Two newcomers in the bullpen are impressing Brian Snitker

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FILE – The Atlanta Braves are seeing good things from reliever Nate Jones in Spring Training.(AP File Photo/John Locher)

March 23, 2021 –
BY KEVIN MCALPIN
680 THE FAN, ATLANTA – As we reach the final few days of Spring Training 2021, two newcomers in the bullpen have really impressed Brian Snitker and the rest of the coaching staff. They’re names that Braves fans have watched from afar, but have really put together a terrific month in North Port and have made a strong case to be on the Opening Day roster.

35 year old righty Nate Jones is coming off a season that saw him make 21 appearances for the Reds, posting an ERA north of 6. However, that hasn’t deterred him from making a strong impression with his new squad. In six Grapefruit League appearances, Jones has allowed a total of two hits over six scoreless frames and has shown that electric fastball and four pitch mix that made him so successful over eight seasons with the White Sox. Expect to see Jones in the Atlanta pen as Opening Day rolls around next Thursday.
In addition, fellow righty Carl Edwards Jr. has shown glimpses of the pitcher he was when he was such an integral part of Joe Maddon’s bullpen that won the World Series in 2016. Over seven appearances this spring, Edwards has posted a 1.23 ERA and, being without options, is another serious candidate for Brian Snitker’s bunch. Look for Edwards as well when the Opening Day roster is announced. As for others competing for spots, keep in mind that guys like Luke Jackson are on non-guaranteed deals so the pressure is really on for guys who are without options remaining.
With guys like Will Smith, Chris Martin, AJ Minter, Josh Tomlin and others returning for 2021, the Braves bullpen is still a very experienced and versatile group that should be able to pick up on where they left off at the end of the 2020 campaign.
Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.

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