The Atlanta Braves will add another weapon to their bench for Game 5 Thursday with the return of Jorge Soler who was cleared and added back to the roster replacing Cristian Pache. Soler has been out since testing positive for COVID-19 prior to Game 4 of the NLDS. Brian Snitker said that he learned that Soler was cleared when Alex Anthopoulos called him and that he will come off the bench for now.
“Today when Alex called and said that he was cleared and he would be back with the club,” Snitker said. “He’ll be a bat off the bench.”
Soler wasn’t allowed to work out with the team but was working out on his own. Snitker said that the team didn’t hesitate when the opportunity came to add him to the roster.
“He’s been working out on his own. I think he’s good to go,” Snitker said of Soler. “That’s a great weapon off the bench right there too.”
Soler appeared in 55 games for the Braves hitting .269/.358/.524 with 14 home runs. He was 1-for-11 with a double during the division series against Milwaukee.
Max Fried will get the start in Game 5 for Atlanta and his lights out second half is a big reason that the Braves are in the position that they are in now. Snitker was asked about Fried’s growth over the last few seasons and how he has ascended to a top of the rotation arm for Atlanta.
“Max’s growth as a major leaguer has been really cool to watch from when he first came here and how he’s learned to develop routines and who he is as a pitcher and how meticulous he is in his work and consistent he is in his work and how he approaches the game and the study,” Snitker said of Fried. “He’s all-in on this. He does everything he can to prepare himself. He works on all the little things. He’s won a Gold Glove. His hitting, bunting, run control, everything, fielding his position, all that kind of stuff, I mean, he does a lot of things to help himself win games. It’s been a really neat thing and all over the years to watch him mature and become the major leaguer that he is.”
The Braves find themselves in a familiar situation with a 3-1 edge in the NLCS over the Dodgers for the second consecutive season. They will be hoping for a different ending this time around. Austin Riley told reporters Thursday that the team has a sense of urgency ahead of Game 5.
“I think a lot of urgency just because we’ve been in this spot and ended up not the way we want to,” Riley said. “I think the vibe in the clubhouse is we’re coming to take care of business. I think we’re not going to let up at all. I think you just come out and play your game and I think things will take care of itself if we just stay inside of ourselves. There’s definitely a sense of urgency to let’s get this thing done.”
Snitker added that the experience of playing in the NLCS last season and not getting the job done has better prepared his team this time around.
“I just think there is because we’ve been through this before, so they have experienced it,” Snitker said. “I think every time you experience something you’re a little more ready for it the next time. Overall I think these guys understand that, yeah, we’re up 3-1, but that doesn’t mean anything.”
Snitker didn’t have any further updates on Huascar Ynoa who was scratched from his Game 4 start and then replaced on the NLCS roster due to shoulder inflammation. Ynoa felt something pop in his shoulder while playing catch but he didn’t know the severity and thought he would be ready to go in Game 4. He will undergo an MRI and additional tests soon.
“The other day was the first time he had ever, he said playing catch he felt something pop,” Snitker said of Ynoa. “He’s going to have all the tests run and everything and we’ll see probably in a couple days where he’s at. They don’t feel right now that it will impede him starting spring training, but they haven’t done the MRIs and everything yet either.”