Travis d’Arnaud impressed with Nate Jones’ spring renaissance

Atlanta Braves pitcher Nate Jones delivers a pitch during live batting pratice with coach Drew French (background) looking on at spring training Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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Atlanta Braves pitcher Nate Jones delivers a pitch during live batting pratice with coach Drew French (background) looking on at spring training Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, at CoolToday Park in North Port, Fla. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

When asked if there was a Braves pitcher who particularly impressed him this spring, catcher Travis d’Arnaud didn’t hesitate.

“Nate Jones,” he said. “He’s learning a new style of pitching and he did it with open arms and he succeeded with it. It’s funny he has nine years in the big leagues and he didn’t know he had this powerful, explosive fastball. It’ll be really interesting to see how he taps into himself even more so. It’ll be a lot of fun to work with him. … Very humble guy, great teammate, great in the clubhouse.”

Jones, 35, entered camp as a non-roster invitee and left it as a member of the Braves’ opening-day bullpen. The right-hander didn’t allow a run in six of his seven appearances.

The Braves have helped Jones’ transition from primarily relying on his two-seam fastball to becoming more of a four-seam pitcher. He began the process over the winter.

“This is a big four-seam up, breaking balls down-type of organization with analytics and spin rates,” Jones said last week. “And they showed me info on my stuff that I didn’t even know that made the switch a lot easier, just having confidence in that analytical side of it. That’s something we went really hard after this spring and we love the results so far.”

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