Though Kevin Pillar and Jesse Chavez came to Spring Training as non-roster invitees last year, the assumption was both would be on Atlanta’s Opening Day roster.
This year’s list of Braves non-roster invitees doesn’t include any of those assumptions. But a year removed from seeing Dylan Dodd make the Opening Day roster as an NRI, it would seem ignorant to say none of this year’s NRIs will be with the team when it opens the regular season in Philadelphia.
The most likely NRI to join Atlanta’s Opening Day roster is
David Fletcher, the veteran middle infielder who was acquired from the Angels in December, when Alex Anthopoulos was flipping the bad contracts that came with the Jarred Kelenic trade.
There wasn’t much reason to be excited about the acquisition of Fletcher, who spent most of last season with the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate. The Braves took him because the Angels were willing to take on the $15 million owed to first baseman Evan White.
White has been an injury-plagued disappointment in MLB, and he would have always been behind Matt Olson in Atlanta. With Fletcher, the Braves at least gained a middle infielder who is a better defensive option than Vaughn Grissom in the utility role.