After that, Snitker said the Braves might call up another two or three players when the minor league seasons and playoffs end, but said there wouldn’t be a lot of new faces.
Pitching prospect Luis Gohara might be the only high-profile prospect called up in September. The Braves are likely to bring the 21-year-old lefty from Triple-A and could give him a couple of starts before the season ends.
Many Braves fans have wondered and asked whether dynamic 19-year-old outfielder Acuna, the Braves’ No. 1 prospect, might get brought up from Triple-A in September.
It’s unlikely for a few reasons:
-- Acuna is not on the 40-man roster, and the Braves don’t need to protect him in the December Rule 5 draft, so they can wait until the spring to see if he earns an opening-day roster spot before adding him to the 40-man. In the meantime, they can use 40-man roster spots to protect other prospects who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft and need to be protected or risk being poached by other teams.
-- The Braves outfield is crowded with veteran starters Matt Kemp, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis, and now with backups, including Lane Adams and Santana and Garcia, who is working at the outfield corners on a rehab assignment. There is no obvious spot for Acuna to play, and the Braves aren’t inclined to bench one of the veterans. If they trade Markakis or Kemp this winter, it would open a spot for Acuna.
-- The Braves before Thursday were tied for the worst record in the majors since July 17 and out of the wild-card picture,. The general feeling is that it might not be the best time for Acuna to have his first experience in the majors, especially if he’s not getting much playing time. The Braves anticipate there being renewed excitement around the team and in the clubhouse in the spring, when Acuna could be competing for a starting job.
As for the additons about to be made, Jackson has been on the DL since Aug. 19 with a strained pitching shoulder and Krol has been out since Aug. 4 with a strained oblique in his left side. Brothers was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett on Aug. 21 when reliever Dan Winkler came off the DL following Winkler’s long rehab from a broken elbow.
More interesting to watch will be the return of the position players and how Snitker will find at-bats, particularly for Camargo, who figures to be part of the Braves’ future.
Camargo has been on the DL three weeks with a bone bruise in his right knee, a freak injury that occurred when the promising rookie infielder was reaching down to pick up some dirt as he trotted onto the field for the start of an Aug. 8 game. That had been his pregame ritual, but he’s indicated it won’t be when he returns.
Garcia has been out 2 ½ months since June surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left ring finger. He was the Braves’ primary third baseman before the injury, but Snitker said he would play some left field and right field on his brief rehab assignment, an indication that his role will be as versatile bench bat.
Veteran Brandon Phillips took over at third base at the beginning of August after being supplanted at second base when the Braves called up prospect Ozzie Albies, and Phillips has excelled defensively since the move despite not playing third base previously in his major league career.
Utility man Santana has been DL’d since Aug. 18 with a quadriceps strain.