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The Daily Chop: Ronald Acuña Jr, rotation competition and more

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MLB: NLDS-St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Ronald Acuña Jr. is expected to see the bulk of his playing time in right field this season after just a few starts there last season. ESPN’s Buster Olney ranks him fifth in his list of the Top 10 right fielders for the 2020 season. Boston’s Mookie Betts tops the list and is followed by Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich. Cody Bellinger and Aaron Judge also ranked ahead of Acuña.

More Braves News

As things stand currently, the Braves will head into spring training with an open competition for the final spot in their starting rotation. Sean Newcomb will be the most experienced option but there are plenty of other internal candidates that could ultimately grab the spot.

More MLB News

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo spoke about the situation at third base at the team’s Winterfest event on Saturday. Rizzo told reporters that the Nationals are never really out on anyone but that they are comfortable with their options at third base if Josh Donaldson signs elsewhere.

Nationals’ starter Max Scherzer told reporters on Saturday that his neck is fine and that he is going through his normal preseason routine. Scherzer was slowed in the second half of the season due to reoccurring neck issues. He said that he was playing catch about two weeks after the World Series and that an MRI exam came back clean as well.

The Padres have been encouraged by the progress made by shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. who saw his 2019 season cut short due to a stress reaction in his back. Tatis has been working out and swinging the bat and appears to be on course for spring training.