The Braves have announced that they have extended the contracts of general manager Frank Wren and manager Fredi Gonzalez. The team did not divulge the length of the extensions, but both Wren and Gonzalez were in their final year under contract before today.
Wren has been the GM since John Schuerholz was promoted to team president in 2007. Gonzalez has managed the team since Bobby Cox retired following the 2010 season. The team has gone 279-207 since he took over and has led the team to two playoff appearances and one NL East title.
While some Braves fans quibble with Wren and Gonzalez’s approaches at times, there was little if any chance that the team would make any changes in leadership any time soon. The Braves have had two GMs in the past 25+ years and one is now the team president. They’ve had two managers in that time as well, and the current one was basically hand-picked by the last one. The Braves are into the stability thing.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.