Inbox: How will Braves fill in roster holes?

Beat reporter Mark Bowman answers questions from fans

Inbox: How will Braves fill in roster holes?

Do you see the Braves adding two bench pieces? Adding a power-hitting outfielder would help the roster.
-- @BradSebek

This seems highly unlikely, and quite frankly, there is a chance the Braves won't end up making any additions to alter their four-man bench, which currently projects to be Jace Peterson, Chase d'Arnaud, Emilio Bonifacio and Kurt Suzuki. Right now, Peterson and Suzuki are essential locks, and Bonifacio is pretty close to gaining this status.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Albies heads to Minors camp with knee bruise

Braves' No. 2 prospect expected to start season in Triple-A

Albies heads to Minors camp with knee bruise

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Ozzie Albies spent the past couple of weeks proving he has overcome the fractured elbow suffered in September. But the Braves' No. 2 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, will now head to Minor League camp with a bruised knee.

Albies fouled a pitch off his right knee during Tuesday afternoon's 3-1 loss to the Nationals and then found out the Braves had reassigned him to Minor League camp. The 20-year-old second baseman will now begin preparing to open the season with Triple-A Gwinnett.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Foltynewicz displays grit in extended outing

Foltynewicz displays grit in extended outing

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Mike Foltynewicz, recently announced as the Braves' fifth starter, continued an impressive Grapefruit League season on Tuesday. Stretched out to 76 pitches (48 strikes) against the Nationals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, Foltynewicz went five innings, allowing six hits and one run. He walked one and struck out two in Atlanta's 3-1 loss.

Foltynewicz has not allowed more than one run in any of his five starts this spring, compiling a 2.00 ERA.

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flowers belts first spring HR to pace quiet Braves

Flowers belts first spring HR to pace quiet Braves

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- In the only matchup of the spring between the two National League East rivals, the Nationals defeated the Braves, 3-1, Tuesday afternoon at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Ryan Zimmerman and Emmanuel Burriss led the way with two hits and a run apiece.

Washington scored twice in the seventh off right-hander Chaz Roe, with Pedro Severino hitting an RBI double before coming around to score on a single from Clint Robinson.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Tuesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swanson, Garcia return; Inciarte on hold

Center fielder rejoins team after helping Venezuela reach 2nd round of WBC '17

Swanson, Garcia return; Inciarte on hold

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Dansby Swanson and Adonis Garcia were in the Braves' starting lineup for Tuesday afternoon's 3-1 loss to the Nationals in West Palm Beach, but Ender Inciarte will wait another couple of days before rejoining Atlanta's lineup.

Swanson started at shortstop and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, while Garcia got the start at third and went 0-for-1 before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Snitker looking forward to home-heavy stretch

Snitker looking forward to home-heavy stretch

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- For the Braves, home sweet home never looked better. Five of the next seven Grapefruit League games will be played at the Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, and that will give the regulars that final fine-tuning while others get much needed at-bats without the concern of whether to take those lengthy bus rides across the state of Florida.

"Everybody will play," manager Brian Snitker said Tuesday of the upcoming slate. "The regulars are ready to go. Now it's just about maybe two or three in a row and a day off and two or three in a row."

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marlins tag Dickey with HR, big 4th

Marlins tag Dickey with HR, big 4th

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Marcell Ozuna homered and promising prospect Brian Anderson extended R.A. Dickey's frustration during a four-run fourth inning that propelled the Marlins to a 9-3 win over the Braves on Monday afternoon at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.

Ozuna got the Marlins rolling when he opened the second inning by denting the left-center-field scoreboard with his fourth home run of the spring. The 26-year-old outfielder also drew the first of the two consecutive one-out walks Dickey issued in the fourth. The free passes loaded the bases, which Anderson, who ranks as Miami's No. 3 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, promptly cleared with a three-run triple.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Dick Scanlon is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Marlins on Monday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Snitker: Cabrera has to hone command

Young flamethrower 'needs to figure some things out' before earning bullpen spot

Snitker: Cabrera has to hone command

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- After Mauricio Cabrera's command issues became more problematic during the ninth inning of Monday's 9-3 loss to the Marlins at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex, Braves manager Brian Snitker indicated the hard-throwing right-hander will have to make some adjustments before he is given a spot in Atlanta's bullpen.

"He's spraying it around there pretty good," Snitker said. "He's going to have to figure some things out on the side, because obviously there's some mechanical issues right now."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves weighing bullpen/bench balance

Atlanta could opt for either 8-man relief unit or bolstering backup position-player group

Braves weighing bullpen/bench balance

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- If forced to immediately make a decision, the Braves would likely open this season with an eight-man bullpen. But with Opening Day two weeks away, they still have plenty of time to evaluate the wisdom of that plan, which would leave them shorthanded on a potentially weak bench.

"We are trying to upgrade the bench," Braves general manager John Coppolella said. "If we can't upgrade the bench, we'll just go with what we have. But we don't want to limit ourselves. We are always trying to find ways to get better."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pipeline report: Prospects in Braves' camp

Pipeline report: Prospects in Braves' camp

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the season ahead. Some are competing for jobs in big league camps, others are prepping for the season as they vie for spots at Minor League affiliates up and down a team's system. MLBPipeline.com is visiting all 30 camps this spring. Today, we check in on the Atlanta Braves.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- No matter who you talk to or where you look this spring in Atlanta Braves camp, it's clear that there's a special atmosphere, one of both excitement and eagerness, shared by the entire organization, perpetuated from its front office down through its newest and youngest players.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Back from Classic, Teheran shaky vs. Cards

Braves announce Colombian ace will start Opening Day for fourth straight year

Back from Classic, Teheran shaky vs. Cards

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Sunday marked two significant occasions for Braves right-hander Julio Teheran, including his return start after pitching for Colombia in the World Baseball Classic.

But before he threw five innings in Atlanta's 5-2 loss to the Cardinals, the Braves announced Teheran would start on Opening Day for the fourth straight year. Only Greg Maddux (1993-96) and Rick Mahler ('85-88) have also started four consecutive Opening Day games for Atlanta. The Braves also announced the order of the rest of their rotation: right-hander Bartolo Colon, left-hander Jaime Garcia, righty R.A. Dickey and righty Mike Foltynewicz.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Q&A with Braves prospect Kolby Allard

Q&A with Braves prospect Kolby Allard

As part of MLBPipeline.com's visit to all 30 Spring Training facilities, we'll be sitting down with prospects and getting to know them a little better. At Braves camp, it was No. 4 prospect Kolby Allard (MLBPipeline.com's No. 53 overall prospect).

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Kolby Allard, the Braves' top pick in the 2015 Draft (No. 14 overall), was as good as any pitcher in Class A Rome's enormously talented starting rotation last year. He went 5-1 with a 2.61 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings over his final eight regular-season starts, and then he tossed 12 scoreless frames as Rome captured the South Atlantic League title.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman reaches 3 times in Teheran's return

Freeman reaches 3 times in Teheran's return

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Lance Lynn scattered four singles through five scoreless innings and Matt Adams hit his fourth homer and scored twice, leading the Cardinals to a 5-2 win over the Braves on Sunday at Champion Stadium.

Lynn struck out three, walked one and did not allow more than one hit in any inning or any Braves baserunner to reach third. He improved to 1-1 through four starts this spring, lowering his ERA to 1.29 over 14 innings.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vizcaino, Freeman exemplify steadiness

Vizcaino, Freeman exemplify steadiness

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- If any young Braves have been looking for models of consistency this spring, they need not look further than first baseman Freddie Freeman and right-handed setup man Arodys Vizcaino.

Both remained hot in Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Cardinals: Freeman went 1-for-1 with two walks, and Vizcaino fielded Matt Adams' grounder before striking out Randal Grichuk and Tommy Pham looking in a perfect sixth inning.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves find production in lineup's bottom half

Snitker impressed with Suzuki's knack for doubles; Boyer, O'Flaherty, Roe make cases

Braves find production in lineup's bottom half

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Although the Tigers proved too much for the Atlanta offense to overcome in the Braves' 7-5 loss Saturday, their fifth, sixth and seventh hitters certainly did their part.

Against Mike Pelfrey in the second inning, No. 5 hitter Nick Markakis led off with a walk and scored on No. 6 batter Kurt Suzuki's double. Seventh-hitter Rio Ruiz then walked before starter Bartolo Colon's squeeze bunt scored Suzuki, giving the Braves a two-run answer to the Tigers' four runs in the top of the inning.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alarming numbers? Colon, Snitker not worried

Braves starter labors in second consecutive outing, but preparation outweighing results

Alarming numbers? Colon, Snitker not worried

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves right-hander Bartolo Colon isn't concerned about the results of his recent trips to the mound, but that doesn't change the fact that he's been roughed up in similar fashion in two consecutive starts.

Colon allowed six runs on eight hits while walking two over 3 2/3 innings in Saturday's 7-5 loss to the Tigers. In Monday's start against the Pirates, he gave up five runs on eight hits and walked two over three innings.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Swanson homers in Minor League game

Braves rookie goes 2-for-3 as club takes cautious approach with strained side

Swanson homers in Minor League game

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- On Friday, Braves manager Brian Snitker had said rookie shortstop Dansby Swanson would return to the lineup Saturday against the Tigers at Champion Stadium.

But on Saturday morning, plans had changed: Swanson would play in a Minor League game on the back fields instead of the game versus Detroit, which Atlanta lost, 7-5.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon roughed up before Suzuki sparks rally effort

Colon roughed up before Suzuki sparks rally effort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Tigers capitalized on an apparent miscue to score four runs in the second inning en route to a 7-5 win over the Braves on Saturday at Champion Stadium.

With the Tigers leading 1-0 in the second and a runner on first, Brendan Ryan's one-out grounder to newly acquired second baseman Brandon Phillips appeared as if it would result in an inning-ending double play. But the four-time Gold Glove Award winner could not handle the roller, and Detroit went on to score four runs off starter Bartolo Colon in the frame.

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Zak Kerr is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Braves on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wisler goes 4 scoreless; prospect Ruiz plates 2

Wisler goes 4 scoreless; prospect Ruiz plates 2

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Astros No. 4 prospect Derek Fisher lined a two-run double and Jake Mayfield won it with a two-run single as Houston rallied for four in the ninth inning to beat Atlanta, 5-4, on Friday at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, making his second Grapefruit League start after blanking Washington over three innings on Sunday, shut out the Braves over four innings, yielding three singles while striking out two without issuing a walk. The Astros turned two double plays, helping Keuchel face one batter over the minimum in his 42-pitch outing (29 strikes).

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Glenn Sattell is a contributor to MLB.com.

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wisler gives Braves something to think about

Wisler gives Braves something to think about

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Braves manager Brian Snitker said that "nothing's locked down yet" on who will be the club's No. 5 starter, even though Mike Foltynewicz has made a strong case this spring to be that man.

Matt Wisler is trying to make the decision a little tougher. The 23-year-old right-hander made his case for consideration on Friday in the Braves' 5-4 Grapefruit League loss to the Astros at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.

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Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Q&A: Coppolella dishes on rebuilding, Colon

Q&A: Coppolella dishes on rebuilding, Colon

Nothing is worse to John Coppolella than mediocrity. Not even a last-place finish. Like baseball's version of Ricky Bobby, Coppolella seems to live by the theory, "If you ain't first, you're last."

Apparently, working for George M. Steinbrenner rubbed off on the Braves' general manager.

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Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Folty fans 7, Collmenter allows 4 runs vs. Tigers

Folty fans 7, Collmenter allows 4 runs vs. Tigers

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Nicholas Castellanos and JaCoby Jones homered as the Tigers overcame Mike Foltynewicz's strong start and frustrated Josh Collmenter during Thursday afternoon's 5-3 win over the Braves at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex.

Castellanos' first homer of the spring -- a two-run shot off Collmenter in the fifth inning -- proved to be the decisive blow for the Tigers, who received multi-hit performances from Jose Iglesias and Jones. James McCann and Dixon Machado recorded RBI singles during the sixth inning against Collmenter.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Johnson breaks wrist; Braves' OF depth takes hit

Johnson breaks wrist; Braves' OF depth takes hit

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Further tests and evaluations revealed Braves outfielder Micah Johnson sustained a fractured left wrist as he tumbled while making a diving catch during Tuesday's game against the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla.

During Thursday afternoon's 5-3 loss to the Tigers, the Braves announced Johnson will undergo surgery. Initial X-rays taken on Tuesday did not show a fracture, but by Wednesday, there was some concern Johnson was dealing with more than the initial diagnosis, which was a wrist sprain.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Folty shows mettle by working out of trouble

Folty shows mettle by working out of trouble

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- As Braves right-hander Mike Foltynewicz recorded seven strikeouts over four strong innings of Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Tigers, he took advantage of opportunities to show he is capable of reacting to adverse situations better than he did in the past.

Foltynewicz allowed five of the first eight batters he faced to reach safely, surrendered a second-inning leadoff homer to JaCoby Jones and objected to a few of plate umpire Nic Lentz's calls. But instead of extending his tendency to allow similar situations to spiral out of control, the 25-year-old kept his poise and ended up retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced, six via strikeouts.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fried takes 'priceless' lessons to Minors

Impressive prospect optioned to Double-A; Blair, Camargo also among cuts

Fried takes 'priceless' lessons to Minors

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A little more than a month after arriving at Spring Training, Max Fried exited his first big league Spring Training camp with valuable lessons and memories that could prove beneficial as he continues a potentially quick ascent toward the Major League level.

Fried was certainly the most impressive prospect in this year's Braves' big league camp. But with the regular season quickly approaching, the young left-hander will now spend the remainder of Spring Training in Minor League camp, prepping to begin the season in Double-A Mississippi's rotation. He ranks as the ninth-best Braves prospect per MLBPipeline.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeman fully endorses Classic experience

Freeman fully endorses Classic experience

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Freddie Freeman would gladly welcome the opportunity to participate in another World Baseball Classic. Along with having the opportunity to honor his late mother's Canadian heritage, the Braves' first baseman appreciated the chance to escape Spring Training's monotony and compete within an environment more similar to what he may experience during the regular season.

"It was one of the coolest experiences I've had in baseball," Freeman said. "I never got to play winter ball or anything [before I got to the Majors]. That first game [of WBC '17], there were over 25,000 people playing music, dancing and cheering the whole game. It's something I'll never forget."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.