Braves News: A.J. Minter's rehab begins, Chavez's swan song, Ian Anderson update

Checking in on a few important news updates from the Atlanta Braves.

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves received some encouraging news on two of their pitchers this week. Injuries have been a tough pill for the Braves to swallow in 2024 but things have to get better soon, right?

Atlanta is starting a series with the New York Yankees on Friday evening and hopes to carry the momentum they've found with them. It's been a difficult season for the 2024 Braves and things aren't getting easier any time soon.

However, there is some good news to be found from Atlanta's camp about one of their key relievers, a former top prospect, and fan-favorite veteran whose final MLB season is going swimmingly. Let's check out that news.

Braves reliever A.J. Minter to feature in rehab appearance for the Rome Emperors this weekend

Reliever A.J. Minter is finally starting to get back to live pitching and is one step closer to returning to Atlanta's bullpen. His presence is surely welcome despite the bullpen doing a great job in his absence. However, it's hard to replace his experience on the mound.

Minter threw a live batting practice session a couple of days ago in Rome but his first official appearance in a game will be on Saturday. That should be the only appearance he needs before returning but the lefty said that decision is ultimately up to Alex Anthopoulos and the training staff.

The lefty reliever had a 2.95 ERA over 21.1 innings with six walks and 23 strikeouts before being placed on the injured list with left hip inflammation. In his absence, Atlanta relied on Ray Kerr, Aaron Bummer, and Dylan Lee from the left side. Kerr has since been optioned and replaced by RHP and Kenny Powers' long-lost cousin, Grant Holmes.

Jesse Chavez is having an incredible last hoorah and deserves All-Star consideration

Veteran reliever and Braves legend Jesse Chavez has become a delight again for Atlanta. The two sides go together so well, and he's continued showing why the Braves value him so highly. Chavez carries a 1.21 ERA through 23 games with 10 walks and 24 strikeouts.

Earlier in June, he reached the milestone of 1,000 strikeouts and opponents are only batting .059 against him when they have RISP. While Marcell Ozuna, Chris Sale, and Reynaldo Lopez have rightfully earned the chance to be considered for the All-Star game, it's so important that Chavez be recognized for his wonderful performance on the mound before calling it quits.

Ian Anderson throws in first game since Tommy John surgery

Atlanta's former top prospect Ian Anderson is finally throwing on a pitching mound again. That feeling has to be incredible for the young righty. He pitched in two innings for the Florida Complex League Braves on Tuesday afternoon.

His fastball velocity was sitting in the low to mid-90s and is slowly building his arm back up for competition. There's still no specific timeline or date for his return from the IL but he's finally on step one of that journey back to a MLB mound. He could be a major addition to the Braves rotation if all things go well in recovery.

Anderson was great for the 2021 Braves with a 3.58 ERA through 128.1 innings in the regular season and 17 postseason innings with a 3.86 ERA. However, he slumped hard in 2022 with an alarming 5.00 ERA over 111.2 innings. A drop in velocity and command pointed to an obvious problem that required medical attention. Hopefully, he can complete this rehab stint with little to no issues and return soon.

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