Braves Spring Training Update: Roster cuts, Strider's dominance, and Morton's debut

The Braves announced more roster cuts on Tuesday afternoon after an impressive day from Spencer Strider and Charlie Morton.

Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves
Tampa Bay Rays v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Spring Training keeps rolling along and we are a few weeks away from the regular season getting underway.

The closer we get to the regular season, the more roster cuts we will get. On Monday, the Braves optioned Ian Anderson, Darius Vines, Dylan Dodd, Daysbel Hernandez, and Allan Winans to Triple-A Gwinnett. Catcher Tyler Tolve, pitcher Ben Bowden, and reliever Tommy Doyle were reassigned to minor-league camp.

Braves cut five players from roster

Tuesday, the Braves made even more cuts after they sent down five more players. These cuts included two pitchers and three position players. The two pitchers sent down were Grant Holmes and Jake Walsh. As far as position players who were reassigned, that included Phillip Evans, Leury García, and Alejo López.

Atlanta has 45 players remaining in Spring camp as they continue to evaluate their options for the 2024 season. The team eventually has to cut the roster down to 26 players. We have a decent idea of what the roster will look like for the most part but there could be some surprises as position battles are going on for bench roles such as backup outfielder and infield utility. There could also be surprises in the pitching department.

The Braves are not afraid to take the best 26 players from spring training to start the regular season. We saw that to be true last year as Dylan Dodd and Jared Shuster earned spots in the rotation due to their great performances. Always expect the unexpected when it comes to spring training.

Strider and Morton impress in recent appearances

Spencer Strider is no stranger to being one of baseball's best strikeout pitchers. However, he's made things even more interesting by adding what many are calling a curveball to his arsenal. Strider says he's just changed the shape of the slider but whatever he's done, it is working wonders.

On Tuesday afternoon, Strider was impressive again as he tossed four innings, allowing four hits, striking out 4 batters, and walking one. Three of his strikeouts were acquired via the curveball. Over three Grapefruit League starts Strider has allowed no runs on seven hits over nine innings. He's walked three batters and earned 13 strikeouts.

As if dealing with Strider's fastball and breaking ball wasn't enough of a task for the Detroit offense, they also had to deal with Charlie Morton.

Morton made his debut on Tuesday and looked pretty good over 2.2 innings of work. He didn't allow a run but the Tigers did get two hits. He also walked two batters while striking out three. Charlie's curveball still looks sharp and the velocity is still there. The 40-year-old veteran enters what could be his final season in Major League Baseball.

Other notable pitching performances from Tuesday include Tyler Matzek and Jackson Stephens. Matzek completed one scoreless inning of work, striking out one batter. Stephens also completed one inning and issued one walk.

The Braves ended up beating the Tigers 3-0. Phillip Evans drove in two of the three runs and Chadwick Tromp drove in the third and final run. Forrest Wall continued his great performance and made a great catch in left field as well.

David Fletcher also continued his great spring going 1-for-2 and showcasing his solid defense. He is currently batting .500 with a double, three RBI, one walk, and two runs scored. He's also played nice defense. The plan originally was to give Fletcher time at Triple-A to fix his swing but it appears he might force the Braves hand and make the roster.

Atlanta also received good news on Tuesday morning that Ronald Acuna Jr. just has irritation in his right knee meniscus. There isn't anything else there and he's expected to be ready for Opening Day. He will ramp up baseball activities gradually over the next few weeks to get prepared for that.

Things are going well for Atlanta so far this spring and that will likely continue as we approach the regular season. 2024 is shaping up to be an extremely exciting year for the Braves.

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