Predicting the Braves 2023 Opening Day roster (2.0)

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We are officially a week into Spring Training games, so it’s time to update my Opening Day roster predictions. I did this before Spring Training began, and not much has changed, but there are a few tweaks. I’ll be updating this a couple of times before the start of the season, and hopefully, the Braves brass and I are seeing eye-to-eye. Here are my favorites to win those spots up for grabs one week into Spring Training.


  1. Max Fried
  2. Spencer Strider
  3. Kyle Wright
  4. Charlie Morton
  5. Ian Anderson

I didn’t change anything here from my last Opening Day roster predictions. Kyle Wright is a name to keep an eye on. He’s a little behind after receiving a cortisone shot this offseason, but he said he’s feeling better than he ever has over the last few years. Hopefully, that means he’s good to go for the start of the season.

The battle for the final spot in the rotation is wide open after one round of starts. Mike Soroka remains sidelined with a hamstring issue, which means it’s highly unlikely he’s ready to begin the season in Atlanta. Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder both turned in brutal first outings, but they are still the favorites to earn the job. Right now, I’m sticking with Anderson, but Kolby Allard and Dylan Dodd shouldn’t be counted out. They have been spectacular thus far through two outings in Spring Training.


  1. Raisel Iglesias
  2. A.J. Minter
  3. Collin McHugh
  4. Joe Jimenez
  5. Lucas Luetge
  6. Dylan Lee
  7. Nick Anderson
  8. Kirby Yates

I’m pretty confident the first six players on this list will make the Opening Day roster. The last two are up for grabs, but Yates likely makes it because of his upside and the money the Braves have already committed to him. I also really like the potential of Nick Anderson. As long as he’s healthy, he could be a tremendous addition to the Braves bullpen.


  1. Sean Murphy
  2. Travis d’Arnaud.

These will be the two catchers on the roster unless injury strikes. Chadwick Tromp has already been optioned to AAA Gwinnett.


  1. Austin Riley
  2. Matt Olson
  3. Ozzie Albies
  4. Vaughn Grissom
  5. Orlando Arcia

I don’t see this changing throughout Spring Training either. Vaughn Grissom is establishing himself as the starting shortstop early in camp. That job is nearly sealed, and Arcia has the versatility to play anywhere on the diamond. I don’t see the Braves rolling with more than five infielders.


  1. Ronald Acuna Jr.
  2. Michael Harris II
  3. Eddie Rosario
  4. Marcell Ozuna
  5. Sam Hilliard
  6. Kevin Pillar

This is where things get interesting. The first four spots are locked in. Brian Snitker revealed earlier in the week that Marcell Ozuna will be on the roster come Opening Day. The last two roster openings will be decided between Hilliard, Pillar, Eli White, and Jordan Luplow.

I have a soft spot for Hilliard because of his upside as a power bat. I think the Braves need some more pop off the bench and another potential DH. Luplow would be my second choice, but he’s battling an oblique injury and we might not even see him much during Spring Training. Eli White is on fire to start the the Spring, but I don’t think that’s sustainable. He does add value because of his defense and speed, but I think Pillar brings more to the table. He’s a much better offensive player than White, offers a veteran presence to the clubhouse, and is above average defensively. That’s why he’s currently my favorite to win the Braves final Opening Day roster spot.

Photo: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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