Braves News: Braves roster breakdown, Paul Byrd, more
By Eric Cole
The Atlanta Braves had an off day yesterday and after their very busy weekend which saw some big shakeups with their roster, it was kinda nice to have a day to digest all that has transpired this spring so far.
After the team sent both Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake down to minors, it was pretty clearly time to take stock of what the Braves roster looks like at the moment and how we got here. The team has seemingly achieved their goal in having a lot of depth, but left field still seems a bit speculative in terms of production and the shortstop decision-making remains strange even after having a bit of time to think about it.
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Elsewhere in the world of the Braves, we got some clarity on why Paul Byrd is not returning to the Braves' broadcast this coming season. Apparently Byrd's wife had a pretty serious medical issue occur over the offseason and Byrd is taking the season off to care for and spend time with her. We wish him and his family nothing but the best.
Looking forward to today's spring training game, it should be an eventful one as Michael Soroka will finally be making his spring training debut. While he won't be ready to be in the Braves rotation on Opening Day, it will still be very interesting to see how he looks given everything he has been through. I, for one, am not going to bet against him.
The World Baseball Classic came to an end last night as Team Japan won a very tight championship over Team USA by the score of 3-2. The game featured clutch hits and pitching, but in the end, it all came down to Shohei Ohtani coming out of the bullpen and facing Mike Trout with the game on the line. Ohtani was throwing gas and Trout didn't make it easy, but a wicked slider from Shohei got the strikeout to secure the trophy for Japan.
Byron Buxton is one of the most gifted players in all of baseball, but man can the guy not stay healthy. The Twins are trying to mitigate that issue by playing him primarily as their DH to start the season. This will hurt the team in the short-term because Buxton is a great centerfielder, but if it keeps him healthier longer, then it is certainly worth a try.