680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – If Tuesday was the most normal day the Braves have had since the start of camp, then Wednesday should have felt even that much better. Outside Truist Park, walk up music, the PA announcer and the crack of the bat could be heard as the team took the field for their first “controlled scrimmage” of 2020. On the mound, Mike Soroka and Max Fried got their second turns through the rotation. Offensively, the team was split in half but things were still not resembling a regular season contest to this point. Braden Schlehuber, the team’s video replay coordinator and former Minor League catcher was calling the balls and strikes. And, in an effort to adhere to guidelines, there were only two outfielders on each team. But, other than that, things appeared more normal than even 24 hours prior.
“I think the whole thing exceeded my expectations” Brian Snitker said after Wednesday’s action. “Everybody that threw, I thought they did exactly what we needed” Snit added. Listening to the Braves skipper speak, you could almost hear a sense of relief in his voice that things are (very slowly) starting to get back to normal. We know, nothing will be “normal” for any sports leagues this season, but they players all seem to be buying into the adjusted processes that will go into making the 2020 season work.
Today, it’ll be Mike Foltynewicz and Sean Newcomb taking the hill for their second “starts” of the Summer. While the team hasn’t come out and say it, it sure looks as though Newk has a spot locked up in the Atlanta rotation with the season getting underway in just over two weeks. Watching Newcomb for a month in North Port, you could just tell he was much more aggressive and his command, which has been spotty at times, was much improved. It’s likely the starting rotation will feature three lefties for the first time in a while, with Fried and Hamels in as locks, and Newcomb all but sealing up a spot during the Spring.
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.