The MLB lockout continues, and with Spring Training right around the corner, there remains little to no answers to the biggest question in baseball — when is the season going to start? Lots of guys need these Spring Training reps, and there are still tons of free agents that remain unsigned. Which Braves are suffering the most as pitchers and catchers start to report?
RHP Kyle Wright
I think Wright may be getting the rawest deal out of anyone on this list. Wright gave the Braves some rock-solid innings in the World Series, and he looked ready to compete for the fifth rotation spot. With the chances to show his stuff potentially limited by a shortened Spring Training, Wright’s chances to make the Opening Day roster take a huge hit.
OF Ronald Acuña Jr.
If you’ve been watching Ronald Acuña’s workout videos, his knee looks just fine coming off of a torn ACL. Still, you want your franchise player to be in the cages with his teammates getting his cuts in. Luckily for Braves fans, Acuña has been putting in the work to be great on his own. Not every guy in the league would be doing that.
RHP Mike Soroka
I’m in the camp that believes the Braves should not push Mike Soroka, even if it means he sits out most or all of 2022. I don’t think it will come to that, but having him around the team would be beneficial to his rehab process.
RHP Huascar Ynoa
Like with Wright, Ynoa is battling for a rotation spot. Ynoa has more of a leg up than Wright, but there’s a lot of competition for a spot on the 26-man roster.
LHP Sean Newcomb
If I had to pick one player for this list, it would probably be Sean Newcomb. The Braves tendered his contract a few months ago, but Newcomb is out of options, and this is perhaps his last chance in Atlanta. He needed a strong Spring Training to help cement his role and hit the ground running.
OF Marcell Ozuna
It’s seeming more and more likely that Marcell Ozuna will be starting for the Braves on Opening Day, especially with the lockout raging on. While Ozuna has been playing well in the Dominican Winter League, he needs to get back into a groove before 2022 kicks off.
LHP Kyle Muller
Muller is in the same camp as Wright, and although he may be better suited for a bullpen role with a lot more developmental time than Wright, he still wants to push for a roster spot.
RHP Charlie Morton
Things were looking bleak for the Braves when Charlie Morton broke his leg in the 2021 World Series, but they still came out on top. Morton signed an extension with the Braves, and they’ll need him at full strength going into 2022 as they look to repeat. Rehabbing and getting warmed up at 38 years old is critical.