Players fans won't believe were on the Atlanta Braves opening day roster since 2018

Making the Opening Day roster can be a big honor for baseball players, but sometimes, fans forget they were ever on the roster as the years go by.

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Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies / G Fiume/GettyImages
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This year's Opening Day roster for the Atlanta Braves will feature plenty of familiar faces, from prospects-turned superstars like Ronald Acuña Jr., multi-stinters like Adam Duvall and Jesse Chavez, and new faces like Chris Sale.

Every year, however, there are a few faces that even the most intense Braves fans forget were ever on the roster to begin with, not even to mention the Opening Day roster.

We'll be looking at 17 players from the last six Opening Days that you probably forgot were on the roster.

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies / Patrick Duffy/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages


Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart was one of the last guys on the depth chart when he made the Opening Day roster in 2018. Somehow, two games into the season, his addition was wise, as both Kurt Suzuki and Tyler Flowers went down with injuries.

Stewart ended up playing five games for the Braves before being DFA'd on April 4. He had three hits for the team.

Rex Brothers

Rex Brothers had pitched poorly for the 2017 Braves but somehow found a way onto the 2018 Opening Day roster.

On Opening Day, he came in for Julio Teheran in the 6th, walked J.P. Crawford, walked Maikel Franco, and then came out of the game.

He had an INF ERA, was sent down to the minors, and then never pitched for the Braves again.

Peter Bourjos

Bourjos' tenure with the Braves lasted longer than Stewart's or Brothers', but not by much. He made the team out of Spring Training after the Braves decided that a certain 20-year-old future MVP wasn't quite ready to be called up.

Bourjos played 18 games and slashed .120/.185/.160 in 27 plate appearances before the Braves decided it was time for Ronald Acuña Jr. to make his debut. When the Braves called up Acuña, they DFA'd Bourjos.

However, after re-signing and heading to the minors, the eventual Rookie of the Year injured his knee and missed a month, Bourjos eventually came back up (although he had to wait a few days because of a weird roster stipulation.)

Bourjos stuck with the Braves until the end of June when he was again DFA'd and eventually released. He was teammates with Ronald Acuña Jr. for exactly two days.


Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies / G Fiume/GettyImages

Jonny Venters

Jonny Venters being on an Opening Day Braves roster isn't too surprising. After all, he was one-third of the Braves elite high-leverage reliever corps nicknamed "O'Ventebrel" from 2010-2012.

Jonny Venters being on the 2019 Opening Day roster is much more surprising. After all, after going down with Tommy John Surgery, Venters went on to miss 2013-2017 before finally coming back with the Rays in 2018.

The Braves acquired the lefty that July and he pitched decently, allowing eight earned runs in 20.1 innings. The Braves renewed his contract for the 2019 season, and he made the opening-day roster.

Unfortunately, the wheels fell off after that. He pitched in six games that April and had a 20.25 ERA (that's not a typo, unfortunately), went on the IL, came back in May, pitched four more games, lowering his ERA to 17.36 (also not a typo), before being released on May 18. He pitched a total of 4.2 innings.

Venters ended up pitching 3.1 innings with the Nationals that season, which means he did get a World Series ring, even though he didn't actually pitch in the playoffs.

Kyle Wright

Kyle Wright's Braves tenure will be remembered for his 20-win breakout season, but his road to that was certainly rocky.

Wright made his debut in 2018, pitching four games and allowing three runs in six innings. He then made the Opening Day roster in 2019, starting the third game of the year. He struggled in his first three starts, was sent to the minors, and only pitched four more games, with three of those being relief appearances in September.

Bryse Wilson

Wilson's 2019 story was very similar to Wright's. A rookie who debuted in 2018, the Braves put him on the bump for the second game of the season, got hammered, and was immediately sent down. Wilson would only appear in five more games the rest of the season. For the 2019 season, Wilson had a 7.20 ERA in 20 innings.


Alex Jackson and William Contreras

I'm pairing these two together because of why they made the team. Going into the shortened 2020 season, the Braves were set at catcher. They had signed Travis d'Arnaud, who just had a breakout season, to pair with Tyler Flowers, who had been with the team since 2016.

Then they both got sick. With the season starting in the middle of the pandemic, teams were extra cautious with any illness, and both Flowers and d'Arnaud were feeling under the weather. Because of this, Alex Jackson was the Braves Opening Day starter, while William Contreras made the team as the backup.

They caught the first five games of the season until the actual catching tandem were healthy enough to return. Contreras didn't play the rest of the season, while Jackson only got into two games in late August where he entered as a defensive replacement and didn't register a PA.

Jhoulys Chacín

Chacín has to be one of the more random two-stint Braves out there. First appearing with the Braves in 2016, Chacín benefitted from the 30-man expanded Opening Day roster size in 2020. The righty only appeared in two games with the Braves and had a 7.20 ERA, before being DFA'd for Chris Rusin, who only played one game for Atlanta.

Mike Foltynewicz

It's better if Braves fans forgot about Mike Foltynewicz's final two games with the club. In 2020, he was on the fringe of not making the roster at all. The Braves gave him one final start where he allowed six runs in 3.1 innings, and was designated for assignment before the game was even over.


Alex Jackson (again)

The eventual World Series champions had seven catchers in 2021. While William Contreras saw the second-most games at the position, behind d'Arnaud, it was Alex Jackson who opened the season as the backup.

He played 10 games with the Braves before getting injured in Toronto... I mean Dunedin. He then injured his pinky on a rehab assignment and never played for the Braves again. He was traded at the end of July for Adam Duvall, which ended up being a very good trade.

Nate Jones

Coincidentally enough, Nate Jones' final game with the Braves was on the same day as Alex Jackson's. Jones pitched 10 innings for the Braves in 2021 and had a 3.48 ERA, but his 8.78 FIP showed reason for the Braves to move on.


Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves / Adam Hagy/GettyImages

Tucker Davidson

Tucker Davidson made the 26-man roster out of Spring Training but only appeared in one game before being sent down. He struggled in one April game, allowing five runs in 2.2. innings. He'd pitch in three more games with the Braves in May and was traded along with Jesse Chavez for Raisel Iglesias.
While he didn't spend long on the Braves roster, he stayed just long enough to get his World Series ring during the Braves' home opening weekend.

Sean Newcomb

Sean Newcomb also made the 2022 Braves Opening Day roster and pitched three games for the team. He allowed four runs in his five innings pitched. He also has something in common with Tucker Davidson. He was involved in a trade for Jesse Chavez.

On April 20, the Braves decided they wanted the beloved Braves reliever back for the third (but certainly not the last) time and traded Sean Newcomb for him. Newcomb, like Davidson, wasn't on the roster long but did get to get his World Series ring during the ceremony.

Manny Piña

What is it with fringe catchers who make the Opening Day roster and have short stays with the Braves? Going into 2022, Atlanta expected Manny Piña, who they signed to a two-year deal that offseason, to be their backup catcher.

Unfortunately for Piña, he suffered a wrist injury in late April and never appeared in a game for the team again. In the 2023 offseason, he was part of the package that brought All-Star catcher Sean Murphy to Atlanta.


Ehire Adrianza

Adrianza's first stint with the Braves was far more notable than his second. In 2021, he had 209 PAs. In 2022 and 2023 with the Braves, he had 17.

In 2023, Adrianza didn't even appear in a game until April 9, the 10th game of the year. He then got three plate appearances three days later when Orlando Arcia got hit on the wrist. The switch-hitter only got into three more games, with his last coming on May 1. He then went on the IL with "right elbow inflammation" and was never seen again.

Jared Shuster

A first-round pick in 2020, Shuster was on the Braves 40-man roster and made the club out of Spring Training over Bryce Elder. He was given two starts, allowed eight runs in 8.2 innings, and was sent to the minors.

Over the next four months, the lefty found himself on the Gwinnett shuttle, lost his number twice, and finished the season with a 5.81 ERA. After the season, he was part of the massive deal that brought Aaron Bummer to the Braves.

Did any of these names surprise you? It's wild to see how quickly a roster can change and how soon some players can be forgotten. We could look back on the 2024 roster years down the road and be surprised by a name on the roster.

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