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The Daily Chop: Third base competition, Freddie Freeman update, Kyle Wright and more

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What happens if Austin Riley beats out Johan Camargo for the Opening Day job at third base?

New York Yankees v Atlanta Braves Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Brian Snitker threw a bit of a curve ball into the ongoing third base competition between Austin Riley and Johan Camargo on Sunday. While the Braves should be reluctant to not give Riley every day at-bats whether that is in the majors or at Triple-A, Camargo’s defensive versatility has always cast him as effective bench player. However, while speaking about the competition on Sunday, Snitker told MLB.com’s Mark Bowman that he thinks both players would be best served playing every day whether that is in the majors or at Triple-A.

It is certainly possible that Snitker is just showing confidence in both players as every day options but he doubled down by mentioning how Camargo performed as a bench player in 2019.

“We saw how [being a role player] affected Camargo last year,” Snitker said. “It wasn’t real good. I don’t know if [Riley or Camargo] have the experience to be that versatile [bench] guy that we want.”

Both Riley and Camargo are off to good starts this spring but Snitker’s comments inject a new dynamic into the competition. The feeling has always been that Riley will get a shot to show whether or not he is capable of handling the third base job on a full time basis this season, the thought was that Camargo would be around to fill in off the bench. Perhaps Snitker has lost confidence in Camargo’s ability to perform as a utility player. Perhaps he will clarify his comments again this week but this is certainly something to keep an eye on as the third base competition continues throughout the remainder of the spring.

More Braves News

Freddie Freeman was expected to participate in a full squad workout on Sunday and if all goes well, could return to the Braves lineup for Monday evenings game against the Phillies.

The Braves fell to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday 4-2 but Kyle Wright turned heads again with a sharp performance on the mound.

MLB News

ESPN’s Buster Olney dissects MLB’s new three-batter minimum rule that has been implemented for the 2020 season and their may be some unintended consequences.

Houston’s Lance McCullers took the mound on Sunday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery back in 2018. McCullers is expected to be the Astros’ No. 3 starter behind Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke in 2020.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone discussed the status of injured outfielders Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton on Sunday and reiterated that he doesn’t think either injury is a long-term thing. Judge underwent an MRI exam on his ailing shoulder earlier this week which came back negative, he will undergo additional testing on Monday. Neither Judge or Stanton, who is dealing with a calf strain, have been officially ruled out for Opening Day.

Red Sox lefty Chris Sale is on track for an early April debut after completing a live BP session Sunday morning. That was the first time Sale had faced a batter in six-and-a-half months.