(National League, South Division)
From Boston to Milwaukee and finally to Atlanta, the Braves have been a baseball mainstay for nearly 150 years – home to Hank Aaron, “America’s Team” on WTBS, and 14 consecutive division titles from 1991-2005.
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HUGH DUFFY POWERS BRAVES OVER NATIONAL 9-3 ON OPENING DAY Eternal Baseball Press ATLANTA – Hugh Duffy’s bat and Greg Maddux’s mastery were more than the Nationals could handle, as the Braves powered their way to a 9-3 victory on Opening Day. A primetime matchup of...
GIANTS POUND BRAVES TO START THE PRE-SEASON
Atlanta Braves Active Roster at Eternal Baseball Catchers & Infielders: C – Javy LopezC – Joe Torre (1B/3B)1B – Freddie Freeman2B – Ozzie AlbiesSS – Herman Long (2B/LF)3B – Chipper Jones (LF/SS)CI – Eddie Mathews (3B)CI – Bob Elliott (3B/RF) Outfielders: LF – Joe...
Active 26 Man Roster
Catchers & Infielders:
- C – Javy Lopez
- C – Joe Torre (1B/3B)
- C – Brian McCann
- 1B – Freddie Freeman
- 2B – Ozzie Albies
- SS – Herman Long (2B/LF)
- 3B – Chipper Jones (LF/SS)
- CI – Eddie Mathews (3B)
- CI – Fred McGriff (1B)
- LF – Bob Elliott (3B/RF)
- CF – Dale Murphy (RF/LF/C)
- RF – Hank Aaron (CF)
- OF – Hugh Duffy (LF/CF/RF)
- OF – Ronald Acuna (LF/CF/RF)
- SP – Greg Maddux
- SP – Vic Willis
- SP – Dick Rudolph
- SP – Warren Spahn
- SP – John Smoltz
- SP – Kid Nichols
- CL – Craig Kimbrel
- SU – Gene Garber
- RP – John Clarkson
- RP – Jim Whitney
- RP – John Rocker
- RP – Tom Glavine
On the Farm
Catchers & Infielders:
- 1B – Joe Adcock
- 3B/CF/RF – Tommy McCarthy
- C – Del Crandall
- SS – Rabbit Maranville
- 3B – Bob Horner
- LF/CF – Wally Berger
- LF/RF – David Justice
- CF – Andruw Jones
- P – Tim Hudson
- P – Tommy Bond
- P – Phil Niekro
- P – Lew Burdette
- P – Johnny Sain
- P – Max Fried
Building the Roster: Atlanta Braves
With every team, we started building their all-time 25-man and 40-man rosters by using the Hall of Fame as a starting point, figuring that a player enshrined in baseball’s immortal Hall would certainly qualify to make his team’s all-time roster.
Almost all the Hall of Fame members are easily identifiable with one team so it’s a simple way to start every roster with near-inarguable selections.
The two notable players Atlanta had to fight for were Fred McGriff and Greg Maddux .
Toronto: 5 seasons, 0 All-Star, 0 MVPs, 19.4 WAR, .278 AVG, 348 Runs, 305 RBI, 125 HR, 21 SB
Atlanta: 5 seasons, 3-time All-Star, 0 MVPs, 11.1 WAR, .293 Avg, 383 Runs, 446 RBI, 130 HR, 23 SB + 1 World Series Title
Tampa Bay: 5 seasons, 1 All-Star, 0 MVPs, 9 WAR, .291 AVG, 277 Runs, 359 RBI, 99 HR, 11 SB
Chicago: 10 years, 2 All-Star Appearances, 1 Cy Young Award, 17.4 WAR, 3.61 ERA, 133 Wins, 47 CG, 1305 K, 14 SHO
Atlanta: 11 years, 6 All-Star appearances, 3 Cy Young Awards, 66.2 WAR, 2.63 ERA, 194 Wins, 61 CG, 1828 K, 21 SHO + 1 World Series Title
McGriff spent five seasons in both Atlanta and Toronto, and while he accumulated more WAR as a Blue Jay, every other stat favors his time as a Brave, so he belongs in Atlanta.
Chicago deserves credit for drafting and developing Maddux, and he chose to go back there after his run in Atlanta wound up, but there’s really no denying that Maddux’s best years and best baseball was played in Atlanta.
As with every team, we are trying to build an active roster with 13 position players and 12 pitchers, and then a 15-player inactive roster of guys who just missed the cut, but remain valuable as callups in case of slumps or injuries.
The 13 active position players are usually two catchers, six infielders, and five outfielders. The stats are built around the average of the player’s best three consecutive seasons.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame gives us a good start here. Remember that we’re talking about the Braves FRANCHISE here so they can pull from their years in Milwaukee and Boston as well.
Cooperstown gives us Chipper Jones, Eddie Mathews, Hank Aaron, Hugh Duffy, Greg Maddux, Vic Willis, Warren Spahn, John Smoltz, Kid Nichols, Tom Glavine, John Clarkson, Tommy McCarthy, Phil Niekro, and Rabbit Maranville.
The Hall of Fame gives us 15 of our 40-man roster, and WAR (Wins Above Replacement), a great stat for looking at the all-around contribution to a team for both hitters and pitchers, can help us with the rest.
We get lots of help here, as in order we find: Dale Murphy, Wally Berger, Freddie Freeman, Tommy Holmes, Herman Long, Johnny Logan, Del Crandall, Joe Adcock, Bob Elliott, Brian McCann, David Justice, and Javy Lopez. Fred McGriff’s tenure in Atlanta was notable so we’ll consider him too.
Apologies to Fred Tenney and Billy Nash, but numbers from the 1880s rarely translate into significant value in today’s game.
Young star Ozzie Albies deserves consideration as the Braves don’t have many second basemen to compete with.
Once plugged into the simulation software, we looked at their OPS (on-base + slugging percentage) and their defensive rankings and they break down like this:
CATCHER: Javy Lopez, Joe Torre, Dale Murphy (sometimes)
FIRST BASE: Freddie Freeman, Fred McGriff
SECOND BASE: Ozzie Albies
SHORTSTOP: Herman Long
THIRD BASE: Eddie Mathews, Bob Elliott
LEFT FIELD: Chipper Jones
CENTER FIELD: Dale Murphy, Ronald Acuna Jr.
RIGHT FIELD: Hank Aaron, Hugh Duffy
That leave inactive roster options Tommy McCarthy, Darrell Evans, Del Crandall, Rabbit Maranville, David Justice, Brian McCann, Wally Berger, and Joe Adcock. Andruw Jones and Marcus Giles make the inactive roster based on their strong 3-year statistical levels.
For the pitching staff we’re looking for six starters and six relievers. Bear in mind that across the whole game you will see dynamic, outstanding starting pitchers that can’t crack an all-time rotation but are better served as relievers on a team than sitting inactive.
The Braves have a long tradition of Hall of Fame pitchers, so we know that seven pitching slots are reserved (Maddux, Willis, Spahn, Smoltz, Nichols, Glavine & Clarkson). With 30 players on the total roster already we have room for ten more pitchers.
Once we dug into the career WAR rankings (as a Brave) we came up with these names:
Craig Kimbrel, Dick Rudolph, Gene Garber, Jim Whitney, John Rocker, Phil Niekro, Johnny Sain, Lew Burdette, Tim Hudson & Tommy Bond.
We looked at their overall numbers in the simulation software and leaned heavily on ERA to come up with these designations:
STARTING ROTATION: Greg Maddux, Vic Willis, Dick Rudolph, Warren Spahn, John Smoltz, Kid Nichols
RELIEVERS: Tom Glavine, Tommy Bond, Jim Whitney, John Clarkson
SET-UP: Gene Garber
CLOSER: Craig Kimbrel
You could move John Smoltz into the back of the bullpen if you wanted to, but we believe he has more value in the starting rotation.
The inactive pitcher options are Tommy Bond, Johnny Sain, Lew Burdette, Tim Hudson, and John Rocker.
So how did we do?
If the Braves are your favorite squad you know them better than us. What did we get right? Where did we go wrong?
Are Fred Tenney and Billy Nash grievous omissions?
Does Ozzie Albies deserve a spot with these titans of the game?
Would you start Chipper Jones over Eddie Mathews at third?
What batting order would you suggest versus lefties and righties?
Let us know in the forums below and if you make a compelling case we will adapt it in-game. We want every squad to be the best they possibly can be and appreciate your help fine-tuning the Braves for Eternal Baseball.
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