Hudson shines once again
Atlanta's opening day starter Tim Hudson lowered his spring ERA to 1.00 after another solid performance Tuesday. He limited the Astros to two unearned runs on three hits in his four innings of work. Hudson also had two walks and four strikeouts.
"Huddy was really good," Braves' Manager Bobby Cox said. "Every time out he's just excellent."
Baker struggles again
Right-hander Brad Baker, acquired as a six-year free agent last winter, continued to struggle. He blew a save opportunity by allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits in his inning of work. Baker was mentioned as a sleeper for the closer's role at the beginning of spring training, but he has an ERA of 14.21. Cox has been surprised Baker has struggled.
"Yeah I thought he would pitch better than this," Cox said. "I had heard pretty good stuff about him. He's just getting the ball up with his changeup, hittable pitches. His changeup is his best pitch, but you've got to get to it off your fastball."
Remlinger and Lerew finally have solid outings
Meanwhile, veteran left-hander Mike Remlinger had his best outing of the spring, pitching two perfect innings to lower his ERA to 11.57. Cox, who is also partial to veterans battling for spots in spring training, believes Remlinger is a serious candidate for one of the lefty roles in the Atlanta bullpen.
"Rem threw good," Cox said. "He threw a lot of strikes with his changeup, curveball. He had his changeup back tonight. He says he feels good. We'll keep looking."
And after a couple of shaky performances, right-hander Anthony Lerew threw a perfect ninth inning to lower his ERA to 18.90. Lerew still might have a chance at a job in the bullpen, but he's instead likely headed to AAA Richmond.
"Yeah he got three ground balls," Cox said. "He was throwing hard."
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional front office philosophies. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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