It was an eventful day yesterday for the Atlanta Braves. We will start with the basics first. Thanks to an offensive outburst that saw Marcell Ozuna and Sam Hilliard have strong days at the plate and Ozzie Albies and Ehire Adrianza hit back-breaking home runs, the Braves were able to take down the Phillies by the score of 15-5. Bryce Elder did not look particularly sharp on the mound which, as it turned out, was a bit of foreshadowing for the bigger news from yesterday.
More Braves News
Shortly after the game, the Braves made the pretty big announcement that Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder were being optioned back down to Gwinnett. While early season roster rules mean that Elder and Anderson could still technically be in play early on in the season, the message does seem clear that the battle for the Braves' fifth rotation spot appears to be down to Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd who have both played quite well this spring.
Later on in the day, the Braves made a sweeping round of roster cuts that sent eight players back over to minor league camp. None of these cuts were particularly surprising as most of them were just minor league guys brought in with next to no chance of making the team out of camp, but the moves did bring some of the Braves' roster competitions into focus.
While the World Baseball Classic has been an absolute blast to follow so far, one thing that is always a concern is whether or not any of the MLB players participating end up getting hurt before the regular season gets started and a familiar face appears to have been bitten by the injury bug there. Freddie Freeman had to leave Canada's game against Colombia with what has been termed a "slight hamstring issue". Terminology aside, we all know that if Freddie has to leave a game early, it probably doesn't feel good.
We had a longer write-up earlier this morning on this, so I highly recommend you go read that, but late yesterday it was reported that Bally Sports' owner went ahead and filed for bankruptcy. For the moment, Braves games will be broadcast without any discernable changes, but if payments start getting missed and court filings follow, things could get interesting in a hurry.