5 Braves players fighting for their futures ahead of 2024 season

Several players down at spring training with the Braves are just trying to hang on for dear life for a shot in the big leagues this season.

St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves
St. Louis Cardinals v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Dylan Lee

The stars aligned for Dylan Lee during the 2022 season. After a fairly disastrous debut in the 2021 World Series of all times, Lee was a revelation for the Braves the following season where he posted a 2.13 ERA in 46 appearances. He missed bats, pounded the strike zone, and was a critical left-handed bridge to the later innings for Atlanta. Unfortunately, the injury bug bit him and now he is battling to re-establish himself in the Braves' bullpen.

Shoulder troubles limited Lee to just 24 mediocre appearances in 2023 and he ultimately had surgery to try and alleviate the problem. Since then, however, the Braves have added another lefty bullpen arm in Aaron Bummer, are expected to get Tyler Matzek (another lefty) back from the injured list soon, and have several high upside lefties hanging around including the stellar AJ Minter. After a rough start to spring training this year, Lee finds himself needing to turn things around in a hurry. Otherwise, he could find himself back in the minor leagues with a tough path back to playing time in Atlanta.

Grant Holmes

We wanted to include a guy that hasn't gotten a big league opportunity yet, but has hung around as a minor league veteran. Grant Holmes is the name that gets the nod there and while he is only a non-roster invitee with next to no chance of getting a big league roster spot right out of camp, making a good impression will go a long way to determining whether he can find his way to the majors at some point or if he will have to figure another way to make a living before too long.

Holmes has been a pro since 2014 when he was drafted in the first round by the Dodgers. He was actually a starter through 2019 before being moved to the bullpen, but his minor league career with the Dodgers, Athletics, and Braves has been more notable for his unrealized potential and mediocre results than anything else. The Braves brought him back to camp for the 2024 season, but Holmes is running out of time to convince folks that he deserves a chance to be a productive big league pitcher.

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