Pitchers and catchers reported on Friday for the Atlanta Braves as they prepare open their final spring camp at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. The opening of camp is always met with optimism and today was no different.
Perhaps the best news today came in regards to rookie right-hander Mike Soroka. MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that Soroka has already completed six pain-free bullpen sessions and he will be on a normal schedule as he competes for a rotation spot. Soroka was limited to just five starts at the major league level last season due to shoulder inflammation.
Early reports suggested that Luiz Gohara would report to camp in much better shape from where he was last spring. That was the case as he checked in some 35-40 pounds lighter than at this point last year. Those extra pounds helped contribute to a pair of early spring injuries that derailed his 2018 season. He’s focused on regaining the form that he showed at the end of the 2017 season where he looked like he could develop into a top half of the rotation starter.
The Braves are also expecting the early arrival of several position players. The AJC’s Gabe Burns reported that outfield prospects Cristian Pache and Drew Waters are both already in camp. Position players are not required to report until February 20 with the first full squad workout scheduled for February 21. Atlanta will begin its Grapefruit League schedule on Saturday, February 23 against the New York Mets