Injury-related pitching woes have been the Spring Training theme for the Braves this year"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Talking Chop User’s GuideTalking Chop PodcastAround the NL EastBaseball Analysis PrimerMinter Phil Niekro Jersey , O’Day likely to start season on Injured ListNew,28commentsInjury-related pitching woes have been the Spring Training theme for the Braves this yearEDTShareTweetShareShareMinter, O’Day likely to start season on Injured ListReinhold Matay-USA TODAY SportsPerhaps not surprising given how the month of March has treated Braves’ pitching depth thus far, but here’s some news from Mark Bowman:Both A.J. Minter and Darren O’Day have, generally, been expected to be among the most productive members of Atlanta’s 2019 bullpen, as well as a couple of guys ticketed for use in higher-leverage situations. However, it looks like them seeing any kind of major league situations may have to wait.Bowman further writes that Minter, who was injured in a fender bender and left a game after facing just one batter on the first day of March, has played catch for three straight days for three straight days with no ill effects , but that there’s a lot of standard rehab appearance-type stuff that jeopardizes his Opening Day status. O’Day, meanwhile, has continued to suffer from forearm discomfort, which has also kept him sidelined since March 1. He hasn’t even been cleared to throw yet, so his timetable is both protracted and very much in flux at this point. O’Day missed much of the 2018 season after undergoing hamstring surgery, so while the good news is that that part of his body appears to be fully healthy, throwing arm injuries for pitchers are no bueno, to say the least. Minter is generally projected to be the Braves’ best reliever this year, with O’Day also solidly placing in the top four, so these are relatively important cogs (though still relief/bullpen cogs) that will end up missing some time.The Braves have many options to fill the roster spots generated by Minter and/or O’Day absences Chipper Jones Jersey , but the real kicker is that these options may not be better and seem likely to be worse. Bowman speculates that Luke Jackson and Wes Parsons may be the beneficiaries — while Parsons is a bit of an unknown quantity at this point, the on-field production of the relief corps likely takes a hit any time Jackson suits up in lieu of Minter or O’Day. Of course, the Braves have so many arms that they don’t need to use any short-stint reliever to fill a hole created by an injury to another player, as they could load up their bullpen with leftover starter candidates that didn’t make the rotation, and probably not fare much worse for it. We’ll see what happens — stay tuned for more. The first spring look at Taylor Clarke."Clarke was ranked #7 on Michael McDermott’s list of top 30 prospects, and on the recent MLB Pipeline prospect update, he came in at #10. Michael said Clarke “has nothing left to prove at the minor league level,” though there does seem to be some question over whether his future will be as a starter or a reliever. The main issue seems to be that, while most of his pitches are decent, there’s not a true “excellent” one. He doesn’t have great strikeout numbers and isn’t particularly a groundball guy John Smoltz Jersey , but does appear to have a knack for making hitters generate weak contact, and pop-ups. How well that translates to the majors will be key, along with an ability to out-think batters and keep them off-balance.For now, it appears he is being retained as a starter, and that makes sense. Even if his likely ceiling (per MLB) is a back-end starter, he’d still be more valuable in that role than out of the bullpen. Michael suggested making him a long reliever for the D-backs this season, to get his feet wet at the major-league level. Though I suspect with the likes of T.J. McFarland and, perhaps, Nick Green, ahead of him on the depth chart for that role Matt Kemp Jersey , he will probably need some injuries to open the door immediately for a roster spot next month. However, it would not surprise me at all if we see Clarke in the majors at some point in 2019, either providing rotation help, or in that long relief role. In case you’re wondering: @EutawBackstop is Caleb Joseph, and @JuniorL07 is Domingo Leyba. No local broadcast of any kind for this one, so we’ll be relying on Gameday and/or whatever might show up on social media for coverage!