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Felix Hernandez will start Braves’ Grapefruit League opener Saturday

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The rotation competition gets underway in the spring opener

Atlanta Braves Photo Day Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves will start veteran Felix Hernandez in Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Baltimore Orioles according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Hernandez is one of several pitchers who is competing for one of the final spots in the Braves’ starting rotation.

Hernandez signed a minor-league deal with the Braves this offseason after a dreadful 2019 in which he posted a 6.40 ERA and a 6.00 FIP in 71 2/3 innings spanning 15 starts. He reported to camp in great shape and is looking for a fresh start with Atlanta. The door was cracked open a bit wider when Cole Hamels was sidelined due to shoulder irritation stemming from an offseason workout. The Braves won’t rush Hamels back but he is scheduled to arrive in camp on Saturday according to Bowman. Hernandez is competing for a spot in the rotation with left-hander Sean Newcomb and several of the Braves’ young pitching prospects like Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson among others.

Wilson is scheduled to start Sunday’s game against the Tigers while Max Fried will make his spring debut Monday against the Blue Jays. Saturday’s game against the Orioles will get underway at 1:05 p.m. ET and can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast.