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The Daily Chop: Soroka eyeing Opening Day, Acuña’s spring struggles and more

Soroka has a chance to be the Braves youngest Opening Day starter in team history.

New York Yankees v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Mike Soroka worked four more scoreless innings on Tuesday and is eyeing his first career Opening Day start. Soroka told’s Mark Bowman that he has thought about starting on Opening Day a lot and that it would be amazing if he was given that opportunity. Soroka seems like the odds on favorite this time around. If he is given the opportunity, he would break Julio Teheran’s record for the youngest player ever to start on Opening Day for the Braves.

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Ronald Acuña Jr. entered Tuesday’s spring game against the Astros 2-for-24 with 11 strikeouts but he told reporters prior to the game that he is usually a slow starter and that he isn’t concerned.

“I’ve always been a slow starter and I don’t really know why,” Acuña said. “It’s not something I put much mind to, because I know what I’m capable of and I know what can happen during the regular season. So I just keep my head strong and keep a positive attitude.”

Acuña added that he is feeling good physically and that is the most important detail at this point of the spring.

Acuña went 1-for-2 at the plate while Soroka, Mark Melancon and Chris Martin were impressive on the mound in a 3-0 win over the Astros.

Over in Sarasota, the Braves fell to the Baltimore Orioles 6-3 despite good performances by Cristian Pache and Ian Anderson. Pache hit a three-run homer in the second inning while Anderson fired three scoreless innings to start. However, Shane Greene allowed a homer while things fell apart again for Grant Dayton in the loss.

Atlanta will travel to Fort Myers on Wednesday to face the Twins and are expected to see Josh Donaldson for the first time since he signed with Minnesota.

MLB News

Mets outfielder Michael Conforto is suffering from a strained oblique muscle and his status for Opening Day is up in the air. Conforto suffered the injury Saturday against the Nationals and then flew back to New York on Monday to meet with team physicians.

The Pirates have reportedly begun exploratory extension talks with four players including outfielder Bryan Reynolds, infielder Kevin Newman, starter Joe Musgrove and top prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes. Hayes has yet to appear in the major leagues and striking an extension would open the door for him to be a part of the Opening Day roster.

Nationals starter Max Scherzer told reporters on Tuesday that he is dealing with some discomfort in his side. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start but still completed a 60-pitch bullpen session. Scherzer insists that he isn’t concerned and that it is just a bout of fatigue.

Finally, check out this 80-grade bat flip from Druw Jones (Andruw’s son). Druw is a sophomore in high school and is already committed to play at Vanderbilt.

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