The Braves’ first intrasquad game of Spring Training 2.0 took place on Wednesday, pinning Mike Soroka against Max Fried. Both pitchers looked in mid-season form, but that’s much easier to do against hitters who haven’t faced live action in over three months. Each went three innings without allowing a run, and Fried, who spoke to the media afterward, was exceptionally sharp.
The lefty had a couple of intriguing things to say, including who he’s been working out with during this quarantine— Cardinals’ Ace Jack Flaherty. That might ruffle some Braves fans’ feathers after what happened in last year’s NLDS, but the two were high school teammates, and Flaherty isn’t exactly the worst guy to learn from. Fried says he’s been focusing on improving his changeup over this downtime and feels great about where he’s at right now. If he can add a plus-change to his repertoire, along with his fastball, curve, and improved slider from last year, that would be quite a four-pitch mix.
Fried also said he’s been trying to keep things as normal as possible leading up to the regular season.
Stressed he's trying to treat everything he can with his normal routine throughout this process.
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) July 8, 2020
That might be more difficult, considering the Braves don’t have a single exhibition game scheduled before Opening Day as of yet, and according to Brian Snitker, that might not be changing. Given the circumstances, the Braves manager said it’s much more challenging to plan since no teams are just a bus ride away.
Snitker said he's not aware of any plans for #Braves to play exhibition games against another MLB team before the July 24 opener. Said it's tougher for them than teams like NY or Philly that can bus to play an opponent.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) July 8, 2020