Atlanta Braves left-handed prospect Jared Shuster continued his bid to earn the final spot in the rotation to begin the season. He squared off against the Red Sox with the pressure of the big-league job looming over his head.
Shuster is in a stiff competition with fellow prospect Dylan Dodd in the wake of the Braves optioning Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder to Triple-A.
Atlanta Braves Jared Shuster’s 1st Inning
Two quick strikeouts to start the first. Next, he gave up a screaming single off the wall by former Brave Adam Duvall. A hit batter and a walk later, Shuster faced Bobby Dalbec with the bases loaded. Shuster regrouped and mowed Dalbec down with a strikeout looking. Working out of this pressure situation is something the Braves will be evaluating when making their final decision on who wins the final rotation spot.
Shuster struck out the side to end the first.
For the most part, located his pitches well and the gruesome changeup kept the Red Sox from keying on the fastball. Shuster also put his slider on display in the first.
Atlanta Braves Jared Shuster’s 2nd Inning
Shuster shut the Red Sox down 1-2-3 in the second with two Ks. Shuster induced a harmless popout to third from Reese McGuire then mowed down Greg Allen and Niko Goodrum. At this point Shuster had earned five of his six outs via the punchout. His stat line at this point read 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, and no runs allowed. His spring ERA dropped to 0.84.
Atlanta Braves Jared Shuster’s 3rd Inning
Arroyo went down with a weak groundball to third. Shuster pitched him inside and Arroyo fouled one off his foot. Shuster followed up with the same pitch getting the dinky grounder to third.
Next, Casas was able to earn groundball single on an 0-2 fastball. Duvall got under a pitch and flew out. Finally, Raimel Tapia finished the inning for Shuster with a can of corn to center field on an off-speed pitch.
Shuster’s spring ERA dropped to 0.77 after the third.
Atlanta Braves Jared Shuster’s 4th Inning
Shuster continued to get a lot of check swings and uncertain looks from hitters with his slider as he struck out Rob Refsnyder to begin the fourth. A couple of pitches later the 24-year-old got a soft groundball to Riley for the second out. Shuster went down 3-1 to Reese McGuire and then displayed his control over the pitch by surprising McGuire by breaking a slider over the plate for strike two. Then froze him on a borderline pitch inside for a strikeout looking.
Shuster’s spring ERA dropped to 0.71.
Jared Shuster’s Final Stat Line on 03/17/2023
4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
Atlanta Braves Jared Shuster’s 5th Inning
Shuster started the fifth inning by allowing an 0-1 single on a changeup. At 71 pitches, Snit collected the ball and ended the young lefty’s wonderful day.
Shuster finished the game with a 0.71 ERA on the spring.
Summary of Shuster’s Day
Overall, Shuster mixed his pitches very well. The slider got away from him a few times but it was more than enough to keep hitters off balance. He allowed one hard hit ball to Duvall, outside of that it was all soft contact and strikeouts.
He put himself in a bind in the first but was able to work out of it without any damage. Red Sox reliever Richard Bleier was in the booth during the Red Sox broadcast in the third inning and had to ask who Shuster was. The regular broadcasters filled him in and after watching, he decided that Shuster should make the Opening Day roster with his impressive mix of pitches and control. He seemed to really enjoy watching the young lefty work.
The three pitches were generally located very well all day with few exceptions. His slider looks like a great out pitch to right-handed hitters for the youthful lefty. 301 slider to Reese McGuire in the third was an impressive display of control on the breaking ball.
Shuster just made things very difficult on Dylan Dodd. Who will win the final rotation spot? Let us know in the comments!