This sucks. I’ve had a lot of fun wrapping my head around a different way of watching Braves Spring Training games, which is not even monitoring the scoring, but focusing on the stories. It has been such a pleasant experience. Now , Braves Spring Training ends and we’re going to be without baseball for at least a month. It’s worth noting that things are still very much influx with the final battles of spring, not to mention when/if the 2020 season begins.
Braves Spring Training Ends: Starting Pitchers
Fried struggled with the zone as he walked 5 in 4.2 innings, but 0 damage was done to his spring ERA as he still carried his normal strikeout stuff.
For me, Wright is easily the most impressive starting pitching candidate this spring and he ended his campaign with 5 innings of 2 hit ball, walking 1 and striking out 3. Here’s video of his 3Ks.
Braves Spring Training Ends: Relief Pitchers
It might just be spring, or it might be that Darren O’Day is fully healthy and and has went back to full on beast-mode, but he’s looked remarkable. He pitched a scoreless inning on Wednesday allowing 1 hit and striking out 2.
After having a rough go to start spring, Will Smith has looked like his old self his past 3 outings. He ended his spring with a scoreless inning, walking 1, and striking out 2.
Weigel gave up a few runs in his last spring training stint, blemishing that perfect 0.00 ERA. Mostly it wasn’t his fault as his defense let him down a bit, but there was something good that came out of it. Weigel seemed to be having trouble with his offspeed, said to heck with that and threw this beauty to end the game.
Greene had a horrendous beginning in practice games, but finished strong with 2 scoreless outings including an inning on Thursday where he gave up a hit and struck out 2.
Luke finished the spring with one of the most bizarre stat-lines you’ll see: An unblemished ERA, 5 innings, 5 hits allowed, 3 BB, and a 1.60 WHIP. Don’t ask me how he allows so many baserunners, but there’s a fairly large sample of it now. Here’s hoping his luck takes a turn in 2020 and he becomes the beast with the best slider in the MLB.
Can’t say enough about how impressive this lefty has been this spring. Plagued by the yips for years, now striking out everyone with an upper-90s fastball. Matzek struck out the side on Thursday in a scoreless frame. These stats, even in spring, cannot be ignored.
After a rough beginning, Tomlin ended up with a nice spring. In his last inning of work this spring, he pitched 1 inning, allowed 1 hit, and struck out 1 in a scoreless frame, lowering his ERA to 2.70.
Braves Spring Training Ends: Hitters
I believe that Unroe has the skillset to be a good 26th man on somebody’s team. He’s a switch hitter that has some pop, some on-base ability, good speed, and can play several positions. In his last game of spring, he showed some of that pop with his first dinger of the spring. His spring stat-line reflects the production that I’d expect: .744 OPS, 4 stolen bases, played 3 positions. He’s got pedigree, too, as he was drafted by the Rays in the 2nd round back in 2013. Not bad for a guy the Braves snagged in the MiLB portion of the Rule 5 Draft.
Watching Riley hit bombs is so much fun, but what might be more rewarding is when he coaxes a 10-pitch walk. He went 1-1 with 2 walks on Thursday and ends his spring with a 1.080 OPS and an 18% K-rate. Wow!
The power is real. I think we know that. O’Brien hit his 4th HR of the Spring on Wednesday and also collected his 13th K in 31 ABs, which is a 42% K-rate. As I’ve said in the past, if Seitzer and the MiLB coaching staff can get his K% to 30, one can squint and see a Major Leaguer.
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