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Braves daily news digest 2/25: Who will be Atlanta's fifth starter?

The battle for the fifth starters spot in the Braves rotation is shaping up to be one of the most competitive of spring training.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Braves News

Braves spring training questions: Who becomes the 5th starter?

There is going to be plenty of jobs up for grabs during spring training but one of the most hotly contested battles will be the final spot in the team's starting rotation. The battle will feature a mix of veteran and young players as Wandy Rodriguez and Eric Stults try to out perform prospects Mike Foltynewicz and Manny Banuelos.

Banuelos may be a name to keep an eye on. He enters spring training healthy and without the pitch and inning limits that he carried last season. He's confident and poised to prove his worth this spring.

"I will do everything I can, try to pitch well. The best thing is my arm feels much better than last year, so that's a good thing," he said. "My ball's coming out good. I feel more confident. I'm ready for everything. I want to fight for it, try to get a shot."

Braves CF prospect Mallex Smith: Lofton-like?

Mallex Smith was acquired in from the San Diego Padres in the Justin Upton trade during the offseason. He will begin the season in the minors but his work in the cages and his speed are turning heads at spring training.

Johnson wants Braves offense to think small

Braves third baseman Chris Johnson is embracing Atlanta's new contact focused approach and points to the success of the Kansas City Royals last season as proof that teams don't have to hit home runs to be successful.

"I think [the Royals] showed everybody last year that you can win and not hit a bunch of home runs. You can manufacture runs and wear out good pitching," Johnson said. "Hopefully our offense will get going, we'll learn how to manufacture runs and ride the coattails of the pitching staff."

MLB News

Andre Ethier wants starting job

Andre Ethier told on Tuesday that he would prefer a trade if he was not penciled in as a regular in the Dodgers outfield.

"You're not wishing for it ever to end, but sometimes that opportunity takes you somewhere else," Ethier said. "I'm not going to do anything to sit here and force it. Hopefully it works itself out."

Greinke throws in bullpen, feels 'same as I did last year'

Dodgers pitcher Zach Greinke was shut down for a couple of days last week after receiving a lubricating injection in his elbow. Greinke returned to the mound on Tuesday throwing 24 pitches and recorded no issues or discomfort with the elbow.

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A daily roundup of Atlanta Braves news from Battery Power