3 Atlanta Braves Hurt the Most by a Delayed Spring Training

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 29: Ian Anderson #36 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Three of the World Series at Truist Park on October 29, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - OCTOBER 29: Ian Anderson #36 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning in Game Three of the World Series at Truist Park on October 29, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Spring Training will almost certainly be delayed messing with yet another baseball season. Here are three Atlanta Braves players who will be impacted the most. 

I’ve remained optimistic as long as I can about Spring Training not being delayed, but it’s inevitable at this point. The Atlanta Braves have several players who will be impacted by this.

Both sides of the CBA “negotiations” seem dug in at this point.

It’s a sad situation for the sport, and what really hurts is that we’re going to have a third straight unusual start to a baseball season.

You had the shortened 2020 season, then limited fans to start 2021, and now a delay to the 2022 season. It’s beyond frustrating as a fan.

The effects of that could be huge on the game. We saw several pitchers injured last year as their arms tried to adjust back to a 162 game schedule after a 60 game season.

And now with a delayed, and likely shortened, Spring Training, we’re sure to see similar pitching injuries as a result.

Not to mention the injured players currently rehabbing right now like Ronald Acuna Jr., Charlie Morton, and Mike Soroka who can’t be with their team staff.

But beyond them, there are three other Braves players who will be negatively impacted by a delayed Spring Training.

Ian Anderson

I talked about this on the Monday podcast of Locked on Braves, but I think this could be the season Ian Anderson really establishes himself as a mainstay in a big-league rotation.

And you might be saying he’s already done that with a 3.25 ERA over the last two years.

But he’s also yet to throw more than 130 innings in a regular season.

Combining regular and postseason he threw 145.1 innings in 2021, which is the most he’s thrown as a professional.

This should be the year he’s able to go out and throw 160-170 innings and become that stalwart in the middle of a rotation, but he — like many other starters — need a regular Spring Training to gear up for that kind of workload.

Cristian Pache

A lot here may depend on what the Braves do with center field once the offseason restarts. I’ve said before that I’m OK with Pache getting a chance there to start the season after showing a ton of improvement at the plate to end the 2021 season in Gwinnett.

I also think guys like Ramon Laureano and Kevin Kiermaier will be available during the season if Pache doesn’t work out.

But Pache needs Spring Training to prove to the front office and coaching staff that the adjustments he made in August/September are for real and he’s ready for another shot.

Does he get that shot if Spring Training is reduced to three or four weeks?

Kyle Wright

You could really say the same about Wright as I did Pache. Wright needs a chance to prove that his excellent run at Gwinnett and in Game 4 of the World Series wasn’t a fluke.

I’ve been saying for some time that I think he’s the frontrunner for the fifth starter’s spot to begin the year, but he needs the chance to prove he can be consistent.

If Spring Training gets shortened do the Braves go with a safer pick in the rotation to start the year like Huascar Ynoa? Or do they go out and sign a cheap veteran starter because they can’t gamble on Wright being ready?

Ultimately, I think the Braves are better suited than most for a delayed Spring Training. They played 16 extra games last season and there aren’t really any position battles that need to work themselves out other than the fifth starter spot and some bench spots.

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I do think it’s a big Spring Training for Pache and Wright to prove themselves, and I think it’s a big Spring Training for Anderson as he looks to rack up some innings in 2022.