Detroit Tigers defeat Atlanta Braves in spring training, 5-3: Game thread replay

Grapefruit League: Detroit Tigers (12-14) vs. Atlanta Braves (12-9)

When: 1:05 p.m. Wednesday.

Where: Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, Florida.

TV: Bally Sports Detroit.

Radio: WXYT-AM (1270; other radio affiliates).


Probable starting pitchers: Tigers RHP Matt Manning (1-1, 9.00 ERA this spring) vs. Braves TBD.

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Tigers lineup:

CF Matt Vierling

LF Riley Greene

SS Javier Báez

1B Spencer Torkelson

DH Miguel Cabrera

RF Akil Baddoo

3B Andy Ibáñez

2B Ryan Kreidler

C Jake Rogers

P Matt Manning

Game notes: It might be putting too much on a single spring training start that didn’t even go four innings, but Matt Manning’s most recent outing, in which he threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings with four strikeouts and one walk against the Pittsburgh Pirates, probably went a long way toward shoring up his spot in the Tigers’ Opening Day rotation. That’s especially important now, as the rotation could have an opening after right-hander Michael Lorenzen was scratched from Monday’s start with groin tightness. Left-handers Eduardo Rodriguez and Matthew Boyd and right-hander Spencer Turnbull all appear on track to start next week, and left-hander Joey Wentz can fill in if Lorenzen isn’t healthy for the start of the season, which begins March 30.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Manning poses for team individual shots during photo day in Lakeland, Florida, on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Matt Manning poses for team individual shots during photo day in Lakeland, Florida, on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

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The Braves, who are coming off the 2021 World Series title and a 2022 NL East crown, head into the final week having answered their biggest offseason question: Who will replace departed shortstop Dansby Swanson. Well, sort of. What was viewed as a spring competition between prospects Vaughn Grissom, a 22-year-old who posted a .791 OPS in 156 big-league plate appearances last season (after jumping straight from Double-A), and Braden Shewmake, a 25-year-old with a .715 OPS in Triple-A in 2022, was won by … veteran Orlando Arcia. The 28-year-old’s .241/.367/.360 slash line this spring wasn’t far off the .244/.316/416 line he posted in 67 games last season — but it’s a big dropoff from Swanson, who parlayed his 25 homers and 32 doubles in 640 at-bats last year into a seven-year, $177 million contract with the Chicago Cubs.

Still, Atlanta is the favorites in the NL East, thanks to a lineup that still features Matt Olson at 1B, Ozzie Albies at 2B, Austin Riley at 3B, plus Ronald Acuña Jr. in right field and 2022 NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II in center. Uh, good luck, Mr. Manning.

After Wednesday’s outing, the Tigers have their final split-squad stint of the spring, featuring a day game against the Phillies in Clearwater and a night game against the Orioles in Sarasota. The Braves, meanwhile, will host the Mets in North Port.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers defeat Braves in spring, 5-3: Game thread replay