Braves open spring training as confident NL East champions
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Atlanta Braves pitchers and catchers had their first organized workout Saturday, officially ending a relatively quiet winter for the team that won the NL East.
It may have been a little too quiet for some critics, considering the aggressive roster moves made by their division rivals. But AllStar first baseman Freddie Freeman begs to differ.
“Pretty much everyone came back, and we added Josh Donaldson and B-Mac (Brian McCann),” Freeman said. “I feel we have a 90-win team that got better, so I think we’re going to be very good this year.”
Darren O’Day was the other major winter acquisition, adding veteran depth to a bullpen that was tested last season as the Braves won the division by eight games and qualified for the postseason for the first time in five years.
“We’ve kind of gotten to the point where there’s not a lot of holes, maybe one starter, and we’ll take the best eight (relievers) with us north,” said Brian Snitker, who won the NL Manager of the Year award. “We used 33 pitchers last year. Ten guys made their debuts. We’ve got a long time to be down here and to sort things out. But you’ve got to like the depth and what we have.”
The first priority will be finding a fifth starter behind Mike Foltynewicz, Julio Teheran, Sean Newcomb and Kevin Gausman.
Mike Soroka, a 21-yearold right-hander who went 2-1 in five starts before shoulder pain ended his rookie season in June, is one of the leading candidates to fill the No. 5 spot.
FBC BASKETBALL: First Baptist Church basketball teams continue to have fun during February, getting in additional games for the 2019 season. The Green and Purple teams faced off in recent days with a 13-8 victory for the green team.
Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves baseball team. This image reflects the 2019 active roster as of Friday Feb. 22, 2019, when this image was taken.