When the Atlanta Braves released their playoff roster last season, there was one surprising name missing. Ender Inciarte struggled through a disappointing 2020 campaign and was passed over for rookie Cristian Pache who later replaced Adam Duvall in the team’s lineup after he was injured in Game 1 of the NLCS. Inciarte spoke to the media Wednesday and talked about being left off the roster for the postseason.
“I was really sad,” Inciarte said. “I’m not going to lie. It was one of the toughest moments I’ve had to deal with since I became a professional baseball player. But you learn from everything. Obviously, I didn’t have my best year. I wasn’t at my best over the course of the year, and when you’re competing, you’re trying to put the best team out there. The Braves were trying to win a championship.”
That situation could have been foreshadowing as Inciarte appears to be in a competition with Pache this spring to open the season as the team’s starting centerfielder. Brian Snitker again declined to call it a competition Wednesday saying that they will just wait and see what happens. Credit Inciarte for approaching the situation in a productive manner as he drew praise from Pache last week for always being there to give advice and help when needed.
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The Braves fell to the Baltimore Orioles 8-1 on Wednesday, but new acquisition Drew Smyly looked good in his spring debut. Smyly tossed a pair of scoreless innings and struck out the side in his second inning. Ozzie Albies accounted for Atlanta’s only run with a solo homer off of Baltimore righty Dillon Tate.
Smyly came away pleased with his outing saying that he thought that he made some good adjustments between the first and second innings.
The Braves received a “B” grade from The Athletic’s Jim Bowden for their offseason that included the additions of Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly along with the return of Marcell Ozuna.
The Yankees announced Wednesday that manager Aaron Boone is taking a leave of absence after undergoing surgery to receive a pacemaker.
Nationals manager Dave Martinez announced that veteran left-hander Jon Lester will undergo surgery to have his thyroid gland removed on Friday. The surgery is expected to keep him out for about a week.
The Miami Marlins signed veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez to a minor league deal. Gonzalez will earn $1 million if he makes the major league club.
Free agent utility player Danny Santana has reportedly been working out for teams and is expected to sign a deal soon.