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.
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.