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Braves Spring Training FAQs, important dates

@mlbbowman
February 12, 2020

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- As Braves pitchers and catchers reported to CoolToday Park on Wednesday, they delighted in the luxuries offered within their brand new Spring Training home. This is an opportunity that had previously eluded Will Smith, who signed with Atlanta in November. “This is the first time I’ve

NORTH PORT, Fla. -- As Braves pitchers and catchers reported to CoolToday Park on Wednesday, they delighted in the luxuries offered within their brand new Spring Training home. This is an opportunity that had previously eluded Will Smith, who signed with Atlanta in November.

“This is the first time I’ve had a new Spring Training complex,” Smith said. “I left Kansas City and they got a new one right after I left. The same with Milwaukee; they got a brand new one. The Giants just upgraded theirs. They would have had a new one, too. Finally, I get a new Spring Training complex.

“I don’t know if it was me or I was just a bad roommate. We’ll figure it out.”

Smith is one of the welcome additions to the Braves, who will prepare to win a third straight National League East crown while taking advantage of the many amenities offered by their new spring home. The club had trained at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex from 1998-2019.

Instead of having to do some physical training in the dark, dingy hallways of their previous complex, the Braves now have a spacious weight room and training facility within their new, much more comfortable clubhouse. Bullpen mounds sit outside one clubhouse exit, and batting cages are adjacent to another. The players will also enjoy the chance to avoid the long travel and traffic nightmares previously encountered while training in the Orlando area.

The Braves are now located within an hour of the Rays (Port Charlotte), Twins (Fort Myers), Red Sox (Fort Myers), Pirates (Bradenton) and Orioles (Sarasota). Over the past two years, the Tigers had been the only club located within an hour.

“It won’t be as hard of a sell to get a guy to go on the road as it was last year,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “I don’t blame them. My God. Fighting [Interstate 4] was just horrible. All of the teams around here within a legit drive is a big plus.”

First pitchers and catchers workout
Thursday

Full squad report date
Monday

First full-squad workout
Tuesday

New faces to know
Catcher Travis d'Arnaud
Left-hander Cole Hamels
Outfielder Marcell Ozuna
Left-hander Will Smith

Top prospects to know
Outfielder Cristian Pache (No. 13 in MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list)
Outfielder Drew Waters (No. 26)
Right-hander Ian Anderson (No. 37)
Right-hander Kyle Wright (No. 52)
Catcher Shea Langeliers (No. 70)
Catcher William Contreras
Left-hander Kyle Muller
Infielder Braden Shewmake
Right-hander Bryse Wilson
Right-hander Huascar Ynoa

Where is the facility?
CoolToday Park, the Braves’ new Spring Training stadium in Florida, is located approximately 40 minutes southeast of Sarasota and about an hour north of Fort Myers. The Rays’ complex in Port Charlotte is just 15 minutes away.

Can fans attend workouts?
Fans may enter CoolToday Park for free at 9:30 a.m. ET on non-game days.

First game
The Braves will begin their Grapefruit League slate when they host the Orioles on Feb. 22.

First TV game
FOX Sports South will provide a live broadcast of the spring opener against the Orioles on Feb. 22.

One other notable game
Josh Donaldson’s decision to join the Twins created some intrigue about the four games scheduled against Minnesota. The Braves could get their first look at their former third baseman as early as Feb. 25, when the Twins will visit CoolToday Park.

Any additional exhibitions before the regular season?
No.

Last game in Florida
The Braves will conclude their Grapefruit schedule on March 24, when they travel to Fort Myers to play the Red Sox.

Opening Day
The Braves will travel to Arizona to open their 2020 regular-season schedule against the D-backs on March 26 at 10:10 p.m. ET.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.