After being shelved for a bit due to a cortisone injection in his pitching shoulder, Kyle Wright made his debut today, and it wasn’t great (not that I was expecting great). In 2.2 innings, Wright gave up 4 runs on 5 hits, including 2 home runs and a double. He was then pulled mid-hitter (likely due to a strict pitch count limit, but it’s at least worth noting).
It was his first start of the spring and results matter very little, but after his outing, he was interviewed and his answers made me a little squidgy.
I don’t doubt that Wright felt fine and I’m not worried about his velocity, but what worries me is that he had a brilliant 2022 so why would he tweak mechanics? Therein lies my worry.
Matt Olson is Barry Bonds‘ing Out Here! Updated OPS’s
Matt Olson went deep for the 6th time of the spring and is now carrying a 1.597 OPS, besting Barry Bonds’ best by .175 points. Take that, jughead. All the Braves regulars seem to be swinging the at well and here are some updated OPS numbers:
- Ozzie Albies: .885
- Matt Olson: 1.597
- Austin Riley: .968
- Travis D’Arnaud: .549
- Michael Harris II: .871
- Marcell Ozuna: .872
- Eddie Rosario: .389 (played well in WBC)
- Vaughn Grissom: .829
- Braden Shewmake: .834
- Sean Murphy: .530
- Sam Hilliard: .979
- Orlando Arcia: .727
AJ Smith-Shawver Makes Spring Debut
A pitching prospect that has a lot of Braves prospect gurus all hot and bothered made his spring debut today. AJ Smith Shawver threw 2 innings of 0 run ball. He gave up 2 singles and 2 walks while striking out 3. He’s only 20 and definitely looks like a fast riser if he can keep his walks down.
Updated Braves Roster Predictions
After watching today, I just can’t put faith that Kyle Wright will break the season in the bigs. I think he starts the year on the IL and we see 2 new starting pitchers break camp on the team.
Jackson Stephens was on a split contract, but had to be removed from the 40-man roster. He could have become a free agent, but he likely has a fairly large (and guaranteed) chunk of change coming his way at Gwinnett and that would have not been guaranteed if he had opted out. With that being said, there are going to be 40-man spots open and the back end of the bullpen could change before Opening Day. But for now…
There’s no guesswork when it comes to the catching. Alex Anthopoulos has a type and now he was 2 that fit his mold.
C (2): Travis D’Arnaud and Sean Murphy
When Austin Riley covered 1B last year for the one game Matt Olson sat, it was disastrous. Now, Brian Snitker can deploy Sean Murphy at 1B should Olson need a day of field rest. Unless Vaughn Grissom gets multiple SS starts in a row from here on out, the educated guess is that Braden Shewmake has the upper hand (let it be know that Shewmake played 2B today, as well). There’s a 2nd guess, and it’s slightly less educated, but Shewmake would be trade bait, and the Braves could be shopping outside their aisle for a SS to start the year. We shall see. Unless Vaughn Grissom gets multiple SS starts in a row from here on out, the educated guess is that Braden Shewmake has the upper hand (let it be know that Shewmake played 2B today, as well). There’s a 2nd guess, and it’s slightly less educated, but Shewmake would be trade bait, and the Braves could be shopping outside their aisle for a SS to start the year. We shall see. For now, Albies and Riley will be on the bookends of uncertainty and I sure hope it works out.
Infield (4): Matt Olson, Ozzie Albies, Braden Shewmake, Austin Riley
The Braves should have one of the most dynamic outfields in the majors if they can just get average production out of left field. With so many dudes trying out for the position, surely someone can stick and be and be an average player.
Outfield (3): Ronald Acuña Jr, Michael Harris II, Eddie Rosario
Unless there’s a trade (please God, let it be Ozuna), the Braves have Marcell Ozuna and Orlando Arcia under contract for the 2023 year, and after that, there’s a lot of guesswork. My hunch is that they’ll go outside the org for 1 player, but I have not idea who that would be, but if they stay in-house, here’s my guess for the 5!
We will likely find out the fates of some of these players either later today or tomorrow and will have an update when we do!