Braves' biggest free agent acquisition set to make spring training debut today

One of Atlanta's biggest offseason additions takes the mound for the first time against the Orioles.

Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians
Minnesota Twins v Cleveland Guardians / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

Spring Training is well underway and the Braves are set for their third game in preparation for the 2024 season. Things started with a bang with Michael Harris II homering on the first pitch he saw.

Atlanta had a very active offseason to improve the team and add to areas that were lacking but they mostly met those needs via trades with other teams. However, they did tap into free agency to address their need for a starting pitcher.

That major free agent acquisition is Reynaldo Lopez who spent time with the White Sox, Angels, and Guardians in 2023. Lopez had spent six seasons with Chicago before that.

Lopez received a 3-year, $30 million contract from the Atlanta Braves and it was originally thought he would be a bullpen addition for the team. However, the Braves indicated rather quickly they intended to stretch Lopez out and give him a chance at the fifth starter role.

He will start that journey on Monday afternoon as the Braves take on the Orioles. Braves insiders report that Lopez will take the mound after Max Fried completes his first start of the spring.

Some footage was released from live batting practice that featured Lopez and first impressions were very good. His command looked good and the pitches had a lot of life on them.

He and Bryce Elder are pretty much seen as the two most viable options for that final starter spot in the Braves rotation. If Reynaldo isn't able to win that spot, he would likely be Atlanta's go-to for long relief.

Lopez has started in the past but the last time he started a game was back in 2020 with the White Sox. His ERA as a starter is above a 4 but hopefully, the Braves are able to get him right should he go that direction.

Braves fans are hoping Lopez can find success and give the team a starter who can go at least 5 or 6 innings per start. It will be interesting to see how the journey goes for the talented right hander.

Braves go with familiar lineup for game against Orioles

The Braves will run out a lineup that looks pretty much exactly how it will for the 2024 regular season. Travis d'Arnaud is the only name that would likely be different as he and Sean Murphy will share catching duties.

Atlanta facing Baltimore could be a potential World Series matchup as both teams are essentially bringing back the same players but have each added on talent that makes them even more competitive.

The regular season is getting closer and closer. Baseball being back just feels right and Braves fans should be in for a treat in 2024 as they push for another World Series title.

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