Most of the heavy lifting this offseason is finished for the Braves. Alex Anthopoulos has solidified the rotation with the addition of Chris Sale. He’s bolstered the bullpen with multiple high-powered arms, and he’s also filled the hole in left field by trading for former 6th overall pick Jarred Kelenic. The last thing on the docket looks to be finding a fourth outfielder and potential platoon option for Kelenic, but outside of that, I don’t see another blockbuster move prior to Opening Day.
So, what might the Braves lineup look like a few months from now? Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report recently took a stab at just that in his 2024 Opening Day Lineup Predictions 2.0.
Projected Starting Lineup
RF Ronald Acuña Jr.
2B Ozzie Albies
3B Austin Riley
1B Matt Olson
DH Marcell Ozuna
C Sean Murphy
CF Michael Harris II
LF Jarred Kelenic
SS Orlando Arcia
SP Max Fried
-The Braves plugged the only obvious hole in the starting lineup when they acquired young outfielder Jarred Kelenic from the Seattle Mariners at the beginning of December. The 24-year-old is controllable through 2028 and is coming off a 2.0-WAR season.
-With Vaughn Grissom traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Chris Sale, the Braves could look to add a right-handed-hitting outfielder to serve as a platoon partner in left field.
Joel Reuter nails the top four. Matt Olson really experienced a surge after he was moved from the second spot in the order to cleanup.
Marcell Ozuna and Sean Murphy could be flipped, depending on how Brian Snitker is feeling on Opening Day, but I’m really interested to see how Snit constructs the bottom third of the Braves lineup. Michael Harris II could potentially be bumped up to seventh, but he seems to really have found a spot at the bottom of the order, and the Braves like him there so he can get on base in front of Ronald Acuña Jr. As far as Opening Day goes, I would expect Harris to bat ninth, but if he experiences an All-Star caliber season, it may be time to consider moving him up to ensure he gets more at-bats.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire