Braves Manager Brian Snitker with the Latest from Spring Training

ATLANTA – Braves Head Coach Brian Snitker joined Buck Belue to bring us all up to speed on the latest news from Braves Spring Training. Find out how Ronald Acuna is looking, what’s the latest on Tyler Matzek’s recovery, and what’s Ozzie bringing to the clubhouse?

Find out from the Skipper himself!


Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. steals second base in the third inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

I mean, he hit the cage and…and did everything. I think he feels good. We’re going to do our due diligence and the trainers will kind of easy back into it to make sure, you know, we still got three-weeks. We’re still the first week of of March, so he’s got plenty of time, he’ll get plenty of it back, provided everything goes the way we want it. Hopefully he just kind of, you know, gets himself back ready and he’s ready to go in three weeks.

FILE – Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies throws out Los Angeles Dodgers’ Logan Forsythe during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, June 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

So he’s one of those guys that I tell everybody it’s like, play the game the way Ozzy plays, you’re going to play it right. He is such a wonderful young man. I just love being around him. Unbelievable energy. And he comes in every day with a smile on his face and confidence in himself. And you never see him take anything he does offensively to the defensive side of it. He’s an exciting player, a winning player and a team player first. So it’s he just loaded with intangibles, Ozzie is, and…and just a great young man and just a lot of fun to be around.

Kelly is a very talented young man. I mean, he’s still figuring things out. He’s not a finished product by any stretch, which a lot of these guys weren’t when they came here. But he’s working his tail off. Like I said, he’s very talented. We’re going to give him an opportunity to succeed and..and help us. I love the kid. I mean, he’s a wonderful young. And he feels really good here with all the other guys on this team and they’ve welcomed him in and…and helped him along the way. And and you know, so he he’s going to be a great addition to our club.

He’s awesome. Awesome. I mean, he’s been coming in ever since we got him. He’s been coming in twice a week here again as another one that’s fit right in. I think, you know, he’s one of those guys who walks into the room.
Brings instant credibility. I mean, this guy’s a world champion. He’s a big game pitcher. He knows what he’s doping, keeps everything really simple. I think he’s going to be great for the other pitchers on our club and it’s been awesome. He we really, really like getting to know him and…and having him around. And he’s another one that’s going to be a great addition to our club.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tyler Matzek warms up during spring training in North Port, Fla., Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Matzek threw yesterday and…and he’s throwing the ball really good. I mean it’s just for, you know, it’s kind of hard to see. I’m looking at command stuff all that that you can’t really can’t tell. He’s had a couple of years off. This kind of keep running him out there. He’s there’s no restrictions. He’s on his normal throwing program. Let’s say we got, you know, 2 1/2, three weeks left and we’ll evaluate where he’s at at the time, but right now, he looks really good.

He likes baseball. I mean, he doesn’t expend a lot of energy doing it. I mean, it’s not tiring to him. It’s fun and it’s kind of refreshing, really, and I applaud him and like I say, he enjoys it. I think you know he was. It’s not like he played every day either. In that winter. I mean, he picked his spots and kept himself going. And I think just mainly because he felt like he did it the year before and had a really good year. So yeah, we’re just glad he’s he’s back. Feeling good right now. And because we know what the kid brings and what he means to our club.

I had talked with him last year and he really wanted that and I know it was kind of in his sights and just kind of let him know that you don’t have to do that. I mean, he wants to do that and you know there’s I think we have one guy, Matt did it and..and you know…because they stub their toe a little bit, miss a few games every now and then that’s why I never, you know, I let them play every day and but you know it’s it’s he’s just cause he plays the physical game. I mean it’s a very physical game. He’s diving all over the place he’s running in the walls. He plays a physical game because it’s all out, you know, we’ll just continue to monitor stuff like that. I do not ever want to take anything away from the kid and I want to, you know, have to go out there with those abilities he has and let her shine. And I know everybody likes watching him.

I mean, you can’t have enough arms as we know, and when you get guys with stuff and power, but it’s really, really good.

I’ve really liked all the additions. You know when we got pierced back. I’m glad we didn’t let him get away, Joe Jimenez, who came on, at the end last year. Really, really well. Bummer…you know that’s a live, live arm right there, too, and Minter’s throwing the ball extremely well. Iglacias has been very good, so it’s got chance of being a really deep, strong bullpen.

Atlanta Braves pitcher Hurston Waldrep throws in the bullpen during spring training in North Port, Fla., Monday, Feb. 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

I really like him a lot. He made his debut the other day against the Jays, and that..that’s a strong, powerful arm. That’s a big, strong kid. Yes, he’s kicking him 63 year. The yard field goals and everything you can see where all that power comes from.

So no, I like him a lot. You know what? There’s a young kid. He just needs brown pitch. He just all he needs is experience and…and just to be in the professional system and make the starts and…and throw, you know, get his innings in. And this arm is really, really good. I love the young man. He’s got really good character on the mound. He’s an easy kid to talk to, and then there’s a lot, a lot of upside in this kid.