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Brian Snitker Discusses Battle for Remaining Bullpen Roles

The Atlanta Braves are trying to decide which relievers to take north when they break camp

The Atlanta Braves have some decisions to make. 

The highest-profile position battles on the roster are the 5th starter's job and who occupies Atlanta's bench, but just as consequential (or maybe even more consequential than the bench roles) is who fills the remaining slots in the Braves bullpen. 

Manager Brian Snitker told the media the other day that it's still up in the air, saying "The long guys and the multiple-inning guys, we’re still discussing that. We’ll let everything play out. But we came in knowing who probably six of the guys were going to be. Nothing has changed. But there’s still a couple of spots that we’ll evaluate.”

Those six pitchers? Closer Raisel Iglesias, LHPs A.J. Minter and Aaron Bummer, and RHPs Joe Jiménez and Pierce Johnson are the first five, owing to a combination of their prior experience and their contracts. 

Lefty Tyler Matzek, continuing to work his way back from Tommy John surgery late in 2022, is the most logical assumption for that sixth pitcher. 

That leaves two more spots in the bullpen up for grabs - let's pause at the halfway mark in camp to look at the options for those final two:

Apr 17, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Dylan Lee (52) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the sixth inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 11, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jackson Stephens (53) throws against the Philadelphia Phillies in the eighth inning during game one of the NLDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Truist Park.
Feb 28, 2024; Clearwater, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Ken Giles (91) throws a pitch during the third inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at BayCare Ballpark.