• Right-handed setup man Jordan Walden completed his fourth consecutive scoreless appearance during Wednesday's win over the Nationals. Walden was one of the most influential members of Atlanta's bullpen before he strained both of his groin muscles while jogging before a game near the end of August.
• As highly regarded prospect J.R. Graham allowed at least two baserunners to reach base in each of his first three appearances, he showed the rust that developed as he missed most of last season with a strained right shoulder. But Graham has looked sharper while not allowing a hit in his past two appearances. It appears the Braves are committed to using Graham as a reliever this season.
• Left-handed reliever Ian Thomas has garnered the attention of Atlanta's coaching staff this spring, as he has allowed one run, surrendered three hits and issued three walks in the 5 1/3 innings he has compiled in five Grapefruit League appearances. Thomas, 26, was pitching in an independent league when the Braves signed him midway through the 2012 season.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.