SARASOTA, Fla. - Minor league left-hander Alex Wells hasn’t been cleared to pitch this spring due to a sore right oblique muscle, according to manager Brandon Hyde. There’s no timetable for getting him on the mound.
Wells is a non-roster invitee to camp who’s likely to begin the 2020 season at Triple-A Norfolk. He posted a 2.95 ERA and 1.07 WHIP last summer in 24 starts with Double-A Bowie.
“We’re just being cautious with him,” Hyde said.
Kohl Stewart and Brady Rodgers, who are recovering from arm soreness, are going through their progressions but aren’t ready to make their debuts. Stewart was slated to start yesterday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, but Thomas Eshelman replaced him.
“Both doing well,” Hyde said. “I think (Stewart) is playing catch today or tomorrow. Hopefully we can get him off the mound here sometime, maybe this weekend. It sounds like his soreness is going away and he feels good.
“Rodgers, same thing. Just being patient with it. Waiting for it to settle down. But he’s making progress also.”
Stewart is trying to fill a vacant spot in the rotation and seemed like one of the leading contenders after the Orioles signed him to a split contract on Dec. 29 that pays $800,000 if he’s on the club.
“It just sets him back a little bit,” Hyde said. “We break in less than a month. I’m just looking to get him healthy on the mound and we’ll go from there. But right now nothing’s set in stone with anybody, really. Just want to see him get on the mound and get into a game.”
“Both feel great,” Hyde said. “Mike’s throwing the next couple days. I’m not sure which day it is. And Harvey should be this weekend, also.
“We’re going to reevaluate this afternoon, but Mike, for sure, is going to pitch in the next couple of days.”
So much for having an abundance of pitchers in camp and the complication of getting eyes on everyone and providing a sufficient number of innings.
“That’s why when people talked about how many people we have in camp, it wasn’t my concern,” Hyde said. “Things happen.”
Outfielder Yusniel Diaz has been held back due to a sore shoulder, but he took batting practice this morning and might play this weekend.
Hyde is using Anthony Santander only as a designated hitter in the first week of games. Santander didn’t play last year after Sept. 23 due to some shoulder soreness.
“I’m just holding him back because at the end of the year last year his shoulder was sore and he kind of grinded through it,” Hyde said. “I’m not worried about his throwing at all going into the season, so I’m going to ramp him up as we get closer. I’m just not in any hurry to put him out there right now.”
“We can always shuttle catchers over here if need be,” Hyde said. “We’ll just make the decision when he goes back based on him, not on pitchers.”
For the Braves
Ronald Acuña Jr. RF
Ozzie Albies 2B
Johan Camargo 3B
Travis d’Arnaud C
Adeiny Hechavarría SS
Adam Duvall LF
Peter O’Brien 1B
Cristian Pache CF
Bryce Ball DH
Sean Newcomb LHP