Braves' Wild Card game roster not yet finalized

Braves' Wild Card game roster not yet finalized

Braves' Wild Card game roster not yet finalized
ATLANTA -- On Thursday, manager Fredi Gonzalez announced the Braves' lineup for Friday's National League Wild Card game against the Cardinals. But he said the team is still working through its final decisions about the rest of the roster leading up to the 10 a.m. ET Friday deadline to set the 25 players who will be active in the Wild Card game.

Gonzalez said the final decisions will come down to whether to take 15 position players and 10 pitchers or 16 position players and nine pitchers. He said they were leaning toward 16 position players, but it could change.

"We're still kicking around those two spots," Gonzalez said.

NL Wild Card

The Braves will have three starting pitchers -- Kris Medlen, Tim Hudson and Mike Minor -- on Friday's roster. Gonzalez said he wants to have insurance if Medlen, who has been announced as Friday's starting pitcher, suffered an injury or some other worst-case scenario between 10 a.m. and game time. A third starter also gives him flexibility if the game turns into a lengthy extra-innings affair.

The Braves' final roster decisions will likely come down to the makeup of their bench. They have to decide whether to carry catcher J.C. Boscan, which would give Gonzalez greater flexibility to use Brian McCann as a pinch-hitter. McCann will serve as David Ross' backup Friday.

Gonzalez knows that whoever does make the final roster could have a big impact on the outcome of the game. Throughout the history of the playoffs, star players and backups alike have emerged as heroes.

"There are 25 guys on Friday that could step up, and maybe the one we least expect is the one that comes up with the big games," Gonzalez said. "That's what makes these formats very good, or fun. If you end up winning them, you know."