It’s the Braves’ first playoff appearance in five years, and they could have five or six rookies on their 25-man postseason roster.
“There’s so many guys going through this for the first time, young guys, and I want them to take a good look,” general manager Frank Wren said during Sunday’s celebration. “Because we want to keep doing this year after year.”
Right fielder Jason Heyward, infielder Brooks Conrad and reliever Jonny Venters are among the rookies who’ll make the Braves’ division-series roster, and other possibilities include pitchers Craig Kimbrel, Brandon Beachy, Mike Dunn, Cristhian Martinez and Mike Minor, first baseman Freddie Freeman, and infielder Diory Hernandez.
If manager Bobby Cox decides to go with three catchers, J.C. Boscan could make the cut. The roster can be changed from one postseason series to the next.
The Braves don’t have to set their playoff roster until Thursday morning, but will likely announce it Tuesday or Wednesday. They’ll work out at Turner Field at 1 p.m. Tuesday, then fly to San Francisco.
They have a scheduled Wednesday workout at San Francisco’s AT&T Park at 4:45 p.m., Pacific Time.
After surviving a nine-game April losing streak and a late-season slump in which they lost their division and wild-card leads, the Braves won on the last day of the season to qualify for the playoffs.
Hinske back in the postseason
After playing for three different teams in the past three World Series, Eric Hinske is back in the postseason. The Braves would like to see the veteran backup and pinch-hitter extend his streak to an unprecedented four consecutive World Series with four different teams.
“Awesome,” Hinske said during the Braves’ champagne-soaked celebration Sunday after clinching the NL wild card with a win against Philadelphia, coupled with San Diego’s loss to San Francisco. “I mean, it took 162 [games], but we’re here. We would have liked to do it in Friday or Saturday’s games [against the Phillies], but we’ve been living on the edge all year.
“Great group of guys in here. We’re a family.”
Despite advancing to the past three World Series with Boston, Tampa Bay and the Yankees, Hinske, 33, isn’t jaded. Qualifying for the postseason still seemed to excite him as much as any of the many Braves going for the first time.