Ozzie Albies gets first start at second base since undergoing shoulder surgery
Today is a pretty exciting day for Atlanta Braves fans especially if you are into spring training, well, at all. The Braves have a split squad doubleheader today with Max Fried starting one game (in a game that will also include Ian Anderson) and Spencer Strider starting in the other. Moreover, we will see a fan favorite, Ozzie Albies, finally manning his primary position.
This may not SEEM like a big deal, but actually seeing Ozzie play in position after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, this means a few things. One, it allows us to see if there are any after effects from the shoulder that could limit Ozzie at second which could be a big deal given the limits on shifting now. Two, it just gives Ozzie reps in the field which should, in theory, make him more ready for the season. Finally, it allow Snit to start putting guys in the lineup at their more natural spots instead of having to slot Ozzie in at DH when he plays and having to adjust things around.
It also hopefully means that Ozzie is as healthy and good-to-go as the Braves and Ozzie had claimed during the course of spring training. Everyone involved has said that he would be ready to go for Opening Day, but when you see the word "surgery", it can conjure some nightmare scenarios where recovery takes longer than expected and we certainly don't want that.
We should also see Joe Jimenez pitch in the game that Fried is starting. Jimenez is another guy who needed some medical intervention this offseason as he had minor back surgery in October 2022. One guy that isn't pitching again is Charlie Morton, although it doesn't sound like there is any cause for concern. Morton is apparently quite healthy and has been given the option to face live hitters on the back fields of late. The word is that he has looked good and should appear in the spring training game this coming week.