“I definitely feel way more established,” Fried said. “I’m more confident in who I am and what I can do as a pitcher. I tried to take those experiences and learn from them. I want to make adjustments and keep growing. I feel like there’s a lot of things I can still get better at.”
Fried leads a rotation that could be one of baseball’s best.
Ian Anderson is heading into his first full season after a stellar debut (3-2, 1.95 ERA) last season. Veterans Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly were signed in free agency to add depth. Bryse Wilson has impressed in spring training and will likely start out as the fifth starter, though Soroka’s return is not too far away.
“I like our chances against anyone,” Fried said.
Soroka, who went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 2019 and earned a spot in the All-Star Game, has been taking part in simulated games to ensure he’s fully recovered from the Achilles injury.
“Everything is going really, really good for him right now,” Snitker said.
NOTES: The Braves announced RHP Carl Edwards Jr. has opted out of his minor league deal, making him a free agent. Once a key member of the Cubs’ bullpen, Edwards was plagued by injuries the last two seasons and signed a minor league contract with the Braves. He opted out of his deal after being informed he would be not on the opening day roster. Edwards allowed just one run in 8 1/3 innings but had to pitch out of several jams, giving up seven hits and six walks. … Edwards’ departure improves the odds of another non-roster invitee, Nate Jones. He has pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings, surrendering just two hits and no walks. “It’s becoming more clear,” Snitker said of the bullpen’s final makeup.
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