Which Atlanta Braves benefit from this delay?

In baseball, there are always winners and losers in the process – and timing is often vital.  So which Atlanta Braves stand to benefit from this hiatus in the season?

In sports, timing isn’t everything, but it’s often vital.  That much is obvious, but with multiple Atlanta Braves position battles still in progress when games were halted, things could end up being determined simply by the turn of a calendar.

Jake already noted how this layoff could harm Felix Hernandez‘ chances at making the rotation.  There’s another aspect to his roster candidacy that may also have animpact:  an out clause.

Veterans trying to land jobs with a new club as a non-roster invitee will often have these clauses written into their minor league deals.

Ultimately they just want to get on the field and play for somebody, and if they don’t get picked up by the contracting club, these clauses give them a chance to select an alternate landing spot with another team that has a pressing need.

These clauses usually kick in during Spring Training’s last week.  For example, it’s known that former Brave Anthony Swarzak has a March 19 ‘out’ date with the Phillies.

If he’s not promised a roster spot, he has the right to leave the team and pursue other opportunities.  2 other Phillies’ hopefuls are in the same boat with Swarzak; 2 others – including former Brave Phil Gosselin – have March 23 out dates.  So yes:  it’s very common.

Whether Hernandez specifically has such a clause in his contract is a matter that has not been made public.  If so, all parties concerned would have to come together to adjust that date if there’s a desire to ride out this delay; but without such action, these clauses will be coming up within the next week or so – virus or no virus.

This is simply one more way that either Sean Newcomb, Kyle Wright, or both (depending on the health of Cole Hamels) might be able to benefit from this delay.

It is possible that Atlanta might have to make a ‘go/no-go’ decision on Hernandez well before anyone gets out on a mound again, and right now he would almost have to be the odd man out, thus bringing the youngsters up a notch.

UPDATE:  there may be some relief coming for King Felix, others on this point…


Help for Hech

Time will tell whether this ends up being a blessing or a curse for him, but Adeiny Hechavarria was sidelined early on this Spring with oblique tightness and was just getting to the point where he could get back on the field when the plugs were pulled.

In fact, he played in weekend contests on March 7 and 8, but then didn’t appear again in a another major league game after that… so absent any specific reports, there is reason to think he still wasn’t whole.

Clearly, this break can help him get fully healthy again.  Unlike with Charlie Culberson, Hech’s deal with the Atlanta Braves was a major league contract, and thus this delay may serve to help both him and the Braves if they don’t have to give up a roster spot to add Culberson.

Obviously, that doesn’t bode well for Charlie Clutch, but as we’ve noted, timing produces both winners and losers in the process.


The Camargo/Riley Battle

We discussed this at length during this week’s podcast, but ultimately, the Spring performances for both of these players could end up landing both of them in Atlanta.

Right now the scuttlebutt is about an expectation of a 2-weeks Spring Training extension prior to the launch of a regular season… whenever that happens.  In 2 weeks, there’s simply not enough time to change the minds of any coaches about any position… thus, if there’s players who have already made solid impressions… they could have the jobs handed to them.

It’s generally our take that both Johan Camargo and Austin Riley have done enough good work to earn spots on the club.  On top of that, both are also on the 40-man roster, so it’s hardly a stretch to suggest that the easy way out for the Atlanta Braves is to put both on the active roster… and then figure things out from there.

It’s certainly the best option for the club offensively, and neither are hurting defensively, so after that, it’s more of a matter of figuring out how best to use them.

So in this instance, it isn’t that the extra time off helps one or the other; rather it might be that it doesn’t permit either to falter from the perch both have been riding.

It may not transpire in this manner, but from where we sit… it’s hard to see how the Braves are a better club by taking only one.

Next: Ranking the Best of the Best

So sure:  these players would all rather be on the field now, but having extra days off is not always a bad thing.