The Atlanta Braves made another roster move Friday optioning Bryse Wilson to the alternate site. With that, the Braves are now likely to carry just four traditional starters to begin the season. Thanks to a couple of off days, they won’t need a fifth starter until April 6 or 7 and Brian Snitker said Friday that the team will likely go with a bullpen game.
“We’re just going to probably use that fifth slot out of the bullpen,” Snitker said. “It will be kind of like we did last year. It will depend on how we get there. We have some guys stretched out, and we’ve got some multiple-inning guys where I think we can do that.”
Huascar Ynoa is one option for that role as would be someone like Touki Toussaint or Sean Newcomb. It may well depend on how things go over the first week of the season. With the Grapefruit League season winding down though, there are still decisions to be made in regards to the bullpen and the bench and it appears they may go right down to the end.
Sean Newcomb made his first start of the spring and struck out four over two scoreless innings as the Braves outlasted the Twins 7-6.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said Friday that he “would look forward” to discussing moving the 2021 All-Star Game out of Atlanta after the state of Georgia’s decision to overhaul how state elections are run.
“Players are very much aware,” Clark told The Boston Globe in an interview. “As it relates to the All-Star Game, we have not had a conversation with the league on that issue. If there is an opportunity to, we would look forward to having that conversation.”
FanGraphs continued its Positional Power Rankings series for 2021 with a look at right field. The Braves and Ronald Acuña Jr. came in third on the list behind Mookie Betts and Juan Soto. Despite coming in third, Jay Jaffe writes that no one needs to sleep on Acuña.
FanGraphs also released their list of the Braves’ Top 30 prospects for 2021. The familiar trio of Cristian Pache, Ian Anderson and Drew Waters top the list with Michael Harris jumping all the way into the Top 5 at No. 4.
The Minnesota Twins played Friday but did so with a heavy heart after the loss of bench coach Mike Bell who passed away due to cancer.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa reportedly turned down a 6-year, $120 million extension from the Houston Astros. He has set a self imposed deadline for Opening Day next week to get a deal done or will instead enter free agency next offseason.
Infielder Todd Frazier reportedly opted out of his contract with the Pirates Friday and will become a free agent.
Matt Joyce and Brandon Kintzler were informed that they will be part of the Phillies’ Opening Day roster. Reliever Tony Watson did not and then opted out of his minor league contract with the team.
The Tampa Bay Rays placed reliever Nick Anderson on the 60-day injured list due to a partially torn ligament in his elbow. He is expected to be out about eight weeks.
The Detroit Tigers announced that Casey Mize will begin the season in the team’s rotation. Former All-Star Michael Fulmer will also be on the Opening Day roster but will be in the bullpen to start.
The Red Sox announced that Eduardo Rodriguez is dealing with “dead arm” and has been scratched as their starter for Opening Day. Nathan Eovaldi will take his place.