Braves still hopeful Wright has time to be ready for season
The Atlanta Braves have reason to hope right-hander Kyle Wright, the majors' only 20-game winner last season, still has time to be ready for opening day.
If Wright requires more time to prepare for the season, the Braves appear to be developing sufficient depth to fill their rotation.
Wright, 27, has yet to appear in a spring game after having a cortisone shot to address a right shoulder issue in January. He has said his shoulder feels good, but the Braves will be closely monitoring his progress after throwing a bullpen session Tuesday and preparing to throw live batting practice Friday.
If there are no setbacks, Wright could have time to pitch 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 for Atlanta's only win in their NL Division Series loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Wright is expected to join Max Fried, Spencer Strider and Charlie Morton as the first four pitchers in Atlanta's rotation.
Meanwhile, right-hander Ian Anderson allowed only an unearned run and one hit over 2 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees on Sunday. Right-hander Bryce Elder threw three scoreless innings against Houston on Friday.
With Mike Soroka slowed by a hamstring injury in his comeback from his second torn Achilles tendon, Anderson and Elder have been joined by Kolby Allard in the competition for the No. 5 spot in the rotation. Two of the three could open the season in the rotation if the Braves choose to give Wright more time to build up his pitch count.
TURNER'S CHICLETS UPDATE
Boston Red Sox infielder Justin Turner says he and his “chiclets” are doing fine after he was hit in the face by a pitch in Monday's spring training game against the Detroit Tigers. Turner needed 16 stitches but posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday he is “feeling very fortunate” to have no broken bones and his “chiclets” intact.
The pitch from right-hander Matt Manning knocked the 38-year-old Turner to the ground. Medical personnel rushed to Turner at the plate. Turner was bleeding and had a towel on his face as he walked off the field.
Turner and his wife, Kourtney, posted thank you messages on their Twitter accounts for support from fans. Kourtney said Justin had a lot of swelling but was resting at home.
Turner, a two-time All-Star, signed a $15 million, one-year deal with the Red Sox after nine seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
LEARNING THE 8-SECOND RULE
Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen was penalized an automatic strike for failing to enter the batter's box and address the pitcher with eight seconds left on the pitch clcok in the fourth inning against Toronto on Tuesday.
McCutchen appeared to be distracted by Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Tiedemann's movement off the mound and then rushed to enter the box when Tiedemann returned to the mound. McCutchen's hasty attempt to beat the eight-second count was too late, and the penalty drew boos from some fans.
McCutchen reached on an infield single in the Pirates' 7-2 win.
Meanwhile, Milwaukee right-hander Corbin Burnes said he and other Brewers pitchers are working on taking advantage of the rule in their revised strategies against hitters. Burnes allowed six hits and three runs, two earned, in the Brewers' 5-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.
“The key to pitching is making the hitter uncomfortable in the box,” Burnes said, adding, “with the pitch clock, you can find ways to make the hitter even more uncomfortable in the box.”
CHASING REDS’ ROTATION SPOT
The Reds reassigned veteran right-hander Chase Anderson to the major league camp. It is an indication Anderson, 35, has a chance to earn an opening day roster spot for his 10th big league season.
The Reds need to fill two starting rotation slots behind their young trio of Hunter Greene, Nick Lodolo and Graham Ashcraft. Anderson, who signed a minor league contract on Feb. 18, pitched two scoreless innings on Monday night against Colorado, allowing two hits and striking out five.
“Chase was like we saw at the end of last season,” said manager David Bell. “The first time we’ve seen him this year, really looked like he was in midseason form. He had a really good changeup, his velocity was really good.”
Anderson was 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA in nine games with the Reds last season.
AP freelance writer Gary Shatz contributed to this report.
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Charles Odum, The Associated Press