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Kolby Allard will start Braves’ Grapefruit League opener

Also, Jordan Luplow has a minor oblique issue

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Can you hear it? The faint, but rapidly-growing-in-volume sound of Spring Training? You should be able to, because the Braves kick off their Grapefruit League slate this coming Saturday. Yes, this Saturday, not some indeterminate number of Saturdays in the future. Good stuff.

Starting for the Braves in that game will be... Kolby Allard. Yep, Kolby Allard. A third time, for emphasis:

Allard was acquired in exchange for the services (salary dump) of Jake Odorizzi early in the offseason. The Braves’ first-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft (14th overall), Allard made his major league debut for the Braves in 2018, and was dealt to the Rangers at the 2019 Trade Deadline for reliever Chris Martin. He had a nice 45-inning Texas debut later that year driven almost entirely by a teeny HR/FB rate, but has seriously scuffled since — that’s why he was the return for a salary dump.

Allard doesn’t have a huge shot of contributing to Atlanta’s aspirations early in the year, at least on paper — but in all honesty his projections for a swingman aren’t particularly awful. He’s still a longshot to make the Opening Day roster or be one of the first few call-up arms the Braves rely on.

As a side note, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Justin Toscano recently caught up with Jordan Luplow, who does have a pretty good shot of making the Opening Day roster as an outfielder, and reported that the latter is dealing with some oblique soreness.

Gotta love Spring Training, you get a heady dose of “best shape of his life” and “nagging injury because we don’t have much else to report on right now” all in one fell swoop.

Anyway, Spring Training for the Braves will feature game action on Saturday. Yay. Stay tuned.

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