The Atlanta Braves reached the 100-win plateau for the second straight season this weekend. Despite injuries to their starting rotation in the form of Max Fried and Charlie Morton, plus some inconsistency from Kyle Wright, Atlanta is expected to have one of the deeper postseason rosters in the league.
That shouldn't come a huge surprise given their overall talent level. This team is expected to finish the season as the No. 1 seed overall. However, having all that talent means some players who would otherwise make the postseason roster will have to watch from home. Some of these players may currently be on the September roster, while others could expect a call-up, but will be stuck waiting by the phone.
Braves who shouldn't be on the postseason roster: AJ Smith-Shawver
I'm going against my best judgement here, as Smith-Shawver is the best young pitcher in the Braves system and thew quite well just a week ago in a combined start with Darius Vines in Gwinnett. However, there's a reason Atlanta is being cautious with Smith-Shawver's health, as he's only 20 years old and any added high-intensity innings could be detrimental to his longevity.
As one Atlanta insider wrote a few weeks back, a return for Smith-Shawver may not be in the cards.
"AJ Smith-Shawver has been sidelined since Aug. 15 with right shoulder discomfort. The likelihood of him being an option this year seems slim," Mark Bowman wrote.
Smith-Shawver had some productive appearances this summer and surprised Braves fans with how quickly he adjusted to the MLB level. In his recent Triple-A start, he was clocked throwing upwards of 98 MPH.
Talent is definitely not an issue with Smith-Shawver, but his health remains a long-term concern, especially at such a young age. Expect him to be ready for spring training if the team opts against pitching him in the postseason.