It seems the Braves may be looking at alternatives in the outfield, with David O’Brien of The Athletic tweeting that Adam Duvall’s hold on a roster spot is “tenuous at best.” The Braves acquired Duvall from the Reds in a minor trade last July, and while they didn’t give up much in the way of long-term value, the trade simply hasn’t paid dividends. Duvall was slumping at the time of the acquisition and cratered further with a disastrous .132/.193/.151 through 57 trips to the plate with the Atlanta organization. Despite struggling through the worst season of his career in 2018, Duvall was surprisingly tendered a contract by the Braves, who avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a $2.875MM salary. If the Braves cut ties with Duvall, they’d only be responsible for about $696K of that non-guaranteed sum. O’Brien notes that if another fourth-outfield type becomes available in the next few days, it wouldn’t be surprising if Atlanta moves on from Duvall, who is 5-for-37 with seven walks and six strikeouts so far in camp.
More out of Atlanta…
- On the pitching side, O’Brien took a look yesterday (subscription link) at a roster that’s loaded with possibilities but also a number of health questions. The Atlanta organization will be piecing things together at the back of the bullpen while A.J. Minter and Darren O’Day work back to full health. Both will open the season on the injured list. Some young starters could be tasked with relief duties to open the year, though the rotation is also missing its top piece in Mike Foltynewicz.
- Not only is Foltynewicz headed for the injured list to start the season, Kevin Gausman’s status for the early portion of the season is seemingly up in the air, writes MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Gausman did throw 58 pitches in an intrasquad game yesterday, but the organization would like him to be built up to 90 pitches before joining the big league rotation. Thankfully for Braves fans, it doesn’t seem as though there’s much long-term concern following Gausman’s early camp shoulder issues. If he’s not ready to go for the opening week, then it’s possible that each of Kyle Wright, Bryse Wilson and Max Fried could make the roster.
- Meanwhile, the Braves announced today that Mike Soroka has been optioned to Triple-A, where he’ll get at least a few outings under his belt before he’s reconsidered for the MLB staff. That’s actually positive news, it seems, since it indicates that Soroka is healthy enough that he did not require a trip to the injured list to open the season. Soroka was limited in camp with problems in his throwing shoulder, though if he can put that issue behind him he should quickly emerge as a candidate to rejoin the Atlanta rotation.