The Braves will start Matt Wisler, Sean Newcomb and newcomer Scott Kazmir in the first three Grapefruit League games Friday through Sunday, though manager Brian Snitker indicated that not too much should be made of those assignments.
He plans to use the starters in only one inning apiece in those games and said eight or nine pitchers likely would pitch in at least the first couple of games.
Wisler will start against the Mets in a Grapefruit League opener Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., Newcomb faces the defending World Series champion Astros on Saturday in West Palm Beach, and Kazmir starts Sunday against the Nationals in West Palm Beach.
The Astros and Nationals share a training facility and play their games at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz and newcomer Brandon McCarthy are penciled in for three spots in the Braves’ starting rotation entering spring training, with young left-handers Newcomb, Luiz Gohara and Max Fried leading the group of candidates for the final two sports.
Veteran Kazmir also will compete for a spot if he’s healthy after missing all of 2016 with the Dodgers because of injuries.
Gohara is believed to have one of those final two spots to lose and probably would have to struggle mightily this spring to not be in the opening-day rotation.
Snitker is not making any of his veteran players take the long bus ride to Port St. Lucie or West Palm Beach, nor will pitchers Teheran, Foltynewicz or McCarthy. Most Braves veteran position players will make their spring debuts Monday in the home Grapefruit League opener against the Nationals at Champion Stadium in Lake Buena Vista.
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