Atlanta Braves Option Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder to Gwinnett

Atlanta Braves Photo Day
Atlanta Braves Photo Day / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Braves made some significant moves regarding the 5th rotation spot in Atlanta. They optioned both Ian Anderson and Bryce Elder to Gwinnett.

Ian Anderson struggled in 2022 and was honestly one of the bigger disappointments on the team. In 111.2 innings (22 starts), Anderson put together a 5.00 ERA, 4.37 xERA, 4.25 FIP, 4.22 xFIP, & 4.58 SIERA. This saw him demoted to Gwinnett last year. The hope was he would come into Spring Training and earn his spot in the rotation back.

After 7.1 innings and a 6.14 ERA, he must earn his spot in Gwinnett. It has been an unfortunate turn for a guy that was a 2021 postseason hero.

Bryce Elder made a name for himself last year down the stretch. In 54 innings, he put together a 3.17 ERA, 4.25 xERA, 3.78 FIP, 4.16 xFIP, & 4.34 SIERA. Some questioned if he could put it together because many of his starts came against lesser competition like the Nationals and Marlins.

Unfortunately, he could also not claim the 5th spot in the rotation. That is because, in 7.2 innings, he has a 7.04 ERA this spring coming into today. Still a long career for Elder, but he does not appear to be in line for that rotation spot.

Another reason these guys find themselves behind in the race for the rotation is because of two young prospects. Jared Shuster and Dylan Dodd (Hey! I wrote about him recently here) have impressed everyone.

Shuster came into camp as the Braves' top prospect (according to MLB), and he has looked the part. In 8.2 innings, he has allowed just 1 run. He has looked in control and like he belongs.

On the other side, maybe the best story in Braves camp is the continued emergence of Dylan Dodd. The 10th-ranked prospect has not allowed a run in 8.1 innings. Dodd has looked phenomenal outside of 1 lousy inning against the Dominican Republic All-Stars. He came into camp looking like a long shot and is now putting some pressure on the organization to give him a shot.

There is also the possibility of an outside name being picked up at the end of Spring, but it looks like Shuster & Dodd might be forcing the Braves to consider them.