When the Braves began spring training in 2019, the thought was that reliever A.J. Minter would likely be ready to takeover the closer role from Arodys Vizcaino at some point during the season. However, Minter aggravated his shoulder during a fender bender shortly after reporting to spring and made just one appearance during the exhibition season. He began the year on the injured list but rushed back and was never able to find himself.
Minter talked about his lost 2019 season with MLB.com’s Mark Bowman and acknowledged that he rushed back and never was able to settle in.
“I probably rushed back a little too early, played catch-up the rest of the year and never caught up,” Minter said. “I’ve never really experienced failure like that. I shot up through the Minor Leagues and got to the Major Leagues and had success early. It was a humbling year. You’ve got to learn from it, move on and become better.”
Minter is in camp and looking to make a few adjustments in hopes of once again becoming a factor for the Braves out of the bullpen.
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Sean Newcomb is trying to earn a place in Atlanta’s starting rotation this spring. He discussed how important the 2020 season is for him with 680 The Fan.
Bowman also profiles Braves left-hander Philip Pfeifer who has taken a long and winding road to finally land on the 40-man roster.
Major League Baseball introduced several new rule changes for the 2020 season, how will they affect the Braves in 2020?
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Red Sox ace Chris Sale was cleared to join his teammates at Spring Training on Saturday after suffering from the flu and pneumonia. It may take Sale a bit of time to build up strength which may put his streak of Opening Day starts in jeopardy. Manager Ron Roenicke told reporters Saturday that the team would be careful with Sale and wouldn’t rush him back.
Another Red Sox player who may not be ready for Opening Day is newly acquired outfielder Alex Verdugo. Verdugo suffered a back injury last May but never was able to completely shake the pain. He acknowledged on Saturday that was because he had suffered an L5 stress fracture in his back and has been undergoing treatment and that he may not be ready for the start of the season.