Grading Final Roster Selections for Atlanta Braves

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIMarch 28, 2013

Grading Final Roster Selections for Atlanta Braves

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    The Atlanta Braves have made their final selections for the 25-man roster with a few surprises.

    While injuries to Brian McCann and Jonny Venters have helped make this list what it is, all players earned their spots in one way or another.

    Some will only be up for a short time until both return from injury, while others seem as if they'll stick for a majority of the season.

    Here's a look at each player who won a spot on Opening Day.

Julio Teheran

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    Many don't consider Julio Teheran a final roster selection, but he did come into spring training competing for the No. 5 starting job.

    Teheran came in and lit up the competition during the spring.

    In six starts, Teheran went 3-1 with a 1.04 ERA and 35 strikeouts. He allowed opponents to hit .082, gave up only three runs in 26 innings and had a 0.62 WHIP.

    It's safe to say no pitcher dominated more than he did in all of baseball.

    Now, the regular season starts and Teheran is locked into the No. 5 position.

    Can he keep it up?

    Grade: A+

Evan Gattis

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    Evan Gattis is one of the best feel-good stories you'll hear about in baseball this year.

    Out of baseball for four years, Gattis has slowly climbed his way up the organizational charts and has earned a spot on the 25-man roster to begin the season.

    This spring, Gattis tore up the competition, hitting .357 with six home runs and 16 RBI. He hit the ball well and showed he could play some decent defense behind home plate.

    While the move likely will only last until Brian McCann comes back from injury, Gattis showed that he could possibly take over the starting role in 2014.

    Grade: A+

Jordan Schafer

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    It came down to the end, but Jordan Schafer beat out Jose Constanza for the fifth outfielder spot.

    Both players provide speed and good defense.

    In the end, it was likely Constanza's trouble getting into camp that cost him a spot on the big-league roster.

    While dealing with visa issues, Constanza wasn't getting as good of a look that Schafer was. And, that's what the decision likely came down to.

    As a fifth outfielder, Schafer is nothing more than a pinch-runner on most days with the occasional spot start. With that said, he'll still play an important role in late-game situations on the basepaths.

    Grade: B-

Ramiro Pena

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    Ramiro Pena was simply spectacular in the spring.

    He showed his glove was a lot better than Tyler Pastornicky's, which is why the Braves sent Pastornicky down to Triple-A.

    Pena will be that middle infielder the Braves can confidently put in for late-game situations; most likely for Dan Uggla.

    He's a contact hitter at the plate, which might serve well in pinch-hitting situations.

    Grade: B-

Cristhian Martinez

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    Cristhian Martinez has shown he's a valuable commodity with his ability to come out of the bullpen for long relief.

    There are games when a starter is having a bad day and you need a bullpen arm to eat up innings. That's exactly what Martinez does.

    With Kris Medlen in the starting rotation, it was odd to see Martinez was still competing for a spot on the 25-man roster.

    However, the elbow injury to Jonny Venters ensured Martinez would start the season in Atlanta.

    Grade: B-

Anthony Varvaro

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    In a competition with Martinez for much of the spring, Anthony Vavaro wasn't sure if he would have a spot on the 25-man roster.

    With the injury to Venters, it opened the spot for Vavaro to be in the bullpen.

    Unfortunately for Braves fans, Vavaro struggled in the spring with a 4.63 ERA and had hitters bat .283 against him.

    Last year wasn't any kinder to the right-hander as he had a 5.40 ERA and opponents had a .250 average against him.

    Vavaro's only action this year might be in games that are already decided. I don't see the Braves putting him in for big situations.

    Grade: D-