- Eight Braves pitchers appeared in Sunday’s contest, beginning with Grant Dayton, who allowed two runs on three hits in 1-2/3 innings. The most notable showing was Will Smith, who struck out the side in his only inning. Smith, who’s expected to get the bulk of closer work, has looked exceptional this spring. The same can be said of fellow southpaw A.J. Minter, who allowed one hit but nothing further in his inning.

- Outfielder Ender Inciarte played for the first time in 10 days after he’d been stalled by a thumb injury. He went 1-for-2 and scored a run. It’s likely Inciarte begins the season as the Braves’ fourth outfielder, with rookie Cristian Pache starting in center.

“Ender still has the skills and the talent to be a very valuable piece on this team,” Snitker said. “We’ll still see how this thing plays out. We have a few games to go. Nothing is set right now. I’m just glad to get him back out there and I’m sure he is too. That was a nagging injury he had. Looked like he felt good today, so that’s good.”

- Bryse Wilson will make his third appearance (second start) Monday against Minnesota. It will be his first outing against a team other than the Pirates. Wilson has surrendered two runs and struck out six in five innings. Wilson needs a stand-out spring to potentially earn a rotation spot. He’s competing with Kyle Wright and Huascar Ynoa for the possible opening, which depends on Mike Soroka’s status (returning from a torn Achilles).