Aug 13, 2022; Miami, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves pitcher Ian Anderson (36) pitches against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
On this episode of the Baseball Insiders Podcast Adam and Robert talk about key position battles for the Braves and Cubs. We also get an update on Justin Turner.
Adam Weinrib and Robert Murray were live with this week’s episode of the Baseball Insiders Podcast to talk about, among other things, spring training position battles. But with March Madness right around the corner, Adam decided to lead off the show asking about Robert’s favorite NCAA basketball team.
Despite the fact that all of Bert’s friends from the Badger State will likely send him nasty text messages, he didn’t go with the University of Wisconsin. Instead, Robert is a fan of whoever he has on his bracket. Lame, Robert. But with that, let’s get into the meat of this week’s episode.
Update on Biggest Spring Training Position Battles: Braves No. 5 starter, Cubs third base and more
Spring training always brings about competition for key positions within the ranks of some of the top teams in baseball. Whether it’s the grizzled veteran battling against the upstart prospects, or the non-roster invitee trying to land on the Opening Day roster, following spring training position battles is a must for any serious baseball fan.
Who is going to be the Braves’ fifth starter? One player it won’t be is Mike Soroka who’s dealing with a hamstring injury. That leaves the Braves to decide between Ian Anderson (7.71 ERA) and Bryce Elder (9.82 ERA). Bert says it’s too early to tell, but he’s taking Anderson.
There’s been a lot of discussion about who’ll be playing left field for the New York Yankees this season, but Aaron Hicks put together a great spring. If Hicks can exceed expectations, that’s the best-case scenario for the Yankees.
Is Jason Heyward going to play more than Los Angeles Dodgers had initially planned for? He may not get a ton of starts, but he could certainly be a bench piece. Meanwhile, Dodgers fans should expect to see James Outman get plenty of playing time after slugging nearly .850 this spring.
Finally, we come to the Chicago Cubs. The North Siders have an abundance of players who can man the hot corner. Nick Madrigal, Christopher Morel, and Patrick Wisdom are all options, so who are the Cubs going to lean on at third base? Don’t rule out Edwin Rios who’s hit well this spring.