6 players who won't make the Braves Opening Day roster

Which players will miss out on the honor of making the Opening Day roster? Some of the proven names we listed may shock you.

Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages
2 of 2

Spring Training games are in full swing around the league with Opening Day just over a month away. For the six-time defending NL East champion Atlanta Braves, the battles for the final spots on the 26-man roster could come down to the wire.

So much can change before Opening Day, thanks to the player injuries and front office transactions that tend to flood in around the league throughout the months of February and March. While the Braves are in a better position than most, don't be shocked to see some recognizable names left off the Opening Day roster for a variety of reasons.

Players who won't make the Opening Day roster

Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves
Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Dylan Lee

Another LHP who is returning from injury in 2024 is the often overlooked Dylan Lee. When healthy Lee has been one of the more underrated relievers in all of baseball. If he showcases he is back to his old self this spring, we think he is more than talented enough to claim a roster spot. However, given the amount of time he missed last year, Lee might benefit from a little extra work at Gwinnett to start the season.

Tyler Matzek

Some of the decisions won't be determined by player performance in Spring Training. This is the case for Braves postseason hero Tyler Matzek. Being that Matzek is out of minor league options, we originally thought he'd be a lock for Opening Day.

However, a recent report indicated that instead the Braves could do a savvy move and let Matzek begin the season in the minor leagues on a rehab assignment. This would allow Matzek to knock off some of the cobwebs before returning to Atlanta early in the season.

Forrest Wall

This one is a bit of a bold prediction, especially considering I'm a big fan of Mr. Forrest Wall. However, I think Wall will fall victim of having three minor league options still, and begin the season in Triple-A.

Instead I believe the Braves will roll with one of the non-roster invitees like Jordan Luplow, Eli White, or perhaps a guy not even in camp yet to begin the season. Worry not Forrest Wall fans, I do believe we see him in Atlanta at some point this season.

Ken Giles

One of the non-roster invites that has probably the most name recognition is that of Ken Giles. The once highly effective, hard-throwing closer made waves when his name popped up among the list of non-roster invites for Atlanta.

However, we don't really expect this fairy tale to have a happy ending as Giles has a long way to go before proving his is worthy of a roster spot in a crowded bullpen. Having not pitched more five innings in a season since 2019, Giles has an uphill battle ahead of him this spring.

Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves
Pittsburgh Pirates v Atlanta Braves / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Dylan Dodd

Although Dodd wasn't on the initial 2023 Opening Day roster, he did start one of the Braves first five games last season. This was due to his impressive spring and the injury to Kyle Wright. Dodd started just seven games with the big league club last year, and the results weren't necessarily noteworthy.

This spring Dodd would need a rash of injuries to the rotation to occur to have any hopes of making the 2024 Opening Day roster, which of course something every Braves fan is hoping DOES NOT happen. One of the many reasons to hope for a healthier year from the rotation in Atlanta, would be the added benefit of guys like Dodd, AJ Smith-Shawver, and Hurston Waldrep getting valuable reps in the minor leagues. Speaking of Waldrep...

Hurston Waldrep

The top ranked prospect in the Braves system by many accounts, is the 2023 first round pick out of the University of Florida. Waldrep zoomed through the each level of the minors in his first season of pro ball last year.

Because his season ended in Triple-A Gwinnett, many are speculating if the 21 year-old is worthy of a big league promotion in 2024. Although, we won't rule that out entirely, we do think it's a huge stretch to expect either of Waldrep or AJSS on the Opening Day roster. Both guys would very much benefit with extra time with Gwinnett to harness their command some more.

However, if the rotation starts to leak with injuries like it did much of 2023 in Atlanta, don't be shocked to see on of these young exciting prospects up with the big league club.

More from House That Hank Built