Braves Spring Training Notebook: February 26

Acuna makes season debut, pitchers struggle

Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna and infielder Ozzie Albies sign autographs for fans at Champion Stadium in Orlando, FL on February 26, 2018. (Anastasia Hamilton/Gwinnett Stripers)

By Dan Reiner / Gwinnett Stripers | February 26, 2018 1:36 PM

The Atlanta Braves started the Spring Training slate 0-3 with a 6-1 loss to the Houston Astros Saturday and a 9-3 result against the Washington Nationals Sunday.

Following a 6-2 loss to open the spring campaign against the Mets on Friday, Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Ronald Acuna and Gwinnett Pitcher of the Year Lucas Sims were among the Braves to make their season debuts over the weekend.

Here's a look at how some former and potential future Gwinnett Stripers fared:


Acuna got the start in center field Saturday, batting third. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. On Sunday, he slotted as the designated hitter in the leadoff spot, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout (Weekend totals: 2 games, 0-for-7, 3 SO).

Pitcher Mike Soroka, another highly-touted prospect, made his spring debut Saturday. He gave up a home run to Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel (Totals: 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1 SO).

Shortstop Dansby Swanson, who played 11 games with Gwinnett last season, launched the first home run of Braves' Spring Training on Sunday. His solo shot came in the first inning off 2017 NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (Weekend totals: 1 game, 1-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI).

2017 Gwinnett first baseman Carlos Franco hit an opposite-field solo blast to left in the eighth inning Sunday off Sammy Solis (Weekend totals: 2 games, 2-for-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO).

Gwinnett's 2017 Co-Most Valuable Player Sean Kazmar took over at third base in both games and walked in each of his two plate appearances.

Sims got hit hard in his first appearance of the spring Sunday, coming on in relief of starter Scott Kazmir (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB).

Likewise, Braves prospect pitching Max Fried gave up a two-run homer to the Nats' Matt Wieters in the fourth inning Sunday (Totals: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO).

Pitcher Luke Jackson got shelled for five runs (four earned) in a third of an inning against the Nats (Totals: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB).

Philip Pfeifer, who pitched in 11 games with Gwinnett last season, gave up just one hit over one and two-thirds innings Sunday (Totals: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R).

Check back Thursday for another Braves Spring Training update.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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