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Soroka, Allard reassigned as Braves trim roster

Pache rounds out trio of prospects in club's Top 10 sent to Minors camp
March 9, 2018

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard provided clear indication that they both could be deemed Major League-ready at some point this season. Cristian Pache experienced the honor of having Andruw Jones describe him as the best defensive outfielder in the Braves' organization.But after making strong impressions

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard provided clear indication that they both could be deemed Major League-ready at some point this season. Cristian Pache experienced the honor of having Andruw Jones describe him as the best defensive outfielder in the Braves' organization.
But after making strong impressions as they each experienced their first big league camp, each of these highly touted prospects will spend the remainder of Spring Training in Minor League camp.
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Soroka, Allard and Pache were reassigned to Minor League camp before Friday night's game against the Yankees at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex. Left-handed reliever Jesse Biddle was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett and two other southpaws -- Adam McCreery and Ricardo Sanchez -- were optioned to Double-A Mississippi.
"I really like how all of the [prospects] carried themselves," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "All of our young players came in and conducted themselves exactly the way we thought they would as professionals. They're all real confident in what they're doing. It's really neat to see."
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MLB Pipeline ranks Soroka as the Braves' third-best prospect and the game's 31st-best prospect. Allard ranks as the team's sixth-best prospect and the game's 58th-best prospect. Pache ranks ninth among Braves prospects and narrowly missed being placed among the game's Top 100 prospects.
After making the successful jump to the Double-A level as 19-year-old hurlers last year, Soroka and Allard could both begin this season within Gwinnett's rotation.
Considered by some scouts to be ready for the Majors, Soroka could potentially join Atlanta's rotation within the first few months of the season. A Yuli Gurriel homer accounted for the only run the Canadian right-hander surrendered over five Grapefruit League innings.

Allard's ceiling might exceed Soroka's, but for now he could benefit from a couple of extra months of development and the chance to continue physically maturing. The left-hander, who was taken with the 14th overall pick in the 2015 Draft, issued three walks and recorded a strikeout over three scoreless Grapefruit League innings.
Pache has never played above the Class A level, but now that he has added some strength to his upper body and gained some power potential, he could quickly rise through the system, much like top prospect Ronald Acuna did last year. Pache, a 19-year-old outfielder, recorded a pair of singles in 10 Grapefruit League at-bats.
Biddle, who has battled multiple injuries since the Phillies took him in the first round of the 2010 Draft, and McCreery, who has made significant strides since being acquired for Jhoulys Chacin two years ago, made the most of every opportunity while in big league camp. At least one of them will likely join Atlanta's bullpen this season.
The Braves also announced infielder Ray-Patrick Didder, catcher Tyler Marlette, left-handed reliever Philip Pfeifer and catcher Kade Scivicque were reassigned to Minor League camp.
Teheran aims to improve vs. right-handed hitters
During the fourth inning of Friday's 3-1 win, New York's Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar reminded Julio Teheran that he has not necessarily distanced himself from the unexpected troubles he had against right-handers.
Sanchez opened the fourth with a screamer that knocked Teheran to the ground and found its way to center field for a single. Two batters later, Andujar laced a liner that found shortstop Charlie Culberson's glove and resulted in an inning-ending double play.
Teheran scattered two hits over four scoreless innings. The likely Opening Day starter hasn't allowed a run through his first nine Grapefruit League innings. This early success has at least helped him distance himself from the frustration he felt last season, when he produced a 4.49 ERA.
Right-handed batters hit .276 and produced a .753 OPS against Teheran last season. They had hit .212 with a .579 OPS against him from 2013-16. If he can regain a feel for his slider and find some success with the changeup he expects to use more frequently, he may be able to prove that last year's numbers were just an anomaly.
"We're two weeks away," Teheran said. "I'm not trying to rush. I'm just trying to keep working. By the time we get to Opening Day, we want to have everything together so that I don't have to go up there and make adjustments [during the regular season]."
Roster battle
Lane Adams has struggled as he has attempted to acquaint himself with the slightly altered swing he developed during the offseason. He struck out in two of his three hitless at-bats on Friday night and is now hitting .143 with 12 strikeouts.
Acuna could make his Major League debut in mid-April, and once he arrives he'll likely man left field. Until he arrives, the Braves will likely fill the position with a platoon that could include Adams and the left-handed-hitting Preston Tucker.
Adams has gone 3-for-21 with nine strikeouts against right-handed pitchers and 1-for-7 with three strikeouts against lefties. Tucker has gone 8-for-24 against right-handed pitchers and 1-for-2 against lefties.
Dustin Peterson has an outside shot at bidding for playing time in left field, but the Braves would like him to spend the early part of the season getting at-bats with Triple-A Gwinnett and making up for the time lost last year when he struggled while recovering from a broken left hamate bone.
Peterson has been healthy throughout camp, but he has tallied just five plate appearances this month, primarily because the Braves have prioritized giving other outfielders more playing time.
Up next
Acuna, Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson are among the position players scheduled to travel to Bradenton for Saturday afternoon's game against the Pirates. Mike Foltynewicz will make his third start. He's also slated to become the first Atlanta pitcher to get an at-bat this year. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. The game will air on MLB.TV.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.