Braves still hopeful Kyle Wright has time to be ready for season MLB shift limits raising batter spirits and averages so far

Atlanta Braves have reason to hope for a right-hander Kyle Wrightthe only major winner last season to play 20 games still has time to prepare for opening day.

If Wright needs more time to prepare for the season, then the Braves seem to be developing enough depth to fill their rotation.

Wright, 27, has yet to appear in a spring game after being injected with cortisone in January to deal with a problem with his right shoulder. He said his shoulder feels good, but the Braves will be keeping a close eye on his progress after he spent a session in the bullpen and prepared for live practice.

If there are no setbacks, Wright could play in three spring games, including one next week.

Wright was 21-5 with a 3.19 ERA to lead the Majors in wins in his breakout 2022 season. The right-hander added six scoreless innings to Atlanta’s only win in an NL Division Series loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wright expected to join Max Fried, Spencer Strider And Charlie Morton as the first four pitchers in the Atlanta rotation.

At the same time, right-handed Jan Anderson only an unearned run and one hit per 2 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees are allowed. right-handed Bryce Elder threw three scoreless innings against Houston.

WITH Mike Magpie delayed by a hamstring injury on his return from a second torn Achilles tendon, Anderson and Elder joined Colby Allard in contention for fifth place in the rotation. Two of the three could open the season in the rotation if the Braves decide to give Wright more time to increase his shot count.


Linebacker Boston Red Sox Justin Turner says he and his “chicks” are doing well after he was hit in the face with a ball during a spring practice game against the Detroit Tigers. Turner needed 16 stitches, but wrote on his Twitter account that he was “very lucky” that he had no broken bones and his “chickens” were intact.

Right-handed serve Matt Manning knocked 38-year-old Turner to the ground. The medical staff rushed to Turner at the stove. Turner was bleeding and had a towel over his face as he walked off the field.

Turner and his wife Courtney posted thank you messages on their Twitter accounts for the support from fans. Courtney said Justin had severe swelling but was resting at home.

Turner, a two-time All-Star, signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Red Sox after nine seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutcheon was booked an automatic strike for failing to enter the batter’s box and address the pitcher with eight seconds left in the fourth inning against Toronto.

McCutcheon appeared to be distracted by a move by Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Tiedemann off the mound and then rushed into the box as Tiedemann returned to the mound. McCutcheon’s hasty attempt to beat the eight-second count was too late and the penalty caused boos from some fans.

McCutcheon reached one infield in the Pirates’ 7-2 win.

Meanwhile, right-hander Milwaukee Corbin Burns said he and other Brewers pitchers are working to take advantage of the rule in their revised hitting strategies. Burns allowed six hits and three runs, two of which were earned, in the Brewers’ 5–1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

“The key to serving is to make the hitter feel uncomfortable in the box,” Burns said, adding, “With serving clocks, you can find ways to make the hitter even more uncomfortable in the box.”

Chasing Red’s Spin Spot

The Reds reassigned veteran right-hander Chase Anderson to a major league camp. That indicates Anderson, 35, has a chance of earning a spot in the starting lineup for his 10th major league season.

The Reds need to fill two starting rotation slots behind their young trio. Hunter Green, Nick Lodolo And Graham Ashcraft. Anderson, who signed with the minor leagues on February 18, played two scoreless innings against Colorado, allowing two hits and scoring five.

“Chase was just the way we saw him at the end of last season,” manager David Bell said. “The first time we saw him this year, it really looked like he was in the middle of the season. He had a really good replacement, his pace was really good.”

Anderson was 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA in nine games with the Reds last season.

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – When the Yankees switch to hitters Aaron Hicks When he hit from the left side last season, he was almost always met with an infield change, a wall of defenders camped in the shallow right field.

Thus, it was a startling moment in the New York dugout when Hicks – facing traditional infield leveling – made his first clean single from right field at the start of this spring practice.

“He probably hasn’t seen this hit in eight years,” manager Aaron Boone said.

Hicks and the rest of baseball’s top turnover players are adjusting to a new reality – or rather, adjusting to an old one – after Major League Baseball passed rules restricting field changes ahead of this season.

So far, these restrictions seem to be uplifting – and they may also support averages.

“I really hope this isn’t the year I start hitting the ball all the way to the ground,” left-handed Yankee. Anthony Rizzo said with a smile. “Especially young left-handed hitters will be introduced to a 3-4 hole that hasn’t been seen in about seven to eight years.”

Teams must now keep two infielders on each side of second base, all of whom must have their feet in the mud when pitching. The goal is to make room for a few more singles in each game after data-driven teams have spent the last decade carefully designing defensive formations geared towards each offensive player’s tendencies.

It’s still too early for spring training to draw conclusions from the numbers, but key stats show a promising direction for the hitters. The first 10 days of spring training hitting averages have risen to .263 in 2023 from .259 last season.

It’s important to note that left-handed hitters — the most frequent targets of modern infield change — are hitting .274 this spring, up from .255, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The average for the right-hander dropped from .262 to .255. The overall result is 11.3 runs per game compared to 10.6.

There is some disagreement in the sports analysis community about what impact the gear change restrictions will have, but it looks like it is at least affecting the psyche of the hitters.

“It would be great if you didn’t get thrown out of shallow right field on a linear drive,” said Rizzo, who changed 82.6% of his matches last season.

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said he’s noticed some changes as early as this spring, but expects more attacks to come later as major league regulars play games deeper.

“I think there have already been so many balls this spring that if you look to see if it was last year, they didn’t take place. We had a defender there,” Cash said.

Referees have broad powers to enforce the league’s new rules, but some clubs are already testing how strict those rules are.

When a lefty bats Joey Gallo – Changed 90% of his matches last year – The Minnesota Twins took the field in a game against the Boston Red Sox last week, Boston experimented with a loophole in the new rules by moving the center fielder Adam Duvall shallow right field and left fielder Raimel Tapia to the center of the field.

The change didn’t make much of a difference since Gallo took a stroll, but this is the new reality in baseball as teams start looking for rule advantage in 2023.

Marlins first base coach John Jaywho had 840 singles among 1,087 career hits, believes the change could lead to more smallball.

“We see already grounded balls moving up the center that became outs after the shift,” he said. “It will definitely lead to more attack. I think the single plays a big role now. You see those 10 hoppers in the middle and those flip balls in the hole… those are hits again.”

Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Kyle Schwarberwho was displaced 90.5% of the time in 2022, believes that displacement may also contribute to greater contact.

“I hit 200 times last year,” Schwarber said during the Phillies’ spring camp. He had a career-high 200 strikeouts last season. “This is unacceptable. If I can cut 50-75, that will be more balls in the game. And without that wall (shift) there might be a few people to squeeze through.”


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