Despite a spring filled with strong pitching by the Braves, the guys just didn’t have it against the Yankees on Saturday.
It started with Spencer Strider, who through 2 ⅓ allowed five runs (four earned) from seven hits. Then, it was reliever Justin Maese’s turn, and his outing wasn’t any better, featuring four runs from four hits in just ⅔ of an inning. Fortunately, Jake Higginbotham came in for both the fourth and fifth innings and kept the Yankees offense mostly at bay, pitching around a solo-homer by Kyle Higashioka (who had two long balls in the game). Thankfully, rain clouds moved over Tampa and suspended the game after just six, ending New York’s shutout at ten runs to nothing.
Of course it was just a spring training game, not to mention the Yankees sent out its A team to go up against a Braves starting lineup that featured Orlando Arcia batting leadoff, to go with guys like William Contreras, Guillermo Heredia and Ryan Goins sprinkled in. Let’s just say… it wasn’t exactly Atlanta’s top notch group yesterday.
The start for Strider wound up becoming an outing of more importance given the unfortunate news out of Braves camp this morning. I shared the report yesterday evening, but it appears reliever Luke Jackson could miss at least some time this season with a damaged UCL in his throwing arm. You have to think Strider will be a righty that Atlanta will look at to possibly fill that higher-leverage role in the Braves bullpen. Talk about a helluva 12 months for Strider, who, after being selected in the fourth round of 2020’s MLB Draft, pitched at five different levels last season, including with the big league team. I’m definitely rooting for the kid.
More notable news followed after the Braves lost today: this evening Atlanta cut three more players from its active roster, including the surprising move to reassign infielder Phil Gosselin…
I don’t know what the plan is, but right now Arcia is literally the ONLY back-up infielder on the active roster for the Braves. Reassigning a player doesn’t mean he’s necessarily permanently assigned to the minors; however, given Gosselin’s versatility and decent bat, I assumed he was a lock to open the 2022 regular season as part of Atlanta’s 28-man roster. I guess we’ll see what happens.
The Braves are back at it on Sunday with a matchup versus the Red Sox at CoolToday Park. Today’s game will not be on Bally Sports but should be available via MLB.tv for those that are subscribed. Righty Kyle Wright will take the bump for Atlanta, as he continues to solidify what’s likely a spot on the team’s opening day starting rotation. Boston will counter with righty Nick Pivetta.