Braves notes: Ruiz, Walker HRs; update on relievers Rivero, Minter


LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Third-base prospect Rio Ruiz and recent first-base acquisition Christian Walker each homered for the Braves in a 7-4 split-squad loss to the Phillies in Clearwater, Fla.

Ruiz is 4-for-14 this spring and has impressed Braves officials, showing that he could be ready if Adonis Garcia struggles or the Braves have an injury and need a third baseman at any time.

Rivero update: Right-handed reliever Armando Rivero has yet to pitch in a game this spring because of shoulder tightness. He was shut down for a period and examined this weekend by a Braves physician.

“He played catch today,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said Saturday. “Still kind of just day-to-day, getting him on a throwing program and getting him out there. He says he feels all right. We’re still trying to build him up to get him out there. He had shoulder tightness, so we backed him off, now he’s just playing catch.”

Minter update: The Braves had planned to start using highly regarded lefty relief prospect A.J. Minter in games early next week, but Snitker indicated that will be delayed at least slightly.

Minter had overwhelming statistics last year — 1.30 ERA, 47 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings — while pitching on a strict schedule in his first pro season and first season since Tommy John elbow surgery in college, and the Braves are being cautious again this spring before planning to ease constraints on him in the 2017 season.

Roster cuts: After initially saying the Braves might make roster cuts following Saturday’s split-squad games, Snitker said they would wait a bit longer because of some injuries, sickness and players leaving Sunday for the World Baseball Classic.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Braves bullpen implodes in eighth inning of loss to Nats
Braves bullpen implodes in eighth inning of loss to Nats

On a night when the Braves had five rookies in the starting lineup, graybeard catcher Kurt Suzuki homered to put one of the youngsters, starter Lucas Sims, in position to pick up his third major league win. But that was before one of the ugliest bullpen meltdown in the recent history of a team that’s had far more than its share of such incidents...
Nats ace Scherzer too much this time for Braves and Gohara
Nats ace Scherzer too much this time for Braves and Gohara

When Braves prospect Luiz Gohara faced Max Scherzer a week ago in Washington, the kid earned his first major league win and out-pitched the two-time Cy Young Award winner on a night when Atlanta handed Scherzer one of his worst losses in an 8-2 rout. It was a good bet that Scherzer wasn’t about to have anything resembling a repeat performance...
LEADOFF: Final vote today on Braves spring training facility; cost tops $100M
LEADOFF: Final vote today on Braves spring training facility; cost tops $100M

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, the early buzz in Atlanta sports.  The cost has risen for the Braves’ planned new spring-training facility, which will be a done deal if city commissioners in North Port, Fla., vote to approve the final development agreement today.  The project now carries a price tag of $100.56 million, according to the...
Braves’ Acuna among MLB Pipeline’s most improved prospects
Braves’ Acuna among MLB Pipeline’s most improved prospects

Ronald Acuna, the Braves’ organizational Player of the Year award winner, received praise Monday from MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo. Mayo ranked minor league position players who boosted their stock the most over the past season. Acuna was the first name that came up. “Acuna began the year just off of the Top 100, much to the chagrin...
Q&A: Alex Jackson on transition back to catcher, thriving with Braves
Q&A: Alex Jackson on transition back to catcher, thriving with Braves

Alex Jackson was a Mariners cast-off. Now he’s one of many exciting Braves prospects and perhaps the best catching prospect in the organization.  A first-round pick in 2014, Jackson was initially a catcher before Seattle converted him to the outfield. Upon joining the Braves, Jackson was transitioned back to catcher. Jackson was a Single-A...
More Stories