In six weeks the Atlanta Braves will enter the playoffs,and like every other team in the postseason, they will have a 25-man roster. If they want to win the World Series, they will need to put their best 25 players on that playoff roster. Is B.J. Upton one of the Bravest 25 best players this season?
The postseason is not a marathon like the regular season, it is a sprint. One false move and it can cost a team their chance to bring home a World Series championship. There’s no trophies handed out for what a player’s bubble gun card looks like, how much potential he has, or how much money he makes. The absolutely only thing that matters is production.
B.J. Upton still has time to turn his season around, but my guess is that he won’t. Even if he improves significantly, the fact of the matter is that Jordan Schafer and Reed Johnson (if get returns to 100% health) are both playing very good baseball this season and deserve to platoon in center field. This season at least, they are both better than B.J. Upton.
If Fredi Gonzalez puts his best players on the field, the best players in center field are Jordan Schafer against right-handed pitching and Reed Johnson against lefties. If he wants more power in the line-up, he will put Gattis in left, Justin Upton in right and Jason Heyward in center.
So it comes down to whether or not B.J. Upton deserves a spot on the bench for the playoffs. My guess is that Fredi will go with 12 pitchers in the playoffs. With that thought in mind, who are the five best players to have on the bench?
If you start Schafer in center, then the five bench players you choose come from the pool of Laird, Gattis, R. Johnson, Terdoslavich, Janish, and Upton. Laird, Gattis and Reed Johnson are shoo-ins, so it comes down to Terdoslavich, Janish and Upton for the last two postseason slots.
You need a fifth infielder, so that makes Janish an automatic choice. So the final posteason roster spot comes down to whether or not you keep B.J. Upton or Joey Terdoslavich. What do you think the Braves will do?