The Atlanta Braves officially crossed the halfway mark of the Grapefruit League season Tuesday with a 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Marcell Ozuna launched his first home run of the spring in the loss while Kyle Wright allowed three hits, two runs and two walks over 2 2/3 innings while striking out four.
Wright is among the group of pitchers that is competing for the final spot in the rotation until Mike Soroka is ready to return from his Achilles injury. He came into Tuesday’s outing having tossed seven scoreless innings over his last two appearances. As has been the case for much of his young career, the Braves are hoping he can find some consistency in his performance.
“Personally, I think he tried to do too much in the first inning,” manager Brian Snitker said of Wright’s performance Tuesday.
“He’s the kind of guy who needs to establish his fastball. I think he got away from that in the first. The stuff is there. He just needs to figure out how to keep building on it.”
Wright was more aggressive with his fastball after he returned from the alternate site in 2020 and that led to some positive gains down the stretch. Now it is a matter of putting it all together and taking that next step.
More news and notes
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The Orioles and free agent third baseman Maikel Franco are in agreement on a one-year, $800,000 deal that also includes another $200K in available incentives. The team placed right-hander Hunter Harvey on the 60-day injured list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Franco.
The Milwaukee Brewers guaranteed the contract of Travis Shaw for the 2021 season. He will make $1.5 million with an additional $1.5 million in possible incentives. The team placed Mark Mathias on the 60-day injured list to open up a 40-man roster spot.
Blue Jays right-hander Nate Pearson re-aggravated a groin strain during a bullpen session Tuesday. Pearson originally suffered the injury back on March 1 and it wasn’t considered to be serious at the time. This is his second set back and now could open the season on the injured list.
Toronto general manager Ross Atkins announced Tuesday that the team exercised the 2022 contract option on manager Charlie Montoyo.
Felix Hernandez left Tuesday’s start against the Rays after experiencing discomfort in his right elbow. The extent of the injury is unknown and he will undergo further testing.
Finally, longtime Braves minor league team Danville announced a new name Tuesday. The Danville Otterbots.