NORTH PORT, Fla. — At 9:57 a.m. Tuesday, Braves manager Brian Snitker exited the doors leading into the clubhouse at CoolToday Park and hopped in a golf cart. He rode past reporters, toward the agility field and beyond it.

He was headed to a 10 a.m. meeting in the auditorium, where he would stand in front and speak to the team before its first full-squad workout of this spring training.

“I don’t think I’d feel right,” Snitker later said, “if I didn’t address the group.”

In the couple of hours that followed that meeting, the 2024 Braves went their separate ways throughout the complex. Certain pitchers threw bullpen sessions. The position players went through their schedules.

In the coming months, the Braves likely will accomplish a lot. Will they hoist a trophy? That remains to be seen. But whatever they do, it will all have started here, on this crisp and sunny Tuesday, where they officially gathered together for the first time.

“It was just good to get all the guys together,” Snitker said after the guys finished Tuesday’s workout.

Here’s a look at the day:

10 a.m.

It’s clear that Snitker feels a great responsibility when addressing his group for the first time.

“I’ll roll over in bed at night and get on my phone and make notes sometimes,” he said. “To me, it’s a big deal, first time you get them all together.”

In the front of the auditorium, Snitker spoke to a team with the reigning National League MVP and the reigning home run king. Knock on wood, because you wouldn’t want to jinx it, but he knows who the nine men in his batting order are and four of five names in his rotation. His bullpen mostly is set.

He’s helming a true World Series contender.

His message to the players?

“Just how great (it is) to see everybody back,” Snitker said. “And it is. There’s nothing but positives that you can draw from this group and what they’ve accomplished. And going forward, just how excited we are.”

The next time Snitker will talk to the team in a formal matter is when the Braves break camp and head up north.

11 a.m.

Over the past hour, it had been quiet around the complex. Now, everyone is moving about as the workout officially begins with stretching.

On the big agility field, which is somewhere between the main stadium and the back fields, pitchers begin lightly running and stretching. The position players do the same, but in the main stadium.

Ian Anderson, who underwent Tommy John surgery last year, is going through his own routine. He’s throwing four times a week, but isn’t pitching yet.

This recovery process has been difficult. But it’ll all pay off eventually.

“I think it’s helped me a ton just kind of be able to own what I do,” Anderson said. “I think now, when things are kind of going bad, I think I might be able to right the ship a little bit faster just knowing different checkpoints I have mechanically. Just confidence from going through this process.”

11:13 a.m.

One beauty of spring training is this: The players work on fundamentals as if they’re high school ballplayers again. During the season, there’s no practice – only pregame work.

But at this moment, the Braves begin running the bases. They are going to first base only.

Austin Riley leads the group, followed by Matt Olson. Jarred Kelenic is behind Olson and Michael Harris II trails Kelenic. Ozzie Albies is in front of Orlando Arcia.

Ronald Acuña Jr. – who stole 73 bases last year – also is out here. So, too, is Marcell Ozuna, who is in front of Luis Guillorme, an offseason addition to the Braves’ bench.

Tom Goodwin, the team’s new first-base coach, appears to be leading the drill with Brad Scott, the club’s head strength-and-conditioning coach.

11:19 a.m.

Now, it’s time for the guys to play catch as they loosen up before defensive work. It’s always fun to see the pairings.

Olson and Riley are throwing to one another. Acuña and Guillorme are hurling it to each other. Harris and Kelenic are another pair, as are Albies and Arcia.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. The pops of the gloves is a fun spring sound.

Baseball is back.

When Arcia spoke to the media before the workout, he was asked how much he enjoys playing with this group.

“A lot,” he said through interpreter Franco García. “I think it’s obvious. I think you’ll see the infielders and outfielders, the way we cut it up with one another and have some fun. I think that harmony is gonna be key in hopefully winning another World Series.”

11:23 a.m.

Walt Weiss, who will instruct the infielders with Ron Washington now managing the Angels, begins leading the team through infield drills.

This All-Star infield – no, seriously, they all were All-Stars last season – is one reason the Braves are so dynamic. Their lineup lacks a real hole. It’s one reason that you take it seriously when they say this season is “World Series or bust.”

“I think that’s the goal of every player, is to win a World Series,” Arcia said. “That’s the key, right? What happened last year, I think that stays in last year. If anything, I think we just take what happened and learn from it and move forward.”

Of course, Olson, Albies, Arcia and Riley are the starting infielders. But Guillorme, in these drills, is behind Riley at third. David Fletcher, Andrew Velasquez and Leury Garcia are three guys shuffling between the middle infield spots.

At first, the infielders take grounders at their specific positions. Then they work on turning double plays.

One fun thing: Ozuna, the designated hitter, worked behind Olson at first base. He’s been doing it since last year. It doesn’t hurt to keep Ozuna moving.

11:34 a.m.

Goodwin, a former big-league outfielder, is feeding baseballs into a machine that shoots them into the air. His outfielders are practicing a number of things.

First, they work on calling off one another.

“Got it! Got it! Got it!” one shouted as he converged with a teammate.

Soon, they take turns, going one by one, charging fly balls out of the machine. In the couple of minutes this reporter observed them, there were no mishaps.

In the offseason, the Braves acquired Kelenic from the Mariners. They liked him so much that they took on bad deals – and did the work to rid themselves of a couple of them – to get their new left fielder.

With Acuña in right field, Harris in center and Kelenic in left, the Braves could have a great defensive outfield.

“Those three guys that you’re talking about right there are very athletic,” Snitker said. “Above-average outfield, that’s for sure.”

11:40 a.m.

On one of the bullpen mounds behind the main stadium, Charlie Morton throws to bullpen catcher Jimmy Leo. Morton is 40, but still going strong. He’s reinvented himself multiple times and, at this point, he’s a critical piece for the Braves – on the mound and in the clubhouse.

Behind Morton, Braves Chairman Terry McGuirk watches pitchers throw their bullpen sessions. McGuirk also was here Monday, and watched Chris Sale’s bullpen from an almost-identical spot.

Raisel Iglesias, who also threw a bullpen session Tuesday, walked off the mounds and was greeted by Braves president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos, who was talking with a group. Anthopoulos and Iglesias embraced one another and chatted for a couple of moments.

Something that makes the Braves so special: Anthopoulos has created a positive environment. When he took the job, he strived to make the Braves a place where players would want to play. Ask around the clubhouse, and you’ll hear similar things from players: They feel taken care of in this organization.

When Iglesias walked off the mounds, he flashed a huge smile. Once again, he’ll close games for the team, which acquired him two summers ago.

11:45 a.m.

On the half field – a field that has a regular infield but a small outfield – Max Fried, Sale and others practice pick-offs.

Fried is especially crafty in this way. Since the 2017 season, when Fried debuted, the lefty has 25 pick-offs – more than any other pitcher. Patrick Corbin is next on that list, with 22.

11:49 a.m.




If you ever attend a Braves workout, you’ll hear this a lot. Fans LOVE Acuña. They want a ball, an autograph, or any piece of his gear.

In this case, kids were asking for Acuña to throw a ball over to the stands. He obliged, which made someone’s day.

Around this time, Acuña also missed a fly ball in right field. But it doesn’t matter. It’s spring training. This is a relaxed environment.

Oh yeah, and he’s the reigning NL MVP. He’ll be fine. Promise.

Around this time, Olson and Riley were shagging fly balls in center field while others took batting practice. Nothing is for certain, but this probably is: We will NOT see Olson or Riley in center field – ever.

11:55 a.m.

Acuña, Albies, Ozuna and others walk in from the outfield for batting practice. This is usually a treat for fans, but on this day, the baseballs weren’t flying.

Acuña launched a few homers, including one that landed halfway up the berm in left field, but nothing stood out. It was one of those days.

After the workout finishes at around 12:30 p.m., Snitker settles in the dugout for his daily briefing with reporters.

“You always like to get that first one over, just to get in, get it done,” he said. “We had a great day, we did everything we needed to do. It was a very productive day.”