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ATLANTA (AP) — Sean Newcomb still thinks of himself as a young pitcher.Some of his new Braves teammates see Newcomb as a veteran with all the answers. That puts a different kind of pressure on the left-hander as he enters his third season.Newcomb did not walk a batter in four innings and Pedro Florimon hit a ninth-inning grand slam off Jimmy Herget to lift Atlanta over the Cincinnati Reds 7-5 Tuesday in the last exhibition game for each team.Among healthy starters Gregor Blanco Jersey , the 25-year-old Newcomb trails only Julio Teheran in seniority in a rotation that includes rookies Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson.“I would be younger on some other teams but here I’m kind of stuck in the middle, kind of knowing all those younger guys but also having been here for a couple years,” Newcomb said. “They kind of come to me for a lot of questions because it’s a little more comfortable for them.”Mike Foltynewicz, a 2018 All-Star expected to be the team’s top starter, is recovering from a sore elbow. Kevin Gausman may recover from a sore shoulder in time to pitch in the Braves’ first home series next week. Max Fried, a 2018 rookie, is the probable No. 5 starter.Newcomb was 12-9 with a 3.90 ERA last season. The left-hander faded after compiling a 2.59 ERA in his first 15 starts.A key to Newcomb’s hopes of improved consistency is better control. He walked 15 batters in his first 17 innings this spring training but avoiding walks helped him give up only two runs on three hits to the Reds.“I threw more strikes,” he said. “… I’m healthy http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey , I’m feeling strong, my fastball is in a good spot and today my off-speed was in a good spot, too.”Newcomb is scheduled to start Atlanta’s home opener against the Cubs on Monday. Teheran, Wilson and Wright will start in the opening series against Philadelphia this week.Reds starter Anthony DeSclafani allowed two hits and one walk in four scoreless innings. Wright gave up three runs and five hits in four innings.Kyle Farmer hit a two-run homer off Newcomb in the third inning. Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson hit a two-run homer off Zach Duke in the fifth.TRAINER’S ROOMReds OF Nick Senzel sprained his right ankle while sliding into second base in a minor league game on Monday night. Senzel will be in a walking boot for at least one week and will be out for “weeks after that,” president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. Williams added the injury doesn’t affect plans for Senzel to play center field, instead of second base, “but it affects the time frame.” Senzel, the team’s top prospect Duane Kuiper Jersey , was sent to the minors on Friday.SECOND-CHANCE EFFORTFarmer was demoted to the minors on Friday and recalled on Saturday after Scooter Gennett sustained a severe groin strain that will force him to miss the opening months of the season.Farmer started at shortstop and has played at catcher, first base and third base in his career.“He’s shown a lot,” said Reds manager David Bell. “The fact he can catch and play shortstop, he can probably play all nine positions. … He can hit, too. He’s going to be a big part of our team.”ROSTER NEWSReds RHP Matt Wisler was reassigned to the minors and is expected to be designated for assignment. Bell said Wisler, who began his career with the Braves, “did everything he could to make the team” but lost out to RHP Robert Stephenson in the competition for a spot in the bullpen. “We like where he is, we believe in him http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey ,” Bell said of Stephenson. Bell said he didn’t want to define Stephenson’s bullpen role.UP NEXTReds: RHP Luis Castillo will start when the Reds open at home against Pittsburgh on Thursday.Braves: Teheran will make his sixth straight opening day start when Atlanta faces the Phillies and RHP Aaron Nola on Thursday. PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — After spending his entire career with the Cleveland Indians, Michael Brantley likened joining the Houston Astros to going to a new high school.Those first day butterflies quickly dissipated, and the outfielder is fitting in famously with his new teammates. He has already moved into a leadership role on this veteran team.“One of the best things about this locker room is when I came in, everybody was willing to help and make me feel comfortable and talk,” he said. “You come in every morning, you look around and everybody’s smiling and playing cards, and it’s just a great atmosphere all-around that they created.”The free agent outfielder signed a $32 million Derek Holland Jersey , two-year contract with Houston in December after spending his first 10 seasons with the Indians.Manager AJ Hinch has admired Brantley and is just as impressed after seeing him up close for the past couple of weeks.“He fits in perfectly,” Hinch said. “He could walk in all 30 clubhouses and immediately garner the respect that he deserves. He’s very professional. He’s very consistent.”Houston wasn’t lacking in veteran leadership with a team which includes Jose Altuve, George Springer, Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel. Brantley has still managed to make a mark.“He’s quickly become a very important person in our clubhouse,” Hinch said. “He’s someone I know our position players will look up to or will look to when it comes to maintaining the balance that it takes to be a position player for us.”The career .295 hitter gives the Astros an upgrade to an outfield anchored by Springer and adds a left-handed bat to a predominantly right-handed lineup. He’s enjoyed camp so far and used it as a chance to bond with his new teammates on and off the field.“The whole goal of spring training is developing a relationship with your teammates and getting comfortable with reads and breaks and just getting back into baseball shape,” he said. “But also learning what the guy wants next to you and learning how you can help and what you can do to make your teammates better.”The three-time All-Star hit .309 with 17 homers, 36 doubles and 76 RBIs in 143 games last season, making 134 starts in left field. His best season came in 2014 http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-evan-longoria-jersey , when he finished third in AL MVP voting after hitting 20 homers with 97 RBIs — both career highs.He’s excited about the possibility of helping the Astros win another World Series after they took their first title in 2017. And with the group of guys he’s joining, he will be careful to simply be himself instead of trying to do too much to wow his new teammates.“You know how good everybody is in this locker room so I’m just going to come in and try to do exactly what I’m doing, and if that helps the team win games that’s all I care about,” he said.
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