LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – A day after his impressive outing against the Phillies, the Braves reassigned pitching prospect Sean Newcomb to minor league camp Thursday.
The move would have been made regardless of Newcomb’s results Wednesday, when he turned in an encouraging performance, striking out four and allowing just one hit and no walks in two scoreless innings. That outing could be one that Braves decision-makers remember if and when they need to bring up a pitcher at some point in 2017.
Since there is no opening in the major league starting rotation this spring and the Braves are beginning to push starters deeper in Grapefruit League games, innings will be harder to come by and must be divided between relievers competing for jobs or preparing for the season.
“He wasn’t going to make our club (out of spring training), and he’ll go down there and continue to build,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I told him, ‘hopefully one of these days you’ll walk in the office and I’ll say, nice to see you’re pitching well,’ one of them type of things.
“So that (outing against the Phillies) was good, we couldn’t say enough good things about that. But it was going to be hard to work him in here, it was just about going back down and getting him acclimated. He’ll be fine.”
Minor league starters will begin getting stretched out in minor league spring-training games beginning next week. When the Braves made their first round of roster cuts Wednesday, five pitchers were either reassigned or optioned to minor league camp.