Atlanta Braves Spring Training: Notes from Game 2

Game 2 of the Atlanta Braves spring training season was a matchup between the Braves and the Tigers. Bryse Wilson got the start with Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, and Freddie Freeman starting for a 2nd straight day.

Braves Spring Training: Bryse Wilson working on off-speed

It looks like Rick Kranitz and the Braves will prioritize Wilson working on improving his off-speed early this spring. He went 2 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, with no walks and no strikeouts. Bryse is working on a new and improved slider along with progressing his cutter. He threw mostly off-speed in this outing and it was hit hard by Tigers hitters. Wilson controlled his pitches well, but didn’t seem to get the movement he was seeking to limit hard contact this outing. The velocity seemed a bit down from the usual mid 90s as expected with it being early spring and the arm not fully geared up. Look for him to continue working on these off-speed pitches for at least one or two more starts before really ramping it up to try to earn a spot in the rotation at some point this season.

Braves Spring Training: An Athletic Catcher?

William Contreras started his first game of spring behind the dish and I was impressed. He is certainly the most athletic catcher and arguably has the most upside of all the catchers in the organization. He went hitless through 2 at bats grounding out on each. However, he got down the line very well for a catcher, and looked solid defensively. The Braves had William focus on his game calling skills and becoming a stronger defensive catcher last season which possibly correlates to why his offensive numbers declined. William’s pitch framing was also something that looked noticeably better. I fully expect William Contreras to have a big year and advance through the upper minors with improved overall offensive and defensive metrics this season. The future at the catcher position is set up very well, as Shea Langeliers and William Contreras have both been impressive on consecutive days.

The Bullpen Arms

Josh Tomlin was the first out of the gate to start the 3rd inning and he pitched a solid two innings of work. He gave up one run on one hit, no walks, and one strikeout. Tomlin looked eerily similar to last year where he appeared in 51 games in the long-relief role.

Fan-favorite Luke Jackson looks to be in mid-season form after allowing 2 hits to get into trouble before miraculously escaping unscathed. He finished the inning with 2 strikeouts, not allowing a run with exceptional movement on his signature slider.

Kyle Muller is one of the more intriguing arms we are privileged to see this spring. He certainly didn’t control his pitches well and was reminiscent of Ricky Vaughn at times, but I look forward to seeing him develop against some quality hitters in Spring Training.

Patrick Weigel had the most impressive outing of the day pitching a scoreless frame with one strikeout and no hits. He effortlessly blew through the inning on limited pitches and had excellent movement on his secondary pitches. I look forward to him being a very valuable bullpen asset for the team after coming back from a season ending TJ surgery.

Huascar Ynoa and Jasseel De La Cruz finished it out giving up a combined 3 hits, 1 ER, and 4 K’s through 2 innings. Off-speed pitching seemed to be something a lot of the Braves pitchers were working on today. The movement on those pitches were often good for the young arms, but lacked consistency. It is still exciting to see what these future arms will do once fully developed and their repertoire is polished.

The Chop lives on?

The chop was in full swing in North Port, Florida for game 2. This leaves many including myself wondering if the controversial chop in fact will continue during Braves home games. More to come as the season goes along…

Austin Riley discusses adjustments

As we all know, 2019 was a tale of two fates for Austin Riley. He started off blazing hot for a near month long stretch before the league started to adjust. Once, the league adjusted, Riley struggled mightily and was ultimately left off the postseason roster. This led to necessary offseason adjustments and he discussed those adjustments in detail.

Game tomorrow

Max Fried gets the start as the Atlanta Braves will take on the Blue Jays for the first game away from the new facility.

Thanks for reading the stories to follow on Day 2 of Braves Spring Training. If you enjoyed this piece, check out our 2019 Braves Player Review on Bryse Wilson.


31 thoughts on “Atlanta Braves Spring Training: Notes from Game 2”

  1. Wait a minute…so Riley didn’t just hang out all winter while Johan worked out? Some on Twitter will be surprised…

  2. Thank you, Drake. My wife is a South Georgia Dodd girl. She, her sister and two double first cousins are all doodles. God bless you if you’re part of that wild bunch.

    The Braves have young arms and Josh Tomlin too. What more could anyone ask of the first week of spring games.

    Go Braves, chop or not.

  3. @1
    There’s a guy I follow on Twitter named handlit that posted ONLY the first 13 seconds of the linked interview, of which Riley only talked about hunting. It was the ultimate troll job as Twitter went nuts.

  4. Alright, I’ll ask the same question we always ask: is this the year we finally see Dansby put it together? How’s he looking?

  5. I see his hair is in mid-season form so I expect everything is well.
    Keith Law has his prospect list up at the Atheletic. Pache up to #5 overall. He practically gushes over Braden Shewmake (#94) and Contreas (#75). Other Braves include Anderson at #27, Wright #61, Bryse #65, Waters and Langeliers strangely left off the list

    Edit: As always, it’s worth the subscription.

  6. @6
    Keith Law is notoriously stubborn on some players and, honestly, operates on pure shock value sometimes. It’s absurd that Waters would be left off and it wreaks of personal distaste, not lack of talent.

  7. I would think speed and defense alone should make Waters a serviceable centerfielder, and certainly that should warrant at least being in the top 100. Plus, he’s in AAA; it’s not like he’s in low-A. Worst case he becomes a flawed hitter, very good defensive centerfielder, and dangerous on the basepaths. Maybe he fills out, loses a few steps in the field, and becomes Joc Pederson? I just don’t see what his downside is at this point.

  8. Well, ultimately, if Law thinks that Waters will never hit enough to be a regular, then he thinks he’ll be a 4th outfielder — a Michael A. Taylor type. If that’s what he thinks, that’s a reason to leave him out of the top 100.

    Waters can prove him wrong on the field.

  9. Waters, Pache and Ender all in the OF today. That’s a crazy good defensive alignment (3 natural CFs)!

    Also welcome to the team Drake!

  10. Brief report on our visit to the new Spring Training home in North Port.

    We went down for Saturday’s game, and while the setting and location were very nice and the giant murals of all the Braves’ greats with retired numbers are a nice touch, the ballpark experience was subpar. Some of it was lack of training or working out the kinks, but what really troubled us was the missed opportunity for a special experience.

    We arrived at 10:40AM for a 1:05 game and the gates opened at 11:05. When we got towards the front there were several people heading back to their cars angry as they were told backpacks weren’t allowed. We researched ahead of time and the website (as well as the big sign by the entrance) says no bags bigger than 16x16x8 will be allowed. Our backpack was clearly within these dimensions so after arguing with security, they let us take it inside. Not a great first impression. We hurried down to stand along the first base line and got a spot in the front row where we could try for foul balls and autographs for the kids (ages 6 and 4). Of course by then it was the Orioles hitting and there were no Braves to be seen. After a few minutes Snitker and Weiss came out and walked all the way down the line signing and taking pictures, which was great of them to do. At about 11:20, an usher came down to yell at everyone to leave the sections by the field if you didn’t have those tickets as people couldn’t get to their ticketed seats. Of course, I am always happy to move if someone shows up with tickets for where I am standing, but no one did that. The website says lineup down the first base line or by the dugout for autographs and that you have to leave 1 hour prior to first pitch, so why this guy was making a big stink at 11:20 was beyond me, but we ignored him.

    Other than Snitker and Weiss no Braves were seen on the field until ceremonial first pitch time, and this, to me, was a huge missed opportunity. You’ve got the first game of the year in your new Spring Training home (I know they played one last year), a sellout crowd, and you do exactly nothing to enhance fan experience. Make players available for autographs, station some throughout the park, have some sort of giveaway that makes you feel like there was something happening there that made it worth dragging a couple of toddlers down from Chattanooga for the weekend, rather than watching on TV from the comforts of home. The selling point and the beauty of Spring Training has always been player accessibility and CoolToday Park seems like another step towards greatly curbing that accessibility and making the ballpark experience just another mini-Truist Park, except without the Battery so literally no character at all. Bradenton, Fort Myers, Lakeland, Kissimmee and Vero Beach have been favorite places to visit, but unless there are major changes, I don’t see any reason to revisit North Port. Granted if you want to see the Braves take BP, it’s better to see them on the road anyway…

  11. @Dusty

    thoughtful, detailed…and distressing…thank you.

    what a wasted opportunity, inexcusable, heads should fall.

  12. Yeah, had similar issues at Cool Today Park when we went last year for their first game. And the traffic was a nightmare. They have some kinks to work out, for sure. I’d say by the end of this Spring Training season, it’ll be much better.

  13. Three games played and there hasn’t yet been even a warning path out… If necessary, the contest will continue into the regular season.

  14. Personally I feel like they shouldn’t even be allowed to call it CoolToday if they’re gonna be like that.

  15. Thanks for the reads and comments! I just wanted to introduce myself so everyone can learn a little more about who’s behind the writing.

    I recently graduated from the University of West Georgia and now work in an accounting position in Atlanta, GA. I currently live in Carrollton, GA but grew up near Rome, GA watching my beloved Rome and Atlanta Braves teams. I worked for the Atlanta Braves while in college the past two seasons before graduating. I am now grateful that I get the opportunity to write about the team I enjoy following along with. Hope you guys love the work and look forward to interacting with everyone!

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