The Braves had some utility infielders in camp. After today, that number is about to seriously dwindle:
The #Braves today reassigned INF Ryan Goins, INF Phil Gosselin and INF Pat Valaika to minor league camp. The club now has 34 players in camp.— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 2, 2022
The 34-year-old Goins failed to appear in a major league game in 2021 for the first time since 2012, spending the entire year at Gwinnett and putting up a weak 73 wRC+. He has a career -0.4 fWAR and was never a serious candidate to break camp with the club.
Phil Gosselin, a 2010 Braves draftee, seemed like he was in the running to make the roster if the Braves opted to carry an extra bench player on their expanded, 28-man April roster, but it looks like the Braves are declining to do so. The 32-year-old has amassed 0.9 fWAR over 1,122 career PAs, and has gotten at least one major league PA in each season dating back to 2013.
Pat Valaika is the youngest of this trio at 29 and has stuck around on the Rockies’ and Orioles’ rosters for the past six years, but has compiled a ghastly -1.7 fWAR in 684 PAs in the process. He did hit a three-run homer in a Spring Training game yesterday, but doesn’t offer much on either side of the ball.
It remains to be seen whether the Braves have the minor version of an ace up their sleeve for the bench, or whether it’ll just be Orlando Arcia and no one else for the infield when the season starts on April 7.