Tyler Flowers feeling good, will be full-go for opening day

Braves catcher Tyler Flowers works on his swing in the batting tunnels on Saturday, Feb 17, 2018, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista.     Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

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Braves catcher Tyler Flowers works on his swing in the batting tunnels on Saturday, Feb 17, 2018, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Braves catcher Tyler Flowers returned to the lineup Monday after not playing in a major-league game since March 19.

The Braves were cautious with their catcher as he dealt with groin soreness in the past week of spring training. In his return, Flowers went 0-for-2 with a RBI and strikeout.

Flowers had 19 at-bats across nine games prior to Monday. He’d recently played in minor league games and took 15-to-20 swings on the backfields Sunday.

“It’s been feeling good,” Flowers said. “Yesterday (Sunday) before the game I did everything. I was able to do everything 100 percent.”

Flowers labeled it a “tweak” and said he received straight treatment for the first couple days before transitioning to exercise treatment and standard baseball activities.

Splitting time with fellow veteran Kurt Suzuki resulted in a career-best season for Flowers in 2017. He slashed .281/.378/.445 with a career-high .823 OPS. He had 12 homers and 49 RBIs in 99 games.

Spring training is a feeling-out process for Flowers, and for reasons beyond his understanding, he doesn’t really feel comfortable until the end.

“Every year I tend to wait, not by choice, but until the last week to feel good and execute a plan,” Flowers said. “So each year I start getting nervous toward the end. But I feel good.”