The Atlanta Braves Finalize Roster. Somehow Jose Constanza Makes Team

I honestly do not know why I am surprised by some of the moves that the Atlanta Braves make sometimes. They announced their 25 man roster today and there was a surprise, to say the least. What was expected was Tyler Pastornicky, Randall Delgado, and Yohan Flande to make the team. Pastornicky seperated himself over the final two weeks of the Spring. Delgado struggled at times, but wasn’t as bad as Julio Teheran. Yohan Flande earned his spot in the bullpen, especially as Cory Gearrin struggled at the end of the Spring. These moves were not the surprise, though. The final spot on the team was surprising.

Jose Constanza “won” the final spot on the team. He seems to have made the team because he was on the 40 man roster. He was outplayed by Jordan Parraz and Luis Durango throughout the spring. He belted an outstanding .175/.195/.175. Yes, his OPS was .370. Parraz and Durango had higher OBPs than Constanza’s OPS. Yet, he made the team?!? I am baffled.

Never underestimate blackmail. Constanza may have pictures of Fredi Gonzalez in questionable situations. There is no other explanation for his inclusion on the 25 man roster.

The question I have is what does a guy have to do to make the team? Parraz slugged .511 with 8 RBIs, which was good for 6th on the team. Durango hit .467 and had a .556 OBP. Both are much better hitters than Constanza. Both can play all three outfield positions.

The Braves also have 5 open spots on their 40 man roster. There is no obvious reason why they need 5 spots on their 40 man roster. Chalk this signing up as another baffling move that the Atlanta Braves made.

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  • Undocorkscrew

    It’s not really that big of a deal. Like you said, he made the cut because he was on the 40-man. I’m sure his successful cup of coffee last year had something to do with it, even if he’s very likely to regress against big-league pitching.

    I wouldn’t call Parraz a much better hitter. He doesn’t have as much speed and the very modest amount of power he has over Durango and Constanza doesn’t make up the difference in speed and contact rates.

    I personally would’ve handed it to Durango, and if Constanza continues to struggle I expect him to be the replacement. 60 or so plate appearances in spring doesn’t count for much though and those two have the exact same skill set. Only real difference is Constanza’s superior SB success rate.

    • Chad

      I wouldn’t call Constanza’s cup of coffee a success. He was successful for the first couple weeks. If you look at his September stats, when teams made adjustments to his speed, his value plummetted. He hit .174 for the month of September and October.

      I think Parraz is the better hitter out of all three players. Durango is the better overall player, offense and defense. Ultimately it is a wash…as long as Gonzalez doesn’t start him over Jason Heyward or Michael Bourn.

  • Matt

    Eh, they’re all like 27 year old non-prospects with someone similar minor league numbers. Durango probably has the strongest MiLB numbers of the three, and hasn’t had the long minor league careers they have, so I might have given him the nod.

    You keep banging that spring training drum, Chad. If Fredi likes Constanza the most, because of baserunning or whatever reason, I wouldn’t really want his mind being changed based on 30 spring training AB’s…on principle anyway. In actuality I hate this decision.

    As has been echoed all offseason by various and sundry posters, it would be nice if we could trust our manager to use any of these guys in the best ways for them and for our team (which means not starting them consistently over Jason Heyward), up to and including demoting one and bringing up another if it’s not working out. I do no trust Fredi with Constanza, though.

    • Chad

      Yeah, my feelings that I had with Fredi utilizing Livan is the same in using Constanza. If he is a pinch runner or defensive replacement, then he does have value. If he is a pinch-hitter, then no. He has no value whatsoever.

      When there are positional competition, shouldn’t spring stats matter somewhat?

      • Eduardo53

        No siree and to opine otherwise makes about as much sense as a screen door on a battleship – er, submarine.

        It doesn’t matter worth a hot darn anyhoo – the 25th man is getting sent back to the bus leagues as soon as Larry is ready to go, on or about the home opener.

        • Blausy Tiberius

          Right you are, Eduardo53. Chill out, Chad. Jose won’t be here long.

          • George

            Hopefully this goes thru since mr. Ranting Sportser has taken lately to delting every single thing I post…

            Man you love you some Parraz and Dodge Durgano. Any why should’t you? After all, theyve proven theirselves in that unrelenting crucible: Spring Training, man. It separates the men from the boys. Identifies who is truly clutch, and who folds like a cheap suit when faced with the pressure of facing a minor leauge scrub at a crucial moment of a game in March that noone cares about winning and, if tied, will be called on account of ennui.

          • Chad

            How do you think the Braves should go about filling the spot, Georgie? Durango has MLB experience. Parraz had some good ABs against good pitchers this spring. Both are better than Constanza.

            Maybe the question I have for all of you blokes is how should teams determine value for these players in Spring Training?

            Obviously the Braves would rather sign guys with “experience” like Durbin and Livan than to have unproven youngsters out of the bullpen. I guess Fredi’s infatuation with Constanza is still going strong.

  • Chief Locked Heart

    Hah, nice George.

    Yeah, they’re all AAAA players with like 8 year minor league careers. I don’t like the way Constanza was used last season, but 37 AB’s in exhibition games don’t prove anyone’s case.

    Unless you’re trying to see if some 19 year old is as good as his numbers or if some injured guy is really recovered, decisions shouldn’t be made on spring training performance for the most part.

    • George

      Thanks Loched Heart. Your all right.

    • Chad

      What about the September and October disaster that Constanza had in the big leagues?

      • Eduardo53

        Bro I dont think anyone is saying Constanza is a good player. All we or at least moi are saying is that Constanza on the roster for all of a week (until Larry is good to go) or so ain’t exactly the end of all that’s good and decent in the world, especially when Durango and the other dude aren’t any good either.

        Also, about Constanzas “September and October disaster” in the big leagues – can you show my numbers to justify that Constanza played even 1 itty bitty game for the Braves in the month of OCtober 2011?!?

        • Chad

          See? See? All of you are criticizing me about my stance on Constanza, but THIS is why he shouldn’t be on the team!!!!!

          If he is on the team, Fredi will do stupid shit!

  • Frank from Bethlehem

    Well, suddenly I hope that Chad’s right because apparently Juan Pierre has “earned” a more prominent role with my Phillies due to a hot spring. Actually, Charlie Manuel has been a little funny about this, making comments akin to saying the FO should save him from himself and deal Pierre.

    So I guess most of you Braves fans are pleased by this development, and Chad must be terrified by Pierre’s ST batting average.

    Also, FREE GEORGE. Funny stuff, dude.

    • Chad

      Not to mention Pete Orr.

  • Blausy Tiberius

    Wow, Georgie, I didn’t think you had it in you. Well played. It’s now my goal to seamlessly work “called on account of ennui” into a conversation sometime in the next fortnight.

  • Eduardo53

    Chad my man i dont mean to pile on here. I am just trying to pick up what your putting down, you know?

    You say like it’s flat out factual that Durango and Parraz are both better than Constanza. As evidnce you say that “Durango has MLB experience. Parraz had some good ABs against good pitchers this spring.” Okeydoke. Constanza has MLB experience, during which time he had some good ABs against good pitchers. And those good ABs against good pitchers were in games where baseballs were thrown in anger and never ina ny danger of getting called on account of ennui like my man Geo said.

    Your likely gonna come back with Constanza slumping at the tail end of his cup o’ java in MLB last year but i daresay that those other 2 guys if allowed to play long enough would also slump because – and herein lies the evereffing point – neither of them are good players in the MLB. Parraz aint never been called up, Durango ain’t been worth a warm bucket of piss ‘n spit in his limited MLB time and there minor league stats to my memory aint no better or worse than Constanzas but correct me if i’m wrong on that.

    Whoo boy lol this is turning loooooong! like I said my man not trying to be a hater (despite your being a bammer lol, WDE), just trying to get what your saying. cuz what your saying right now dont make no sense, at least to this cat.

    • Chad

      You are right. None of the three guys would have been a solution. As Locked Heart said, they are all AAAA players.

      Drew Sutton, on the other hand, would have been a better add than any of them.

  • Chief Locked Heart

    OK, I’m kinda sorta switching camps here.

    My opinion was that all 3 of these guys, whether they hit well in 37 exhibition game at bats or not, have a long minor league career that projects to a major league line somewhere south of ever justifying major league at bats, so whoever Fredi chose for the 25th man slot and however he chose him was fine…and really a hot spring was low on the list of good reasons.

    Here we are 6 innings into the season, though, and Constanza already has a PA…in a crucial situation at that…and he failed to deliver. WTF was he doing in there? Once again, odds are Parraz and Durango would have also come up empty there…but I’m not so sure Fredi would have even brought them in at all, so Chad wins. Constanza’s inclusion on this roster is a huge mistake.