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Braves Vs. Nationals Minor League Report: Brett Oberholtzer Looks Good In Two Innings; Outfielders Make Their Cases

The Braves used the split squad games to throw some minor leaguers on the field, including several in the 6-4 Braves win over the Nationals.

Brett Oberholtzer pitched two solid innings, allowing a one-out walk in the eighth as the only baserunner. He mowed through three Nationals regulars in the seventh, and he overmatched Bryce Harper for the strikeout in the eighth. Oberholtzer is looking good so far this spring.

Jairo Asencio was assigned the task of the middle of the Nationals order in the sixth. After getting Roger Bernadina on a flyout and Jayson Werth on a groundout, he gave up a solo home run to Ryan Zimmerman. He followed with a strikeout of Adam LaRoche. Aside from the mistake to Zimmerman, he wasn't too bad.

Jose Ortegano saw his first action of spring camp with a three-run lead in the ninth. He gave up two straight singles to Alex Cora and LaRoche to lead off the inning. After Jesus Flores grounded out to put both in scoring position, Espinosa singled to bring home one. Ortegano settled in by striking out Alberto Gonzalez and getting Jerry Hairston Jr. to ground out to end the game. Ortegano is probably not very high on the Braves' list at this point, and it's taking a split squad ninth inning appearance to get him in, so this didn't help his case.

Jose Constanza received two at bats, sac bunting a runner to second and grounding out in the ninth. Constanza doesn't do much to get the ball out of the infield, but he is fast and provides good defense. His ceiling as a Brave is fourth outfielder/pinch runner, but whether he will get a shot is uncertain.

Christian Bethancourt got an at bat in the eighth against Tyler Clippard, flying out to center. Wilkin Ramirez received the start at DH, flying out three times and singling in the ninth, also stealing second and scoring. Ramirez has hit well so far and is another to watch for fourth outfielder. He is perhaps the hottest of the candidates through the first few games.

Matt Young, the leading candidate for the spot, got the start in left, going 0-2 with a RBI. He walked once and drove in a run on a sac fly. Young is a smart hitter capable of holding his own in the majors, and his defense has been pretty good so far.

Tyler Pastornicky singled in a run in the ninth for his only at bat. Good to see the shortstop causing an impact in his time in camp.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.