Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Koehler gets rematch with Braves, who unveil Cahill

Familiarity won't be an issue when Tom Koehler faces the Braves on Tuesday night at Turner Field. In the third game of the season, the Marlins right-hander squared off against Atlanta in Miami. Backed by A.J. Pierzynski's two-run homer in the seventh inning, the Braves claimed a 2-0 victory over Koehler.
But it will be an unfamiliar setting for Trevor Cahill. In the middle game of the three-game series, Koehler draws a pitching matchup with Cahill, who will make his first appearance since Atlanta acquired him from Arizona. The Braves, because of an off-day, didn't need a fifth starter until now.
Here are three things you need to know:
1. Now that catcher J.T. Realmuto has been called up from Triple-A New Orleans, manager Mike Redmond said he will try to find ways to get Miami's No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com, some playing time. It may end up being against lefty starters. But he promises to see action behind the plate, along with starter Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
2. The Braves acquired Cahill from the D-backs on March 31 with the hope that he might bounce back from last year's disappointing season, during which he spent some time in the Minors refining his mechanics. Cahill started a Minor League exhibition game on April 5, and then spent the first week in the Braves' bullpen. One scout recently said the former All-Star pitcher needs to focus more on his sinker and throw fewer curveballs.
3. Braves third baseman Chris Johnson has started just three of this season's first seven games. But while collecting four doubles, including three against right-handed pitchers, through the early portion of this season, Johnson has certainly earned the right to get more playing time.

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