3 Atlanta Braves spring training heroes who won't make Opening Day roster

Unfortunately for these Atlanta Braves, great spring training stats don't always lead to a roster spot.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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As the Atlanta Braves prepare for the regular season, there are very few roster spots available. If there is one thing Alex Anthopoulos excels at, it is roster turnover, especially at positions of importance. The majority of the 2023 Atlanta Braves team -- the same which had one of the most productive lineups in MLB history -- is back.

However, there are still a few spots up for grabs, which has led to chaos amid the fanbase. Roster battles are often ruthless, as the winner starts the season with the big-league club and the loser is sent to the minor leagues or worse, is out of options and therefore sent back to the cold free-agent market.

I should note here that spring training stats are often misleading. Players are facing different levels of competition, especially if they come in late in a game. Spring training is also a time for pitchers to strategize, and hitters to work out a hitch in their swing, just as an example. Behind the scenes, the coaching staff and front office can often identify who deserves to make the Opening Day roster.

With that in mind, these three Braves sadly won't make the roster despite an impressive spring.

3. Hurston Waldrep will start the season in Gwinnett

Atlanta sent Hurston Waldrep to minor-league camp just this weekend, which is a great sign for their starting rotation. Fansided's Cody Williams noted this in his take on the matter:

"Waldrep had lived up to the hype thus far in spring training, albeit in limited work. In two appearances and 4.1 innings of work, the former first-round pick struck out five and didn't allow a run while conceding just two hits but also four walks...The fact that Waldrep is going to start the year in the minor leagues is a strong indication that the Braves like their options with MLB experience for the No. 5 starter role."

Waldrep has advanced through the Braves system very quickly, as he was drafted just last season out of Florida. The Braves view him as a hybrid relief pitcher/starting pitcher, but certainly don't need him in the majors just yet. Reynaldo Lopez, who could start the season in the rotation, also projects as a similar player.

In the meantime, Waldrep can work out some of the kinks in his windup, while adding to his breaking pitch mix. He has the stuff to be a productive big leaguer, but experience against Triple-A competition will only help matters.