Here’s the encouraging part: A closer look at the numbers gives the impression that Duvall hasn’t been as bad as the results suggest.
His average speed out, per Baseball Savant, is 90.5 mph, which is a higher number than he’s recorded in all but one year since 2015. His hard-hit rate, which is 45.2 %, would be a career high if the season ended today. .
Duvall played a good center for the Braves. He could soon return it to the plate.
As he works on his swing, he tries to make sure he doesn’t cloud his mind before heading to the plate that night.
“You try to do all of that in the cage and (batting practice) and try to take your mind off things during the game,” Duvall said. “Nobody’s perfect, so there are times when it leaks to the plate. But you try to close your mind and just go compete during the game.
When asked if he felt close to a breakthrough, Duvall made a hand gesture that showed two fingers with little space between them.
The point: You are still close to everything in this sport.
“You’re always one little adjustment away from getting hot,” he said. “This game, you’re so far from hot or not.”
How Wright handles extra days
Charlie Morton and Kyle Wright both started a game in Tuesday’s doubleheader in New York, meaning they were both lined up for Sunday’s series finale against the Brewers.
Morton will start this game, which precedes a rest day. Wright will therefore have two additional rest days due to the two rest days between his last start and the next.
It will be different, Wright said Friday. But that shouldn’t be a problem because he’s already changed his routines and he said he feels fine.
“It doesn’t change much,” he said. “You just have a little more time to recover, I guess. It’s definitely different because you’re used to this routine, and then you add a day, it’s a little bit different. You add another day, it’s a little different. I think having the days off makes it easier because on the days off I just try to keep it low key and not do much anyway, just try to recover.
Due to the extra days between his starts, Wright will kick off two bullpen sessions. He planned to finish it on a Friday, then a light one on Monday’s rest day. He expects to play catch on Saturday.
“The big thing I learned is to listen to your arm,” he said. “If your arm says you’re feeling good, then go play ball, work on something.”
Wright said he learned something else throughout his major league run.
“I’ve learned that throwing a little extra sometimes in the bullpen or overdoing it in the bullpen isn’t necessarily worth it,” he said. “There’s nothing I’m going to reinvent myself in a bullpen during the week that’s really going to affect me in the next game, whether it’s good or bad. I feel like you can’t put too much emphasis on it sometimes, you just have to focus, have your aim and hope you have a good execution in the bullpen.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said he spoke to Morton and Wright. Morton, the manager said, has seniority, and “I think he feels like instead of wanting the extra rest he needs to try to get his thing together.”
Wright has a 1.74 ERA over five starts and Morton holds a 6.85 ERA.
What does Soroka do?
Mike Soroka was at Truist Park on Friday. Snitker said the right-hander had “done his normal rehab.”
Snitker said Soroka threw the mound a bit. He had been in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he underwent surgery to repair his Achilles tendon.
“It’s okay,” Snitker said. “He hasn’t had any setbacks or anything, he’s doing everything they have for him in his rehab program.”
Soroka has been working to recover from his second Achilles tendon tear.
Piña is gaining strength
Manny Piña is eligible to return from the injured list when he is ready. He needed rest to make sure the inflammation in his left wrist would go down.
Snitker said he saw Piña go to the batting cage on Friday. The manager said the relief catcher was still a little sore, but was back to do some activities.
The Braves are dealing with Piña’s situation with a day-to-day approach.
Braves honoring Aaron
This weekend, the Braves cap off their celebration of Hank Aaron Week. They wear their retro 1974 jerseys on Friday and Saturday.
Snitker also received a Hank Aaron bobblehead.
“We can’t honor him enough,” Snitker said. “It’s always a special weekend because of his legacy and his honour.”
Aaron passed away on January 22, 2021.