You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

Tale of 2 veteran relievers: Boyer struggling, O’Flaherty impressing

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – After Blaine Boyer coughed up a lead and much more by giving up six runs and recording just one out in the sixth inning Thursday against the Yankees, fellow well-traveled veteran Eric O’Flaherty stopped the bleeding by getting the last two outs of the inning.

It was a microcosm of the surprising early spring for both pitchers, familiar former Braves trying to win spots in the opening-day bullpen.

Both signed minor league contracts with invitations to spring training, but Boyer was coming off consecutive quality seasons in a late-career resurgence, while O’Flaherty was coming off another elbow surgery after the left-hander’s injury-plagued difficult season in his return to the Braves in 2016.

So expectations were higher for Boyer, but results so far have been quite the opposite. Boyer, 35, has struggled to get outs in two of four games and allowed 10 runs (nine earned) in four innings (20.25 ERA) over four appearances. He was charged with five earned runs, five hits and a bases-loaded walk to Dustin Fowler on Friday.

Another runner scored after reaching on a throwing error by third-base prospect Austin Riley.

“(Boyer’s) velocity was good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “It wasn’t like they were just hammering him all over the place either. Just some balls that were falling in front of the outfielders and we don’t make a play and kind of let the inning get out of hand. I don’t think the stuff was that bad, just the results weren’t very good. But overall, just run him back out there in a couple of days.”

Meanwhile, O’Flaherty has allowed just three hits, one run (1.93 ERA) and two walks with six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. The run scored Friday when he came back to pitch the seventh inning and gave up a walk and a double that landed just beyond the outstretched glove of prospect Ronald Acuna when he made a difficult diving-catch attempt in right-center field.

“To me, he’s gotten a little better each time,” Snitker said of O’Flaherty, 32. “I thought he was a little better today than he was the last time, which was a little better than the time before. I thought he threw some good breaking balls today, his fastball is starting to get a little more life. I think we just kind of hang with him, stay with him. He feels good, so that’s a good thing just to kind of keep him out there, maybe he’s throwing healthy for the first time in a while.”

D’Arnaud update: Utility man Chase d’Arnaud missed his ninth consecutive game due to sickness. He was knocked out for nearly a week by the flu, then just as he began working out again and prepared to rejoin the Braves, he was diagnosed with bronchitis. Doctors told him to stay away from camp for at least another two days before he’s reexamined.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Brandon Phillips leaves game with injury
Brandon Phillips leaves game with injury

NEW YORK – Hot-hitting Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips left Wednesday night’s game against the Mets with a left groin strain, but manager Brian Snitker said the injury wasn’t believed to be serious. Phillips was hurt while sliding at second base on a stole-base attempt in the Braves’ five-run first inning. He played the...
Freeman: Phillips in 2-hole good, Dansby will be fine
Freeman: Phillips in 2-hole good, Dansby will be fine

NEW YORK – Brandon Phillips was in the second spot in the Braves lineup ahead of slugger Freddie Freeman for the second consecutive game Wednesday, while rookie Dansby Swanson was in the eighth position for the third time in a row since being dropped from the 2-hole after his early season slump. As Freeman saw it, having hot-hitting veteran Phillips...
Dickey vs. Syndergaard matchup focuses attention on 2012 trade
Dickey vs. Syndergaard matchup focuses attention on 2012 trade

NEW YORK – R.A. Dickey was greeted warmly by Mets fans when the Braves played at Citi Field on opening day, and why wouldn’t he be? Dickey won the Cy Young Award after a 20-win season with the Mets in 2012, then was the centerpiece of a trade to the Blue Jays that brought a pitching prospect named Noah Syndergaard to the Mets along with...
LEADOFF: Are Braves as bad as the power rankings say?
LEADOFF: Are Braves as bad as the power rankings say?

Three sets of “power rankings” this week deem the Braves the worst team in the major leagues, at least for the moment. The latest weekly rankings by Sports Illustrated, USA Today and Fox Sports peg the Braves No. 30 out of the 30 MLB teams. Meanwhile, and Bleacher Report have the Braves No. 28 and No. 29...
Snitker on Braves’ 6-12 start: No need to blow it up
Snitker on Braves’ 6-12 start: No need to blow it up

NEW YORK – After being swept at Philadelphia and having an off day Monday in New York, the Braves had even more time to think about the disappointing 6-12 start to their season when their Tuesday night series opener against the Mets got rained out. But it wasn’t as if any of them was panicking or thinking about jumping off the Triborough...
More Stories