Position players are set to report to Spring Training on Monday for the Atlanta Braves but many are already in camp or showed up on Sunday. Atlanta’s newest addition, outfielder Marcell Ozuna, was among the group that arrived on Sunday where he made his first public comments since joining the team.
While Ozuna should slot into Atlanta’s lineup nicely behind Freddie Freeman, the Braves are optimistic that they can get the most out of Ozuna defensively as well. Brian Snitker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Gabe Burns Sunday that he thinks the team’s defensive positioning along with having Ender Inciarte in center, will help take the pressure off of Ozuna.
“In our system, defensively, we can help him,” manager Brian Snitker said. “We can make him better. Maximize what he’s got going on. As long as he’s willing to work and do all that, there’s no reason he can’t get back to where he’s been.”
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The Braves are expecting Cole Hamels to arrive to spring camp later this week. It was announced at the start of camp that Hamels had irritated his shoulder while doing an offseason workout which will cause him to miss the beginning of the season. Hamels had been in Texas where he was meeting with Dr. Keith Meister and letting the irritation in his shoulder settle down.
Charlie Culberson also arrived to camp on Sunday and is looking to earn his way back on the team’s 40-man roster. Culberson spoke with MLB.com’s Mark Bowman about his situation and joked about the season-ending injury he suffered in 2019 when he was hit in the face on a bunt attempt.
“As long as I go out there and hit more home runs, maybe they won’t ask me to bunt anymore,” Culberson said. “It’s just kind of a joke that kind of eases things for myself. I’ve got to have fun with it, too. It happened. It was a freak accident, but it’s all good.”
David Lee has been one of the most respected Braves prospect writers over the last several years and his written at a lot of outlets including most recently Baseball Prospectus. For this season, he is going to focus his sole attention on the Braves’ system and will be releasing a newsletter which you can sign up for here.
If you haven’t subscribed to the podcast, now is a great time to give us a try and put in your rotation. We have some big things planned for the upcoming season.
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Former Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Tony Fernandez passed away due to complications from kidney disease at the age of 57. The Blue Jays announced his death Sunday morning in a statement calling Fernandez “one of our club’s most celebrated and respected players.”
Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas was scratched from a bullpen session because of a flexor tendon issue. Mikolas admitted that his arm felt “tender” at times last season but he was able to manage it. The Cardinals are hoping that a couple more days of rest will be what Mikolas needs and that he can return to the mound soon.
The Brewers announced on Sunday that they have signed left-hander Brent Suter to a two-year deal avoiding arbitration. The deal reportedly guarantees Suter a total of $2.5 million over both seasons.