Notes: Acuña, Albies progress; Sunday's start

August 14th, 2020

Outfielder remains on track for a Monday return from left wrist inflammation. The injury sidelined him in the Braves' last two games ahead of the team's off-day on Thursday and will keep him out of this weekend’s three-game series against the Marlins.

“We’ll get him treated over the weekend,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We’re kind of targeting Monday. We'll see how he feels and hopefully get him back in there.”

Second baseman Ozzie Albies, who hasn’t played since Aug. 4 because of a wrist contusion, began swinging a bat on Friday. He’s expected to miss at least another week.

“He felt good,” Snitker said. “At least he’s starting to swing again, so that’s good news.”

Sunday's pitching in flux
Snitker isn’t ready to name a starter for Sunday’s game, saying it will depend on who he has to use to get through the Friday and Saturday games. Touki Toussaint will start Monday against the Nationals at Truist Park.

“It’s kind of a how we get there [on Sunday] type of thing,” Snitker said. “Really, we have three starters right now, and we’re having to piece it together in the other two.”

Braves get first breather
Having played 20 games in the season’s first 20 days, the Braves saw Thursday’s day off as a mental break as much as a physical one.

“A little mental relief goes a long way in this sport,” Snitker said. “Just to clear your head. So that's always good. I mean, this is such a grind here day in and day out.”

Outfielder Adam Duvall said, “You know, at this point, when it gets hot and stuff, you’re usually at more than 100 games. It's a little different this year.”

Snitker sees a silver lining in playing 20 games in 20 days.

“I'm just glad that we’ve played all our games and don't have to look down the road and see a ton of doubleheaders and makeup games like a lot of these clubs are going to have to do.”

All things considered, the Braves are in a good place at 11-9.

“I think we've hung in there pretty good,” Snitker said. “I think we survived that stretch, and we're going to get to a point where we're going to be getting some of those guys back. I think what we did in that stretch was an entire team effort. We’ve played some pretty good baseball to where we're at right now."

Up next
Left-hander Max Fried will make his fifth start of a near-perfect season Saturday against the Marlins. His 1.59 ERA and 0.838 WHIP are among the best numbers in baseball, and Fried hasn’t allowed more than two runs in his first four and has yet to allow a home run.

Facing a Miami team that has had a massive roster overhaul is a unique challenge for both sides.

“They're aggressive,” he said. “I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. Obviously, with a more established team, there's more information to base it off of. That also means they're not familiar with you. So you can take the good with the bad.”

First pitch on Saturday at Marlins Park is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. ET, and the action will be live on MLB.TV.