Max Fried lauds Braves prospects competing for fifth starter job

Atlanta Braves pitcher Max Fried praised prospects Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd, who are both competing for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation.

MLB spring training is close to wrapping up, as Opening Day officially takes place on March 30. Teams are looking to lock in their rosters for the start of the 2023 season, which means competitions in camp are about to reach their conclusion.

For the Atlanta Braves, the most talked about position battle has been for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation.

The Braves shocked many when they opted to send Ian Anderson down to Triple-A, as he was considered one of the favorites. Instead, it has been prospects Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd who have been impressing the Braves coaches. Now, the competition is winding down.

Braves No. 1 pitcher in the rotation, Max Fried, praised both Shuster and Dodd for their performances throughout the spring.

Braves: Max Fried praises Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd

“I think the thing that’s been the most impressive to me is just the fearlessness and the ability to attack the zone,” said Fried, per David O’Brien of The Athletic (subscription required). “Both guys are attacking hitters. It seems like they’re getting to two strikes extremely quick and putting the hitters on their heels, and when you do that consistently, you’re going to have a lot more success. Being able to see them be as confident with strike-throwing as they are, it’s really awesome to see.”

Shuster is Atlanta’s top overall prospect, and he has shown why throughout spring training. He recently pitched on March 17, where he struck out seven Boston Red Sox batters, walked one, and surrendered just three hits in four innings in the 8-0 win.

In four games (three starts) this spring, Shuster posted an impressive 0.71 ERA, a 0.55 WHIP, 16 strikeouts, and two walks in 12.2 innings.

Then there is Dodd, who is ranked the No. 10 overall prospect in the Braves’ farm system. Much like Shuster, he has put up really good numbers throughout the spring. Dodd recently pitched on Saturday, March 18 against the Philadelphia Phillies, where he struck out four batters, issued two walks, and surrendered one earned run on two hits in the 5-1 victory.

This spring (four games, two starts), Dodd recorded a 0.69 ERA, a 0.69 WHIP, 15 strikeouts and two walks in 13 innings.

The Braves have to be ecstatic about what they’re seeing from two of their top pitching prospects. But, they have a difficult decision to make in regards to who will get the No. 5 spot in the pitching rotation.

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