June 25, 2024

Today’s Grapefruit League opener between the Braves and the Rays is scheduled to feature Spencer Strider for Atlanta.

The Braves will return to North Port on Sunday to play the Red Sox at CoolToday Park. The Athletic’s David O’Brien reports that Bryce Elder will start in the home opener.

Starting Sunday’s #Braves home opener against the Red Sox will be Bryce Elder.

On February 24, 2024, David O’Brien (@DOBrienATL) said

A strong spring performance will help the 2023 All-Star secure the final slot in the rotation, where he is expected to battle.

Reynaldo Lopez is Elder’s main rival, but a number of young candidates, like A.J. Smith-Shawever, Hurston Waldrep, Darius Vines, etc., will also be fighting for the position. Even if Lopez beats Elder out on the Opening Day roster, it is expected that Elder will start for the Braves, given 16 pitchers saw at least one start in the previous campaign.

It appears that Lopez may get the nod due to roster management, but Elder will still have an influence.

The Texas native had a 2.45 ERA after 17 starts, but during his last 10 games, he had an ugly 5.26 ERA.

Although it would be crazy for an NL All-Star to start the next season in Triple-A, the Braves will benefit from it. The circumstances surrounding Bryce Elder serve as the ideal illustration of Atlanta’s extraordinary depth of starting pitchers.

As previously said, the Braves are expected to start over a dozen pitchers this season; depth is essential.

Braves announce starter for home opener against Red Sox

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