ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves announced their 25-man roster to open the 2017 season on Sunday.
Catchers (3) – Tyler Flowers, Anthony Recker, Kurt Suzuki
Infielders (6) – Chase d’Arnaud, Freddie Freeman, Adonis Garcia, Jace Peterson, Brandon Phillips, Dansby Swanson,
Outfielders (4) – Emilio Bonifacio, Ender Inciarte, Matt Kemp, Nick Markakis
Pitchers (12) – Josh Collmenter, Bartolo Colón, R.A. Dickey, Mike Foltynewicz, Jaime García, Jim Johnson, Ian Krol, Eric O’Flaherty, Jose Ramirez, Chaz Roe, Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaíno
In addition, Atlanta has placed pitchers Mauricio Cabrera, Armando Rivero and Dan Winkler along with infielder Micah Johnson on the 10-day disabled list to start the season, all retroactive to March 30. Infielder Sean Rodriguez and pitcher Jacob Lindgren were placed on the 60-day disabled list.
After a long spring in which they toyed with the idea of an eight-man bullpen, the Braves eventually decided to carry three catchers and have the extra bat on the bench. That opened the door for Anthony Recker to make the team after being optioned to Triple-A two weeks ago.
Two veterans who came to camp as long shots both made the team. Infielder Emilio Bonifacio won a reserve spot with a solid showing, while lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty appears to have turned back the clock following an elbow procedure over the winter. His effective spring won him a place in the Atlanta bullpen.
Rounding out those seven men, Chaz Roe got the nod over recent signee David Hernandez, who will begin the season with Gwinnett. Atlanta has three off days over the first two weeks of the season, after which time the Braves could revisit the idea of adding an eighth reliever. The team will continue to monitor available options and explore trades that could help strengthen this group.
Dansby Swanson is the lone rookie on the Opening Day roster. Third baseman Rio Ruiz was among the final cuts and was optioned to Triple-A, but he has impressed the organization with his work ethic and improved conditioning each of the last two springs. Ruiz stands to be among the first young players who could reach Atlanta this summer.
The Braves will meet the New York Mets for a three-game series at Citi Field to begin the season. Julio Teheran will face Noah Syndergaard on Monday afternoon (1:10 p.m.).
Following an off day, Bartolo Colon will face Jacob deGrom on Wednesday (7:10 p.m.) and then Jaime Garcia will oppose Matt Harvey in the series finale on Thursday (7:10 p.m.). Atlanta will play three games against the Pittsburgh Pirates and two against the Miami Marlins before returning home to officially open SunTrust Park against the San Diego Padres on Friday, April 14, at 7:35 p.m.
Grant McAuley covers the Braves and MLB for 92-9 The Game. You can hear his show, “Around The Big Leagues” on Saturday mornings from 9-11 a.m. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher. Follow Grant on Twitter and Facebook.