Pitchers and catchers are reporting in less than a week. It almost doesn’t feel real, but we have finally made it. Baseball is back! And within a couple of weeks, we will have actual games taking place. I’ll do a couple of versions of these throughout Spring Training leading up to the season, but as of today, here’s how I expect the Braves Opening Day roster to look.
There are some fantastic rotations out there, but I have a hard time believing there’s one better than this. Max Fried and Spencer Strider are Cy Young candidates. Kyle Wright won 20 games last year, and I have no doubt that Charlie Morton will bounce back after a down 2022. The fifth spot is the only spot in question, and I’m giving it to Ian Anderson. I believe in this young man, and it’s almost as if people forgot just how good he was before last season. Soroka and Elder are legitimate candidates, but there’s a chance for Anderson to be the best #5 in baseball. It’s absurd how deep this rotation is.
- Raisel Iglesias
- A.J Minter
- Joe Jiménez
- Collin McHugh
- Kirby Yates
- Lucas Luetge
- Dylan Lee
- Jackson Stephens
This is the most difficult part to predict. The top four are locks, and I have to think Yates and Luetge are at least going to get a fair chance to begin the season. Lee was so good for the Braves last year that it would be difficult to leave him off the roster. I’m pretty confident about those seven, but the eighth spot is up in the air. I went with Jackson Stephens because I believe his stuff is legit, and he’s much younger than Jesse Chavez. However, someone like Dennis Santana could also have a say.
There’s not much to say here; this is the easiest of all the positions to predict. Unless there is an injury, these are the only two catchers that will be on the roster.
This should be the five guys that make the Opening Day roster, and I don’t expect any more. Ehire Adrianza and Adeiny Hechavarria have an outside shot, but I only think one of them makes it if Vaughn Grissom performs terribly in Spring Training and loses the starting job, leading to him starting the season in Gwinnett.
The competition for the final outfield spots will be one to watch this offseason. The only guys guaranteed to make the roster are Harris, Acuña, and Rosario. I wouldn’t even put Ozuna in that category. With a putrid Spring Training performance, the Braves might finally decide to cut ties with The Big Bear. Luplow should make it, and I like the potential upside of Hilliard, but Eli White and Kevin Pillar are also options that will be competing for those final spots.
Who would be on your Braves Opening Day roster?