Anthopoulos knew in April Braves were 'on the road' to postseason

Dukes & Bell
October 04, 2018 - 3:52 pm
Atlanta Braves left fielder Ronald Acuna Jr.

© Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos joined Dukes & Bell Thursday as the Braves prepare for Game 1 in Los Angeles against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On assembling the National League Division Series 254-man roster:

“we had pretty extensive meetings, my staff, Snit, his coaches... end of the day Snit is going to make the final decision because he has to use these players," said Anthopoulos. "But we went through things like how these guys match up against the Dodgers and how they won’t to use them.”

On whether he asked for Charlie Culberson to be included in the Matt Kemp deal specifically...

“Theres no doubt, we asked for him," said the Braves' GM. "Charlie was a guy who is great in the clubhouse, he was all glove and light bat in LA, was very clutch in the playoffs last year, and we knew we were getting a guy who was clutch and a great guy in the clubhouse and he’s come a long way with his bat.”

Carl Dukes asked Anthopoulos when he had an idea that this ballclub could make it to the postseason.

“I’d say at the end of April we were on the road... I remember we needed a starter on the first game of the series with New York and I said what about Soroka, the debut about giving him more time or bringing him up to seize the moment and try to win right now because the hot start felt real,” said Anthopoulos.

On acquiring Kevin Gausman...

“He’s been great, we thought he could be better than what he showed with the Orioles, we felt like getting him out of the AL and to the NL with our strong defense, and we put a lot of emphasis on our prep and with all those thing we felt like there was a lot of upside and he’s been big for us to this point,” said Anthopoulos.

Will the pressure get to these young players, Dukes asked Anthopoulos.

“With this group, high energy, fun loving, just happy to compete every day this is the type of group that and I don’t think you’ll see any nerves from our group.”

On Anthopoulos knowing the Dodgers really well...

“I know how good they are, how prepared they are," said the Braves GM. "They are a great opponent, I felt like from the beginning of the year they would win the NL West. They have tremendous depth, but depending on how things go they have a lot of options, look if we pitch the way we can doesn’t matter what lineup they throw out against us.”

On offseason topics...

“We have some key guys on this time who are set to be Free Agents, so we have a lot of work to do," said Anthopoulos. "But right now all we care about is this series, and hopefully we don’t have to worry about all that til the end of October after a World Series parade.”

On Braves manager Brian Snitker... 

"Very rare instances can you have team success where players aren't on the same page as the manager," said Anthopoulos. "They don't have to be friends but having the respect for him, if you can't connect with the players that's a non starter. Snit can do that in his sleep and then you look at the other components. Big part of managing beyond what you do during the game is being able to keep the clubhouse together, that's a really critical thing and he does that better than anybody."

On Dansby Swanson not making the NLDS roster...  

"Tough call, it's been slow to recover," said Anthopoulos. "He's says it's gotten better but who knows at this point, we know we've got til the next round to decide, I think there's certainly a chance but we don't know more until middle of next week."