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The MLB lockout is terrible for the sport of baseball as a whole, but it might help some players recovering from injury.
With the MLB season in flux, the Braves have yet to turn focus to a World Series repeat, but that doesn’t mean we have to wait.
Atlanta still has plenty of offseason questions remaining — starting and perhaps ending with first baseman Freddie Freeman. But injury concerns to several key players could set this roster back at the beginning of the season.
Opening Day is officially delayed at least a week, and the first two series’ of the season are canceled. This gives any injured Braves more time to reach full strength, and the opportunity to contribute to the team’s success right away.
Braves: Charlie Morton benefits the most from delayed Opening Day
The Braves righty — who served as a veteran leader of their pitching staff during the team’s playoff run — is back for another ride. Morton fracture his fibula in the World Series, and we haven’t heard much from his since.
However, a recent report from David O’Brien of The Athletic suggests that Morton is recovering well from his broken leg.
“Morton said he’s “mostly caught up” to where he would be normally at this point of February (Feb. 15), but added that he wouldn’t know more until he gets into the rigors of spring training,” per O’Brien.
More time can only help Morton, as he could be ready for a delayed Opening Day, whether that’s a week late, the end of May or weeks after the fact. Morton finished last season with 14 wins, a 3.34 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. If he can replicate those numbers and create a two-headed monster with Max Fried atop the Braves rotation, they’ll be set for another deep run.